A couple of weeks ago, a friend from my mastermind group was visiting from out of state. Before his return home, we stopped to get some New Haven pizza.
For those of you who don’t know, Wooster Street in New Haven is known for the best pizza in the country. Two of the most famous pizza spots on Wooster Street, both of which have been open for the better part of a century, are Frank Pepe Pizzeria and Sally’s Apizza.
We tried calling Sally’s, which is where I usually go. The wait was two hours for takeout, so we called Pepe’s, where I haven’t been in years, but only had a 20-minute wait.
The minute we opened our pie, I thought, Oh no. It’s not the same.
I didn’t even have to taste it, and I knew it wasn’t the same.
After one bite, I told my friend to close the pizza box and we walked down to Sally’s. Somehow, we got in after just 45 minutes, and well – it was worth the wait.
You see, over the past ten years, Pepe’s has expanded, with 11 locations throughout the Northeast. Somewhere along the expansion, they lost sight of what made them famous: exceptional pizza. Sally’s remains in just one location on Wooster Street, and they have not deterred from their original pie.
I’m not saying scaling your business is a bad thing. We all want to grow, and with that, comes expansion.
There’s a lot of unknown territory that comes with an expansion. Every time you bring your business to a new level, you must learn new strategies, new skillsets, and implement new ways of thinking. There will be things that you must give up in order to grow.
But you also need to ask yourself:
What am I NOT willing to give up?
As you get ready to expand, choose what is essential for you to keep, and what you are willing to give up.
Unfortunately, Pepe’s altered something that shouldn’t have: the pizza. The staple recipe changed, which speaks to why when I called in my order, it was ready in less than 20 minutes when Sally’s had a line down the street.
You must determine what you are willing to give up and what needs to remain untouched.
Where am I unwilling to give up quality?
That main product or service must remain at 100%. Your focus needs to remain on implementing the procedures to make to keep your priorities intact, no matter how many other changes take place.
Once you figure that out, continue your expansion full speed ahead.