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Lean Canvas: A Simple Guide for Startups

Introduction

In the crazy world of startups, that you can't make a mistake right at the start, there is an approach for drawing up a “business plan". Not the outdated one, where you also describe on several pages with content, but what you actually plan to do and why you need money. Try Googling the word “Business Plan” and you'll get a ton of links to these wonderful documents. If you want to get a grant, then go there. But about this in another post sometime.

The founder(s) of a startup need a simpler tool. Is the idea worth starting to do it anyway? Here, Lean Canvas comes to the rescue, as a “Helicopter View" tool (Top View).   This one-page business model, or developed by Alex Osterwalder, is a simple and intuitive tool that will help you describe your business quickly and effectively.There are various options, but in this article I will analyze this option. The sequence of filling is indicated in red numbers.

1. The history of the model creation

Lean Canvas was created as an adaptation of the more famous “Alexander Osterwalder business model". Osterwalder originally developed his model in 2008 to provide entrepreneurs with a framework for describing and analyzing their business ideas. However, he found that the model may be too complex and cumbersome for some startups.

In 2010, Osterwalder introduced Lean Canvas as a simpler and more practical alternative. The Lean Canvas consists of nine blocks that cover the main components of any business model. 

This:

  • Problem: What problem is your startup solving?
  • Customers (Customer segments): Who are your clients?
  • Value Proposition (USP): What value do you offer your customers?
  • Solution: What solution do you offer for your customers' problem?
  • Channels: How will you communicate your offer to your customers?
  • Income Streams: How will you make money?
  • Cost structure: What are your expenses?
  • Key indicators: How will you measure your success?
  • Competitive advantage: What makes your business unique?

2. How do I fill in a Lean Canvas?

Filling out a Lean Canvas may seem complicated, but it's actually a pretty simple process. Here are some tips:

  • Start with the problem. What problem are you trying to solve? Once you have a clear problem statement, it will be easier for you to identify your customers, your value proposition, and the solution.
  • Identify your customers. Who are your ideal customers? What are their needs and desires?
  • Describe your value proposition. What makes your offer unique? Why should your customers choose you over your competitors?
  • Explain your decision. How does your solution solve your customers' problem?
  • Identify your channels. How will you communicate your offer to your customers?
  • Identify your revenue streams. How will you make money?
  • Calculate your expenses. What will your expenses be?
  • Identify your key indicators. How will you measure your success?
  • Describe your competitive advantage. What makes your business unique?

For example, I once filled out a Lean Canvas for a product that I was just starting to develop.The product “Online sales register for micro and small businesses in the HoReCa segment”

3. Where to find information for Lean Canvas

There are many resources available to help you find information for your Lean Canvas. Here are some tips:

  • Talk to your potential customers. Conduct surveys, in-depth interviews, or focus groups to learn more about your customers and their needs.
  • Explore your market. Conduct a competitive analysis and study market trends.
  • Talk to the experts. Talk to people who have experience in your industry.
  • Use online resources. There are many free and paid online resources that can provide you with information about your market and competitors.

4. Why is it Important to Fill out a Lean Canvas for a Startup

There are many reasons why filling out a Lean Canvas is important for a startup. Here are just a few of them:

  • This helps you articulate your business model clearly. This is important to attract investors, partners and customers.
  • It helps you focus on your customers. Your Lean Canvas should be tailored to your customers and their needs.
  • It helps you make informed decisions. When you have a clear understanding of your business model, you can make more informed decisions about your business.
  • It helps you stay flexible. As your business develops, you may need to change your business model. Lean Canvas is a simple tool to help you make these changes.

P.S.

Lean Canvas is a valuable tool for any startup. By filling out the Lean Canvas, you will be able to clearly formulate what your product is about, who your customers are, what your USP is, how you plan to earn, how you will measure success, etc.Send us your startup ideas and you and I will be able to disassemble and compile the first “Lean Canvas”

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