This questionnaire was used to interview a gas station owner on the operations of his business in order to identify the nature of competition he was facing and how he was responding to it. Generally, the gas station had gas pumps, stores, and repair service stations, which were independent segments that contributed to the business’s income. The questions asked and responses to them are detailed below.
Gas Station Questionnaire
What kind of business do you run? Do you have a franchise or an independent gas station?
It is an independent gas station.
How long have you been in this business?
I have been in this business for five years.
Did you have any experience before you opened your first business? If yes, what was your previous experience?
Yes. I had some experience. I used to work for a gas company as a manager
What challenges do you face in your business?
- Handling employees?
No. I have not had any serious problems with my employees.
- Managing operation?
Yes. I have encounter management challenges because I have to be on the business premises most of the time, which has interfered with most of my personal time.
- Customer service?
There are occasional difficult clients who harass my employees. However, I try to solve this issue as quickly as possible and in an amicable manner.
I face marketing challenges because of resources constraint. As a result, I am unable to make expensive advertisements. The lack of adequate capital is the biggest challenge that my businesses face.
I face competition from other franchised gas stations in the area.
- Dealing with the franchise?
I strive on creating a personal connection with my clients. Unfortunately, my business strategy is not always successful due to the stiff competition from the franchise business model.
- What are your specific strategies for dealing with these challenges?
My marketing strategy aims at ensuring that my clients are happy with the services they receive from my business. When I satisfy the needs and expectations of one customer, I am convinced they will recommend me to their friends. In addition, I maintain close contact with my consumers, which gives me an edge over franchises. Moreover, I am always present at my business premises and I have also fostered a close relationship with my employees and consumers, which enhances their performance and enables me to retain my customers.
- Did you write a business plan before you starting your business? If yes, how did it work out?
I wrote a business plan before I started my business. My business plan was oriented towards customer retention. Therefore, I aimed at ensuring every customer who visited my business premises returned for more services. The plan has worked out because I have around 1000 loyal consumers.