I live about an hour’s drive from the site, so an early start is always inevitable, particularly as I have my hair and make-up to do before leaving home. But to compensate, my drive to work is through the beautiful New Forest. However, I have to be alert to avoid the ponies and other animals that often wander about oblivious to all the traffic.
When I arrive at Portsbridge, after saying hi to the morning team, my first job is a store walk to check merchandising, cleanliness and that we’re ready for business. I like to get stuck straight into this.
The walk always includes the customer loo, to ensure fresh flowers have been put in there it adds a nice touch and customers really appreciate it. I like to keep an immaculate forecourt so loo checks are really important.
Simple but vital
Walking the store is a simple but really vital task.
Obviously I know the shop inside out, but it’s easy to become complacent so I like to take a careful look at things to make sure everything’s up to scratch.
Winning the Forecourt Trader of the Year 2014 Award was fantastic but it means we’ve a lot to live up to as we’ll always be known for that win. It was a great achievement and the whole team were really delighted with the result as they all take great pride in their work.
I’m busy building my team, so I spend a lot of time with them inspiring them to put that extra effort in to make our store really stand out from the crowd.
After walking the store, it’s into my office to start the day’s tasks, which include processing the previous day’s shifts, checking sales performance, organising team rotas and the myriad of things which are needed to ensure the business keeps running smoothly.
Bundle of energy
I try to keep office time to a minimum because, being a bundle of energy, I’m keen to get out on to the store floor interacting with the staff and the customers.
The morning team has a coffee sales target and when they hit it, they’re allowed to choose a prize from my rewards drawer. But don’t get too excited the maximum value of each reward is £1. It’s a small token but it’s a way of getting everybody to join in, which creates a good atmosphere among the team and also in the store.
My next and favourite job is stock ordering and merchandising as I love introducing new lines and changing store sections to maximise our performance.
I’ve been given some serious targets by my boss, Tim, so am constantly looking at the store to make sure we achieve them.
We’re obviously doing something right as we’re already achieving more than 60% of our second-year objectives in the store.
I’m always buzzing around the business, keeping an eye on the team to ensure we’re reaching and maintaining the super high standards we’re known for.
When it comes to lunch, I’m usually so busy that it’s just a snack eaten on the go.
I love my job especially the variety of it, as no two days are the same. I know everyone says that but it’s definitely true in a forecourt store setting.
Giving something back
I think it’s good that we’re seen ’to give something back’ to our community so I’ve worked hard to involve the site with local charities.
In particular we’ve been working with Guide Dogs for the Blind, as we have a team member who has a 21-year old daughter who is losing her sight.
Most recently we had a Pyjama Day, with cakes, to raise funds for this excellent charity.
At the time of writing, our next fun day will be Halloween and the team will be dressing up, but not too scarily, as it’s my job to scare them!
When I finally get to leave the store, I use the drive home as thinking time, when I concoct ingenious ideas to improve the business and baffle my bosses!
Name: Lisa Kemp
Job title: Store manager
Company: Portsbridge Service Station
Career history/biog: Left school and joined family retailing business then went to BP/M&S as site manager. Joined Portsbridge in February 2014
Greatest achievement: Successfully opening the new site and winning Forecourt Trader of the Year 2014
Most likely to say: "I’ll be in the store if you want me"
Least likely to say: "I’m going home now"
Tip for business success: Keep the promotion ends fresh
Other interests: Keeping fit, bingo, socialising which often means baby-sitting friends’ kids