10 Lessons Every Small Business Can Learn from Domino’s
In addition to the pizza that you enjoy at Domino’s, the story behind the pizza chain can teach few lessons to start-ups.
Domino’s had a humble beginning with no place for people to sit inside the restaurant. Hence the founders decided to deliver the pizzas to homes of their customers. Starting there, it went on to open the 17,000th store in 2020. In US alone Domino’s delivers more than 1 million pizzas every day. How did they do it?
Here are top 10 lessons to learn from Domino’s that every small business teams should pay attention to.
(1) Do not quit early. Stay long enough in the game.
Tom Monaghan and his brother James Monaghan wanted to start a pizza business and took over the operations of DomiNick’s Pizza, in 1960, a small pizza restaurant owned by Dominick DeVarti, in Michigan for US$ 1400.
Just eight months after the grand opening, James Monaghan did not want to continue and traded his half of the partnership for an old Volkswagen Beetle car that they used to deliver pizzas.
With a market cap of more 18 billion USD today, James could have bought at least a thousand Volkswagen cars, if he had stayed back and played long enough. Start-ups are not 100m races. They are marathons. You get tired, your legs will ache, you need water, juices in between, it takes time to finish and need to have lot of motivation. But the rewards are larger, when you stay long enough.
(2) Take ideas from anywhere and from everyone
When Tom and James purchased the pizza store, the name of the store was DomiNick’s. By 1965, Tom Monaghan had purchased two additional pizzerias and had a total of three locations. Tom was trying to use the same name — DomiNick’s — for the two more stores he added, but the original owner did not allow him from using the DomiNick’s name.
One day, an employee, Jim Kennedy, after returning from a pizza delivery, suggested the name “Domino’s”. Tom loved the idea and officially renamed the business as Domino’s Pizza, Inc. in 1965.
Great ideas can come from any one. Be open. Next idea for your small business can come from a team member, customer or a vendor.
(3) Branding and logo can be simple
The company logo originally had three dots, representing the three stores in 1965. Tom had planned to add a new dot with the addition of every new store. But with rapid growth of so many new stores this idea did not work out well. So company stayed with a logo of 3 dots.
Branding is important. But it can be simple.
(4) Make your offerings simple
Domino’s believed that the simplicity of their menu resulted in great quality products and an efficient business. For the majority of their existence, that is for almost 30 years, Domino’s offered only two sizes of pizza, 11 toppings and one soft drink: cola.
When your small business offering is simple and straight forward, it is easy to understand and easy to purchase by customers. Keep your products and services simple, easy to understand and easy to use. Make it friction free.