For the ones who are not familiar with the term MVP, let us start this article by describing what is an MVP and, its purpose and benefits. In short, MVP is the abbreviation for Minimum Viable Product. Minimum Viable Product in simple terms is a sample version of the final product consisting of the major features of the application or website for testing purposes. An MVP is the most equitable tool in terms of both time and finance to determine the product’s potential.
Importance of an MVP
A Minimum Viable Product or MVP is essential to learn on how well a the product or application serves in the market. This will include the customer reactions, the saleability of the product and the extent of reach the product receives in the market. If all these analyzed data shows a positive impact, it will be a green signal to go on with releasing the final product. It is a simple cycle of building, measure and learning the working and features of an application.
The MVP also serves the purpose of a hypothesis to minimize the possible errors that might occur in the final finished product. The people’s favorite apps like Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and Dropbox are examples of the many applications that first began with a Minimum Viable Product.
Eric Ries is known to be the first who introduced the concept of MVP to the industry. The only purpose behind the concept where a real system is made without making it too elaborate. As the title of the article suggests let’s look into the major points of consideration for 10 startup ideas.
1. Create an E-commerce Store
Create a version of the website using any free zero-investment website building platforms such as Shopify and WordPress. The webshop just has to include the major characteristics of the application for analysis and testing purposes.
Install the analytics code to run on every page of the website to get a clear view of how well the website performs and how the users respond to different pages and products. This will help in analyzing the top-grossing and trending products to keep at the store and vice versa.
You can also get an idea on the interested pages and the way users exit from different pages and the website. Adding different goals regarding the clicks received on the page and for forms will also determine the major interests of the users.
Mobile eCommerce is increasing tremendously online making it the most sought after business option in the industry. As people tend to spend a lot of time over their smartphones, making your MVP mobile responsive will aid in attracting more customers to the website.
Referrals basically refer to the recognition gained through social media pages and influencers. Social media platforms including popular names such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter all lead to a great way of building potential traffic to the website. Contacting social media influencers to showcase your products is another way to bring in attention to the brand.
Applying discount options and coupon codes is another option to invite in more customers via social media.
Using the majorly used online advertising applications such as Google Ads, Facebook Ads, Instagram Ads, Linkedin Ads, etc will be highly beneficial to drive in more traffic in the initial stage.
When a user visits your website, the homepage should be such that it includes a simple yet engaging content to make the user stay on the page and browse through its contents.
2. On-Demand Service Platforms
To create an MVP for on-demand platforms that follow the business models similar to that of Uber and Airbnb, here are a few points to keep a check.
Identifying the core value or operation
This, in simple terms, is to identify the purpose served by the application. For example, Airbnb provides the listing of accommodations based upon the location selected whereas Uber shows a map marked with taxis nearby the selected pickup location.
Build the architecture of the application
Once the core value is finalized the next step is to determine how the application interacts with its users. Let us consider Facebook as an example. The architecture can be broken down into:
- The user registers on the website providing his/ her details.
- The user enters personal information.
- The user uploads photos and videos, edit and posts them.
- The user reacts to other posts (like share and comment).
These points are all taken into consideration by the application to share a customized feed for the user in the next usage.
It can be easy to bring in customers who want to avail the service but it can difficult to attract service providers. Hence, more attention must be given to attract more service providers than on to the customers as the demand should be balanced with the availability of resources.
3. Online Store Building Service Provider
This online webshop building script also follows similar protocols such as the on-demand service platforms.
Identify the core value
This phase not only involves the determination of the sole purpose of the software application but also includes the key features that are to be included in the website.
Create a feature list
List out all the key features to be included in the application in an order of the priorities to include the major features in the Minimum Viable Product.
Set Admin sections
Another important feature is to set admin panels for both the user and the vendor. Since this application is to create an online webshop it is ideal to keep such dedicated admin panel slots to ease the access provided and to manage the system efficiently.
Scope for Future Integrations
Keep note of the possibilities of future integrations that can be brought into the application while creating the MVP. Such bonus features must be highlighted on the homepage.
As we move on the steps to be followed in creating the MVP for different startups will contain similar steps with only the slightest of changes and suggestions acquired from their parent or initial business models.
4. Online Deal Platforms
Groupon is one best example to quote for online deals platforms. This platform works on providing the best in class offers, deals and coupon codes for different brands. Just as we saw in the previous three categories, the very first steps to follow will be:
- To determine the purpose of the application.
- To have a complete idea on the features to be included in the website or the application.
- Analyze the performance of the website and its reach in the public.
Once all these basic steps have been completed, we have the crucial step into inviting and attraction different brands and companies to collaborate with the platform to list their offers and deals. As mentioned in category 2, attracting traffic from the vendors or service providers is always the hectic task as users can be attracted far more easily when compared to them. Hence, just like any other startup a strong marketing strategy that includes the following can be beneficial.
Referrals from social media
- Online advertisements on social media platforms and search engines.
- Post different deals, offers, and coupon codes on your website like blogposts.
Extra info: The best online deals website, Groupon also began with posting its offers and deals as blogposts as an MVP.
5. Online Food-Court
The millennial community is nowadays drifted toward easily accessible food order and delivery systems due to lack of time to cook food at home. Hence, online food courts can be targeted to the millennial audience with its sole purpose of an online food court to be to easily order food from different restaurants online and be delivered at your doorstep. Online Food Court systems can be considered into two categories: an aggregate model and food delivery application with logistics.
The aggregate model works based on the traditional food delivery system. They act as a third party interface between the local restaurants and customers. A user once signup for the application will be able to browse through the various cuisines and prices and ratings of different restaurants encapsulated for the specific area. Once an order is confirmed the details are passed over to the respective restaurant which then takes up the order, processes the order and delivers the dish to the customer.
The second type, the food delivery application with logistics, is a better option for small restaurants and food courts as the application take care of picking and delivering the prepared orders.
Considering these two types of online food delivery model the major points of concern while creating the MVP are:
- Create a user and vendor account space to order dishes and track them and, to add dishes and their prices, respectively.
- Add a secured payment gateway including the major payment gateways.
- An order tracking feature must also be integrated.
- Selecting the right set of audience and targetting them online via social media ads and Google Ads.
6. Become A Social Media Consultant
The face and voice of social media marketing and strategical methods are governed by Social Media Consultants. Starting from preparing creative content, deSigning creatives, campaign management, follower building and managing social media posts all come under the job description of a social media consultant.
The MVP for a social media consultant will include the following key points:
- Gain a clear understanding of the concepts and the working of different social media platforms.
- Learn skills to create more engagement to the social media posts and drive in sales.
- A deep understanding of the client and its area of work.
- Start with the easiest. Begin with finding local clients who work on a limited budget and their requirements might not be sophisticated.
- Determine the rates and financial policies you will be following.
- Determine your niche to work on with larger clients while freelancing.
Every blogging website’s sole purpose is to create engaging content on a certain subject or a generalized topic. While creating an MVP, blogging websites are the easiest and best to easily upgrade to the finished product as blogging websites are less sophisticated as compared to the categories discussed in this article.
As found common in all the so far discussed topics, determining the niche of content to work on is the most important task. For example, we have many top-grossing blogging websites that are inclined to a single subject like health, beauty, fashion, automobiles, DIY, technology, etc.
The other features that can be enabled in the minimum viable product are the provision to like, share the post to external media (such as social media platforms and telecommunication software) and comment.
You can also incorporate provisions to add offers, sections to promote other brands and newcomers and inquiry forms depending on the requirement of the blogging website.
Similar to that of blogging websites, forums also follow a similar architecture of creating the minimum viable product. The extra features that come along way with the selected niche for discussion and the user reaction part, are:
- Create a user section for users to register, post questions for discussion and reply for forums.
- A system feature to start and end a discussion in a defined period of time.
- You can also add separate features to add media such as images, videos, and documents.
9. Build Mobile Apps
Minimum Viable Products have brought in a new wave of preparing the architecture of a product. For example, if you are planning on creating a car model, there was a time till a few years back, where each system was assembled constituting of the different features of the vehicle. With the introduction of MVPs, the architecture setup will start with the functionality of wheels, a cart, a bicycle, a two-wheeler and then a car. Similarly, when it comes to creating a mobile application, a similar system is to be followed.
When it comes to mobile applications, the app should look almost as a finished product to create a fulfilling impact. The major steps are just like the basic steps that include the selection of niche of the app functionality. Once that is done let’s make a short checklist on the main points to be covered.
- Deciding the features you will require in the mobile application.
- Decide on the app design and content.
- Addition of dedicated features that are required for the uninterrupted functioning of the application.
- Additional features such as chatbots, inquiry forms, comment options, social media sharing options, etc can also be included.
- Use AI-based analytical tools to measure the flow-in-and-out of user traffic.
10. Consulting Business
Similar to the concepts as discussed for the category of Social Media Consultants, your website for your Consulting Business also has similar features to be included.
- Select your main area of work. This will help in determining the major features and content that has to be included on your website.
- List your major achievements (without describing much) on the initial MVP website to stay appealing to the visitors.
- Promoting your MVP through social media and paid ads can help in generating ads to the target audience.
- Keep in the analytical tools to measure the potential traffic that comes into the website.