If you are starting a new business, you may have heard a lot of terminology and be left wondering what it all means, as well as what might be the best way for you to get going.
Among all the terminology, ranging from unique selling propositions to buyer funnels, you may have also heard of ‘Leanstack Coaching’ and wonder what it is all about.
Leanstack coaching is something we can offer as we are accredited to provide it. Leanstack provides an approach that differs from traditional models of accelerating growth in a company, offering a new way of growing a firm that acknowledges weaknesses in traditional methods and replaces them with something stronger.
A core element in this approach is the recognition that the traditional innovation funnel is now a failing model. The evidence it presents is stark: There are many more start-ups than even a few years ago and also more accelerator businesses to try to help them progress, yet the startup failure rate has risen. Clearly something isn’t working.
Leanstack identifies the problem as lying in the timescale. In a traditional funnel model, the process of ideation (thinking up ideas) is followed by selection of ideas, acceleration (development of the idea) and then, finally, presentation to investors, in order to attract the necessary funding.
However, it noted, it is harder than ever for accelerators to get new enterprises through this funnel in the manner described above in 12 weeks. This is for various reasons: too many new companies for some accelerators is part of the problem, but 12 weeks can also be too little time to teach new firms what they need to know before their presentations.
One possible solution is a longer incubation period – the time before the acceleration phase. But this pushes costs up. It can also make the ideation stage messier, with more accelerator advice leading to increased confusion about what the best product ideas are.
Ultimately, this leaves the flawed funnel being beset by too many ideas, bottlenecks and no clear progress in metrics – the last of which being the chief concern for potential investors.
Leanstack’s answer has been to devise a model which is designed to provide a better balance between educating founders, coaching them through the ideation process and reporting metrics. Leanstack and its process can be thought of as a pre-accelerator. The goal isn’t pushing an idea forward, but pushing a founder forward..
This partly involves the idea of a lean canvas, which simplifies the whole process of breaking down what your company is trying to do and how it will get there. This makes things simpler and faster, so you can focus limited time and energy on the things that matter most.
Making a good start is the most important thing your business will ever do. There is no greater level of failure than at the outset and while there will always be cases where the idea was never viable or misfortune undermined an otherwise promising idea, much will depend on getting the right mentoring and acceleration.
In a changing world with so many start-ups and old models that don’t work like they used to, now is the time to look at new approaches like Leanstack and see what they might do for you.