Finding the Silver Lining in Tough Situations
In March, the fuel industry was dealt a tough blow when Petaluma, California’s City Council unanimously voted to ban new or expanded gas stations within its city limits. The decision was based on a multi-year disagreement regarding the proposal of a new build combined with an increased focus on lowering carbon emissions and statistics about the possible saturation point of gas stations being reached in Petaluma. (Read more about the situation in WEnd Consulting’s article, “What Happened in Petaluma California and is it a Sign Your Business Needs to Adapt?”)
While this situation is specific to one community, similar challenges may impact other cities as efforts to meet state and federal zero- emission goals ramp up. It can be easy to feel defeated during these times, yet savvy business owners will find these changes bring significant opportunity.
How can a ban on expansion be a positive factor?
The reality is many business owners are reaching retirement or have dreams of accomplishing goals in new lines of work leading to sales and acquisitions across the country. When a city bans the expansion of new fuel stations, the value of an existing location rises—and may be much higher than the negotiated sales price. It’s important to note that the limitations placed impact conventional gasoline only. Business owners who can fluidly pivot their operational strategies to address these changes will achieve success.
Five strategies to generate more income amidst limitations:
- Expand through fuel diversification. Instead of adding additional conventional gasoline pumps, businesses can add electric charging stations and hydrogen fuel pumps. (In California, there have been specific efforts to get hydrogen fuel cell vehicles and commercial trucks on the road.) Businesses can generate hydrogen fuel on-site and on-demand with units less than 1,000 square feet and simple access to city water, electricity, and natural gas.
- Rebrand. The demographics of many communities are changing rapidly. Now is the time to conduct a review of your brand position and marketing strategies.
- New products and rewards programs. Businesses on the market may not have evaluated their product sales or considered new offerings for their shelves and New grab-and-go selections, CBD-infused beverages, and healthy food snacks are taking off in many communities. Promote return sales with an easy-to-use loyalty rewards program.
- Last-mile fulfillment. Over the past year, many consumers discovered the convenience of having their purchases available for pickup in the parking lot or delivered straight to their door. New mobile applications and partnerships with delivery companies make this a viable service option for any size business.
- Achieve efficiencies and enhance service with new software. Modern enterprise software solutions allow for seamless information flow from product orders to sales and back-office accounting and financial management. By implementing a new ERP solution, owners and managers instantly access better information for improved decision-making.
About WEnd Consulting Services
WEnd Consulting Services contributes professional expertise to help business owners and leaders in the petroleum and refueling industry grow their businesses and achieve success. We believe all companies, no matter the size, can compete and deliver excellence to their customers, and our team is committed to helping them along the way.
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For more information,
contact Dylan Gamboa
or 812 909-6010