Hope Is NOT a Business Strategy

I say it all the time – “Hope is not a business strategy!”  Hope is an answer to many things, but when it comes to profitability on the bottom line of your business and/or managing to have a profitable business AND a personal life, hope is a risky proposition. So if you are just starting your business or if you have not had the results that you want in your existing business, why not trying something new?  What have you got to lose?

“It is not necessary to change. Survival is not mandatory.” W. Edwards Deming

At What If? Ideation our philosophy is that the simplest solution is the best. So for business planning, our hero is Euclid. Yes, the very same Euclid from that geometry class you had to take in high school!  Euclid’s contribution to business?



“The shortest distance between two points is a straight line.”  —Euclid

What does this demonstrate?  Take your pick:

  • “If you don’t know where you are going, any road will do.” —Lao Tsu 
  • “If you don’t know where you are going, you will wind up somewhere else.” —Yogi Berra
  • “We may be lost but we’re making good time.” —Yogi Berra

In other words, the difference between where you are and where you can be, is what you DO. And that means you have to take action! And through planning, yes the dreaded ‘P’ word, you can fail early, fail fast, and fail often on paper.  I know . . . you haven’t even started the planning process and I am bringing up failure. But if you create a plan and work it ON PAPER until you get the results that you want—you are significantly increasing your chance of success in your day to day business operations.

For me, the value in planning is it eliminates the most costly mistake business owners make—losing focus and thereby wasting precious time and money. Without an understand of exactly where they want to be and how they are going to get there, many business owners implement strategies, marketing plans, social media campaigns etc on the fly . . . and hope that they get good results. This approach is akin to throwing spaghetti against the wall. Its messy, non reproducible, and very confusing to clients.  Not to mention that it takes valuable time away from the business and can be very expensive.

So over the course of the next 5 weeks, I am going to create four blog posts that walk you through the business planning process—one step at a time. Our goal is to come up with the specific and measurable actions and initiatives to get you to where you want to be with your business.

Stop setting goals. Goals are pure fantasy unless you have a specific plan to achieve them.” —Stephen Covey

But if you are in a hurry or your business situation needs immediate help, there are two more options:

  1. Take the class. I will be teaching a business planning class, hands on, four times in January & February.
  2. Work one-on-one with me. I am offering a limited number of in depth business planning engagements. They are offered at a fixed fee.

I look forward to the next five weeks!


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