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Lean canvas template

Distill a business plan in a streamlined business model canvas

Courtesy of our friends at

Use the lean canvas template to outline the advantages, targets, challenges, risks, cost structures, and opportunities of a business strategy. The lean canvas is a visual framework popular with entrepreneurs, startups, and articulate their business model and identify key components necessary for success.

Created by Ash Maurya, The lean canvas provides a straightforward way to evaluate your business opportunities. It helps you break down your business idea into key factors and gives you a visualization of your business strategy. It’s also easier for others to read through and give feedback on than a standard business plan.

The lean  canvas template helps you:

  • Brainstorm and articulate the core strategy of a business model
  • Streamline cross-functional collaboration with stakeholders
  • Create a straightforward, one-page business plan
  • Leverage customer insights to gain a competitive advantage

How to create a lean canvas step-by-step:

To create a lean canvas model, you only need to answer the nine elements. They include: 

1. Define the problem

What is the problem that your company intends to solve? What pain points do your target customers or personas face, and how do they relate?

Clearly express what the problems are, and how your solution can address them.

2. Propose a solution

The solution your product or service provides that solves the problem(s) you wrote down in the “Problem” step. 

In other words: What does your product or service do, and why would someone be interested? Highlight the unique features or benefits that differentiate your solution from competitors.

3. Craft a unique value proposition

Your unique value proposition is what makes your brand different from similar brands that already exist. Develop a clear and compelling value proposition that communicates the unique value your business provides to customers. This helps you convince people to buy from your brand instead of a competitor’s. 

4. Identify your unfair advantage

Identify any unique advantages or strengths that set your business apart from competitors. This could be proprietary technology, key partners or strategic relationships, industry expertise, a known history of strong customer relationships, or a strong brand reputation.

5. Identify your customer segments

The segments of people you’re targeting with your product or service. These are the people who would get the most value from your brand. 

Are they early adopters of technology? What technology do they use? Go into detail about their characteristics, habits, attitudes and more to create actionable personas.

6. Define your key metrics

The metrics you can use to measure how successful your business is and whether your product is effective. These could include customer acquisition cost, customer lifetime value, conversion rates, or revenue growth milestones.

Note: Key metrics can be a mix of general metrics like “units sold” and more product-specific metrics. 

For example, if your product is a solution for productivity or time management, one product-specific metric you could measure is “time saved on tasks.” 

7. Design your channels

Determine the most effective channels of communication you will use to reach your target customers and deliver your solution. Consider both online and offline channels that align with your customer's preferences. 

Common channels include your website or social media profiles, with other examples being live events, an app, and email, or out-of-home advertising.

8. Determine the cost structure

This includes everything cost related you need to account for, like marketing and promotion, manufacturing or production, technology, and your people. 

Will customers pay for your product or service? How much will you charge? Will there be different pricing models for different customer segments?

9. Identify revenue streams

Outline how your business will generate revenue. Some common examples are product sales, speaking engagements, and consulting services.

Tips for creating a lean canvas

  • Keep it concise: The lean canvas is designed to be a one-page framework, so prioritize brevity. Focus on the essential elements and avoid unnecessary details. Be clear and concise in your descriptions.
  • Conduct and use customer research: To create an accurate and insightful lean canvas, conduct thorough customer research. Talk to your target audience, gather feedback, and validate your assumptions. This will ensure a solid foundation for your canvas.
  • Collaborate with your team: The lean canvas benefits from diverse perspectives. Involve your team members and stakeholders in the process. Encourage open discussions and brainstorming sessions to gain different insights and ideas.
  • Test and validate assumptions: The lean canvas is an effective tool for testing and validating your high-level concept for a new business. Use lean experiments, prototypes, and minimum viable products (MVPs) to gather real-world feedback and refine your canvas accordingly.
  • Iterate and revise: Treat your lean canvas as a living document that evolves with your business. Regularly revisit and update your canvas as you gather new insights and validate assumptions. Embrace a continuous improvement mindset.

How to create a Lean canvas template

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Sticky notes & text

Sticky notes & text

Add ideas, action items, and more as a sticky note or text box — then change the colors and cluster to identify patterns and new solutions.



Add comments and tag collaborators for smooth asynchronous communication.

Tags on sticky notes

Tags on sticky notes

Customizable labels make it easy to find, organize, and categorize your work in a mural.

Infinite & resizable canvas options

Infinite & resizable canvas options

Choose the right canvas for your collaboration goals — flexibility without limits.

Presentation mode

Presentation mode

Build presentations collaboratively, then deliver engaging sessions that go beyond one-way talk tracks.

Video meeting integrations

Video meeting integrations

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Lean canvas template frequently asked questions

What is a lean canvas?

What is the difference between a lean canvas and a business model canvas?

In what order do you fill a lean canvas?

Ash Maurya

Template by Ash Maurya


Ash Maurya works to create better, faster ways for building successful products.

He started to apply and test his findings, which went into a blog, then into a book, and finally into a series of products with his company LeanStack - aimed at helping entrepreneurs raise their odds of success.

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