As with any retail business, the owner of a gas station is required to wear many hats and perform a variety of functions to ensure that the business runs smoothly. A gas station is unlike other retail businesses in that it must comply with and keep abreast of the strict environmental laws that regulate underground fuel storage.
Hire, Train and Pay Employees
Whether the gas station is a solo operation or has an attached convenience store, the owner needs to hire and train employees to work the cash register, stock products and perform customer service. The owner should also be able to perform all of these duties during times when the gas station is short-staffed. The owner also needs to pay employees on time and accurately each week, as well as handle the details of employee benefits such as health insurance coverage.
Keep Business Records
Financial records for the gas station operation allow the owner to keep a close eye on expenses and profits. These records are the primary source of data for the owner and his accountant in filing taxes. They also allow the owner to see where money is being lost and may help shed light on opportunities to increase profits.
Manage Day-to-Day Operations
The gas station owner must ensure that the location is opened and closed properly each day. She must deal with customer service issues that employees can't resolve, handle employee relations issues and make sure that employees are following proper policies and procedures. The gas station owner must also keep track of and order inventory on a timely basis to ensure that gasoline and popular convenience items are always available for the customer.
Keep Environmental Records and Comply With Regulations
Gas station owners must have systems to guard against corrosion and monitor for underground gasoline leaks, as well as monitor the levels of vapors that escape from the pumps. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency offers an extensive 54-page checklist (see Resources) that details compliance measures that gas station owners (and others who store fuel underground) must meet.
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