Lean Business Model Canvas: For Every Type of Organization

If we’re going to talk about the lean business model canvas, whether for startups or large businesses, we must start by understanding the meaning of canvas.

The canvas business model is a schematic template, divided into several squares where relevant information must be inserted, which will help you to plan in a very agile and intuitive way.

Thus, we can say that the lean business model canvas aims to develop a business plan quickly, without significant expenses and extended studies, with the help of this schematic template and other methodologies that we will specify later.

The Origin of the Lean Business Model Canvas

Everyone who decides to successfully undertake the start of a new business with lots of motivation will have to do a detailed business plan: define a target market, develop processes, approach suppliers, organize the company financially and pass many other costly and time-consuming steps.

What happens is that, after all this hard work starting the company, things sometimes don’t happen as they should, businesses fail (this is part of the game!) and a lot of effort and capital is wasted.

The idea behind the Lean Startup methodology is to simplify this whole process of creating a new business by using three key, agile, cost-effective and practical principles so that things flow better in the case of failure.

Eric Reis is considered one of the great idealizers of the lean business model canvas, with a modification to the story: he believes that not just startups, but other types of companies can also benefit from it.

Next, let’s take a look at the three pillars of this agile business planning model.

See also: What are some of the challenges faced by small businesses?

The 3 Pillars of the Lean Business Model Canvas

Although readily used by startups, the lean business model canvas, as we have commented, is not unique to them.

Check out the three most important points of this methodology.

1- Canvas vs. Business Plan

Canvas is much leaner and agiler, the use of canvas makes it much easier to make decisions and begin the initial steps of formatting a business.

There are two main variations of this model:

lean business model canvas 02


A Lean Canvas, adapted by Ash Maurya

lean business model canvas 04

Maurya replaces 4 of the original canvas items with others that are considered more focused on the risk of a business not working out.

Besides these, there are other canvas options, depending on the characteristics of the company that is intended to be created.

Many believe that the business model created from the lean canvas is best suited to startups.

Check out this canvas based on Uber strategies

lean business model canvas 02

2- MVP: Minimum Viable Product

A minimally viable product is one that does not have all the final features and functionalities you want in the future, but it has all the potential to be developed along the way.

MVP’s are used to do things faster and with less waste. It involves the development of a product with minimum characteristics to gather validated learning about the product and its continued development.

MVP - Minimum Viable Product

Source: How to define your Minimum Viable Product?

MVPs are very important for companies that do not have many resources, because with it you can better understand your market and analyze if your product has the expected penetration. With this information you can chart the directions of the product development and align the marketing campaigns according to your audience

For example:

Let’s say you want to develop footwear made from recycled fibers from a material that is only a waste bi-product today? You don’t need to create shoes for all ages and uses, both feminine and masculine. Create something specific such as men’s casual shoes. And over time, if the business succeeds, footwear of various types and for the most varied of uses can be developed from the insights received from the MVP.


3- Agile development

Without delay begin interviews with prospective clients, suppliers and partners, focus on what’s most important and brings value to the product (or service) and the business.

Formulate hypotheses, develop prototypes and validate them with those who are the most interested. In this process, many errors can happen. The only things that should be avoided at any cost are wasted time and wastage.

Based on these three pillars, your company will soon be modeling processes and putting your MPV on the market.

From there, development will be constant. Persevere!

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