Lean Canvas Template

Rafat Abushaban

- Tips and How-to's #  O 23.1K views   اقرأ بالعربية

The Lean Canvas is an adaptation from the Business Model canvas tailored for tech-startups and businesses in fast-pace industries. In its core, it focuses on developing the business idea in a quick and iterative manner that can help entrepreneurs develop as they go.

The Lean methodology focuses on creating a concept quickly and eliminating waste. It offers a quick way to conceptualize ideas and implement them by using the same 9 building blocks found in the Business Model Canvas.

Lean Canvas

Lean Canvas vs. Business Model Canvas

Both the lean canvas and the business model canvas offer a template of how to go around a problem and create value for the customer. The main difference is with their focus: The lean canvas focuses on problem solving, while the business model canvas focuses on developing and selling a value proposition.
Business model canvas is considered a more versatile method that suits both existing and new companies, startups, and other projects. It offers an infrastructure of how the business should work with the Value Proposition as its corner building stone.
On the other hand, we find that the lean canvas appeals more to tech startups and builds it focus on defining a problem and finding its solution using the Unfair Advantage as its major selling point.

Lean Canvas Building Blocks

Similar to the business model canvas, the lean canvas has 9 building blocks that need to be investigated sequentially in the following order:

  1. Customer Segments
    Understanding who the target customers are and where to find them. This is very similar to the business model's box on customer segments. Here, it is essential to understand who the ideal customer is, how to appeal to this customer and reach him/her. Learn more about customer segments
  2. Problem
    Defining a problem is the one most important steps that could be taken in the way of solving it. For businesses that are developing new products and services, or even for starting entrepreneurs, this is an essential process by which a business opportunity is identified, and a solution can be applied. Furthermore, identifying the problem correctly is what differentiates successful startups from others.
    The lean canvas makes sure the problem identification is a crucial step in the process. This box specifies the top-priority problems that customers face. Here, it pays to only focus on the core problem faced or the top three problems at most.
  3. Unique Value Proposition
    The unique value proposition is simply helping customers get jobs done using a unique and distinctive method. This value intended is highly linked to the customer, and aims to solve the customer problem/ pain defined in the customer avatar. The term “Unique Value Proposition” is a fancy way of emphasizing that the value proposition suggested should be unique.
    The value sometimes refers to the “products and services offered by a company”; but in reality it entails much more details. Learn more about the value proposition.
  4. Solution
    Finding the right solution requires time and effort. The Value Proposition Canvas can greatly help you figure this out. The "Lean" strategy states that this solution is a draft that needs to be refined with each cycle of development.
  5. Channels
    “Channels” describe how a business reaches the customer. Here, we consider the various methods were we can reach the customer and deliver the value proposition. Learn more about channels.
  6. Revenue Streams
    Revenue Streams describe how a business generates income. Revenue is a rather broad term, and refers to income that a business generates. Learn more about revenue streams.
  7. Cost Structure
    Fixed and Variable costs incurred as a startup is running its operations. Learn more about cost structure.
  8. Key Metrics
    Key metrics were introduced here instead of the traditional Key Resources to help entrepreneurs understand when they are on the right track by measuring, evaluating, and monitoring their business metrics.
    Identifying the right indicators for growth and sustainability differs greatly depending on the nature of the startup. Here, it is advisable to only focus on one or very few metrics and ignore others. This metric should be an essential indicator of business health.
  9. Unfair Advantage
    The unfair advantage tackles the issue of how to differ from all the competition out there. This box is one of the most difficult to address, so it can be kept to a minimum at first (since there is no real product or service yet), and can be developed as the startup grows with features and qualities that are difficult to copy by competitors.
    An unfair advantage can be having a great team, insider information, great links and networks, existing customers, and so on. To come up with this box, it is easier to think of what others can't buy or develop easily. Learn more about the competitive advantage.

Download the Lean Canvas Template

You can download the Lean Canvas Template from the following link:

Click file to download

Rafat Abushaban

Founder of Riable and consultant to several international organizations in entrepreneurship education and researcher in innovation systems and seed funding methods with 10+ years of practical experience in the MENA region, Europe, US and S.Korea
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