You have an idea, which is how most great businesses begin. You’ve mulled over this idea for a bit of time and now you want to turn it into something tangible—something real. You’re ready to go from the Idea Stage to the MVP stage. Here are five steps you should take to progress to the MVP stage.
1. Identify The Problem
This may seem like a no-brainer because you already have an idea. However, when you’re trying to go to the MVP stage, it’s often crucial to take a moment and take a look at your proposed business. What problem does your business solve, why is it a problem, and what is your solution? By identifying the problem early on, you can ensure that as you build your solution, it is focused on solving that specific problem.
2. Market Research
Research. But why do I need to research? I know my idea is great. You may feel your idea is great (and it just might be), but you need to ensure that other people, who are your target audience, feel the same way. One of the top reasons why startups fail is their target market not having a need for their product. You can create a survey using Google Forms or Qualtrics and send the link to your target audience. Your goal is to understand if your target audience a) agrees that the problem you’ve identified is a real problem and b) would be interested in your proposed solution. You want to avoid the Gymlisted experience, where you put in months of work, only to find you’ve built a solution that no one wants to use.
You may feel your idea is great (and it just might be), but you need to ensure that other people, who are your target audience, feel the same way.
3. User Flow
How will your target audience use your product? You are designing the user flow so that you’ll understand the process that your users will take in order to accomplish the solution you’re providing. That could mean buying a product (Amazon), scheduling a ride (Uber), or playing a song or adding a song to a playlist (Spotify). It may seem to break the experience into simple steps, but this will enable you to visualize the overall user experience and ensure that it’s intuitive.
4. Identify Your Features
Before you start developing, you need to know that you’re developing the core features that are necessary to launch your product. It’s tempting to jump in the deep end and start building features A-Z, but that can waste valuable time and energy and significantly delay your launch. At this step, it’s important to take note of all of the features you may want to have and then choose specific features that you need to have, in order for the product to be functional. If you aren’t sure how to do that, we outline how to define your MVP in an earlier article.
5. Build Your MVP
At this point, you understand the problem, you know the market is interested in your solution, you’ve mapped out the user flow, and you know which features you’re going to prioritize. What’s left? Well, building your MVP. You have all of the structural knowledge you need and now you’re ready to make your idea come to life. It’s time to make progress.