As an entrepreneur, one of the most important tasks you can perform is getting your idea(s) out from your head into a tangible format so that you can communicate that with others. In the past, this usually meant a well-researched business plan, that would usually take weeks (more like months) to create.
We were introduced to this Lean business model Canvas in the class by our faculty Janja as this type of canvas is particularly used for startups. Janja asked us to put our business Idea into the model.
Lean Canvas helps to quickly formulate possible business models, product launches, campaigns, and variations. Having the Lean Canvas as a visual guide made this part “communicating the model/idea” so much more effective — and I think the most valuable function of the tool.
The key fundamental to Lean methodology is the elimination of waste — this includes time, processes, inventory and more.
So as a lean startup we need a quicker way to get ideas out of our head, we need to stay lean & avoid waste — so, it’s time to introduce Lean Canvas.
Lean Canvas uses the same 9 blocks concept except they’ve been modified slightly to suit the needs/ purposes/requirements of a Lean Startup. The Lean Canvas is the perfect one-page format for brainstorming possible business models, the blocks guide you through logical steps starting with your customer problems right through to your unfair advantage (often the hardest block to answer).
Define your user
Before we get started the main question are: Do we have a problem worth solving? If so the first step is to brainstorm who could be our customer or user: define 2-3 specific and small customer groups. Customers are those who pay for our products. In comparison to the business model canvas, the Lean Canvas is designed to focus on startup.
Based on the identified problems, ideate and define a solution to every problem: list the three most important features for a solution.
Define your Unique Value Proposition
What are the channels you want to use to reach your customer? Define inbound channels that lead customers to your offers
Think about the Channels
The Unique Value Proposition is a clear message that describes the advantages of your offer, what makes you different and distinguishes you from the competition.
Define the revenue streams and the prices for your offer.
To understand if your idea and your business work well define key metrics as indicators to measure your success.
List the most important costs for your offer. This might influence the pricing.
As the last step, define your Unfair Advantage: what makes you unique that is not easily copied? E.g. reputation, unique brand experience, unique partnerships that lead to an offer that cannot be copied.