(Plus, we’ve even included a downloadable template for your convenience)
The first, and most important step is to determine what are the problems in the market or audience that you want to solve through your business. Necessity drives demand, which in turn creates a stable foundation for a long-term sustainable business. List your top 1 to 3 problems down and how these problems are solved today (Gotta scope out the competition). If you’re struggling, check out our other article to find out how to find problems as an entrepreneur.
Now that you have a series of problems and existing solutions, outline your potential solution that will solve these problems for the customer. These will form the bases of the services and products that your business will produce and offer to the market.
Next, you need to determine your value proposition, what you do and why it is better or unique compared to what is available in the market. You should clearly define the value that you deliver to the customer, and which problems/pain points of theirs you are helping to solve and what customer needs you are satisfying. Come up with a single, clear, compelling message that states why you are different and worth paying attention and list your X for Y analogy (e.g. Glassdoor is TripAdvisor for jobs)
There’s no shortage of startups and businesses trying to make it big, what’s the advantage you have that will put you at the front of the pack? This should be something that cannot easily be bought or copied. It could be a key partnership due to your personal network, a specific product that you have access to, or a set of skills you excel at over your peers.
Every business must have a target audience and users, and while you may have mentioned them briefly in the earlier sections, you should now segment them to better craft your marketing and sales strategy. As a startup, you also need to slice even deeper and pick out your ideal early adopters, what are their characteristics? Preferences?
Many new entrepreneurs often overlook the importance of structuring their inbound and outbound channels to ensure a smooth customer journey. Pick too many? And you’ll be overextending. Pick too few? And you’ll be stifling your own growth. List down your inbound (incoming) and outbound (outgoing) channels that will create a strong and efficient customer journey.
The make or break factor for a majority of startups is maintaining a consistent cashflow. So list out all the potential streams of revenue that will help to ensure your startup isn’t just bleeding cash, but is spending those cash injections on growth and market share.
While revenue streams help you increase your revenue, your cost structure will determine if that revenue is profitable, if the business needs to focus on reducing costs or increasing value, as well as what are the areas that contribute the most to your expenditure.
Last but not least, the step that many an excited entrepreneur forget to do. By figuring out your important metrics, it helps you to ignore vanity metrics and figure out the real situation of the business, so you can pivot accordingly.
If you’re not sure how to get started or don’t have a wide personal network, you can join the wide range of networking and community events hosted by peers in your industry here at True Digital Park, or join specialized startup programs like our TDPK Startup Booster Program that gets you connected with top mentors, VCs and business experts through our various events. We’ve also packaged the business plan into a google sheet template that's downloadable and customisable for you. Don’t be afraid to start a new business as an entrepreneur at any age.
TDPK Lean Canvas is adapted from Lean Canvas (leanstack.com) and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Un-ported License.
True Digital Park is Southeast Asia's largest tech and startup hub, spanning over 200,000 sqm. The park is a critical driver for the development of the startup and innovation ecosystem in Thailand. All under one roof, startups, entrepreneurs, tech companies, investors, accelerators, incubators, academies and government agencies co-exist in our interconnected ecosystem