Lean Start-up is an alternative/complement to traditional business design and planning. It involves identifying assumptions about the product/service you are developing. Then testing these assumptions (prioritising the riskiest assumptions) with early customer research. This includes testing early prototype products/services and iterating development with continued feedback from users/customers. Originally conceived in context of tech start-ups, the methodology is relevant to all new enterprises. By testing assumptions early, you reduce the risk of expensive mistakes later.
Lean start-up methodology has been incorporated into this great start-up guide for food enterprises
For farmers we recommend “The Lean Farm: How to Minimize Waste, Increase Efficiency, and Maximize Value and Profits with Less Work”
Lean Start-up methodology is also central to the Local Food Launchpad program, which we are developing into an online course in partnership with Doing Something Good. Watch this space!
Some more basic background on Lean Start-up can be found here: