Tiny MBA #6: Visibility and Egg Production

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Welcome to today’s Tiny MBA topic: visibility.

Definition: Visibility

Visibility is the ability to predict (or not) what will happen in your business.

Story: Forecasting Egg Production  

Say you have a bunch of chickens, and are selling the eggs they lay to your neighbors. In fact, your business is so successful, you have a long waiting list of additional neighbors wanting to buy eggs from you each week.

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Illustration by Madeleine Kelly

That’s great – but how can you be sure you’ll have enough eggs to deliver to them?

In other words, how much visibility do you have into your future egg production?

If you’ve had your hens awhile, and they’ve been reliably laying the same number of eggs each week, you may have pretty good ‘visibility’ into the future of your business. So you can probably take on more customers without disappointing them.

But if the hens are new, or something else has changed (maybe there’s a new raccoon family around), your ‘visibility’ may not be so good. You may actually have no idea how many eggs to expect (poor visibility), so should hold off promising new deliveries until the hens have more of a track record.

Visibility is a fancy MBA term that gets thrown around a lot. But it’s simple – if you have visibility, you can confidently predict your business. And if not, you’re just guessing.

Which matters a lot, because as they say: it’s hard to predict, especially the future!

Tiny MBA is my occasional series of short stories illustrating business concepts for kids.

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