Planned Success
Entrepreneurs take calculated risks

Entrepreneurs take calculated risks

Tim McEnery, founder of popular Cooper's Hawk winery-restaurant chain: Invest time. Learn. Work hard. Enjoy rewards.
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"Having a detailed business plan is — by far — the number one reason we could be successful," says Tim McEnery (HTM '99), founder and CEO of the popular Cooper's Hawk winery-and-restaurant chain.

After nearly five years of planning, this hospitality and tourism management alumnus launched his unusual and risky enterprise in 2005. The first location opened in Orland Park, a Chicago suburb, where it grossed $5 million its first year. Today, McEnery oversees 22 Cooper's Hawk locations in seven states. Cooper's Hawk is expected to do over $150 million in business this year.

"In the plan, I thought out every aspect of the business, including potential hurdles," McEnery says. "When something went wrong, I had already considered it. I had a 'plan B' for dealing with it."

Long-term planning also translated to working long hours in the industry, mastering its intricacies. "People have to be willing to spend the time it takes to learn. Like Malcolm Gladwell says, you need those 10,000 hours," McEnery adds.

McEnery loves his job. "If it works, it's the best gig out there. It's tough, but incredibly rewarding."


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