Managing a gas station requires people skills to deal with customers and employees, and math and managerial aptitudes to handle the business side of the operation. Because gas stations don’t follow a 9 to 5 schedule, you need a flexible approach to work and the ability to cope with being on-call at all hours in the case of an emergency.
Review policies. If you are beginning as the manager of a gas station, study the existing policies regarding the hours of operation, staff sick-leave, and other management procedures, such as cashing out at the end of a shift. Determine if anything in the policy needs to be changed or updated.
Draw up staff rosters. Consult employees to find out if anyone has prior commitments at certain times, and determine if you can work around the time requests. Employees are less likely to call in sick if they feel they have some input in deciding their work times.
Solicit customer feedback. Make your customers feel as though they count and ask them about how well the gas station is addressing their needs. Information gathering could be as simple as asking the question or could involve a quick questionnaire for them to fill out. Keep it short, no more than three or four questions.
Monitor details. A gas station is a service, so it is the small things that count. Observe how long it takes for employees to get to the pumps; make sure there is paper in the toilets; be aware of the number of customers in line to determine if another cash register should be opened.
Make sure the gas station is clean and safe. Nothing will have customers going to the gas station down the road faster than dirty and unkempt premises. Make sure that all staff are involved in the constant clean-up required in a gas station.
Establish a checklist of things that need to be done for every shift. Decide if your list is adequate for the gas station or if a commercial one would better serve your needs.
Jody Hanson began writing professionally in 1992 to help finance her second around-the-world trip. In addition to her academic books, she has written for "International Living," the "Sydney Courier" and the "Australian Woman's Forum." Hanson holds a Ph.D. in adult education from Greenwich University.