How To Plan Your Business Without Excel
Chapters 2 and 3
How To Plan Your Business Without Excel
Welcome to the Lean-Case Product Training.
We are really happy you decided to join this training because you are going to learn four things at the same time. We want you to understand
How to get started?
Onboarding is really the hardest part when you start using any tool. The same is true with Lean-Case.
Before you create a new Lean-Case Project, you should have a clear idea of what you want to model and how your business model should look like. You would have the same challenges if you were building your business plan in Excel.
Lean-Case, at least, can offer you a structure to follow and a much higher likelihood of success to get your project funded.
If you are just starting, check out our tutorials and blueprints and get some ideas. Lean-Case Blueprints are sample projects which you can select when you set up a project - which get you off to a fast start.
If you have a need for specific Blueprints for your organization, you can set them up for your team. Alternatively, let us know your ideas and questions and we can provide help.
When setting up a Lean-Case project, you should understand the concept of the customer lifecycle which has 2 stages
To build your own lifecycle, you should specifically be able to answer 3 key questions:
- 1How do you create leads?
- 2How do you convert leads into paying customers?
- 3And, how do you grow your paying customers?
With those answers in mind, Lean-Case becomes a "lean" business plan simulator - and profit planner ... that allows you to model the customer lifecycle model of your business so that you can:
Key Business Questions to answer
The 4 key business questions which investors ask provide the framework for this training:
So, what are those 4 key business questions?
In particular understanding the unit economics - if Customer Lifetime Value (CLTV) is significantly higher than Cost of Customer Acquisition (CAC) is relevant for funding decisions.
If unit economic work well, it is great to spend money on scaling your business. Most Excel plans do not answer this question and often investors invest without an understanding of unit economics, thus financing incorrect propositions.
How to pitch your financial model
Let's first check how to visualize the idea behind a Lean-Case project and our blueprints. You can pitch your financial model exactly the same way. On just one page, we are showing the customer lifecycle with all its key assumptions on how to create leads, how to convert them into paying customers and how to grow paying customers.
Business Plan - Explaining Assumptions
Based on these core assumptions, we can then answer all the key questions which decision makers ask on revenue potential, business viability, profitability and investment required.
In this product tour, we are actually showing you an example of a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) business. We will create this model from scratch as part of this product tour. You can later also check it out. It is available as the blueprint which is called "SaaS Training".
Creating a Lean-Case Project
Let’s see how to create a Lean-Case project …
After you signed up, you should click the button <Go> to get to your personal "My Projects Space" workspace to add a new Lean-Case project.
Create a project by clicking on the <+> icon. You have the option to start a Lean-Case project from scratch or to use one of our Blueprints. The Blueprints describe how the Lean-Case projects are set up. You also have access to more detailed information, step-by-step tutorials and videos available for our blueprints.
Starting off with a Blueprint
Let's get started by picking a Blueprint which will show some of the basic concepts involved. Select the Blueprint: SaaS Training to create a project:
Great, we have just created your first Lean-Case Project.
Let’s first take a look at the menus in Lean-Case:
You find a few menus to enter data: Revenues, Headcount, Expenses and Capital. They are very similar. You can plan, check and track your data.
In addition, we are giving you a glimpse of the Dashboard menu which provides all answers to the business questions which decision makers ask.
To get around in any of the sub-menus, you find the Getting Started Box with useful information to get started. This information includes:
You can also access this information via the help menu in the Top Menu Bar.
A key concept in Lean-Case Projects are Revenue Streams.
Lean-Case Revenue Streams allow the modeling of:
With conversions rules, you can simulate upselling from one stream into another. Conversion Rules connect the revenue streams to model the Customer Lifecycle, including how to:
Key Assumptions for the Training Case
Let's now go back to the "My Projects" space via the Profile Menu in the upper right corner of the Menu Bar. On your workspace, let's create a project from scratch. Again, the project which we build in this tour creates the Blueprint "SaaS Training".
Let's first take a look at the customer lifecycle which we want to model.
Business Plan - Assumptions Overview
Metrics at Play
Let's quickly see which Metrics are behind the logic of a customer lifecycle. When getting, keeping and growing customers, there are always four different types of metrics at play.
Let's put the theory about these metrics into action.
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Let's see how we can answer the 4 key business questions in 4 steps-