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Money Talk: Being limited... part two
07 August, 2013

When you trade as a sole trader or as part of a partnership, strictly speaking you do not have to prepare or send a copy of your business accounts anywhere! That may surprise some operators who've always assumed that they were paying their accountants to do just that, and we'd be the last people to recommend trying to run a business without preparing annual accounts (at the very least). However, the accounts are only used to establish the owner's income. Obviously if HMRC questions the income that is declared by an individual, it is useful (to say the least) to have a proper set of accounts to support what you're telling them.

Service Centre: Jac Roper looks at computer headaches, a welcome refund and advice on staff
07 August, 2013

You really don't need crashes

After 18 months of firefighting with a system that is meant to help him run his business, Jon Brownsey says he is beyond angry now. He first got in touch with Forecourt Trader last September over ongoing problems at his Fordingbridge Service Station, Hampshire, with his Micros (previously Torex) system. It summed up as crashes, error messages, inability to poll at night or to order grocery supplies from Londis.

Winning the battle
07 August, 2013

St George's Service Station, Church Way, Doncaster was a site in decline with pump volumes falling to two million litres (from four million at its peak), weekly shop sales of less than £5,000, a forecourt full of pot holes and a canopy leaking like a sieve. Lack of investment over a number of years had taken its toll, staff morale was understandably low and the town centre location was no longer on the radar of motorists or pedestrians. It looked like the site's days as a petrol filling station were numbered.

Well spotted
07 August, 2013

This month sees the start of a new fuel supply service targeting independent, unbranded fuel retailers across the South East. The source of the supply is Prax Petroleum, which has been building up to this point for several months, publicising its services including exhibiting at April's Forecourt Show at the NEC and talking to retailers in order to gauge reaction and interest.

Cold comfort
07 August, 2013

You might be sweating your 'whatsits' off as you read this but cast your mind back a few months and you'll shiver at the thought of March, which was the second coldest month since records began more than 100 years ago. Sneezes, coughs and colds hit higher-than-average levels, sending demand for remedies soaring. And such was demand that Tesco apparently maintained winter levels of supplies for its customers.

Day in the Life: Variety means the days fly by for Murco's Mike
07 August, 2013

My day invariably starts off with the Tarzan call of the Chris Evans' breakfast show at 6.30am (not everyone's cup of tea I know, but the show gets me off to a good start). The first and possibly most difficult task of the day is getting my teenage son out of bed to make sure he's on time for the school bus at 7.15am! If time permits (and just to keep up with my partner's daily gym visits!), I go for a swim a couple of mornings a week and find it sets me up well for the day ahead.

When a major car manufacturer like Ford predicts that sales of its electrified cars will outnumber petrol and diesel models by 2022, does that ring alarm bells about the possible speed of change for forecourts?