Before going all-in on a business project, it is important to understand if it has the potential to succeed. The way to answer this question is through a Minimum Viable Product. We'll answer:
1. What does MVP mean?
2. Why should I build an MVP?
3. How to build an MVP?
In business, MVP stands for Minimum Viable Product and it is an initial offer that conveys the essence of your business idea and addresses the problems of a group of customers. MVPs are built to take an idea to the market and test it. The main characteristics of an MVP are:
1. Serves at least one group of consumers
2. Solves one problem well
3. Is easy to make and sell
Building an MVP is not only for startups. It can be extremely valuable to the retail world as well. For example, if you were to open a restaurant, it is good to know if people are willing to pay for your food, right? The MVP, in this case, would be a dish that embodies your idea and that you could make from home and sell it to people.
The reason for starting with an MVP is so that when you focus on developing the essence of a solution, it works not only as a way for you to gather the start-up funds you need to fund your business to what you envision but most importantly as an opportunity to engage with early customers and understand what is and isn’t working.
The process of starting small consists in taking one step forward and seeing how it feels. If the results are favorable, then you take another step forward. If not, take a step back and use what you’ve learned to try again. Because better than developing a solid product or service is developing one that customers actually want.
During the first steps of entrepreneurship, it is crucial to minimize and manage risks. With that in mind, ask yourself these questions:
1. What is the essence of my idea and its competitive advantage?
2. What problem can it solve and for who?
3. If I cut down the costlier parts, what is the most reliable way to build it?
You could always test your product with friends and family, but understand that you may not get the feedback you need. Take advantage of social media; search for communities that fall into your target audience and try to sell your MVP to them.
The reason for building an MVP is so that you can measure customers' responses to it and learn as much as you can from them. Adopt and repeat the build-measure-learn process until you've collected enough information to make a decision about your MVP. This approach is intended to be fast-paced so that you can test as much as possible before fully committing to a single project.
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