Having a novel idea isn’t enough to get your business off the ground and headed toward success. You need to show the world (and potential investors) that you have created a viable solution to a common problem and that you can sustain the production and delivery of the product to consumers who desperately want it. In order to prove viability, you need to create a minimum viable product or MVP. Before you get ready to launch your business idea, here’s what you should know about developing an MVP.
Start With Research
If you already have your idea down and you are ready to take the first step, your next move should be thorough research. You need to gather plenty of information and answer two key questions:
· Is my product something my target market needs?
· Is my product something my target market will be willing to pay for?
There is no sense going any further with MVP development if you aren’t sure that your market (intended consumers) will actually want or even purchase what you will be selling. Your research should take you deep into the thoughts and perceptions of your audience. Use feedback to determine what problems they have that can be solved by your product, what the average budget for a product like yours would be and if there are any competitors already meeting this need. Don’t invest in a product that your market isn’t willing and able to accept.
Determine the Value
Research shows you what the consumer needs and wants, but it is up to you to deliver a product that will have enough value to engage consumers for the long-haul. A product that is too basic has zero staying power, but conversely, a product that is too complex or that has too many features can completely rush past the needs of your intended consumers.
The MVP should be created with enough minimum features to make a solid start in the market, but it should also provide a complete customer experience that induces brand loyalty. Your product should be of the highest quality, even if it is basic, as you can renovate over time.
Stick With One Purpose
The temptation will be to try and solve all of the problems your research exposed. However, puts too many pressures on your key idea and weakens the arguments of quality and application. An MVP solves a key problem, not several small ones. The things your audience identified can be motivations for further development and different business segments, but your key product needs to deliver the solution to the main problem shared by the members of your audience.
If your research determined that the market wasn’t ready for what you were initially proposing, adapt what you had in mind to settle the key issue. Market validation is about making sure that your business is sustainable. Heading into development without this reassurance is a waste of resources. Scrapping a bad idea before you put any money into it leaves you without significant losses.
Use Data in Decision-Making
In your excitement to take your product to the masses, don’t rush ahead with additional features or extra accessories. You want the consumers to be familiar and comfortable with a key product that addresses their most crucial needs. As the product begins to flood the market, use consumer feedback and customer support data to find out what additional options consumers want to see added or included. This allows us to retain and add value to the product by continuing to meet targeted needs.
Before you release new products to the market, conduct tests with existing consumers. You don’t want to overbuild or inadvertently create complications or frustrations with your changes.
Remember, it is your job to create a product that has value to the consumer. If you can achieve this, your consumer will create business longevity through increased demand and strong revenue streams. Start with a product that tests well during the research phase if you want to get started in the right direction.