A lean startup is a company that is created with the goal of maximizing the chances of success. Unlike traditional businesses, which often take years to become profitable, a lean startup does not have this luxury.
The lean startup methodology was created by Eric Ries and is based on the idea of using validated learning to drive innovation. This means that you start by testing your hypothesis as quickly and cheaply as possible and then using the results to make decisions about the future of your business.
The Lean Startup Canvas is a tool that can help you do this. It allows you to map out your business model and track your progress over time. In this article, we will explain what the Lean Startup Canvas is, how to use it, and some of the benefits that it can bring to your business.
The Lean Startup Canvas is a visual tool that will help you map out the different parts of your business model. This is something that is very useful when you are starting out, because it helps you to focus on what is important and what is not.
It is also useful when you are working on something that you have never done before, because it makes it much easier to visualize the different parts of your business model.
The Lean Startup Canvas is divided into two different parts - the market, and the value proposition.
The market defines the different types of customers that you are targeting. It can include the size of the market. It can also include the type of customers that you are targeting, such as the different demographics that you are targeting.
The value proposition is the different features of your product or service. This can include the features that are directly relevant to the customers, or the features that the customers are not aware of.
The Lean Startup Canvas is a visual tool that can help you map out the different parts of your business model.
We recommend using this tool over a whiteboard or a piece of paper. This will help you to focus on what is important, and what is not.
Below is a guide to using the Lean Startup Canvas.
Start by thinking about the different aspects of your business model. This includes your customer segments, your features, and your metrics. Once you have defined these three aspects, you can start to map them out on the canvas.
Think about your metrics. Are you collecting data that is useful to the business? If not, then start to collect it. Once you have defined your metrics, think about how you will collect data that will be useful to your business. Will you use surveys, quantitative methods, or a combination of the two?
Once your data has been collected, think about how you will use it. This includes both your hypothesis and your learning. By doing this, you can also map out the next steps using the Lean Startup Canvas.
Once you have defined your steps, think about how you will take them. For example, if you are going to test a hypothesis, then you might need to define a hypothesis, collect data, and then validate it. Or if you are going to use a prototype, then you might first need to define a prototype.
To help you think about the different types of customers that you are targeting, you can think about what is the most common customer that you are targeting. This is your target customer. Think about the different types of customers that you are not targeting. These are your non-target customers.
Once you've done the research and took steps to validate your hypothesis, rinse and repeat. Using the Lean Startup Canvas isn't going to be a one and done deal. It will always be a work in progress. The goal here is to take all your assumptions and start ticking them off with validated information. Turn those uncertainties into certainties. The more you do this, the clearer your path will become.
To begin, work your way from right to the left side of your canvas. While a lot of people think that the problem you're solving should be the starting point of your fact finding journey, it'll be more effective when you look towards your customer segment instead. After all, your customers are the lifeblood of your business.
Think about the different types of customers that you are targeting. These are your target customers. Think about the different types of customers that you are not targeting. These are your non-target customers.
Once you have defined your customer segments, think about the different sizes of these segments. If you have a big segment, then you should have a well-defined target market. If you have a small segment, then you should target a very specific market.
By now you should also be able to recognize where your potential customers are going to be. Are they online? Where? Or they brick-and-mortar businesses? How would you reach out to them? Are they a local or global audience? Add in as much details as you can. Your goal here is the narrow down the audience so that you know where to start looking for potential customers.
After that, think about the different features of your product or service. While this isn't going to be the major selling point of your offering, it's important to identify what features you have and start looking into why these specific features are unique to you and your business.
The purpose of this exercise is to identify your unfair advantage. How can the market know about your advantage? Will it be something that you do, or something that you have? Then think about what the value proposition is going to be. This is the product or service that you are going to offer to the market.
Once you have defined your value proposition, start to think about how you are going to get people to know about it.
With all this information, you can now look at the solution and find your angle. What is the solution you are providing to your customers? What are your customer's problems? How do you know when you've solved their problems? This section talks about your offering and compares it to whatever is currently available in the market. If you can show that your offering is a better solution, then you have the opportunity to win the business.
This is where you add in how your business can start generating revenue. Like all the other parts, this is only an assumption. Your business model will probably change and evolved. That's okay. As long as you know what you want to do to monetize your business idea, that's all that matters here. Not sure how to do this? Take a quick peek at your competitors and see how they do it. No real figures are required at this ideation stage. Just a general idea will do.
Will you be paying rent for an office? Hiring staff? Buying supplies? This section depicts all the capital required to start your business. Fixed cost will include rent and salaries. Variable cost will depend on your situation like utilities, cost of raw materials etc.
Now that you've gotten a quick rundown of what the Lean Startup Canvas is and how to use it, this should help you come up with a clearer view of your business plan. These building blocks are ever evolving as you jump into more customer validation. Filling this up doesn't necessarily give you a winning business strategy but it's a good start. Writing things down helps you gain clarity and makes it easier for you to understand the gaps of information you have in the big picture.
The focus should always be on your customer and the problem you're solving. Want to use the Lean Startup Canvas for your business? Download yours here for FREE.