How to define and build an MVP

A guide for startups and enterprises on how to build your software MVP or prototype.

April 15, 2023

Your Minimum Viable Product (MVP) demonstrates the core value of the product or service to potential customers

Starting a new business venture can be an exciting but challenging experience. One of the most important steps in building a startup is creating a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) that demonstrates the core value of the product or service to potential customers. The MVP is a crucial first step in the development process, as it allows you to test your assumptions and validate your business idea before investing a significant amount of time and money. In this article, we will explore the key steps to building an MVP for startups and enterprises.

Building your MVP

  • Identify the core problem
  • Prioritise features
  • Develop a prototype
  • Define success metrics
  • Keep it simple
  • Gather Feedback
  • Iterate and improve

Identify the core problem

Identify the core problem and user need Before developing an MVP, it's essential to identify the core problem your product solves and the user need it fulfils. This will help you determine the key features your MVP should have. Research your target audience and their needs thoroughly. Develop user personas and create a user journey map to help you understand how your product fits into their lives. This information will also help you create a product roadmap for future development. This will act as a guide when you talk to prospective agencies and software development companies. It's important to not overcomplicate this step as it can hinder your initial engagement with any software development company. As a custom software development company we want to understand your business, the solution, how it solves a problem and or how its better then its competitors at a very high level.

Prioritise features

Once you have identified the core problem and user needs, prioritise the features your MVP should have. Start by listing all possible features and categorising them into must-haves, nice-to-haves, and can-do-withouts. Focus on the must-haves, as these are the core features that will deliver value to your early adopters. Remember, the goal is to create a product that is functional, usable, and meets the needs of your target audience, not one that is loaded with unnecessary features. Start with the simplest solution and build from there.

Define success metrics

Defining success metrics is critical to measuring the success of your MVP. Identify the key performance indicators (KPIs) that will determine if your MVP is successful. These could include metrics like user engagement, retention rate, conversion rate, and revenue. Define the threshold for success for each KPI and establish a plan to track and measure these metrics throughout the MVP development process. It may be that you just want to ensure the concept works and is feasible.

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Develop a prototype (optional)

The next step (for more complex MVP's) is to develop a prototype of your MVP or a mock up. This can be a simple mockup of your product or a wireframe which shows how the product works and ties together. This can be use-full for a number of different reasons and can act as part of a pitch to investors. The goal is to create something that your potential customers or investors can interact with, understand and provide feedback on. It's optional but can help give you clarity and is easy to do for any good software development company.

Keep it simple

One common mistake businesses make is trying to do too much with their MVP. Remember, the goal is to create a product with just enough features to provide value to your early adopters and gather feedback for future development. Keep it simple and focus on delivering the core features that solve the problem and fulfill the user need. You can always add more features later based on customer feedback.

Gather Feedback

Once you have a prototype, it's time to gather feedback from your target audience. This can be done through surveys, user testing, or by talking to potential customers directly. The goal is to identify what features your customers find most valuable and what changes they would like to see in the product. This feedback is critical to the success of your MVP, as it will help you refine your product and make it more appealing to your target audience.

Iterate and improve

Based on the feedback you receive, you should iterate and improve your MVP. This means adding new features, making changes to existing features, or even pivoting your product based on what you learn from your customers. The goal is to create a product that solves the problem in the most effective way possible, with features and benefits that are tailored to your target audience.

In conclusion, building an MVP is a crucial step in the development of any startup. By following these steps, you can create a product that is designed to solve a specific problem for a specific target audience. Through feedback and iteration, you can refine your MVP and create a product that is more appealing to your customers. By focusing on the core value of your product and understanding the needs of your target audience, you can build a successful MVP and lay the foundation for a successful startup.

When it comes to building an MVP, it's important to choose an established custom software development company that specialises in app or web development services. This ensures that your custom software development project is in safe hands, with a team of experienced professionals who can deliver high-quality results.

An established company will also have a clear pricing structure in place, ensuring that you know exactly what you're paying for and there are no hidden costs. Our company iClickSee based in London, UK are ready to help, book a call to discuss your project, even if you don't go with us we can help you determine whats needed.