How can MVP benefit the startup? And How to build one right?
There are a great variety of articles and materials related to the theme. Yet for first-time entrepreneurs who want to implement the idea ASAP the path to a fast and successful launch is not very clear.
At this stage, it’s important to oversee and avoid mistakes. Even talking about the quick implementation the preparation stage requires a lot of attention. A few weeks of preparation can save time in the long run and create a solid foundation for the final product.
Let’s start with the basics.
What is an MVP?
Simply put MVP (Minimum Viable Product) is the basic version of the future product to represent the idea, get the feedback, ‘’try out’’ the market, etc.
– Eric Ries, author of The Lean Startup defines it like:
“Minimum Viable Product is that version of a new product which allows a team to collect the maximum amount of validated learning about customers with the least effort.”
The fast launch can be crucial for the startup and MVP is a great solution to make it quickly, based on the idea and with a modest budget. This approach would allow to get users’ feedback for the base product, test the needs, and include the solutions in future iterations. With an MVP, the business can find the right audience, pull the ideas based on experience, and save time.
The main value of MVP is the ability to find the balance between what business is offering to clients, and what clients actually need. An MVP helps in collecting maximum quality feedback, by targeting specific groups, or types of users.
Let’s move with more details about how the MVP can be beneficial. Or
Why Do You Need to Build MVP for Startups?
Working with MVPs and Startups for as a team for years we defined these main benefits:
1. Focusing on the Core
Without the focus, base functionality worked on the product can end up all over the place. Yet missing out on the essentials that clients actually need. An MVP focuses on one idea, and it does not include any other ‘’additional’’ features. Polishing the main ones gives a clear vision, strong base to scale, and can reduce the cost of the development.
2. Opportunity to ‘’Try out’’ the market
It’s a good way to find out from the very beginning if the idea will work without investing the whole budget.
3. Valuable Feedback and Polishing the idea
The MVP gives the opportunity to find out the potential users’ opinion, and how they want to see the final product, define the needs.
4. Time Savior for the product
Besides the time saving it also means lower development costs. The faster the fundamental solution is launched to users, the faster you will be able to receive feedback. And win in the long run polishing the functionality in the right direction.
5. Budget efficiency
This is yet another important advantage, as it avoids spending all of the resources right away, on things that may not work. It is usually advised to create an MVP as it’s an easy way to enhance and scale the development strategy.
6. Finding Investors
Last but not least, some startups if almost not most of them, heavily rely on outside investments. And how to attract the investors, represent your idea? MVP works best at this point. With a functioning product, even – MVP, the idea is more likely to get the proper funding. In addition, stakeholders don’t have to wait for months to see feedback. Usually, investors are afraid of projects that are perfect on paper but remain unnoticed by the community, so MVP can win trust.
The benefits are pretty strong.
But how to implement the MVP right?
First things first, to see if the idea would be a fit for the market it’s mandatory to start with Market Research
Before finalizing the idea and move towards an MVP Development process, ensure that you’ve defined the target audience, clients’ needs. Make sure that your product will be interesting for users. Research the competitors and what they’re offering, and how can you make your product idea stand out.
Polish the Idea
The next step after the research and making sure the idea is relevant – answering the main questions:
— What problems can your product solve?
— What value does your product offer to its users?
— How useful can it be for the end-consumer? How can it benefit them?
— Why would they use this solution? Why would they want to buy your product?
Consider the Design Process & User Flow
User flow is an important MVP stage.
To win the target audience you would need to look at the idea from the users’ perspective, starting from opening the web/app to the final process, such as check out or delivery. Moving step by step you’ll be able to define the features that would be necessary from the start and which can wait to the later versions, design tweaks to convenient as possible.
Working on the user flow and thinking through the layout gives a good push for the next step – listing the Features for the MVP. Making the full list, prioritize the features, to find the ones that you will be starting with (high priority).
Next, categorize all the remaining features based on priority too: high, medium, and low. It will be easier to make the plan for the later versions and by the feedback that you’ll get from the first one rethink their priorities. If you want to see how your future product will look, you can even create an MVP’s prototype.
Once you’ve finished with the previous steps you can start creating your MVP. Yet don’t be fooled by the Minimum in the Minimum Viable Product, the quality should still fulfill the prior customers’ needs and be ‘user-friendly’. At this stage, it’s important to find reliable development partners, budget-wise it would be smarter to outsource the efforts to the team with right cost and quality approach + full support.
As a friendly note let’s outline the materials you should have at this point to move fast and consistent with the development:
— Use cases/ User flow
— User Interface Design (best option unless you’ll find the partner that would work on the designs too)
— Wireframes (there are various free services to make them by yourself)
— Interactive Mockups (optional)
‘’Last’’ step Measure and Learn
After the completion of product development, detailed testing must be done. Quality Assurance engineers, who work to improve the quality of the product conduct the first testing stage.
The complicated development process is not the main concern, MVP creation is more about the strategy, analysis and finding what ‘’feels good’’ for the target audience. And even if MVP needs to be delivered lightning-fast don’t miss out on the planning stage – details like concept developing, prototyping, testing, and choice of development partner should be taken very seriously. It will definitely benefit you in the long run.