This Gas Station Chain is Making Money Through Unique Ways and Here’s What Entrepreneurs Can Learn from It
There are plenty of business advice to be found both online articles and published books. But there’s nothing quite like seeing good business practices in action when it comes to learning the ropes. Here, Harvard Business School professor Laura Huang shares some valuable lessons entrepreneurs can learn from a family road trip story.
Road Trip Discovery
About two years ago, the business administration instructor drove through Texas with her husband and kids. Before they started on their way though, they were reminded by her mother-in-law to make a stop at Buc-ee’s, a chain of gas stations and convenience stores popular in the state.
Huang was initially confused about just what made the chain special enough to warrant a planned stopover. She soon found answers to her questions a couple hundred miles into their trip when they decided to get some gas from a Buc-ee’s.
Huang was immediately blown away seeing the place. She was particularly fascinated with the Buc-ee’s location’s ‘immaculate’ restrooms, a refreshing change from the notoriously dirty stalls other gas stations have. What more, there were tons of drinks and snacks available at the convenience store attached to the station.
With their Buc-ee’s stopover still in her mind as they went on their trip, Huang decided to do some research on the chain. She found out that the company began in 1982 with co-founders Don Wasek and Arch ‘Beaver’ Aplin III opening their first store.
In the beginning the duo focused on simple things: clean restrooms and cheap ice, basic goods that the professor described to be the company’s ‘superpowers’. These, Huang said, are what made going to Buc-ee’s such a ‘delightful and enriching experience’ and what other businesses can learn from.
Proof of Buc-ee’s continued dedication to their initial focus is that the awards it’s received for having the best public restrooms. In fact, customers have wondered how the chain can keep their facilities so clean even at four in the morning. Another impressive thing is that their New Braunfels branch has a whopping array of 120 gas pumps and a massive 67,000 square feet store. It seems like the saying ‘everything is bigger in Texas’ is indeed true.
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