Introducing the Business Planning Jigsaw

Managing a startup business is NOT easy. Startup entrepreneurs have lots of balls in the air. Lean Startup books, theory and practice are brilliant but the question is which model or framework do you follow and when – and are they all relevant to an Irish startup situation?

To address this dilemma Donncha devised the ‘Startup Business Planning Jigsaw‘ to put into neat order a range of concepts, tools, books and other lean startup resources to guide early-stage entrepreneurs on their journey from concept to market launch and plan to scale internationally.

startup business planning jigsaw linkedin

Introducing the Startup Business Planning Jigsaw

Early in the New Year (2015), I wrote an article to introduce The Startup Business Planning Jigsaw which I published on LinkedIn Pulse. I introduced the article by stating:

This is my contribution to the age old question as to when a lean startup entrepreneur should write a business plan or if indeed they should write one at all.


And I concluded by explaining that:

The Jigsaw is my attempt to rationalise and put into neat order a range of concepts, tools, books and other resources to guide early stage entrepreneurs on their the journey.

I also recorded a 17-minute video for my YouTube channel to detail the components or elements of the Startup Business Planning Jigsaw.

The nine elements are explained in my LinkedIn Pulse article entitled The Startup Business Planning Jigsaw – thanks to everyone who liked the article and provided a comment.  To quickly summarise the nine blocks are:

1 – Start with the Idea or Business Concept

2 – Complete a Lean Canvas (Ash Maurya, Running Lean).

3 – Undertake a serious assessment of the Promoter and Team.

4 – Work on Customer Development and Market Validation, which leads to

5 – Development of an MVP being an early stage product that the customer will pay for.

6 – A business model is how a business makes money, so you need to answer that question. The keyword is validation which simply means proving that what you think will work does in actual fact work.

7 – A key phrase within Lean Startup is learning and it is not just a buzzword. With all the uncertainty of startups, it is vital that the Team is open to learning such that a model that works is found.

8 – Lean Metrics (Financial + Lean Analytics)

9 – Business Action Plan

For more detail on the Business Action Plan see my very detailed case study on how I wrote a business plan for a client as this provides all the background detail for the final step in the model – the creation of an investor-ready business plan.

[button link=”” target=”_blank” color=”blue” shape=”rounded” size=”large” align=”centre”]Download the Business Plan Write-Up Case Study [/button]

Conclusion & further resources – 12 Lean Startup Models

Please note that each of the 9 steps is very involved – the entire process can take from 3 to 4 months to 3 to 4 years – and every situation is different. It is implied within the model that the steps are iterative in that one may have to go back a step in order to go forward again. Indeed, in creating the Startup Business Planning Jigsaw I refer to a number of Lean Startup Models. To provide more information on these I have created a Slideshare presentation entitled: Twelve Lean Startup Models and how they can shape how you think about your startup. The twelve models are:

► Business Model Canvas – Alexander Osterwalder

► Search v’s Execution – Steve Blank & Bob Dorf

► Build-Measure-Learn – Eric Ries

►Three Stages of a Startup – Ash Maurya

► MVP and Product Market Fit

►Lean Canvas – Ash Maurya

► Customer Development – Brant Cooper and Patrick Vlaskovits

► Startup Pyramid – Sean Ellis

►Get Keep Grow – Steve Blank & Bob Dorf

► Pirate Metrics – Dave McClure

►One Metric that Matters – Croll & Yoskovitz




and finally #12 The Startup Business Planning Jigsaw.



donncha (@donnchadhh)

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