Terry Presta

Kansas City, Kansas, United States

Convenience Store Owner

Presto Stores

I became a convenience store owner in 1980 when I leased my first store. When I made $50,000 that first year and paid off my five-year loan in two and a half years, I knew this was what I wanted to do.

I ran Presto Convenience Stores for 30 years until I sold 47 stores to The Pantry in Cary, NC. During those years, store sales rose from less than $1MM to a quarter of a billion dollars. Presto had approximately 500 employees and operated in Kansas and Missouri. I was president of PMCA (trade association) and the ConocoPhillips National Marketers Advisory Council (NMAC) and elected by my peers as president of ConocoPhillips NMAC. NMAC is made up of COP's top marketers in the nation.

Here’s a bit of what we can cover in our PivotPlanet session(s):
• How to evaluate and train your workforce.
• How to improve your actual operational logistics.
• How to negotiate better deals.
• How to improve your cash flow and balance sheet.
• How to evaluate the financial value of your operation or the operation you are looking to buy.

I kept two stores after the sale, and I am now semi-retired but consult with banks and energy companies. In my new consulting career, I like to look at the big picture and evaluate the entire operation and look at it in relation to competition and potential for growth. Often times it takes outside, experienced eyes to see things the operator might not see. That is what I do best. That is what I made my living doing. I find it very rewarding to use my experience helping people with their future

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I got into business at a relatively young age. I had no idea how to motivate or lead people. I would have long meetings to “train” my managers trying to drill into their heads all the things I thought they needed to know to run their store. Most lost interest very quickly and dreaded the meetings…..and so did I.

I soon learned that injecting enthusiasm and fun into training produced better results. Before I sold my stores in 2010, our “training” morphed into a totally different experience. I realized that people who had FUN were more enthusiastic. And enthusiastic people generally work harder and do a better job.

To grow from one store and less than one million dollars in sales to a total of 50 stores and a quarter billion dollars in sales and then sell the operation was quite a ride. I enjoyed every minute of it. Presto was good at taking people who maybe hadn't had much success and turning them into terrific retail managers. Through this talent they were then able to make a living and be forever valuable in this industry. I have a hundred stories about the in's and out's and the ups and downs of this industry.