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What does a Gas Station Owner do?

By Cassie L. Damewood
Updated Mar 02, 2024
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A gas station owner is the person in charge of all daily operations for her gasoline sales business. She may work on-site or manage the business from a remote location via voice communications, texting or e-mail. Her gas station may be independently owned and operated or be part of franchise purchase agreement.

To ensure the highest profit margins, a gas station owner frequently sells more than gas at her station. Related petroleum and automotive products such as propane gas, motor oil, transmission and brake fluids and wiper blades are commonly for sale. If space permits, soft drinks, snacks, candy and tobacco products are frequently offered for purchase as well.

The wholesale price of gas commonly fluctuates based on national and international political and economic factors. A gas station owner is typically expected to be informed on these issues. Based on this information as well as the local pricing of her competitors, a gas station owner is generally compelled to strategize her costing structure.

Pricing her fuel below the market average is normally the best way to attract customers. A gas station owner is typically required to weigh this decision against her available inventory to determine its merit. An influx of customers may produce instant revenue that is offset by having to close the station if the inventory is exhausted. This would interrupt sales of peripheral items, however.

Some gas station owners supplement sales of fuel and other items by offering services to their customers. A gas station often has mechanics on duty to perform simple to complex automotive repairs. A significant number of stations provide car-washing services that are frequently discounted to customers who purchase fuel during the same visit.

A gas station owner may operate the station on her own or hire a staff to operate the business. She often hires a manager to oversee daily operations and operate the payment station. If the station is busy, a staff of cashiers may be hired. The manager is typically the person who trains these employees.

Success in this position normally requires the gas station manager to be a good financial and public relations manager. She ordinarily reviews her profit and loss statements to keep apprised of her business’ success. Involvement in community affairs normally gives her insight into how her business is perceived by her customers. Based on this information, a gas station manager often makes changes to increase her profits.

No formal education is required to be a gas station owner. A background in sales, marketing or business administration is normally a plus. Good communication and interpersonal relations skills often contribute to a gas station owner’s success. A bachelor's degree in a business-related field may be helpful as well.

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Discussion Comments

By mobilian33 — On Jan 24, 2015

@Laotionne - Believe it or not, higher gas prices for the customer doesn't usually mean more profit for the gas station owner. Figuring out who is making money and how much in the gas industry can be a little tricky.

On average, when gas prices are steady for long periods, gas station owners earn a few pennies per gallon of gas they sell. When gas prices are jumping quickly, the station owners are making less because the prices they are paying for gas are increases faster than they can raise their prices at the pump without having customers revolt.

The best situation for station owners is when prices start to drop quickly. Then the wholesale price is falling faster than the price on gas pumps that the customers are paying.

By Laotionne — On Jan 24, 2015

As high as gas prices have been over the last several years, gas station owners should be getting rich. I think it is really unfair the way they raise prices and take advantage of certain situations when people are desperate for gas. I think station owners convicted of price gouging should pay very heavy fines and maybe be put in jail, depending on the individual situation.

By Drentel — On Jan 23, 2015

I am amazed at how gas stations have changed over the years. In the town where I grew up, all of the gas stations were family owned and passed down from one family member to the next. If a family member was not available to inherit the station then a lucky long time employee might get the business.

Also, when I was a kid all of the gas stations had service attendants who pumped the gas, checked the air and cleaned the windows if necessary. The customer might pump his or her gas when things were really busy, but not usually. Now you can hardly find a gas station that is not self service.

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