Financing A Gas Station Without Management Experience? Good Luck!

Recently, financing gas stations, convenience stores and other petroleum related properties has become more significantly more difficult. Foreclosures and defaults are up significantly. One of the biggest common denominators of defaults and foreclosures in this asset class today are dealers and operators that lack direct industry experience.Direct industry experience is defined today as someone who has either owned, operated or managed a gas station, convenience store or truck stop for a minimum of three years. Lenders today are not looking to finance people that are accountants, attorneys, IT professionals or even people who have been in retail in general. Because of a current credit crunch and the convenience and gas (C & G) industry having a black eye from increased prices, declining fuel being sold and declining profit margins by the individual dealers and operators that own these stations, it has become increasingly more difficult to finance this asset class.Even if you have worked at a 7-Eleven as an employee, that still is not being considered necessarily “industry experience” unless they have specifically had managerial experience, i.e. hiring/firing, ordering inventory, pricing inventory, pricing fuel, payroll, etc. In short, if you have not managed, owned or operated a gas station or convenience store, your changes of getting a loan is very small in today’s current environment.So what are your options if you’re looking to buy a gas station or gas station franchise? One obvious solution is to add a partner that has direct industry experience. This does not mean that you have to make them a 50/50 partner either, just someone that can be responsible for the running of the business. You can keep the seller on as a minority owner (less than 20%) for a period of time so they can get most of the cash they want and can train you for a minimum of six to twelve months and buy them out at that period.You can also keep existing management, but you probably will need to offer some ownership (5-10%) because a manager does not necessarily have a financial motivation to stay with you if they can find employment elsewhere. A small amount of ownership provides incentive. If you will be purchasing a gas station or convenience store and a major oil company will be supplying fuel instead of a local fuel supplier (jobber) they will most likely required you to attend an oil company school, but that will be insufficient from a lender’s perspective in terms of industry experience. If you are looking to purchase a gas station or convenience store and you do not have the direct experience, you should have this as part of your negotiations with the seller.

Adding eBay to Your Lifestyle

The subject of eBay comes up fairly often with my friends and family. I hear “I should get on eBay and find a better deal on…” or “I should go on eBay and sell my…” They sign up on eBay (and occasionally PayPal) and then do nothing. One relative has repeated this process about twice a year since about 2002.I firmly believe that if eBay is not a regular part of your lifestyle, you’re not saving as much money as you could, and you’re not putting money additional money in your pocket. I don’t mean you need to buy everything on eBay; that makes no sense. Likewise you don’t need a “home business” to generate some extra money with eBay.Look at products you purchase on a regular basis. If any of them strike you as expensive, or if they take a substantial part of your budget, chances are good you’ll find a better deal on eBay, even factoring in shipping costs. A great example is cosmetics and healthcare products. Pharmacies and grocery stores, and even large retailers often apply huge markups to these products. Worse still, consumables for certain healthcare products can be difficult to find. The good news is you can find great prices and nearly endless supplies of these products on eBay. Buying in bulk with at a substantial discount on eBay will free your income for other purchases and leisure.When I receive a free product or store credit I don’t intend to use, I immediately think “can I sell this on eBay?” Credit card companies often offer gift cards and store credits as purchase incentives. These are great items to list on eBay. They generally have no cash value, but they’re immensely popular on eBay. If you sell a $100 gift card for $50, the purchaser is happy because they’re getting double value for their money with that retailer, and you’re happy because you’ve pocketed $50 for something you didn’t want. I’ve received DVD players, cookware, and other products as premiums for other purchases or services. These are great items to list on eBay, as you can price them to sell, they’re “new in box” which is appealing to buyers, and they turn potential household clutter into cash.As a matter of fact, sometimes I’m even motivated to purchase based on a premium’s eBay value. A motorcycle dealer was giving away a very valuable helmet or a $50 store credit with every motorcycle purchase. I knew I could list the helmet on eBay and recoup a decent portion of my down payment. It’s unwise to make all purchasing decisions based on a potential eBay transaction, but there are certainly cases where a potential windfall on a purchase is possible.Making eBay part of your lifestyle will put additional money in your pocket, with savings on products you buy regularly and the ability to sell items you don’t want or need.

Home Repair Costs

Home repair costs can be quite expensive, that is why it is important to see how you can reduce those costs. You certainly don’t want to have to spend money that you don’t have, so it will be worth your while to look into what ways you can repair your home without paying an unnecessary price.Below are ways you can do just that:1. If some kind of accident occurred on the property that caused the damage, check with your insurance company to see if your home insurance will cover it. If so, that is money that you do not have to spend out of your pocket.2. Schedule a home inspector to come to your home so that you can have all of the damage assessed. This allows you to see what needs immediate fixing and what doesn’t. It also helps you pinpoint areas that could easily become damaged again after making the repairs.3. Sometimes home repair costs can be reduced by doing things such as painting, cleaning, and waxing. An entire wall may not need replaced. It just might need some cosmetic help.4. Compare prices at the various home improvement stores. You can reduce home repair costs if you look for the same quality materials at lower prices. Every little bit helps.5. If you must use a home improvement firm, compare rates. Don’t simply go with a company because they claim to be the best. Ask questions.6. If you don’t know how to repair common issues yourself, purchase a manual that can teach you to do so. You can reduce home repair costs by not having to hire a professional.7. If you must get a loan to cover your home repair, be sure to shop around for the best interest rate.8. You can also reduce your costs by simply using preventable maintenance. Tackle the problem before it exists.9. If you use a professional service, be sure they provide you with a signed estimate before they touch anything within your home. That way, you can either negotiate with them or find a cheaper service.10. If you can establish a relationship with a good home repair service, then you can reduce your home repair costs dramatically over time.These are simply ten tips that you can use to make sure you don’t pay more for home repair costs than what you have to. No one should have to lose money that they don’t need to, so use caution and be patient. That way, your home repair costs don’t get the best of you.