All over the globe, innovators, entrepreneurs, and leaders use lean startup methods for their businesses. Utilizing lean startup methods can turn a brilliant idea into a stellar product or service. In this piece, we will discuss who can benefit the most from a lean startup plan, and what it can do for your business.
Is Lean Startup Still Relevant?
One reason that many small businesses fail is that they offer a product or service that the market was not asking for. As competitive markets are hard to break into, lean startup is still just as relevant as ever. Lean methods aim to eliminate building a product or service that the market does not want by garnering customer feedback to find a problem worth solving. Lean startup is not only for entrepreneurs or small businesses, as large Fortune 500 companies like GE and P&E utilize these methods to ensure that they are launching the right product to their market.
What is the Primary Benefit of Using Lean Startup?
Rolling the dice and hoping that what you plan to release is what the customer wants is a perfect blueprint for how to fail. You want to be able to enter the market and innovate rapidly so that your product solves a problem for your target customers, but that the popularity spreads beyond your early adopters to demographics that you may have not considered before.
This methodology will help your team discover whether a product should be built before you even start asking the “how it can be built” question. This saves your team vital time, making sure you only put effort into areas that will directly lead to growth. Finally, the lean startup allows for learning and adaptation of the company as fundamentally this process is all about turning ideas into tangible products. As you engage in lean startup processes over time, you will be more effective at understanding what your customers want and need.
How Can Lean Startup Change the Entrepreneurial Economy?
Taking into account everything we have already discussed, the lean startup methodology has already been changing the entrepreneurial landscape for years. The lean startup method brings about effective changes compared to traditional methods.
A traditional business plan tends to be more on the lengthier side and looks more like a detailed blueprint for the start of a business, whereas a lean startup business plan is more straightforward and with practice can be completed in 20-60 minutes. Rather than a comprehensive 60 page blueprint, this type of plan is designed to be no longer than one page and shared with others. This shorter and more concise business plan allows a business to identify their biggest risks and get to work faster than using traditional methods.
The lean startup helped change the entrepreneurial economy by shifting the financial focus for startups. The methodology put more emphasis on metrics that demonstrate traction, rather than a mipoic focus on revenue. This heavy focus on the customer allows for less waste of finances by not putting resources into elements that ultimately would not result in business growth.
Lean Startup Ideas
Once you have decided that the lean startup methodology is right for your business and you have an idea or the problem you want to solve, there are a few ideas or concepts that will be helpful to understand. A major one is the idea of the minimal viable product or MVP. An MVP is a fantastic way to either validate or invalidate a product your team has been cooking up. The MVP is the simplest thing you can do that will solve a customer’s problem. Google Sheets, Formstack and AirTable have formed the MVP of many businesses.
Using an MVP will help trim any unnecessary elements from a potential solution, and as with all elements of lean startup methodology, make your business more efficient. No matter what your startup idea is, using the lean startup method will help you get off on the right path. Focusing on customer value, and shortening the development cycle of your product to make the most efficient use of your time, money, and resources should be part of any great startup idea.
If you are currently struggling with any part of the startup process, we recently launched our Discovery Week as part of our Next Up program where we pressure test your idea to see where it currently stands.
Hit the Ground Running with Next Studios
Best practices, lessons learned, models, and heading in the right direction will reduce the risk that it will fail and generate higher returns. This is what Next Studios provides to each and every one of our customers. We understand how difficult it is to break into the entrepreneurial landscape and have long-lasting success.
If you want to learn more, check out our NEXT Community and NEXT University programs. We would love to hear from you, so please do not hesitate to reach out.