Mr. Green,
I am currently a USAF pilot and unfortunately a medical problem is forcing me out of the military. I am 27 years old and am wanting to move back down south to Mississippi to my wife’s hometown and start my own (not franchised) pizza place. Here is my dilemma, there are no pizza places in her hometown, AT ALL! It isn’t a huge town, only 7,000 people, but there is a sister town 10 miles away that has a Dominoes, Pizza Hut, and Pizza Doctor and I called and them and they said they sell between 300-400 pizzas a day. There used to be a Pizza Doctor and a Pizza Hut in the town, but poor management broke them. Pizza Hut’s employees kept giving their buddies free pizza and broke them, while Pizza Doctor’s manager got so lazy he never reordered things and lost all their business since he was always out of stuff. They did always have lots of customers though. So now there is no pizza and no food delivery places at all in the town. Here is my question?

Would you start a business in this town or is it too small?

I don’t need to make a million dollars. I just want to build my own house, live comfortably, go on vacation once a year, and pay for my kids school 16 years from now. But I have no business background.

Would you mind sharing your thoughts and advice? I will be leaving the Air Force in February to start the business.




Maybe I can help you out a little here as well, since I’m originally from S.E. Louisiana and worked for the same Domino’s franchise as Mr. Green…

It isn’t a huge town, only 7,000 people

Would you start a business in this town or is it too small?

At an average of 2.7 customers per household I think it would be safe to say your wife’s hometown has approximately 2,600 addresses. I know the market in Mississippi and Louisiana, and with that address count I honestly don’t think you’re going to have a problem. If there is NO pizza delivery competition you can expect to get between $1.00 - $3.00 per address, ESPECIALLY if you provide a little dine in area and play a little music in the place. Of course, the numbers are generalized, but I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised if you get the right place, keep your product up to par, and make the experience customer friendly. Just make sure you open it as nicely as you can for as little upfront money as you can, because you’re going to need to make sure your break-even is around $3000-$3500 per week to do reasonably well.


But I have no business background.

That might be a problem. I’m not saying it can’t be done, but you really don’t want to start your own pizza business having never been in it before. Seriously think about that. If anything, go to a neighboring town and work at Domino’s for a couple of months. You have no idea how much there is to learn until you actually get in there and do it. And it’s a lot better financially to learn with other people’s money than your own.

So, in my opinion, I think the idea is a good one. Just be careful with the execution. It could easily become a great idea that just didn’t work, but with the right training, it could easily become a great idea. -J_r0kk