Much Ado About Lean Canvas

> Business Plan Process: as Crucial as the Result <

Attention grabbing: that’s the point. When authors attempt to pen a bestseller, they often aim to introduce fresh ideas, a new spin, or a different solution to a common problem. The glitch that unsuspecting buyers don’t realize: an idea recently crafted to become popularized (like Lean Canvas) may, in fact, not actually be the right solution.

Books are sold, so the idea gains traction. Yet, in the end, the book buyers – and in this case, businesses – fail as a result of the ill advice they paid to access.

Over the past year or two, our firm has seen an increase in inquiries about a Lean Canvas approach…in lieu of creating a complete, comprehensive Business Plan. The public has been coached to embrace the false idea that: (1) both are equally effective, (2) a Lean Canvas is flexible while a Business Plan is set in stone, and (3) a Lean Canvas provides a reliable shortcut to efficient growth.

None of these purported theories can actually ring true in practical application. So, misguided bootstrapping businesses and their owners are falling victim to some very unwise, very dangerous misdirection: while those proposing it are profiting from the newer spin.

The pivotal point here is: the merits and advantages gained through constructing a Business Plan can even surpass the value of the final product and roadmap itself. Proof is in the process, and the devil is indeed in the details.

Problematic details cannot come to light, enabling essential gap closure, when attempting to hopscotch past a time-proven and diligent process. The process is what provides and opportunity to see and improve the strategy.

In fairness, those whom we have seen promoting the Lean Canvas approach earned some success in prior ventures. Naturally, this is the source of their credibility.

This is also the reason they were able to build new ventures on the foundation of essentially an outline… instead of taking a deeper examination of influencing factors, timing, market positioning, and financials: they were replicated what they had done before and felt they already knew the way.

They had walked down the same road, and intended to follow that direction again. They were not, in fact, building from scratch like their audience of new business owners.

The fatal flaw: promotion of Lean Canvas as a time-saving solution is like taking a grade school ball player and tossing them into the Majors, NBA, or NFL. How long is that likely to last? What impact from injuries should they expect to sustain? Are they even likely to survive the first minutes of the first game? Who would EVER put them in?

As businesses owners, we put ourselves in the game. We take calculated risks, and look for trusted resources to offer guidance.

So, this remote Lean Canvas “coach” with no investment in an independent player’s success = an enormous and untrustworthy disconnect. Yet, promotional campaigns support it because there are books and events and other trainings to sell. People inadvertently have attached credibility, due to mere publicity, where it does not belong.

Plus, unlike a paid role in professional sports, business owners are risking hard-earned, or borrowed, finances in addition to their personal wellbeing. Statistics prove that 9 out of 10 businesses already fail. There is no reason to tip the scales even further against potential success.

Here is the truth: failing to properly plan is responsible for the demise of most businesses that never reach their 5-year mark. Understand where you need to invest.

Arm your business to succeed. Smart bootstrapping owners and executive teams realize that a solid plan will not only keep them in the game, it will also save them substantial time and money along the way.

Need help with strategic planning? Understand the actual roots of proposed advice before aligning your time, budget, and future accordingly.

Avoid becoming a compound victim of not knowing what you don’t know. Enable your venture to thrive, rather than struggling to even survive.

STRATEGY Global Business Development


→ Top 1% Transformational Consulting, 2001 – 2016

→ Clients in more than a dozen countries worldwide

15 years of results for emerging & mid-sized ventures

Business Plans to Brand Identity (including Website Front-End), Marketing Strategy to Sales Optimization, Demand Analysis to Product Launch → gain gap-closing, results-producing expertise: decades of cross-industry, global, MBA-level insights for funded Startups to Fortune 500.

Award-Winning dealings with more than 1/3 of the Fortune 500 launched the Consulting Practice, and our consistently 5-star ranked range of Growth Initiatives, in 2001.

@StrategyGBD ~>

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Crowdfunding 2016 Directory

If your business is looking for funding, or know one that is, you will find this list to be your Holy Grail!

With more than 50 live links, categorized according to main industry sectors and target audiences, any operation positioned for a Crowdfunding campaign will be able to easily and quickly compare the available platforms and fees to determine the best fit.

Click >>> Tools then select the image entitled:


Your document will immediately download via the new window. Congrats: you’re on your way!

Let us know if you would benefit from Marketing, Crowdfunding, Demand Analysis, Launch Plan, Pricing & Profit Margin, Brand Identity Development, Sales Tools or Training, Explainer Video Creation, Business Planning, or other Strategic Insights. Select the Contact Us window below, or eMail us via

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Growth Hacking Wins: Think Different

Whether conceptual, technical, or otherwise, today’s examples of growth hacking span a spectrum. This spectrum has produced a modernized bridge composed of tools for traffic attraction, commonly tracked and measured through analytic metrics that intend to cause increased conversions (i.e. visitor to customer) through hastened or magnified audience engagement. When coupled with the wisdom of traditional strategies, these methods can reinforce and catapult results.

Many layers of planning in effective growth hacking
Layers of planning form the foundation for Growth Hacking


The trick remains that – while everyone seems to be talking about it – not everyone becomes instantly effective in their efforts. A solid base of experience will always accelerate success rates. After all, knowing the answer in advance makes any question seem simpler.

As with each sector of business, any angle or technique of tactical marketing, and every aspect of life, the learning curve is comprised of layers. Growth hacking may sound like a simple solution. In fact, any effective system, replicable process, and successful campaign requires: (1) planning, (2) attention to detail, (3) testing & upgrades, and (4) ongoing monitoring in order to determine opportunities for improvement.

methods - for start-ups

INDUSTRY Contingencies

What most growth hacking discussions intend to promote now boils down to enhanced effectiveness of digital marketing and sales. Whether or not your venture functions from an eCommerce model, the type and price point of the product of service, and the pain points of the target base will always influence an ability to utilize the more common growth hacking techniques with success.

Yes, quality content marketing should enhance credibility and visibility for any operation. Will it substantially increase the volume of closed sales or drive a surge in revenue? That depends upon the combination of practices and processes you use, how well you know your target market, and how effectively you understand the best ways to connect with them to solve their problems or address their explicit needs.

questions to ask at each stage

B2C versus B2B

Also, consumers and businesses behave differently when it comes to decision-making processes, timelines, and influencing factors. Much of what we hear discussed about growth hacking pertains to consumers. The idea relates to scaling volume, according to typical buyer behaviors and swift consumer choices, at relatively contained price points.

Alternatively, the objective becomes market share (a factor of traction and engagement: incomplete on conversion, particularly as it relates to freemium service offerings). Secure eyeballs, secure engagement, secure conversion through subscription with the goal of upgrading a percentage of subscribers to premium features and accounts. This actually relegates a freemium subscription level to engagement and traction rather than conversion.

So, the approach is ultimately always determined by the end game and larger vision. What are the goals? When demonstrating (to investors for next-stage funding, for example) that a venture has strong or broad market capture, this potentially weighs into the business valuation. Without revenues to show in tandem, merit of the offering is diluted.

Dialing into consumer interest areas, according to existing or potential demand, can provide a healthy opportunity to combine growth hacks with other marketing and sales campaign tactics to accelerate market acceptance. Start-ups, emerging ventures, and mid-sized operations can especially benefit from layering growth hacking tactics on top of sales and marketing foundations.

in an internet minute


Leverage is the ultimate bottom line. Whether conceptual, or truly algorithmic and strictly analytical, the idea of growth hacking focuses on creating exponentially greater results through contingencies: formulas that compound outcomes based upon enhanced systematic and replicable practices.

Because, today’s truth is: fierce competition awaits at every turn. The staggering fact that 540,000 new businesses launch every month, in the US alone, helps us realize how much we need every available tool. That knowledge, coupled with the volume of information bombarding us (i.e. bombarding our targeted prospects) – like 100,000 new tweets in an internet minute – requires us to identify and implement the most effective tools and techniques that budget and time will allow.

FB & twitter stats

Starting with something simple, like building a loyal following on prioritized social media, can be a useful step. Realizing what is involved at this stage, before graduating to the next, will enable more controlled scalability. Part of scalable control means being able to deliver what is promised, which leads to customer retention as well as referrals.

After all, throwing money at ads before developing and consistently implementing an effective Brand Identity across all points of presence is a common pitfall for new and emerging businesses. Undeveloped ad “spamming” depletes vital resources that are needed to build other aspects of a functional growing business. Approaching your overall business development systematically – one step at a time – will establish the company’s long-term foundation for success…the right way the first time.

STRATEGY Global Business Development


→ Top 1% Transformational Consulting, 2001 – 2017

From Business Plans to Brand Identity (including website front-end), Marketing Strategy to Sales Optimization, Demand Analysis to Product Launch → gain gap-closing & results-producing expertise: decades of cross-industry, global, MBA-level insights for funded Startups to Fortune 500.

Award-Winning dealings with more than 1/3 of the Fortune 500 launched the Consulting Practice, and our consistently 5-star ranked range of Growth Initiatives, in 2001.

→ Clients in 18 market-leading countries worldwide.

→ Over 16 years of contributing internationally to client success!

@StrategyGBD ~>

Learn more or get started now: