Lean canvas

Grow an idea into a full-fledged plan with this template.

What is a lean canvas template?

A lean canvas template provides a framework for startups and entrepreneurs to quickly outline their business ideas for better analysis.

This template is composed of the following key elements:

  • Problem: A list of problems that the target customer segment faces
  • Target customers: The user/customer segments you want to serve
  • Alternatives: Any alternatives that could solve this problem
  • Solutions: The solutions that can address these problems
  • Key metrics: The metrics that will be used to understand the business
  • Unfair advantage: Advantages that the business has that can't be replicated by competitors
  • Unique selling proposition: A list of what makes the business unique and valuable for the audience
  • Cost structure: The fixed and variable costs involved in operating the business
  • Channels: The key channels used to interact with your customers
  • Early adopters: The early adopters and their characteristics
  • Revenue streams: The ways in which the business will generate revenue

This model was developed by Ash Maurya, and our template is based on that work.

Who can use this template?

Anyone can use this template, but startups and entrepreneurs mostly use it to figure out the important aspects needed to kickstart their ideas.

It's also used at various stages of the business development process:

  • Entrepreneurs can use it to quickly structure their initial business ideas.
  • Early-stage startups can map out their business model using this template, to clearly focus on the key elements needed.
  • The template can be used to ensure that everyone on a team is on the same page regarding the overall business model.
  • Product management teams can use it to check if a new product or feature aligns with the overall business model.
  • The lean canvas template can also be used to constantly monitor and adapt your business model to changes in the market and customer feedback.

How to use this template

  1. Start by mapping out how you want to grow your idea.
  2. Come up with key problems, target audience, and other specifics.
  3. Get on a Catchup with your team and figure out ways you can address problems through alternatives and solutions.
  4. Finally, lay down the cost structure, unique attributes, and revenue streams that can make your effort profitable.
  5. Keep revisiting this canvas and update the parts as you work on your idea.

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