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Strategy

Lean canvas

Build an actionable business model with a template designed for entrepreneurs and startups

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About the lean canvas template

Crafting a business model is part of establishing a meaningful business and product strategy. A business model is essentially a hypothesis — you need to define and then test it to prove that it will actually provide value.

This lean canvas template is similar to our core business model template — it presents most of the same information in a slightly different way. It takes a problem-focused approach and was designed with entrepreneurs and startups in mind. This means that it is a great way to deconstruct an idea into its key assumptions and build an actionable plan forward.

After you have completed the exercise, make the model accessible to the team so that everyone understands your approach. The concise format also makes it a good addition to any presentation.

How to use

Quickly formulate possible business models to assess the viability of an idea and create an actionable plan.

  1. Choose an idea Identify a problem you want to solve and fill in each section of the template. Articulate your solution, define potential customers, and assess existing alternatives to ensure your product will satisfy a market need.

  2. Define metrics for success Establish the metrics you will track to measure the progress of your business — factoring in revenue streams and costs. This helps you quickly assess the business opportunity behind your idea.

  3. Share your approach When your lean canvas is ready, gather input from others. Questioning your assumptions and poking holes in your business model early in the planning process is key to validating your hypothesis.

  4. Adapt as you go Update your lean canvas as your learn more about the needs of your potential customers and shape the vision of your solution. Keeping an open mind is essential to ensuring a winning outcome.

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