as actionable as possible while staying entrepreneur-focused”
– Ash Maurya
The Lean Canvas includes aspects for startups to deal with uncertainty and risk. He added the elements Problem and Solution as well as Key Metrics and Unfair advantage. The Lean Canvas also reflects the principles of the ”Lean Startup” approach build-measure-learn.
Read more about Ash Maurya’s reasons to adapt the Business Model Canvas in >> here
- Focus on the problem-solution fit
- Includes measuring the success
- Reflects lean startup mindset: Build-measure-learn
- Unfair advantage helps to differentiate in the market
- Easy to understand the elements and the structure
- Partners and value exchange between different actors is not visible
- Defining the unfair advantage can set barriers in a to early stage of the development of the idea
- No team or cultural aspects (only within resources)
- Missing building blocks for special usage, such as sustainable business models
Either print out the template or use one of the digital tools to fill in the Lean canvas ( Read our blog post where we are presenting and assessing different solutions )
The idea behind the Lean Canvas is to quickly sketch the business idea instead of using several weeks to develop a business plan. The Lean Canvas is divided into 9 components.
Before you get started the main question is: Do you have a problem worth solving? If so the first step is to brainstorm who could be your customer or user: define 2-3 specific and small customer groups. Customers are those who pay for your products. In comparison to the business model canvas, the Lean Canvas is designed to focus on one customer group. Therefor create a separate Lean Canvas for every customer group.
Based on the identified problems, ideate and define a solution to every problem: list the three most important features for a solution.
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.
What are the channels you want to use to reach your customer? Define inbound channelsthat lead customers to your offer like SEO, white papers, blogs, social media – and outbound channels like ads, calls, fairs and conventions. BE CREATIVE!
Define the revenue streams and the prices for your offer. The pricing is part of your offer and needs to be designed and tested. Use different business model patterns as a source for inspiration.
To understand if your idea and your business work well define key metrics as indicators to measure your success. For the beginning, key metrics are the activities of a user that help the business grow (e.g. number of registrations, number of prospects, etc.)
List the most important costs for your offer. This might influence the pricing.
As a 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.