The term “minimum viable product” is thrown around a lot in the world of startups. It refers to the bare minimum features of a product that a company needs for it to be viable instead of just another failed startup idea. Creating an MVP isn’t always easy, but it is a way to bring a software product to the market quickly. Essentially, creating an MVP is necessary for a successful full-scale launch.
Getting user feedback at this stage will help you understand what features are important for your target audience, what features are superfluous, and how to improve it before its release. With an MVP, you can test your assumptions about your target audience and whether there’s enough demand for your idea to make it worth pursuing further.
An MVP testifies that you clearly understand who your users will be and how they will interact with the software. This article explains how to build an MVP for a SaaS startup.
The Minimum Viable Product (MVP) is the initial version of your software that has just enough features to test the viability of your idea. It’s not pixel perfect, but enough to see if people want it or not. An MVP for your startup helps you validate whether there’s a market for your application and whether you have the right process for developing it so that it’s something users want and will pay for.
Your MVP is the version of your SaaS app with just the right set of features, not too many or too few. Just enough features to test whether users want to use your app, how much they would pay for it, and what sort of features they would like to see in the completed version.
Before dedicating loads of resources to the successful launch of your SaaS product, an MVP will help answer these two main questions:
- Is there a demand for this solution?
- And is there a market for it?
That said, here’s how to create a SaaS MVP:
The first step to creating MVP for SaaS software is understanding the different business models available when the solution is complete. Let’s talk about the Business Model Canvas first – it’s our favorite.
This tool enables you to view your business model in a simple and structured way. It answers any questions you may have about your customers, the value propositions offered through various channels, and, more importantly, how your company will make money.
The most popular business models for startups are:
- Subscription – When building a SaaS subscription product, such as custom accounting software, you charge your customers a recurring fee for using your service.
- Pay-per-use – This model charges your customers based on how often they use your SaaS application.
- Hybrid – This is a combination of the two above models. It’s a good option if you want to test different business models to see which works best for your product.
Another important part of your MVP development is understanding your target audience’s profile. This will help you better understand how and why your customers would be interested in your product. You can do this by asking yourself a few important questions:
- Who are your future customers? – Here, define your Idea Customer Persona (ICP). Simply put, an ICP is a perfect customer for your product. Your Idea Customer Persona can be identified by their demographics (age, gender, marital status, occupation, and so on)
- Who would use your solution? – Defining your target audience will help you understand your customers and better tailor your solution to meet their needs.
- Why would they use your product? – You must also understand why your customers would be interested in it. This will help you determine the problem your product solves.
- Where would they use your product? – Knowing where your target audience would use your solution is also important. This will help you understand where to market it and to whom.
- How would they use your product? – You must also understand how your customers would use your solution. This will help you determine its user experience and design concepts
Next, you should understand who your competitors are in the market. Understanding who your competitors are and what makes them successful will help you learn from their mistakes and improve your own product development process. You can do this in a couple of ways:
- Conduct competitor analysis – This will help you understand the strengths and weaknesses of your competitors. This will help you determine if the market really needs your product or if your competitors are meeting the needs of the market. Who are the competitors? Who are the most prominent players in the market? What is their market share? How are they presented on the market?
- Find your competitors’ websites – Website analytics allow you to analyze your direct and indirect competitors. This provides the golden opportunity to see what they’re doing right up close and learn from their mistakes.
All the steps listed above will give you an insider view of the market and who is currently competing with you.
The product roadmap is exactly what it sounds like — it’s a plan of how you will develop and build your product. A roadmap will help you stay organized and on track throughout development.
A roadmap is vital for SaaS businesses because you need to build your product iteratively. This means breaking down your development processes into smaller, manageable chunks.
Finally, once you’ve developed your MVP, you’re ready to launch it and start testing it out with real customers. This part of the process is exciting because you’ll finally get to see how your solution works and start collecting feedback from real customers.
There are a couple of things you need to keep in mind as you’re launching your MVP:
- Ensure you properly promote your product and that your customers know it exists.
- Track KPIs – You need to track everything and make sure you collect as much data as possible during the MVP launch. This will help you better understand how your product is performing.
- Stay agile – You must be ready to make changes to your solution based on the feedback you receive. That way, you can improve your product and meet your customers’ needs better.
The cost of developing an MVP will vary from business to business. However, a couple of factors will influence your MVP development cost:
- The product features – More features will cost more, due to the hours, time, and labor that goes into development.
- The development team – The development team you choose to build your MVP will also impact the cost. You can choose to either outsource your MVP development or build it in-house. In-house teams are more expensive to build and train. On the other hand, outsourced teams tend to have more specialized skills for your particular needs.
While there is no fixed cost for the project, you can get a rough estimate by identifying what tools you’ll use and how the goal of the project will be achieved by the development team.
Remember: The key to launching a startup is
not in the coolness of the idea but in a well-coordinated team. At Broscorp, we have developed numerous MVPs for many different projects. Do you want to make your idea or product profitable? Our experienced team of experts will guide you through the process and help you go live with software products in less than 90 days! Get in touch with us to discuss the idea of building SaaS MVP today.
Alexia is the author at Research Snipers covering all technology news including Google, Apple, Android, Xiaomi, Huawei, Samsung News, and More.