Business Overview

Convenience stores are often characterized by their late hours, which is convenient for customers who may be passing through the area as they travel. The stores vary in size, ranging from small kiosks to deluxe convenience stores. Regardless of the size and what is sold on the inside of the store, many convenience stores rely heavily on selling gasoline as a source of revenue.

Who is this business right for?

This business is for someone who doesn't mind working different schedules as needed. This is because convenience stores typically open early and stay open late, so if anything happens with your employees, you may need to cover an unexpected shift. The job involves a lot of interaction with strangers, so being a "people person" can be a useful quality. The job is also good for creative people who are able to successfully manage an inventory with a large variety while also showcasing the different products sold in creative displays.

What happens during a typical day at a convenience store?

Some of the daily activities of running a convenience store include managing the schedules of employees and scheduling, receiving, and unpacking shipments of inventory. You must be vigilant about the health and safety regulations regarding your store, particularly if you choose to sell food that you prepare yourself. You will be overseeing the payroll of your employees, and must monitor that there are no errors. A large part of any given day is spent setting up displays and straightening up shelves so that the store looks clean and organized for customers. And, of course, checking out customers throughout the day will consume much of your time.

What is the target market?

The stereotype of convenience store customers is that many of them only pop into the store when they need a specific item, such as when a significant other requests certain food or drink and the customer doesn't want to deal with the hassle of a full-size grocery store. While these customers are good, they are more sporadic. As such, the preferred convenience store customer is the neighborhood regular who comes in every day or two and sees himself as supporting the neighborhood. As such, he will be both a regular and a friendly customer, which is a great combination.

How does a convenience store make money?

Convenience stores make money by buying goods and selling those goods to customers. Typically, convenience stores sell things such as snacks, soft drinks, car accessories, lottery tickets, tobacco, sometimes alcohol. Your profit represents the amount of money you have taken in after you have subtracted how much you paid for these goods as well as any operational expenses accrued throughout the month.

 

What is the growth potential for a convenience store?

The growth potential of a convenience store is relatively steady. In the last three decades, the industry has doubled in size, so these stores now represent about a third of America's retail outlets. Recent research shows that it continues to grow as an industry, growing by one percent in 2015. And a successful convenience store owner may eventually branch out into owning multiple locations.