The Coke Bottle

Owners can’t really see their business objectively.

Let’s think of your business as being housed in a giant Coke bottle, which in days of olde was a sculpted green glass bottle. Remember how light coming into these bottles was distorted? First it had a tinge of green and second, everything was out of focus. All you could see were shadows and blurs.

In your business, inside the Coke bottle, everything looks fine. Everything is normal and life is wonderful.

Information comes in through phones, newspapers, faxes, and e-mails. You have a sense of what’s going on.

But you’re running your business inside your Coke bottle. You don’t really see your business in relationship to other businesses, other industries, other countries, other worlds. You see it only through your own paradigm. When the day is over you emerge from your Coke bottle. If you’re like most business owners, you’re in no condition after a twelve-hour day to do much more than go home. As a result, you seldom get to see the big picture.

At Robbinex we look at a couple of hundred companies every year. So we’re not involved in just one or two transactions. We’re into a lot of businesses on a regular basis. And we learn. 

The following is an excerpt from Doug’s book “There’s Always a Way to Sell Your Business

I Didn’t Have to Hear a Pin Drop

I’ve had my own Coke bottle broken a few times, let me tell you. My lawyer takes a shot every once in a while. My accountant does, too. So does my vocational psychologist. He stuck my office in the basement of my building and said it was for my own good. And that’s where my office is to this day.

You see, his test results showed my external distractibility measure on a scale of 1 to 100 to be 72, with 16 being normal. This means I hear a pin crash on the carpet a hundred yards away … and have to get up to investigate.

So I was having trouble getting work done between eight- thirty and five. When everybody was away, I got a lot of work done.

“Your office is in the wrong part of the building,” the good doctor said. “You’re right next to the phones. You’re right next to the secretaries – and to the bookkeepers – and to the front door – and to the telephones – and to the faxes. Everything happens and you can hear it.”

The only part of the building that wasn’t finished was the basement. We built a soundproof room and they stuck me inside … where I’m much more productive, I must admit.

While your business may best be thought of as inside the Coke bottle, we your consultants are standing on a very tall ladder in the corner of a beverage warehouse. We can see your Coke bottle. It’s sitting in a case of twenty- four Coke bottles on a skid of fifty cases in the midst of many skids of various kinds of beverages. This skid is just one of many that are stacked throughout the warehouse.

Any good consulting business will see your Coke bottle from a different paradigm. We can bring a great deal of objectivity to the business precisely because we are outside it. We are fortunate. Often we have seen your problem before and have provided a solution for it.

Learn about the Robbinex Phase One – CoSATA® (Comprehensive Strategic Analysis of Transition Alternatives) and how we can help you see things from a different angle.