If you are running a lean startup, you may consider ideas for a minimum viable product. This guide will go over what the purpose of this is and how it can help your business. Many startups are looking to get more paying customers and clients. While learning about customers is key to building a successful business, creating a minimum viable product (MVP) is your first step in learning about your customers because assumptions about potential customers can only get you so far.
The MVP is a product with just enough features to be useful. It allows you to test if real users will pay for your product and learn how they’ll use it. Without an MVP, you’ll be flying blind. There’s no way to know if customers will pay for what you’re offering until you build it and test it with them. Let’s take a look at why it’s so important to have an MVP and how you can take advantage of other offers going forward.
What is a minimum viable product (MVP)?
A minimum viable product is a product equipped with basic features. It’s often used to test and validate an idea within its target market. The product will be used to discover what the market thinks about it and whether they could buy it if it were upgraded. Basically, an MVP allows you to see if you have a marketable product.
To break it down word for word, let’s consider the following. A minimum feature is defined as basic and bare bones. Viable should be good enough to be tested by a select market.
And finally, an MVP is a business idea transformed into an actual product that people can touch or see. This can be a physical or digital product depending on the kind of business you’re running.
Your product team will not be looking to do anything extravagant at this stage of development because the only mission now is to see how the market reacts to the new product or service you provide, get user feedback, assess the risk of failure, and, basically, conclude if you have a lovable product or not.
Testing your minimal viable product will involve costs, time, and the skills of a development team. So it is a good idea to consider a small budget along with a short time frame to test the product. This way, you’ll be able to go back to the drawing board if you need to and make modifications based on customer feedback.
What are the benefits of an MVP?
Minimal viable products have quite a few benefits that will only work to your advantage:
You’ll know if your product is useful or not
When it comes to a new product or service, testing it out is key. The last thing you want to do is create a product only to find out that no one wants it. That would be a waste of time and resources.
A minimum product mitigates this issue with little to no development costs. You don’t need months of development to launch the product and test out its usability.
It’s hard to know what you’re building if you don’t know who you’re building it for. Here are a few examples of MVPs:
- Google was an MVP for search engines. It was just a search box, but it was enough to launch the product and helped Google learn how people would use it.
- Dropbox is an MVP for cloud storage. It’s not a full service yet; you still have to use their website or mobile app to manage your files.
You don’t need a complete product to test out an idea. Even the smallest product can be tested.
It helps you mold an offer
Customer feedback is important. You’ll want to use it in order to know what potential customers like about the product and what could be improved. At the same time, you will have time to consider whether or not you can tweak it and create a completely different product in the process.
Your simple product allows you to create a better, upgraded version of the product. Once the innovative product development step is finished, you can move to the next essential step and introduce it to the target market at a higher price point. Following product definition, you can ask for a higher price than what the test market paid.
An MVP allows business owners to get insights into user experience and understand what customers are looking for. This can help them tweak the product to resonate with target users.
You can validate your idea fast
No one wants to spend a long time validating a product or service idea. So it would make sense to get a small group of people together to help you get it done quickly. You can invite people to try it out and ask them to provide you with valuable feedback.
From there, you’ll be able to determine whether or not it’s a good idea or not. No one can give you a better answer quite like the market.
Steps to take for creating a minimal viable product
If you are planning on creating a minimal viable product, let’s take a look at the following below:
1. Find out what your market needs
Market research is important. You need to identify your market first and foremost. Then, you’ll want to find out their needs, pains, and other issues they may be facing. You’ll want to understand them to the point where your product might be a good fit for them.
It’s important to know the long-term goal for your minimum viable product. It’s also important to have success metrics in place, so you can measure and keep track of them. You’ll be able to see how far you’re coming along with the product development process.
2. Keep track of your user’s journey
The user’s journey is the process that a potential customer goes through when considering, evaluating, and finally purchasing a product or service. Keep track of your user’s journey by understanding what motivates them at each stage of the decision-making process. This will help you create a more seamless experience that meets their needs and leads to a sale.
The user’s journey has three key stages: awareness, consideration, and purchase. At the awareness stage, the user is becoming aware of their problem or need. They are beginning to search for solutions and are open to new ideas.
The consideration stage is when the user narrows down their options and starts to compare products or services. They are looking for something that will meet their specific needs.
Finally, at the purchase stage, the user decides which product or service to buy and completes the transaction.
3. Design a pain and grain map
Designing a pain and grain map is a crucial step in the minimum viable product process. By understanding where your users are experiencing pain points, you can design a product that eliminates or alleviates those pains.
To create a pain and grain map, start by listing out all of the potential pain points your users might experience. Then, plot those pains on a scale from low to high. Next, group similar pains together and label them accordingly. Finally, take a step back and look at the big picture to see which areas need the most attention.
By taking the time to design a pain and grain map, you can be sure that your minimum viable product will be able to address the needs of your users.
4. Include features you want to offer
Your minimum viable product (MVP) is the most basic version of your product. It should include only the features that are absolutely essential to your product’s success. Thus, you’ll need to determine what features are absolutely essential to your product’s success. This can be a difficult task, as it requires you to make some tough decisions about what can and cannot be included in your MVP.
However, it is important to keep in mind that every feature you add to your MVP will increase its development time and cost. Therefore, you should only include features that are absolutely essential to your product’s success.
Once you’ve determined what features are essential to your MVP, you’ll need to prioritize them. The most essential features should be included in your MVP, while less essential features can be added later on.
Your minimal viable product is your best friend when it comes to business success. It can be an idea that will catch on quickly or something that won’t be a good fit for your target audience. With a little investment and time, you’ll be able to get the answers you need.
Once your product is a go, you can sell it to a larger market, but not without making adjustments based on the feedback you get from your test audience.