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Best of Darren's Great Ideas for Independent Operators in 2015

Posted in: Truckstop Business, Darren's Great Ideas for Independent Operators, Marketing & Retail, Operations

Thanksgiving means pumpkin pie, time to give thanks and if we are lucky a trip out of town with family and friends. As Darren enjoys a much-deserved vacation, I thought I'd guest host with a round-up of his most popular blog posts.

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Nine Tips to Keep Your Location Clear of Snow and Ice

Posted in: Truckstop Business, Operations

Winter will be here before you know it and many areas of the country will also start seeing snow. Whether locations receive a light dusting or blizzard-like condition, removing snow quickly and safely can improve the customer’s experience as well as their safety. NATSO sat down with two truckstop operators—Chris Wolf of Iowa 80 in Walcott, Iowa, and Dave Shoemaker of Shoemaker’s Travel Plaza in Lincoln, Nebraska—to learn how they keep their locations clear in the winter.

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Know Your Truckstop’s Traffic

Posted in: Truckstop Business, Marketing & Retail, Technology

You need to start understanding your online traffic to understand your customer better and how to reach them. I was working with a member who wanted to use his website to reach more truck drivers. That sounded great, but there was a problem: when I looked at his website’s analytics (performance metrics), I found that his online customer is most likely not a truck driver.

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Master a One-Day Sale with These 16 Tips

Posted in: Truckstop Business, Darren's Great Ideas for Independent Operators, Marketing & Retail

One-day sales can be a great way to add excitement to a truckstop and travel plaza locations and spike sales. During the most recent Operational Exchange phone call we discussed the role one-day sales can play during seasonal and/or holiday special events. After the call I received a handful of follow-up questions asking for more details on the concept of a one-day sale, which made me realize operators could use some standard operating procedure guidelines to follow when creating such an event.

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White’s Travel Center to Share Their Great Idea of a Pharmacy at The NATSO Show

Posted in: Great Ideas, Truckstop Business, The NATSO Show, Marketing & Retail, Operations

In the fall of 2015, White’s Petro Stopping Center in Raphine, Virginia, added a number of new amenities, including a pharmacy. Owner Bobby Berkstresser first began thinking about adding the pharmacy when they added a doctors’ clinic in 2012. The truckstop is a rural area and is about 15 minutes away from the closest pharmacy. With the clinic now seeing as many as 70 to 80 patients a day and, of course, giving many of those patients prescriptions, he felt it was time to pursue his idea. Their first step was to do a demographic study, which study found that a pharmacy at their location could be profitable with local traffic alone.

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Biodiesel Fuel Handling Tips For a Worry-Free Winter [Infographic]

Posted in: Fuel and Trucking, Biodiesel

Check out this cold weather fuel plan from Renewable Energy Group.

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Four More Ways to Create or Improve Your Truckstop’s Culture

Posted in: Truckstop Business, Human Resources

A strong company culture can benefit employees and customers alike, but creating a culture isn’t always easy. During October’s operational exchange conference call, NATSO members joined together to share their insights on how they are building and strengthening their corporate culture.

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NATSO Show Speaker Shares: To Succeed, Be the Only One Who Does What You Do

Posted in: Truckstop Business, The NATSO Show, Marketing & Retail

As an entrepreneur, co-founder of Fast Company magazine and a best selling author, Bill Taylor understands what it takes for business owners to compete. While researching his latest book, Be the Only: Thriving in a World Where Best Isn’t Good Enough, Taylor gained even more insights into what it takes to thrive in today’s competitive market. Taylor will he be sharing his expertise as a keynote speaker at The NATSO Show, and shared a preview of latest findings with NATSO ahead of the event.

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Daily Truckstop Checklist: The Morning Routine

Posted in: Truckstop Business, Darren's Great Ideas for Independent Operators, Marketing & Retail, Operations

The start of a new day can be hectic, but this list will help you keep it simple. You don’t need to check something just for the sake of checking it, but here are five key areas to check each morning.

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Case Study: Lee Hi Travel Plaza Tries Higher Quality Coffee

Posted in: Truckstop Business, Marketing & Retail

As the recent trends towards higher quality, origin coffees filter through the market place, would they hold true at a travel plaza? Lee Hi Travel Plaza, a NATSO member located in Lexington, Virginia, embarked to find out. During a June 1–10 test period, Lee Hi’s standard house blend was switched, without fanfare, from Red Sky (2.5oz) to Guatemalan Highlands (2.75oz), both medium-roast, high mountain coffee blends.

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