How to Start a New Business Using the Lean Startup Method (part 6 – key resources)

Launched in tech university entrepreneur programs in California, the Lean Startup Method is expanding to other universities across the United States. After studying the failures of tech startups, the main goal of the Lean Startup Method is to eliminate all time, energy and money spent on creating products or services that nobody wants to buy. This method is intended for startup businesses, but it can also apply to existing businesses that want to grow.

The sixth step, after focusing on a target customer, choosing a value proposition, evaluating channels, deciding how you will create and maintain relationships with your customers, and figuring out how your company will get paid, is to decide what key resources you will depend on for success. These will be different depending on what kind of business you are starting. Creating a service? Building a physical product? Making a virtual product (smart phone app, computer game, online social media platform)? Different key resources.

In early-stage startups, the most important key resources are people with skills, and money. The people with skills are searching for a business model. They are spending the money to verify the business model and develop a minimum viable product (or service) to show potential customers and confirm their interest in paying for what you are making. The key resources you will  need later for a successful business will definitely include money and a customer list. Other key resources could be investorscomputers, designers, engineers, programmers, other qualified employees, patents, copyrights, trade marks, proprietary processes, an office, equipment, vehicles, raw materials, inventory, or a warehouse. Outside your business, you should look for trustworthy, experienced mentors and advisers as key resources. SCORE is a good place to look for them.

The process of validating this part of the business model will involve going into the real world and asking which of the key resources your particular business will need and how you will acquire them.