• Devansh Lakhani

Planning less & growing more: Learn the foundations of Lean Planning.

Creating a business plan takes up a lot of time compared to lean planning whereas Lean plan will help you to jot down your plans and goals briefly. This helps you to work resourcefully, plan better and make tweaks to your business plan accordingly. As important as a business plan is to raise funds, it is only a collection of guesses & assumptions, instead of a proven roadmap to growth.

So today, we will be talking about a better way to do business planning. This one lets you adjust and refine your plans as you collect more information about your business & customers. It’s called “Lean Planning”.

What is lean planning?

Lean planning is a brief 4-step process that helps you create a business model that works & helps you successfully manage your company.

Here’s the process:

1. Create a Lean Plan Lean planning method starts with a one-page plan that can be created in 20 mins. That’s right—one page. Your lean plan should be simple.

What your lean plan should consist of?

· Vision:

· Strategy: What is your plan of action?

· Tactics: How are you going to achieve it?

· Business model: How will it make you money?

· Schedule: who is responsible for what work and when

First thing first, as a founder you need to be aware of the vision you hold for the business you’ll be building. Identify the problem you are solving for the consumers & follow up by explaining your solution to this problem. The problem you’re solving need to cater to the needs of your target audience.

Let’s talk about business strategy now, business strategy is an overview of what you want to do & when you’re going to do it. This is your plan of action, how & when you’ll take actions.

Tactics, which is the next section of your business. This an outline of you’re going to make your strategy happen. Talk about sales, marketing, the team you’ll need and any partners or outsourced resources you’ll need to use.

Building a schedule for your lean plan is quite crucial. Lean planning is all about getting things done, so including a schedule in your lean plan is an important thing to do.

Business model, all the given requirements such as a solid solution to the problem, & a target market that needs your solution, your business model won’t be feasible until your numbers work out. Your business model should work. Your business model is the last component of the lean plan which should consist of forecast & budget to showcase that the great idea can lead to a great business.

2. Test the plan Now you’ve your lean plan ready, you need to start putting your plan into action. You need to conduct market research in your demographics. Ask questions pertaining that helps you validate your business idea. Here are a few examples:

· Does your target audience actually experience the problem you’re trying to solve?

· Does your solution realistically solve their problem?

· Is your target audience willing to pay for the solution you’re offering? If yes, how much? This will help you gain insights on your target audience and understand them better. This also helps you to be on the same page as your consumers, set goals & manage your business accordingly.

3. Review your results If you’re an established business or even a start-up, you need to reviews the results of your customer interviews & any other data that you’ve collected that’ll change your strategy. You’ll need to refine your solution or even tweak the definition of the problem you’re looking to solve along with your marketing & sales strategy.

4. Revise your plan Lean planning is a process and not a document. It is about growing continuously by implementing continuous improvements. You define a strategy, experiment to see if it works, review it & revise the plan before moving ahead.

The lean plan is never a finished document. It is simply a process for running your business better, more efficiently & setting you & your team up for success.

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About Devansh Lakhani

Director of Lakhani Financial Services, and a Chartered Accountant, he helps start-ups raise funds from his network of investors. He guides and advises start-ups to scale up by providing efficient sales, marketing, team building, and business management strategies. He has executed fundraising by block deals on the stock exchange and conducted IPOs and right issues on the SME platform to the tune of over Rs. 50 Crore. He is currently working with start-ups from various sectors to help them channelize their business models and investments.

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