With the effects of COVID and digitalisation, most companies today have an idea for a product, but developing software costs lots of money, and not every organisation has the capital to get their idea off the ground. It is especially hard for startups that don’t know where to start and how to get funding for further development.
That is where MVPs come in handy. A minimum viable product (MVP for short) is a perfect way to verify the idea with minimum investments. Building an MVP allows businesses to test their concept with first users and show the idea to investors to get money for further business growth.
Based on the Statista 2010-2019 report, 25% of apps get abandoned after being used just once. While these apps are abandoned, the market grows rapidly, and the competition is only getting stronger every day. And you don’t want to let others take your place in this market. So how do you test your idea with an MVP, and how to build a successful product for funding? Let’s explore.
What is a Minimum Viable Product (MVP)?
Minimum viable product, or MVP for short, is a concept which was originally taken from the Lean Startup methodology. The idea is simple – launch a product offering a minimum number of features to show investors and collect real users’ feedback as quickly as possible. MVP also works as an idea validation early in the product development life cycle.
Developing an MVP before going further with the final solution also helps reduce the risks of failed development, save money and get funding.
Benefits of Building an MVP
Investors Can Explore the Product Functionality
When it comes to development, an MVP framework is crucial to secure investment funding. That is because this concept allows investors to see the product’s idea and functionality while also showing them it can be used to solve a real-world problem. In contrast, software that is still in its early stages of development seems less informative and clear for investors as it can’t show what the product can and can’t do, meaning it is harder to get funding this way.
Check Whether the Product is Viable
The key goal of an MVP is to check whether the software is viable in the marketplace. Therefore, MVP makes it easy for you and investors to verify there is a demand for your product or that there is a problem your product is able to solve. An MVP also allows you to collect real users’ feedback so you can learn how to improve your product instead of spending too much on useless features.
Verify You Have the Right Team
When showing your MVP to investors, you may have feedback from them regarding the team you work with on MVP. Experienced investors will see if something is wrong so you won’t waste your time and find more skilled specialists. A quality team will build any product, even the complex one, while a weak team is likely to fail regardless of how good the underlying idea may be.
5 Steps to Build an MVP
1. Do Market Research
The first step is always detailed market research. It helps you to find what products already exist, how they solve the problem you are going to solve, and what users like and what they don’t. It also ensures the idea is viable so you know where to move once the research is done. At this stage, you can also explore available development options for you and contact providers for further help. You can hire full stack developers or delegate the entire development to the outsourcing team, yet it is a costly solution.
2. Identify Target Audience and User Persona
Once the research is done, you can move to identify who is your target market and user persona. This involves knowing the following:
- Your potential users;
- Their preferences;
- Their demographics;
- Their problem.
3. Outline Key Product Features
Now that you know the market, competitors and your target market is the perfect stage to start outlining key features. This is the key stage that will define the product’s success. Do not overwhelm the product with features but also try to show how the software will work by the end of the development. It is also best to add features that your users can try to give you valuable feedback on. Add only those features that will address the needs of your target market.
4. Design and Build Your MVP
When you decide on the list of features, you are ready to design and build an MVP. This involves designing wireframes so your development team can know what to do. Once the design is done and approved, your developers should start the process. We recommend following the Agile methodology for higher speed, accuracy and flexibility.
You should also ensure that your product is easy to use and understand, offering a unique and convenient user experience. Ensure you promote your MVP on marketplaces or social media platforms to get valuable feedback from your users. The insights you will get are invaluable since they will help you explore what features you really need, what to add and how to improve your product or service.
5. Analyse the Feedback
When the MVP is launched, and the feedback is gathered, you can get back to your team and investors to analyse it. Collecting feedback isn’t the last step if you want to achieve success with your product.
Even though only half of the startups build an MVP before developing the final product, this stage is essential for the product’s success and the easiest way to get funding. However, it is usually a tricky process that requires time, skills and knowledge, so knowing steps in advance can help you avoid mistakes and unnecessary spending. Make sure the process is smooth, and you have a quality team you can trust to deliver the project to success.