Published on October 31st, 2018 | by Júlio Ventura


5 Steps to Build Your Minimal Viable Product (MVP)

Reports showed that up to 90% of startups fail:

  • The Guardian informs that approximately 50% of the young companies go wrong within the first couple of years.
  • Bloomberg states that 80% of startups will break down within their first 18 months.
  • Mashable shares infographics that 90% of tech startups fall through.

Developing MVP allows to protect the small and young company and test the idea. This way, business owners get valuable feedback. And investors are more open to investing in a high-level prototype than in a vague idea. Now, let’s consider what steps will help you to prepare needed MVP strategy.

#1 Recognize Your Target Audience

Do you want to successfully engage your audience? Listen more to them to know their preferences, goals, and needs. Experts say that sometimes it’s better to give customers what they need, not what they want. Here works the same principle as with kids: the main goal is fulfilling their key and the most urgent demands over wishes.

Keep in mind that before the deep research you need to explore your target audience. Find out which age group they fall into. After that, it will be easier to prepare design, content and relevant user experience. Such insight about your target audience will help to better cooperate with your potential customers. For example, the founder of Dropbox released a 30-second video on Hacker News in order to capture more than 70,000 email addresses of highly engaged potential clients.

The most common mistake is a perception that the company already knows its target audience and their needs. But to successfully run a startup, you need to make only data-driven decisions. Base the whole strategy on customer research, and create a customer profile. It has to be as detailed as it can be with psychographic and demographic information.

Analysis of the market helps to predict and eliminate the risks and rethink the strategy. Besides, it’s important to know your competitors. For example, if your idea is already implemented in many strong companies, possibly, it’s better to pick another aspect of the solution or totally change the product.

Knowing your audience helps to pick up key features. Then, you may change and adapt the product, for example, as MVP method. It teaches to learn your users better, test the idea and to deliver immediate value.

#2 Plan the MVP

Many young entrepreneurs without any business experience just see the needs of the audience and how no idea how to earn money on it. Some of them make too low prices, so they don’t gain profit. Other businessmen want too high costs, so customers just run away.

Understanding the long-term goals and the success criteria help to eliminate such risks. You will know what you want to achieve and how. And finally, a consultation of the professional financial analyst will save you from falling.

Also, when you plan the MVP, develop a “pain and gain” map: explore users’ anxieties, discover their pain points and how your solution may fix it. You need to recognize market gaps and how exactly your product will add value.

#3 Offer the Better Experience

Try to identify whether your customers really want these features. For example, new features of Facebook serve only for business purposes and many users don’t like them. They don’t want to have few types of “like” button. Sometimes, they press the wrong button that brings misunderstanding. And many other changes make them switch their attention to Instagram where users aren’t overwhelmed by the unwanted features that appear each day.

Bear in mind that simplicity is a key. Don’t make your users think because they have hard days at work, they don’t want to think what button to press and how to find needed functionality.

Better experience means faster, better and cheaper. Serve your customers this way and you’ll make them satisfied.

So, now you know the secret how to build meaningful products for your customers. If you stuck at the planning stage because of the lack of experience, there are many IT companies in Ukraine with a cost-effective solution for the startups. Software development costs are much lower than in the USA while the quality is still high. The dedicated development team will lead you through the complicated processes and share valuable experience with you.

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About the Author

Digital Marketer, Webmaster, Writer, and Tech Enthusiast. Undergraduate in Translation from Faculty of Letters in Lisbon, Portugal. Postgraduate in Digital Marketing from Lusofona University in Lisbon. On a quest for further knowledge.

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