• Wendy Perry

How to apply lean startup canvas to your business idea, startup or scaleup

A traditional business is based on the idea of creating a business plan that is generated from an analysis of detailed evidence and planning. This may take a long time, involving much energy and resources. The execution of the original plan, which is sometimes backed by an initial stage project capital, unavoidably stops working on the first attempt. Accordingly, the expectations of the founder and team if they have one are not met, instead they experience disappointment and possibly money spent on the wrong plan, which is a difficult position to recover from.


On the other hand, a Lean Startup approach discovers a workable business model, which can only turn into a reality, if you achieve customer validation, traction and a foundation that is market-determined.


What is a Lean Startup?


The concept of Lean Startup appears to solve lots of concerns faced by new enterprises. It’s a totally different process that involves a practical, logical and modest approach. A Lean Startup uses a methodical approach to creating and managing startups where the desired product gets into the customers' hands quicker. The entire method trains you in how to drive a startup, along with a combination of well-planned strategies to develop a business with maximum acceleration. Lean Startup methodology involves a well-defined and smarter approach around the development of a product where the feedback given by prospective customers is considered vital to new product development (Source: http://theleanstartup.com).


Lean Startup in Action


Let’s take, for instance, the Lean Startup success of Dropbox. Drew Houston, the creator of Dropbox, recognised from the very beginning that he needed to generate a Minimum Viable Product (MVP). Since Houston was anxiously looking for feedback, he influenced mentors who know a great deal about digital marketing. Once the users experienced Dropbox, the prototype received a noteworthy amount of validation, which the team utilised in order to modify the product. Ultimately, the product reached a higher place in the market and considerable capital was raised. Currently, Dropbox carries on scaling at significant rates, and storing millions of new files on a daily basis.


Building Blocks of a Lean Canvas


The primary step is to put the assumptions of your business model within each of the nine building blocks of a lean canvas. These include - Problem, Solution, Key Metrics, Cost Structure, Unique Value Proposition, Unfair Advantage, Channels, Customer Segments and Revenue Streams. Nine building blocks are then built into the new version of your business model canvas. You can get started with the market to test your business model assumptions and you will get essential feedback from the market, so that that you can use it to improve your primary business model, products and services.

Next, you should quickly go back to the market with your amended ideas which you need to repeat, until you make a strong match between your business model and the market requirements. In other words, until you have shaped a product or service that the market needs or wants the most. So now, you have shaped the MVP, which is the leanest product that will attain ‘product fit’ position, then you need to put it out to the broader market.


Scaling your Startup Business

Another aspect of the Lean Startup methodology is that you can raise considerable investment with the purpose of scaling your business only after the achievement of market fit and traction (sales) for your product. Scaling your startup business means laying down the foundations to allow and support growth in your business. In other words, it signifies having the capability to grow up without being held back. It involves proper planning, financial support and the correct systems, workforce, processes, technology and networks.


Next steps


Deciding to use the Lean Startup canvas from the beginning of creating a business means you’ll get to a workable business model quicker, turn your ideas into reality sooner.




If you want any kind of help to get your business off the ground, Wendy Perry, Entrepreneurship Facilitator, may be able to help you so please reach out by emailing wendy@switchstartscale.com.au, and let’s see how a lean startup approach can work for you.

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