What Can Pizza Teach You About Business?
Everyone likes pizza. Seriously, it’s not the number one dinner choice among Americans for no reason. Look beyond the warm, gooey goodness, however, and you just might learn something. What can pizza teach you about business?
The Crust Matters
The crust of your pizza matters. You could take the traditional route, a la dough, or think outside the box, a la cauliflower and vegan-alternative options. With that said, there are myriad options for your pizza crust, and there’s no clear-cut consensus favorite among the general public.
Think of the crust as your mission statement. The principles upon which you build your business are as instrumental to growth and profit as the crust is to a warm pie. If you’ve just launched a business, stick with your principles and give them time to radiate and resonate with your audience. Like pizza, developing a business takes time, effort, and following a recipe.
You’ve seen commercials for the newest, creative crust pizzas. Stuffed crust, pretzel crust, extra stuffed crust, deep dish extra stuffed crust with bacon; the list goes on. The pizza joints making these ads aren’t mad scientists dabbling in uncharted waters. They’re establishing potential points of differentiation.
With over 78,000 pizza shops in the United States alone, there is plenty of competition for pizza. While there may not be as many competitors in your line of business, without a way to separate yourself from the competition, there is no incentive for people to choose your business over the other options at their disposal. Establish a point of differentiation that not only distinguishes your business but appeals to the multi-faceted needs of your audience.
Don’t Be Afraid to Think Outside the (Pizza) Box
Conventional thinking dictates pizza is made with dough, sauce, cheese, and traditional toppings like pepperoni, mushrooms, peppers and onions, or sausage. Interestingly, there’s a large contingent of folks who swear by pineapple and pickles on pizza. While that might sound unpalatable to most, there’s certainly a market for it. In fact, there’s even a market for the most untraditional pizza toppings you can imagine!
What does this teach you about your business?
Unconventional thinking can be wildly successful. Pay close attention to your customers and you can uncover new ways of appealing to them, like pineapple on pizza. While a “big idea” can be the rocketship that propels your business to new heights, you shouldn’t get caught up on trying to reinvent the wheel.
Instead, focus on using your product or brand to inspire your customers. Since you can’t be everything for everybody, zero in on what you can do, and for whom you can do it.
Patience is a Virtue-And Some Don’t Have It
There’s a reason pizza shops have ads flaunting delivery in 30 minutes or less. Hungry customers don’t like waiting more than 30 minutes for pizza. That same lesson can be applied to your business. While some areas of business necessitate some degree of inherent patience, by and large, folks don’t like waiting for anything.
That’s why we’ve seen such an influx of convenience-oriented perks, like grocery deliveries, the option to buy products online and pick them up in-store same-day, and of course, overnight delivery.
A speedy, customer-friendly experience can even be your point of differentiation! If you can’t find a way to speed up your processes or save your customers time, try to go out of your way to let them know their time is appreciated. Next to saving time, your customers want to feel valued. If you can give them an experience that is both quick and shows appreciation, you’re in better shape than most.
Customers Are The Most Important Part of Your Business
At the end of the day, the most important part of your business is your customers. To that end, apply the Pareto Principle (80% of your business is done by 20% of your customers) to your business. In other words, your repeat customers are the lifeblood of your customer base. If you’ve ever worked in a pizza shop, you’ll know there are customers who eat pizza more often than the average person.
With that said, instead of focusing on bringing in as many customers as you can, take care of your most loyal repeat customers first. Keep them coming back again and again and you can virtually eliminate the competition from their buying process. Furthermore, offer perks for customers who refer their friends or family, and treat every customer like they’re part of your most loyal, preferred customer base.
What You Can Learn From Pizza
Pizza might be the most popular dinner choice among Americans, but that doesn’t mean it’s universally popular. There are still plenty of folks out there who eschew pizza, and regardless of the reasons why, the same principle can be applied to your business. There are going to be folks who aren’t interested in your product or service, folks who are loyal to the competition, and perma-skeptics who need to be sold before they spend a buck.
Remember, you can’t please everybody. Focus on what you can control, find what you do better than everyone else, and broadcast it for everyone to see. Treat your customers like family, provide the best possible experience, and never be afraid to think outside the box!