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How you could benefit from lean startup support

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As part of Boost Business Lancashire a series of Lean Launchpad sessions are being held across the county. The Lean Launchpad is a two-day programme of support, specifically designed to equip entrepreneurs with the tools, knowledge and techniques not only to launch a successful new enterprise but also to accelerate growth. Here, Rona McFall, head of entrepreneurial solutions at Winning Pitch, explains more about the ‘lean startup’ concept and how new Lancashire businesses could benefit.

What is Lean Startup?

Lean Startup has been embraced globally as a more effective and efficient method for developing new businesses and products. The origins of Lean Startup come from Lean Thinking - a management approach famously applied in Toyota's factory production system. The three central principles to Lean Startup are:

  • The goal of minimising waste
  • The culture of continuous improvement
  • The importance of measuring the big picture

How is the Lean Startup philosophy different to the traditional business support?

Lean Startup takes the view that a startup is not just a smaller version of a large company. Instead it defines a startup as a temporary organisation in search of a scalable, repeatable, profitable business model. Lean startup recognises that a startup is a series of untested hypotheses about what the business model could look like.

  • Founders, not early employees, must search for a winning business model
  • They do this by getting out of the building to gain a deep, personal first hand understanding of their potential customers’ needs in order to validate their ‘leap of faith’ assumptions.
  • Critically they do this before locking into a specific path, a rigid business plan, high levels of finance and precise product specifications

Typically, traditional business support and advice encourages the entrepreneur to blindly execute a rigid product development from inside their office, making a series of assumptions, including:

  • The founder will get the model right first time
  • The offering will be right first time
  • The startup’s business plan is a solid reliable representation of how things will play out
  • They just need to raise funds to succeed

So what do those who succeed do differently?

Of those who succeeded under this model, 76% were forced to drastically change their original plans/business model. Lean Startup does not give entrepreneurs a brilliant, but ultimately flawed Plan A, instead it is a process to a plan/business model which means they survive and thrive before they run out of resources. Evidence suggests the Lean Startup approach - using fast, iterative development methodologies based on experiments with customers - radically improves the chances of startup success. Compared to a traditional startup advice and support approach, Lean Startup’s focus on investing time into iteratively building offerings to meet the needs of early customers:

  • reduces the risks associated with successfully launching a new business
  • sidesteps the need for large amounts of initial project funding
  • boosts the chances of the fledgling businesses not only surviving but thriving thereby creating jobs and greater prosperity in the region overall.

To find out more about forthcoming Lean Launchpad events in Lancashire see our events calendar. To find out more about the support contact Rachael Taylor on 0161 876 3363 | r.taylor@winning-pitch.co.uk or Romana Afzal on 01254 693999 | romana@enterprise4all.co.uk.

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