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5 Minute C-Store Plan – $20,000 Profits

Finding time is never easy. ….

C-Store Daily Plan – Does It Pay?

“What would you rather me do? Take 5 minutes to know my store or just start to work?” This was the answer given by a successful c-store manager to the question – “Do you have time to plan your day?”

Nothing is free and everything takes time. Using time well is not easy, but if you had a set of key information, would it make sense to take 5 minutes to organize the day? If your managers have a good daily plan, what would happen?

Stores that grow 5% produce more than $20,000 in extra profits each year. Some argue that a good store manager can control many things in a c-store. If they manage the important work – staffing, stocking, cleaning and customer service, then good results will follow. Those that believe managers can control store activity, know they must have a plan to succeed. Using time well is the key to growing profits. Good managers control the work in their stores. They resolve problems, fix inventory issues, open the store and schedule labor. It takes knowledge of the situation and the ability to manage the resources. Providing the key information makes managing more effective.

So what information should be provided to make it easy for a c-store manager to have a great daily plan?

Many think helping them to choose daily work items wisely, is a key to success. Providing key facts allows a manager to assess the store performance and then assign the work to get the needed results. Making it easy to see the key indicators for store results allows the store manager to focus attention and make things happen. Here is a list of things used to make decisions that help improve store performance.

Five Minute C-Store Expectations Plan Considerations

  1. Same day sales – same day of week, last week or last year
  2. Monthly sales – year over year comparisons
  3. Categories that are going up or down compare to the same period last year
  4. Top selling items
  5. Items that are not selling at all
  6. Items that sold last week but are not selling this week
  7. Customer feedback on bathrooms, service and selection
  8. Store inspections
  9. Store maintenance items

Five Minute C-Store Expectations Plan – Make It Easy!

If there is a place that the most important information can be found so that the manager is not spending time gathering the information, then it becomes a quick check to decide what things need attention. Creating a list of actions and getting them done becomes a short task each day and leads to success. Knowing where to find the answers is a big part of the job. Make it easy!

For more information on C-Store planning

You may also want to read about our blog on C-Store Operations – Keep It Simple – The Hard Work?

The proven way to increase sales, simplify work and make time to grow – download now.

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C-Stores – The Top 20 Companies Own 30% of All Stores – How Do They Do It?

Top 20 Chains Own Almost 50,000 C-Stores

According to Convenience Store News the top 20 operators own 30% of all the c-stores in the USA.

Growing same-store sales test even experienced operators. But the numbers reveal just how much more challenging it is to add new stores. In 2017, the total number of C-Stores in the United States increased by only 423. Yet, for some operators new store growth is remarkable. The top twenty companies owned 25% of all stores last year. Now in 2018, they own about 30%. The big companies keep growing. One question asked is how they manage to grow so fast. Many argue that automation and replication is a big part of growth. Being able to manage how existing stores perform is critical to keep them on track to provide time to focus on adding new stores.

C-Store Performance – Beyond Back Office

Over the past several years new software solutions have emerged to help C-store operators optimize store performance. Operators for whom growth is the goal have started adopting these new software solutions. To be clear, store performance software compliments and goes way beyond the traditional back office system.

Download – Optimize C-Store Performance

Success is not easy, but there is a proven way to achieve consistent growth. C-Store growths follows a process. Get a copy of the white paper “Optimize C-Store Performance – The proven way to increase sales, simplify work and make time to grow.” The download is free.

C-Store Performance Assessment

Assess how well your stores are performing. Simply select the business practices that apply to your operation from the lists presented. Submit your choices and you’ll be emailed a written report including suggestions on how to improve store performance. Take 7 minutes and get a customized report. Great for focus group meetings or strategy planing retreats – Get your assessment now.

C-Store Performance- Related blogs and links

You may also like a related blog regarding:

C-Store Performance – The Proven System for Growth

C-Store Customer Survey Software – Product Information.

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52643263 - roi return on investment

C-Store Performance – ROI of Growth – How much profit from 1%?

How Much Profit from 1% C-Store Growth?

Generating growth provides cash and resources. The example below shows how a typical store with inside sales of $85,000 per month at a 27% margin can increase annual bottom line profits by more than $4,100 per store annually.

 

Increasing growth – sales impact
Sales increase % (fuel and inside) 1%
Increase in sales – month $850
Increase gross profit – Inside – month $230
Increase in fuel gallons 775
Increase gross profit – fuel – month $116
Total monthly increase – inside sales & fuel $346
Annual profit increase per store @ 1% growth $4,149

Improving C-Store Performance Pays

There are lots of ways to improve by just 1%. Some things are easy for you to do yourself. Others happen with your partners.  Manufacturers will provide the signs and promotions to pay for incentives that provide a lot more than 1% improvement. Making 1% brings value to your bottom line. Making a series of improvements builds a very profitable store. Making improvements pays. High-growth chains find ways to keep improving so they make growth happen consistently.

Check the math when growth improvements get bigger across multiple stores. It pays to find ways to improve.

Store Count Growth Percentage
1 2 3 4 5
1 $4,149 $8,298 $12,447 $16,596 $20,745
5 $20,745 $41,490 $62,235 $82,980 $103,725
10 $41,490 $82,980 $124,470 $165,960 $207,450
25 $103,725 $207,450 $311,175 $414,900 $518,625

Proven Method of Growth

Read more about the proven way to increase sales, simplify work and make time to grow. Download the white paper and get started –   “Optimize C-Store Performance – The proven way to increase sales, simplify work and make time to grow.”

C-Store Performance- Related blogs and links

You may also like a related blog regarding:

C-Store Performance – The Proven Way for Growth

Increase Tobacco Sales

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Growing Your Business Through Successful Dealers – Southern New England Energy Conference Monday, Sept 24 10:00 AM

Monday, Sep. 24: 10:00 am – 11:00 am 

Southern New England Energy Conference – Breakout Session

C-Store Performance for Jobbers – Growing Your Business Through Successful Dealers 

“C-Store Performance – The proven way to increase sales, simplify work and make time to grow.

Presented by BandyWorks CEO, Tom Bandy

If the dealers to whom you distribute fuel are successful, you’ll be successful too.  Individual c-stores will succeed if they are attractive to customers and do all the basics right.  But your dealers will also succeed if they grow through acquisition or through adding new stores organically.  But uncontrolled growth can also be a path to disaster, and this session will show there are distinct phases to multiple store growth, each with its own unique set of issues to overcome.

Who Should Attend?

  • Jobbers
  • C-Store Owners
  • Operations Directors, VP’s
  • District Managers

 

image of a pyramid show the 4 stages or levels of cstore performance maturity - Founding, Organizing, Growing adn Thriving

For more information, Southern New England Energy Conference Schedule

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C-Store Managers – What Do You Need to Increase Sales?

We asked our best C-Store Managers – What Do You Need to Increase Sales?

We often work with top stores that already have great customer service, nice clean stores and top results. We expected to hear that they needed more money for new hires and bigger bonuses for increased sales results. We certainly heard about more money with a few of the responses. Everyone wants to hire good people and be rewarded for achieving good results. Good companies, however, already pay well.

What we heard the most may surprise you. We took the feedback from dozens of top managers over the course of several months of sales consulting. We watched and listened to what they needed to increase upselling and drive net profits. Perhaps more interesting was what we did not hear as the most important needs:

NOT On the Most Needed List

  1. More Money for Store Managers
  2. Loyalty Programs
  3. Better Locations

Clearly, the above items can help increase sales, but these store managers were focused on addressing what they thought they could control, yet did not cost a lot of money. That is, what things can they manage as a company that impact sales without hurting profits. So here are the top items they listed:

Top Items Store Managers Need to Increase Sales

  1. Cigarette Multi-Pack Discounts
  2. Better Promotions
  3. Gas Toppers that Drive Traffic Inside (e.g., Food)
  4. Ready to Eat Food Options
  5. Visits from Owners and Top Managers
  6. Bathrooms in Full Working Order

They brainstormed items and ranked the most important. They felt they could work with suppliers to use promotional money that was available to help their staff increase sales by providing high value to customers while maintaining the margins due to supplier incentives. Even signs can be provided by suppliers with new products or hot specials that matter to customers. Of course, food is such a big area these days. Maybe the most surprising was the simple things they wanted from top management – store visits and help with maintenance items. Their staff is much more likely to do just a little extra when they see their owners and managers in the store motivating them and keeping the store a nice place to be proud to work in.

Related Information – C-Store Operations Assessment

If you work on things like up-selling, you probably care a lot about C-Store Operations and Performance. Take a free assessment of your C-Store operations. You will receive a written summary along with ideas to try to make operations a little better: Rate Yourself – C-Store Performance Assessment.

Learn More

How C-Store Managers Get More Upselling

Upselling in C-Stores – Leaving the Comfort Zone

The biggest obstacle to consistent upselling is cashier reluctance or discomfort. Store managers consistently state that upselling works when done well. Many, however, argue that getting consistent upselling from cashiers is not an easy task.

Just like most things building a habit takes time and practice. Managers must be consistent with expectations and make sure the staff know how to do it. Once trained, however, the job of the manager is to ensure it is done.

Many argue that having a tool to measure upselling is a key. Such a tool can measure the results of upselling by looking at:

  1. Average Sale
  2. Sales of Promotional Items
  3. Sales with Multiple Items
  4. Sales with Discounts
  5. Customer Traffic – Upselling a Return Trip
  6. Total Sales

Getting over reluctance is an important part of training and practice. Most managers will agree that if you know a customer well, you will know how to upsell. For some, it is just having their regular item available or calling them by name. For others, they may just be too rushed or distracted to bother. Sometimes, a friendly smile is all you can do.

Despite all the valid reasons to hold back on an offer, there are so many valid reasons to provide an upsell. Making sure the customer knows you care and want their business is important. Making them feel respected and valued is critical.

Managers that drive upselling lead by example and show their staff with patience how to do it. There are some easy things that make upselling a little less stressful. For example, saving a customer money or offering a free item with the purchase can seem much less uncomfortable for a new cashier. Based on store manager feedback, here is a list of tips they suggest makes it easier for even the most reluctant c-store cashier to have success with upselling.

The Tips – How C-Store Managers Get More Upselling:

  1. Implement Cigarette Multipack and Loyalty Discounts
  2. Provide Promotions
  3. Include Healthy Snack Choices
  4. Have Dispenser Toppers To Drive Traffic Inside
  5. Provide Good Food Options
  6. Make Sure Bathrooms Are Clean and Refurbished
  7. Family Owners Should Visit Stores and Meet Staff

Reducing the Stress of Up-Selling

Having pride in your company and its offerings makes upselling an easier ‘ask’. Making it a team effort and using results to acknowledge (and sometimes reward) good efforts reinforces the desired behavior. Feeling part of the team and respected improves morale and makes a tough task just a little bit easier.

The best operators measure success. The big winners know accountability to expectations are key. The managers with low turnover and high sales master the delivery of training and oversight with patient persistence. They work with their supervision to provide the environment for successful C-Store Upselling.

Related Information – C-Store Operations Assessment

If you work on things like up-selling, you probably care a lot about C-Store Operations and Performance. Take a free assessment of your C-Store operations. You will receive a written summary along with ideas to try to make operations a little better: Rate Yourself – C-Store Performance Assessment.

Learn More

Controlling Labor Hours to Match C-Store Sales

Control Your C-Store Operations

One of the most challenging jobs is getting the labor allocation to match sales in a C-Store. There are many things that are important to control in a C-Store. Getting the labor right is a key to ensure you have good operations with the labor costs that match the store sales when they happen. Too much – you hurt profits, too little – you risk bad service and lost sales.

Many companies are starting to use their sales data to align the hours to the sales that occur. There is always need for cleaning and stocking, but working the hours to match traffic allows the store to have the necessary staffing and keep the hours on track to hit performance goals. There are only so many hours available so it is key to assign them at the right time.

There are a few things that help when using sales to determine the labor hours:

  1. total sales and customers by hour
  2. same day comparison for several weeks to see trends
  3. day of week compared to other days
  4. average sale, discounts, loyalty
  5. inside versus outside traffic

Allocating Labor Hours in Your C-Store

With a good understanding of historical sales by the day of week and broken down by hour, labor can be scheduled to match the busy times. There are times when the registers will be the most busy and times when other tasks must be done. Together, a manager can utilize the hours to match the operational needs with the store sales.

Related Information – C-Store Operations Assessment

You may want to take an assessment of your C-Store operations It provides a written summary along with ideas for new things to consider: C-Store Performance Assessment.

Learn More