Lean Canvas: Create a business plan for your startup

startups 6 minutes read

The Lean Canvas tool is a fusion between the traditional business model canvas and Lean Startup.

The purpose of creating the tool was to develop an itinerary that will help entrepreneurs, from the birth of the idea to the creation of the startup.

His intention was to be able to express what was more uncertain (more than one probability) or more risky (high uncertainty).


First, know what your client’s problem or need is, then find the solution. Specifically, in this block you have to identify which are the 3 main problems of your segment, and propose what are the alternative solutions to your product or service that your clients use to solve them.

Unique value proposition

Leave in a clear, simple, simple and in a phrase what makes you special and how you will help your clients to solve their problem, easy to say, difficult to synthesize.


Once you know and prioritize the problems your clients face, you should establish which are the 3 most important characteristics of your product / service that will help them solve it … so you can focus on them and do not waste time in secondary functionalities.

Key Metrics

Once we have defined the most important elements of the business model, it’s time to get into the metrics. We must establish what activities we want to measure and how, taking into account that we must generate a very small and actionable set of indicators that will then help us to make decisions.

Customer segment

Identify and know the customer segments on which to work, and above all strive to find out who your early adopters or visionary users could be with whom to start working. This is vitally important, since targeting the mass market with mature users is often a bad idea for a startup, at least initially.


Now is the time to work on how you are going to get your solution to the customer segments with which you are going to work: with a commercial force? Through a web ?. It is important to understand this path to the clients in a global way, that is, not only thinking about the phase of the sale but the whole customer experience

Income Flows

At this point we must reflect on how we are going to make money, which not only includes thinking about the different flows, but also about the margin and value of the client. Raise the strategy of how you will make money with your startup.

Cost structure

The reverse of income, in the cost structure we must collect all those elements that cost us money, and that in practice indicate the approximate cost that we will have monthly and that of course, at the beginning it should be as content as possible.

Differential Advantage

Perhaps one of the most complicated points to fill, and it is easy that you do not know what to put at the beginning. Collect that something that makes you special and different, which causes customers to keep coming for more. If you can not think of what to put, do not worry, leave it empty … with time you will know what it is.


The Lean Canvas focuses primarily on understanding the problem or need of the client and then put the focus on the design of the product. In the Lean Canvas the right side represents the MARKET, while the left side shows the SOLUTION.



The Lean Canvas method provides us on a single sheet and at a quick glance what our plan will be for the business to be successful. In addition this model can help us to show our plans to potential investors. It is a document that will not take more than 1 day to make.

In NextDots we constantly help entrepreneurs and startups to plan their business before converting their idea into a digital product.


Javier Olivieri

Founder en NextDots