You Can Compete with the Big Boys . . .
When you Buy a Gas Station/Convenience Store of Your Own
By Richard Parker: President of The Resource Center for Buying a Gas Station/C- Store™ and author of How To Buy A Good Gas Station/C-Store At A Great Price© .
After you buy your own gas station or convenience store, you will be just one more business out there on the landscape, right? You’ll just have to open the front door every day and hope that customers will find their way to your door, right?
No, sorry, wrong on both counts!
Thanks to the science of marketing, you can compete – and defeat – your bigger competitors and even the huge oil-company-owned stations. Just keep these three marketing basics in mind.
Visit the other gas station and convenience stores in the area where yours is. Then simply offer your customers benefits that they don’t get when they do business with those competitors. That could mean differentiating your business with assets like these:
- Longer hours.
- A cleaner, better-lit location.
- Better dressed, more enthusiastic employees.
- Special promotions, prices, prizes and specials.
- A better cup of coffee.
- Free windshield washes, air, water, vacuum.
- A wider selection of items in your store.
Next you have to tell your customers that you are the best gas station/convenience store in town! If you don’t tell them, who will? That means:
- Identifying your core customers by finding out where they work, where they are driving to – everything you can.
- Finding advertising and outreach channels that communicate to them directly. That could mean advertising on the radio stations they listen to, or putting discount coupons in nearby stores, health clubs and other businesses.
- Continuing to communicate, not just in your first weeks of business, but consistently over time. Don’t forget your customers. Keep selling to them!
- Offer your facility to any worthy charity looking to have a fundraiser (car washes, Girl Scout cookie sales, etc)
In smaller communities especially, surround customers with your presence. Become a part of their lives. That could mean:
- Sponsoring a local little league team, Special Olympics or other cause.
- Cleaning up and maintaining a park or playground.
- Getting to know other merchants in the area and working with them to improve the business climate.
- Funding a college scholarship for a graduating high school student.
- Sending information about all these activities to local newspapers, radio shows and other media so they will tell the story of what you are doing in the community – free of charge! On this note, local media is required to provide local news. Find a way to generate “feel-good” activities at your gas station, alert the press and you are guaranteed to get coverage.
Remember: There are no small businesses – only businesspeople who think small!
For even more blockbusting secrets that will make your gas station/convenience store a colossal success, be sure to read our new program, How to Buy a Good Gas Station/Convenience Store at a Great Price.
This article represents a fraction of what you’ll learn in How To Buy A Good Gas Station/C-Store At A Great Price© - the most widely used reference resource and strategy guide for anyone thinking about buying a gas station. Read a detailed listing of what you'll learn.