I frequently speak with entrepreneurs who believe that their idea, or expansion, will be the next Ring or Uber. They are ready to start writing their business plan, seek funding and find their development team. Their passion is palatable which is why I do what I do, but finding out if the idea is, as Lori Grainer of Shark Tank fame, says “ a hero or a zero” at this stage, would save a lot of time and money.
If you have an idea or want to add a new product to your existing business, I recommend completing these 9+1 steps. The 9 steps are part of a Lean Canvas created by Lean Stack. Lean Canvas (see sample below) is a one page planning tool that will help you define your venture’s key metrics (customer segments, problem vs solution etc) that, when completed, will either be the foundation of a solid business or a clear indication to try again.
The +1 step at the end is my addition and will be the most important step of all.
9 STEPS TO SEE IF YOUR IDEA CAN BECOME A BUSINESS:
The Lean Canvas is a living document and it will continue to morph over time. It might be interesting to print each version and hang them up; the evolution will be fascinating.