You can’t read the label from inside the bottle

The thumbnail version:

  • Do potential customers know what’s inside your “bottle” from the description on the label?
  • Outsiders may not be getting the message you want them to get

The full version:

How would anyone know what’s inside the bottle if the label gives an inaccurate description or no description?

Someone used this expression recently on LinkedIn in an article directed at business owners. I’ve seen it before using “jar” instead of “bottle”; I prefer bottle.

The message here is to take a break from your day-to-day activity within your business, step out, and view your business as others see it. Is the label on the outside of the bottle an accurate depiction of what’s going on inside the bottle?

In the case of your shop, the “label” would be all the stuff that potential customers see and consider when they’re deciding whether or not to do business with you. This would be your website, social media pages, pamphlets, signs, and anything else you use to promote your business. Are these things collectively telling the story about your business that you want to tell? In addition to looking yourself, ask people to look at your “label” and tell you what they think is going on inside the “bottle.” You may be surprised.

If you don’t view the label objectively from the outside once in a while, a disconnect between what you want the label to say and what it is actually saying could be inhibiting your shop’s growth.