You have a business idea. That’s great! You’ve hopefully done research and feel that it’s going to be successful. Unfortunately there is no way to know for sure that your potential customers will use and love your new business. This is why it’s important to create an MVP.
Eric Ries, author of the ‘Lean Startup’ came up with the term Minimum Viable Product or MVP.
He defines it as a version of a new product which allows a team to collect the maximum amount of validated learning about customers with the least effort. This style of business approach is especially applicable to software projects. It’s essential for agile development.
Instead of funding and creating a massive software project heavy with features, cut the ‘nice to haves’ and start with the basic version. Put it in your customers hands as soon as possible and get their feedback. Prove that the platform or phone app was a good idea. Then let your customers decide the next feature they would like in the system. This will give you the kind of competitive advantage that will crush your competition!
Should you come up with and build an MVP or should you build out the dream business idea that you’ve come up with? Below are some reasons why it is best to start with an MVP:
Make a list of your business idea and plan. Write out every single workflow, every feature that you would like to have. Highlight the key features that set your business apart. Your MVP needs to be Viable not just Minimal. You need to prove your ideas work. So keep the essential features and workflows that makes your business. Then prioritise the rest. Grade them down as much as possible. You have a starting point. You have an MVP. Put that in a list. Create a new list that contains the MVP and a couple more features you would love to have. Then go and get extensive quotes from a trusted and competent software business.
Approach software companies and get quotes. Find out exactly how much time and money it will take for your MVP to go live. Get another quote to find out exactly how much it will cost and how much time it will take for your entire vision to be achieved. Ask them to break down every feature and workflow into dollar and time figures. This empowers you.
It can be a surprise for business owners to see that a feature they thought would be complicated is actually easy to build. The other side of the coin is true as well. Often they will be shocked to see a feature that appears simple, is actually quite complex and time consuming.
Knowing costs and time against all your features will help you to adjust your MVP accordingly. You may add and remove items from your MVP. Your next step is to get it built. Prove your idea is great! Continue growing and expanding. Create the business of your (and your customers) dreams!
It depends a lot on what your business ideas are and the features you need to be viable. A freelance developer will tell you it will cost between $5000 - $20,000 a professional software company will say at least $50k (depending on what’s required). Who is right? Are they even talking about the same thing? Answer: Not even close!
An MVP that costs $5000 - $20,000 is really just a demo prototype. It’s smokescreen. It’s something one developer can put together in a couple of weeks. It’s something you can turn into an ad and see if there is interest. It’s not customer ready.
An MVP that is $50,000 or more is bullet proof. It’s been carefully designed and built with a solid foundation. A foundation that is ready for further features to be added. It’s developed to handle rapid expansion and future scale. It can stand alone as a professional market ready product.
You’re not looking for a prototype, you need an MVP.
All day every day we are helping our clients build their MVP’s. We can give you exact pricing and break quotes down to the minute level. We thrive on agile development and will work with you through every iteration of the software.
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We are happy to take all the risk because we are the best in the business.
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