The need to make decisions about new business opportunities has increased. However, the available time for analysis and decisions has not, so it is important to work efficiently with business planning.
The lean business model redefines the way business plans are used. From being a static and annual document, it has become a dynamic tool for every business owner and aspiring startup.
The lean business plan should include everything that adds value to the management. The plan itself is small, containing bullet points for essentials and a collection of lists and tables. It is streamlined for internal use only and should be reviewed and revised once a month so that it stays relevant, fresh, and useful.
A lean business plan should be big enough to optimize the business, steer towards the company’s main goals, and track and manage progress, expectations, and accountability.
If you’re unsure about how to create a lean business plan, you can use a lean business plan template and make the entire process a lot easier. Below we discuss the essential 8 steps to start designing the best lean business plan for your business needs.
Define Your Business
The first thing you should do is start by describing your business and get an entire high-level overview. Use just one single sentence and explain what exactly your business does. Try to focus your answer on your value proposition and how you stand out from others on the market.
Pick Your Problem and Solution
As you continue creating your lean business plan, you should specify and describe the problem you wish to resolve for your customers. Write a couple of sentences or bullet points highlighting the issues customers are dealing with. Once you identify the issue, explain how your product or service satisfies the demand that the issue creates.
Define Your Target Market and Competition
Based on your solution, you should define your target market. Describe your ideal customer by focusing on their main attributes or preferences. Think about what choices they have when shopping for a product that is similar to yours and create a brief bulleted list of your strongest competitors.
Consider what makes your business special when compared to other similar companies in the same industry. If this is the case, highlight it in your lean business plan so potential investors know why you’re the best choice for them.
Determine How You’ll Advertise Your Business
Write down the business tactics you’ll employ to ensure the success of your business plan. Start by identifying sales channels through which you will sell your product or services.
Draft a bulleted list of the marketing tactics you want to use to connect and interact with your customers and encourage them to buy your service or product. During this phase, it is also important to think about your pricing and cost structure.
Evaluate Your Financial Situation
When creating a lean business plan, it is your responsibility to evaluate your financial situation. Think about how much money you have at your disposal and how much you need. Also, you should figure out how much revenue you can expect to generate in the first year of operating.
This type of financial forecast is vital as it will tell you which resources are needed for your business to succeed. Develop a basic forecast and budget to ensure your plan is realistic. Write a bulleted list of the methods you’ll use to make money and make a list of your main business expenses.
Establish Achievement Milestones
Establish milestones for success so it serves as a timetable for your business plan. Include the basic work description, assign the person responsible for the assignment, and set a deadline for each assignment. For instance, a milestone can refer to the creation of a new website or creating a more thorough budget.
Determine Resources Needed
Determine the resources required for you to be successful. This can be anything, from prospective partnerships to whom you want as a team member. Compile a list of who will work with you on your business and assign each individual a title or role. Make a bulleted list of firms or organizations you may need to collaborate with, like wholesalers or suppliers.
Share your lean business plan with family members, friends, and business partners you trust and see if the plan is clear and understandable. Request their feedback and if necessary, revise the plan based on their input.
A solid lean business plan should be structured, concise, easy to read, and include all essential information. If you’re working on a business plan, make sure you follow the steps in this article to help you develop the core aspects of your business strategy.