Create Your Lean Canvas Business Model

Image is of a lean canvas business model template, courtesy Geekdom

You may have heard about creating your Lean Canvas if you’re thinking about launching a startup. But what exactly is a Lean Canvas business model?

It is a one-page business plan template Ash Maurya created to give business owners a simplified version of the business model canvas template. It originally comes from the Business Model Canvas, but is more problem- and solution-oriented.

The differences between the Business Model Canvas and the Lean Canvas come down to the type of business entity being modeled – the enterprise versus the startup.

  Business Model Canvas Lean Canvas
To use for Existing company Startups
To use by Operational people, entrepreneurs, advisors, and investors Entrepreneurs, founders, and product-owners
Focus Focus on delivering to and reaching the customer Focus on the customer segment
Basis Gaining market with a value proposition Gaining an unfair advantage
Applicability A strategic tool for a business to map its strengths and weaknesses A problem-solution-oriented method to approach a market


How do I complete a Lean Canvas Business Model?

Completing a lean canvas online template enables remote teams to collaborate and share their ideas. So how can you get started filling out your business lean canvas business model template? 

The lean canvas template has nine sections (with two subsections) that you should complete in order. You always start by defining the problem you’re solving.

1. Describe the problem you’re solving.

What is the customer pain point we want to solve? How prevalent is this problem? 

Describe your competition. What are the existing alternatives to the problems you’ve described?

2. What is your solution?

How does your solution make the lives of your customers better? Summarize your product or service in this section. 

3. List your key metrics.

How will you define success for your startup? Think of product-based or service-based metrics that reflect the growth and adoption of your value proposition, such as engagement, revenue, Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC), and Customer Lifetime Value (CLV).

4. Detail your cost structure. 

List your variable and fixed operational costs, so you have a clear idea of your runway. Research your manufacturing and distribution costs to give some weight to the numbers. 

5. Highlight your unique value proposition.

What are you going to be doing that is different from existing products? If you get stuck, try the value proposition canvas to understand how to craft a compelling value proposition. 

If you’re describing a high-level concept, keep it concise.

The high-level concept sub-section conveys the value proposition in the most succinct manner possible such as explaining how YouTube is Flickr for videos.

6. Showcase your unfair advantage.

Maybe it’s a new technology or a new way of doing things that gives you an edge over the competition, but here you explain why you’re in the leaderboard position.

7. Describe your customer base.

Highlight critical demographic and behavioral attributes of your customer segment in this section. Identify who your early adopters will be and how you’ll reach them. This customer segment will also provide valuable early user feedback for a lean start-up.

8. Outline your outreach channels.

Which channels will you use to connect with your target market of customers? Consider the media and channels your customers typically use, such as news shows and podcasts, magazines, social media, influencers, or major retailers.

9. Describe your revenue streams.

Which revenue model will you use? Consider your product’s lifetime value, recurring revenue, customer value, and gross margins when projecting your expected income.

Bottom line – how do I get started?

Stymied on where to start when it comes to launching your startup and developing your first Lean Canvas? Consider joining the Incubator Program if you’re ready to launch your startup.

If you’re not sure you’re ready for an incubator, try joining Geekdom for the next Startup Boot Camp weekend. Over the course of this weekend, you’ll meet the best mentors, partners, investors, co-founders, and supporters of your new business to get things done faster. The December 2 Boot Camp starts at 6:00 p.m. Friday ending Sunday, December 4, at 7:30 p.m.

The featured image is of a Lean Canvas template. Image courtesy Geekdom.

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