8 Steps to a Lean Canvas Business Plan


Lean Canvas

A planning tool we found helpful in designing our own CabForward℠ business, and helping others plan theirs, is the Lean Canvas. It is a delightfully quick way to define your business, without the need for a full business plan. Lean Canvas uses a 1-page business model that helps an early stage startup iterate quickly through their challenges and target markets, define their unique value proposition, test assumptions, and ultimately arrive at their first iteration Minimum Viable Product (MVP).The Lean Canvas helps the startup entrepreneur gain clarity about their business idea that translates into a better defined approach to their market(s) as well as potential investors and end users. We use this tool in our Discovery Sessions because it blends well with our lean and agile approach to business. You can read more detail about the Lean Canvas in our Startup Handbook, which is available for download upon request. Below are the eight primary points in list form, which lay out the road to success in using this approach.

8 Steps to A Lean Canvas Business Plan




1. Interview Customers The fastest way to learn is by talking to customers.2. Clarify the Problem Survey potential users to validate the problem you’re addressing actually exists.3. Validate the Solution Ask potential users if they think the concept solves the problem, and how much they would be willing to pay for it.

4. Set Your Price Testing pricing early and getting paid is the ultimate customer validation in a lean startup.

5. The MVP Interview Ask for feedback from users. Is your MVP providing the right solution(s)?

6. Measure Your Product Fit Create a customer feedback loop to help you understand how your MVP is being used, and what features users would like.

7. Get Ready to Sell While you’re building your MVP, get a website up with a teaser page to let folks know that the product is coming.

8. Make Feedback Easy Post your number on the website. Set hours. You are your product’s Tech Support, and the calls are a continual learning loop.

Tech Support is Customer DevelopmentWhile the personal phone call is an excellent tool, you’ll need to provide multiple ways for customers to get in touch with you: email, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, other social media that fits your marketing approach, your blog, and a feedback form on your site. A 5-percent increase in loyalty can increase profits by 25%-85%.Check out Google Forms for simple processes for the collection and organization of info made simple. You can run surveys, collect RSVPs, build your mailing list, and then check out the results, neatly organized in a Google spreadsheet. There is more detailed information in the Startup Handbook and on the Lean Canvas website. We encourage you to take a look. It will help you to verbalize the who, what, when, where and how as you gain clarity about each of these.Do you have a success story about Lean Canvas? Drop us a comment in the window below. And, certainly, if you have used it in some unique way that works for you, we’d like to hear from you. You can also request a copy of our Startup Handbook.


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