Business Strategy – Hope or Hypothesis?

Do you use the ‘hope’ strategy in your business? It goes something like this:

Let’s try something new and HOPE it works!

The hypothesis strategy is a more scientific approach. When performing a scientific experiment you must define your hypothesis first and then perform the experiment. The experiment is designed in a way that you can test if the hypothesis is true or false.

Here is a ‘hope’ strategy example regarding advertising:

Wait until a salesperson from a magazine or newspaper calls on you, react by throwing together an advertisement and hope some customers show up as a result.

The advertising hypothesis strategy could be:

Hypothesis 1 – Our current and potential customers read magazine X.

Hypothesis 2 – Our current and potential customers have a specific need or frustration. The headline of the advertisement indicates our business can solve this need or frustration.

– We then test our hypothesis by setting up a unique domain name to provide in the advertisement which is directed to our website.

– We can then monitor analytics and learn if there are any website hits to this unique URL. Alternatively, we could provide a unique phone number for this advertisement, and see if anyone calls this number and if it results in sales. 

Better results with a hypothesis and test

You can see by the way the hypothesis is set up that you can get better test results. Under the ‘hope’ strategy, you don’t even know if any customers showed up a result of the advertisement. And if nothing happens, you will quickly lose ‘hope’!

Under the hypothesis strategy, if nothing happens, you can change something in the hypothesis and try again. You could change the advertisement or you could change the publication. If you only change one hypothesis at a time, you can dramatically increase your probability of success. It is a great idea to get out and speak with a few current or potential customers about your hypothesis ahead of time.

This change in strategy takes a different mindset.

This approach is a philosophy of learning and discovery

The worst thing you can do is make an incorrect assumption. But you can test your assumptions to make sure they are correct.

I hope this blog post is useful for you, hypothetically at least – Google Analytics will provide the test results!



Author: Paul Foster
Paul's life’s purpose is to bring more cash, freedom and happiness to independent business owners. Paul wants to learn about your toughest business challenges and frustrations so he can help you tackle them.

1 Comment

  • The discipline of hypothesis/testing makes sense Paul. Some experiments can start small to reduce the cost and get outcomes faster. For example, before advertising, articles could be published/refined for free on a blog and LinkedIn.

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