A lean business plan is a tool used by startup companies to validate their business idea and drum up funding from investors. Unlike a traditional business plan, which can be hundreds of pages long, a lean business plan is typically only 10-20 pages.
The advantage of using a lean business plan is that it forces you to focus on the key aspects of your business, such as your value proposition and target market. This makes it easier to communicate your business idea to potential investors.
Tips for Writing a Lean Startup Business Plan
If you’re thinking about writing lean startup business plans, here are a few tips to help you get started:
Keep it short and sweet
Remember, the whole point of a lean startup business plan is to be concise as you try to propose to business partners. So, don’t try to cram too much information into your 10-20 pages. Stick to the essentials and cut out any fluff.
Focus on your value proposition
Your value proposition is what sets your business apart from the competition. It’s what makes your customers want to buy from you instead of someone else.
When crafting your value proposition, think about what benefit your product or service provides for your customers. For example, if you’re selling a new type of toothbrush that is more effective at preventing cavities, then your value proposition might be “The toothbrush that prevents cavities better than any other.”
Know your target market
Your target market is the group of people who are most likely to buy your product or service, sometimes referred to as customer segments. When writing your lean business plan, be sure to include information on who your target market is and how you plan to reach them.
Describe your business model
Your business model is how you plan to make money. There are a variety of different business models, so it’s important to choose the one that makes the most sense for your particular business and is in line with your business strategy.
For example, if you’re selling a physical product, your business model might be “retail” or “direct-to-consumer.” But if you’re selling a service, your business model might be “subscription” or “pay-per-use.”
Outline your go-to-market strategy
Your go-to-market strategy is how you plan to get your product or service into the hands of your target customers. There are several different channels you can use to reach your target markets, such as online advertising, PR, or direct sales.
When outlining your go-to-market strategy, be sure to include information on which channels you plan to use and why you think they will be effective.
Create financial projections
One of the most important parts of your lean business plan is your financial projections. This is where you estimate how much revenue your business will generate and what your expenses will be.
Creating realistic financial projections is crucial for convincing investors to give you funding. But it can also be one of the most challenging parts of writing a lean business plan.
If you’re not sure where to start, there are some online templates and calculators that can help you generate financial projections for your business.
Get feedback from others
Once you’ve completed a draft of your lean business plan, it’s a good idea to get feedback from other people. This can help you identify any areas that need clarification or further development.
You can get feedback from friends, family, mentors, or even potential investors. Just be sure to take all feedback with a grain of salt and use your best judgment to decide what changes, if any, you should make to your plan.
Keep it updated
As your business grows and changes, so too should your lean business plan. Be sure to review and update your plan regularly to ensure it remains relevant and accurate.
Benefits of a Lean Business Plan
Many benefits come with using a lean business plan:
- You can get started quickly: Because they’re shorter and less detailed, lean business plans are much easier to write than traditional business plans. This means you can get started on your business faster.
- You can save time and money: Writing a lean business plan will take less time and money than writing a traditional business plan. This is because you won’t need to do as much research or hire someone to help you write it.
- You can raise funding more easily: Investors are more likely to give you funding if you have a lean business plan. This is because they can see that you’ve thought through your business and have a clear idea of what you’re doing.
- You can adapt more easily: Because they’re shorter and less detailed, lean business plans are much easier to change than traditional business plans. This means you can quickly adapt your plan as your business changes.
Using a Lean Business Plan to Raise Funding
If you’re looking to raise funding for your business, a lean business plan is a great way to do it. Investors are more likely to give you funding if you have a lean business plan because they can see that you’ve thought through your business and have a clear idea of what you’re doing.
To increase your chances of getting funding, be sure to include information on your business model, go-to-market strategy, and financial projections in your lean business plan. You should also get feedback from others to ensure your plan is clear and concise.
Sections of a Lean Business Plan Template
There are some different sections you can include in your lean business plan, but the most important ones are your executive summary, business model, go-to-market strategy, and financial projections.
- Your executive summary should give a brief overview of your business. This is where you can talk about what you’re selling and why it’s different from what’s already on the market.
- Your business model should explain how you plan on making money. This is important for investors to see so they know your business is viable.
- Your go-to-market strategy should outline how you plan on getting your product or service into the hands of your customers. This is important for investors to see so they know you have a growth plan.
- Your financial projections should show how much money you think your business will make in the future. This is important for investors to see so they know your business is a good investment.
Resources needed to Write a Lean Business Plan
The resources you need to write a business plan vary depending on the type of plan you’re writing. If you’re writing a lean business plan, you won’t need as much information as you would if you were writing a traditional business plan.
That said, there are a few resources you should always have handy when writing a business plan:
- Your business idea: You need to have a clear idea of what your business is before you can write a business plan.
- Your target market: You need to know who your target market is so you can create a marketing strategy that reaches them.
- Your financials: You need to know your financials so you can create realistic projections for your business.
Getting Feedback on Your Business Plan
When you’re finished writing your business plan, be sure to get feedback from other people. Ask them if it’s easy to understand and if they have any suggestions for changes. Remember, not everyone will have the same opinion, so it’s important to take all feedback with a grain of salt and use your best judgment to decide what changes, if any, you should make to your plan.”
Actioning Your Lean Business Plan
Once you have your lean business plan written, it’s time to start taking action. This is where you’ll put your plan into motion and start working towards your goals.
Create the Plan
The first step is to create a plan. This means outlining what you need to do to achieve your goals. Write down each task you need to complete, and then create a timeline for when you plan on completing it.
Make sure your timeline is realistic, and don’t be afraid to adjust it as needed. You may find that some tasks take longer than you thought, or that you can complete some tasks faster than you expected.
Once you have your plan created, it’s time to get started. Begin working on the tasks you’ve outlined, and make sure you’re staying on track. If you find yourself falling behind, don’t be afraid to adjust your timeline.
Remember, a lean business plan is meant to be flexible. As your business grows and changes, so too will your plan. Be sure to review and revise your plan regularly to ensure it’s still relevant and accurate.
Course of Action
There are a few different courses of action you can take when writing your lean business plan. You can choose to write the plan yourself, or you can hire someone to help you. You can also use a template, or create your own from scratch.
If you’re not sure where to start, we recommend using a lean business plan template. This will give you a solid foundation to work from, and it will make the writing process easier.
Once you have your template, you can start filling in the blanks. If you get stuck, don’t hesitate to reach out to a business consultant for help. They can provide guidance and feedback to ensure your plan is on track.
Forecast and Budget
To get started, create a timeline of when you want to achieve each goal. Then, break down each goal into smaller tasks that you can complete. As you complete each task, check it off your list.
It’s also important to track your progress along the way. This will help you see how well your lean business planning is working and make adjustments as needed.
Reviewing & Revising Your Lean Business Plan
To review and revise your lean business plan, you’ll need to:
- Check your progress against your original timeline using all key resources
- Make changes as needed
- Review your financials, revenue streams, and other vital metrics regularly
- Update your plan as your customer relationships and business planning change
- Get feedback from other people
- Take action on your plan
- Celebrate your successes!
As you can see, there’s a lot that goes into writing and revising a lean business plan. But don’t worry, we’re here to help. Our team of experts can provide guidance and feedback to ensure your plan is on track.
A lean business plan is a great way to get your business off the ground. It’s important to remember that your plan is meant to be flexible, so don’t hesitate to make changes as needed. Be sure to review and revise your plan regularly to ensure it’s still relevant and accurate.
If you need help writing or revising your lean business plan, our team of experts can help. We offer a wide range of services to suit your needs, and we’re here to help you every step of the way.
Lean Business Plan FAQs
What is a lean business plan?
A lean business plan is a concise and effective way to outline your business goals, strategies, and progress. It’s a flexible and adaptable plan that can be updated as your business grows and changes.
Why should I use a lean business plan?
There are many benefits to using a lean business plan, including:
- It’s a great way to get your business off the ground.
- It helps you focus on what’s important.
- It can be updated as your business grows and changes.
- It’s a great way to raise funding.
- It’s a great way to track your progress and ensure you’re on track.
How do I write a lean business plan?
There are a few different ways you can write a lean business plan. You can use a template, hire someone to help you, or create your own from scratch.
How often should I review my lean business plan?
You should review and revise your lean business plan regularly to ensure it’s still relevant and accurate. We recommend reviewing it at least once a year.