Below is a “Linkedin” entry of a fuel forecourt Area manager
• Responsible for 21 forecourts within UK, predominantly based within the Midlands.
• Providing training, guidance and problem resolution to self-employed site franchisees on a round the clock basis, 7 days a week.
• Responsible for all aspects of site procedures including cash management, health and safety requirements, valeting sales, shop management and purchase requisitions.
• Enforcement of commercial awareness and best practice to Franchisees, through regular site reviews and official audit processes
You will note the use of the word “Enforcement” which expresses the company’s management style and the control its management maintain over “YOUR” business.
What it doesn’t say is the Area Sales Managers are responsible for the company’s profits from the site.
They are, as I have stated, there to ensure “the company” makes money out of YOU. They monitor your every step except the relationship between you and your employees.
Firstly this “great business opportunity” is NOT a franchise – A COURT JUDGE has said so. It bears few if any characteristics of a genuine franchise.
In truth the forecourt site you run or will run is not your business. You are little more than a labour master supplying and managing the staff to run the company’s site. You are expected to work as many hours as you physically can, manning the till, serving customers. You will need to employ people to do the work you can’t cover.
The deal you are offered will be so tight and to the fuel companies financial benefit that to make a wage of any description you will struggle. Many managers/operators are forced to flog themselves to death or pay illegally low wages to employees to survive.
The “company” couldn’t give a damn about the wages you pay your staff because they have passed to you this problem and the risk of a substantial fine of £10000 if you are caught paying illegally low wages. In addition to this fine the Revenue and Customs will force you to pay all of what you have underpaid in the past to your employees. This will in all likelihood bust you and you will probably lose any bond you have provided.
Unlike a real business you have no powers to improve margins and therefore your personal income. The “company” negotiates prices of all purchases of stock, consumables. In almost all cases “the company” dictates 100% what you stock and where you buy it from. Furthermore they dictate the maximum price you sell your stock for. Where can you improve your income?
Of course “the company” will say sell more! Grow sales!
However, when you do they will increase your rent or reduce your commission on fuel sales. Refer to the contract. The Company can vary any term in the contract to their advantage. You can do nothing – except resign. If you don’t like it you know what you can do. There is always some other willing victim
Well now there is something else you can do!
Share your experiences on our forum.
Ensure your replacement knows how “these companies” operate.
Then “these companies” will have fewer victims unaware of their tactics..
Your circumstances will improve and be more secure.
Improve the relationship, demand changes: freedom to buy 25-50% supplies from suppliers of your choice, a better deal to enable you to employ more people and be more like a business person.