When you start building your business you need to have a sharp view of what and how you will put into practice your ideas. It goes from knowing your resources, defining key benefits, and what makes your product/service better. While there are quite some pieces to consider, tools such as the lean canvas were created to give a clear overview in an ever-changing business.

In general, experts encourage the usage of the business canvas model. While it fits existing companies, it lacks a focused problem approach. Moreover, it’s not fully aimed at startup businesses. The lean canvas was created by Ash Maurya to solve these issues. Both canvases face their critics, but when used together, they will definitely enlighten you and your team.

As you can already see in the drawing, there is a simple system behind filling it in.

See the market fit

The first part is focused on the problem you are solving which is directly connected to the customer segments. Position them clearly, and even try to imagine a persona that fits each segment. And also, ask yourself if they will be willing or not to pay for your proposal.

Define your USPs

The next step in completing it is defining your unique value proposition. What makes you so special that your potential customer will die for? After this, you have to start drawing the solution your users will have at hand to solve the identified problems. Thus to see what is the fit between your proposal and what your clients will actually use. And of course, you have to promote your findings via different channels, be it partners, online or offline promotion. After you decide who are the ones paying you, define clear revenue streams.

As a tip, try to create a recurrent stream. On the one hand, you make sure to get have a monthly revenue. On the other hand, consumers will love it as they won’t be having to pay a big amount to use your solution.

Define revenue streams

Now that you defined almost everything, it’s time to think about the money. You have your revenues, and now the time has come to think on what you need to spend your money on so that your business is up and running. Define the costs clearly and try not to skip anything. And to be sure that your grand goals will be achieved, see what your KPIs would be, from having a number of partners, having a certain number of visitors and so on. Last and not least, what makes you special? It could be anything, your co-founders’ experience, your IT person with an MIT PhD., even your connections.

Moving towards what makes it different. As already said, it’s purely focused on startup businesses and is mainly used by entrepreneurs. It begins with stating the problem, looking for a solution that might fit, analyzing the channels you need to put it into practice, crunching the costs and devising a revenue stream. You are also able to clearly identify what makes you special as an unfair advantage and you can see how you can capitalize this. It is a simple problem-solution oriented approach.

You can also create your lean canvas here

Let us know if our experience helped you in your business!