My husband and I run a marketing agency together and we been doing a little bit of planning over the last few months as my business has been growing and bringing on new staff and we have needed to rework our business plan. We have come across a concept which I am finding really beneficial for not only my business but also my client's business.
The jury seems to be out regarding whether it's worthwhile to do a business plan and if you're looking to do one but never have the time, you might want to check out the 'lean canvas' concept.
It's basically a plan on a page, rather than the 50 or so pages I was working on and updating for my business, which means you can view your plan at a glance and update it as needed without needing a massive document that you barely refer to.
The official definition of lean canvas is "an actionable and entrepreneur-focused business plan that focuses on problems, solutions, key metrics and competitive advantages".
For those interested, I have outlined the format I have been using for the Lean Canvas business plans we have been creating for our business and also our client's (who are usually start-ups or small businesses with owner operators with very limited resources and time to be doing business plans).
Here's the format:
Lean Canvas Model
Problem - list top 3 problems
Solution - list top 3 features
Hey Metrics - key activities you measure
Cost Structure - customer acquisition costs, distribution costs, hosting, people etc
Unique Value Proposition - single, clear compelling message that states why you are different and worth paying attention to
Unfair advantage - can't be easily copied or bought
Channels - path to customers
Revenue streams - revenue model, life time value, revenue and gross margin
Customer segments - target customers
There are a ton of great resources out there for the lean canvas model.
I've been looking through the following:
https://strategyzer.com/canvas (this is the dude that came up with the model)
There are examples and template canvases that you can download via these sites.
Has anyone been using the lean canvas model? So far I like what I see and I'd be interested if it's working for you.
It's so much easier that writing a massive plan.
Let me know what you think.