Free Lean Canvas Template

The Lean Canvas is a tool that is designed for entrepreneurs, especially those who are looking to test the potential of an idea before jumping in. In the past, entrepreneurs have usually used a business plan or conducted market research to gain a better understanding of the potential of their idea.

Introducing the Lean Canvas. The Lean Canvas was developed and adapted by Ash Maurya, an avid entrepreneur and author of Running Lean.

The tool is quick and easy to use while helping people focus on problems, solutions, key metrics, suppliers, must-wins and competitive advantage.

At the core root of the lean canvas are nine blocks. Each is specifically designed to help entrepreneurs brainstorm solutions to the key areas of a business. 

Lean Canvas template

The nine key areas of the lean canvas include:

1. Problem or Need

In this box, you need to list the top 1-3 problems you are going to solve for the customer. Entrepreneurs need to think about the value they are creating for customers when solving a problem. Without solving a problem, you don’t have a product/service to offer.

2. Customer Segments

In this box, you need to list your target customers and who is going to be using your product or service. This needs to be as specific as possible. The more you can drill down and identify your customer, the easier it will be to target them later.

3. USP (Unique Selling Proposition)

The unique selling proposition is the key-value you are delivering to the customer. It’s the primary reason for the purchase of your product. Another way to think about this section is, why are you special compared to your competitors?

4. Solution

This is one of the most important parts of being an entrepreneur; you need to find quality solutions to complex problems. Not only does the problem your solving need to be worthwhile, your solution also needs to be a great fit.

5. Marketing Channels

Marketing channels refer to how you will reach your customers. To figure this out, put yourself in your customer's shoes. Then ask yourself, where do I spend my time? What platforms do I use? What interests do I have?

6. Revenue Streams

Your revenue model is an important part of the lean canvas process. You need to figure out things like, will it be a one-time payment, or will it be recurring? What is the customer lifetime value? What margins will you be operating on?

7.Cost Structure

In this box, you need to list all of your operational costs that will be required to bring your product to market. You’ll also want to figure out what your ongoing costs (burn rate) will be each month moving forward. You can then use these figures and projected revenue to calculate your break-even point.

8. Key Metrics

We all know that you can’t manage what you don’t measure. KPI’s are an essential part of any business; as such, it’s a great idea to start on the right foot. Make sure you measure the right metrics for your specific idea. Here is a list of base business KPI’s.                                  

9. Competitive Advantage

Your competitive advantage is one of the more challenging boxes to fill in the lean canvas. Competitive or unfair advantage is something special you have that your competitors either can’t get or would have a tough time obtaining. An example of this could be, a renowned expert on your team, insider information, special connections, etc.

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Lean Canvas Template