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Because gas is integral to our lifestyles – fueling cars, trucks, boats, quads, snowmobiles, and even lawn mowers – gas stations make good investments with growing profit margins – typical profit is 7-10 cents per litre. But moving from an idea to project commencement is a road fraught with obstacles and must begin with a business plan. Developing a comprehensive business plan requires extensive research and planning.

Your detailed business plan needs a budget, your gas station’s estimated income and expenses, meaning that you’ll need an accountant to review it to ensure feasibility and accuracy. The more expansive and specific your business plan is, the better for attracting investors and financing, so you will need to do a lot of research. Your gas station business plan should include detailed descriptions of the services, products, and amenities your gas station will include (e.g. air stations, car wash, public restrooms, etc.).

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A local market and competition analysis should indicate where you plan to build your gas station and it must illustrate where other gas stations are located and how your business will compete – what will differentiate your gas station from others in the area. The business plan must also include a detailed outline of your gas station’s organization and management (who will be in charge of financials, store management and inventory, and legal concerns) and your advertising and marketing strategies. Other important items include estimated start up costs (property, construction costs, day to day and gas contract costs) and a mission statement with business goals. Permits and insurance requirements must be detailed as they vary depending on your location.

You’ll also want to consider whether or not you will join a franchise like Esso, Shell, Co-op, FasGas, or PetroCanada, which pay royalties to the parent company. Since most gas stations are franchises, you’ll want to research which parent company you want to work with, and have a lawyer review the contracts and franchise agreement.

For a general estimate of the cost, RSMeans provides the following estimate for gas station construction cost in Edmonton (assuming concrete block / wood joists) using 2013 data:

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When developing your gas station’s budget, you’ll need to provide both start up and operational costs. For example, real estate costs, legal costs, advertising and signage costs, inventory and gas supply costs. Don’t forget salary and employee costs and monthly expenses like utilities.

With all the research and legwork involved, embarking on building a gas station is no easy task. Cormode & Dickson is an expert at building gas stations in Alberta and we will assist you from the business plan through to the construction phase. Our experience and expertise adds value to you throughout the entire process, eliminating stress from start to finish. As your gas station constructor, Cormode & Dickson manages the gas stations’ design and layout, researches the profitability and best locations, applies for and obtains permits, and manages gas station construction costs throughout our working relationship.

For a list of previous gas station constructions we have been a part of, CLICK HERE!

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