Buying a gas station can be a great investment opportunity. Americans are highly dependent on their vehicles, which are primarily fueled by gas. Although electric cars have grown in popularity, they are still unaffordable for most people. Additionally, the availability of charging stations is limited mostly to larger cities making electric cars impractical for people in rural or small-town areas.
With the dependence on gasoline, buying a gas station is a great investment that will last for many years. That being said, the gas station industry can be highly competitive. If you live in an area where there are gas stations on nearly every street corner, you will need to find ways to differentiate yourself from your competitors.
While it may seem natural to say that you will compete with lower prices, that will depend entirely on what your costs are for the gas, as you will be limited to how much you can lower your rates. Most gas stations differentiate themselves with the other services they offer. For example, you may include a car wash, store, or food options. Many gas stations are partnering with fast food places or are offering hot foods. The more you can offer your customers, the more likely they will be to drive past the other stations and stop at yours.
Another factor you will need to take into consideration is location. Gas station business is largely dependent on drive-by traffic. With that in mind, the closer you are to a highway or major roadway, the more drive-by traffic you will get. Being located near a more significant shopping center or destination is also beneficial. Being located near a large entertainment facility or park will help you get a lot of traffic. When you are looking for a gas station for sale, learn as much as you can about the area where it is located. Sunbelt Networks is the world’s largest brokerage firm offering the best selection in gas stations for sale; you can start your search with them.
Gas stations rely almost entirely on credit card business, so you need to factor credit card and technology fees into your overall prices. You will need to ensure you have the right technology services set up, so if you ever have a problem with your pumps or card readers, they can be fixed quickly and efficiently. Not allowing people to use their credit cards will negatively impact your business.
Another factor to take into consideration is safety. Unfortunately, gas stations are often targets for theft or burglary, so you need to consider security in the form of cameras, alarms, and possibly a security guard at night, depending on the safety of the area. Other precautions include using a drop safe that will deter robbers.
Moving forward with your gas station purchase, you need to look into the supplies and vendors that will help you boost your business. This includes food and drink vendors as you determine what you are going to sell in your gas station. If you do not want to run your hot-food stand within the gas station, you need to look into other options. If you decide not to carry hot food at all, you may look into different food options to attract business like an ice cream stand or milkshake machine.
It is always best to create a business plan before investing in a new business because even something like a turnkey gas station requires planning. A business plan will help you outline your financial investment, proposed budget, and proposed lines of revenue. Your plan will allow you to go to investors and make a solid presentation as to why they should trust you with their money. It will also provide you with a blueprint to follow once your business is up and running.