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”
Some more basic background on Lean Start-up can be found here.
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