Got A Great Idea? How To Launch Your MVP Business In 2018
In 2018, the minimum viable product (MVP) business model continues to be strongly regarded. Many entrepreneurs – particularly within the tech and lead start-up worlds – are launching businesses using the MVP model with great success.
Discover this opportunity and launch your own MVP business in 2018…
Time & Timing Are Everything In Business
Savvy businesses can save time and money by holding off from building complex products, launching with just the bare minimum required to test a concept.
Time is everything in the startup world, and by launching as soon as you can with an MVP, you can focus on important questions such as “do people even want this?”
Learn from history: many of us can relate to, or know of others, who have already witnessed their idea launched right in front of their eyes.
In the business world, you can’t afford to be late, so don’t waste time building a complex product before you even know whether people want it.
Launching Your Own MVP Business Online
First of all, you’ll need to decide whether you want to build your own website from scratch, buy an existing one, use eCommerce functionality, sell through your social profiles, build an app, develop a tool…. etc.
One or the other may be better for you depending on your technical skills and MVP niche. It’s all about getting your business out into the open as quickly as possible.
Let’s explore some of the popular options…
Build An eCommerce Website The MVP Way
If your niche involves selling a product or service of some kind, you should consider building an eCommerce website to launch your MVP. No longer clunky and expensive, you can get a site up and be running super fast using easy-to-scale templates.
If you have an existing website running on WordPress, you should consider the hugely popular WooCommerce plugin. It’s free, with paid add-ons for extra functionality.
At the other end of the market are tools like Shopify: an easy-to-use and standalone eCommerce platform. It gives anybody with basic web skills the platform to create an online shop straight out of the box. Shopify starts at $29/month, or $9/month if you add it to your own website or Facebook. That is literally all you need to launch your MVP.
When adopting an MVP approach, these out-of-the-box and easy-to-setup platforms and plugins are exactly the types of things you should be using when building out your site.
Don’t Need An eCommerce Platform?
Not all MVP businesses are eCommerce based. If you just require a website to get going, then there are some brilliant options.
One of the most popular, powerful and versatile platforms available for creating websites with is WordPress. We’ve already mentioned it, and we’re sure you already know about it. So we just wanted to highlight how it’s particularly useful for launching MVPs. You can start with a free open source website and build upon it as you expand. You just need to pay for hosting. Begin to add plugins and custom development features as your MVP proves successful.
Another great platform to create your MVP website with is SquareSpace. Again from a very low $18/month, businesses can create “beautiful” websites. In SquareSpace’s own marketing blurb, you get to ‘Look like an expert right from the start.’ This perfectly embraces the MVP ethos: use whatever tools you can to save time and still have a strong launch.
The benefit of hosting your own WordPress website over subscription plans like SquareSpace is that you ‘own’ your website independently of whether or not you’re still paying a subscription fee. Whilst you are launching your MVP, do give thought to decisions you make that may have an impact further down the line.
Buy An Existing Website
Depending on your niche, it may be possible for you to buy an existing website which would in itself act as your MVP.
Sure, your website/product won’t be anywhere near perfect if you buy a website straight off a shelf. But it means you can spend time on more important questions, which is key at this stage in your business’s development. A readymade site gives you a community platform which you can harness for product testing and marketing.
A great example of a brand who used this strategy is Zappos – they started out as Shoesite.com. After testing their concept site as an MVP, and proving it was going to be a success, they rebranded in readiness for future expansion.
Harness The Power Of Social Media
Having a website or eCommerce presence is important for launching 99% of all MVP businesses.
However, for some MVP businesses, it may be possible to launch with very little focus on a website at all. In these situations, the power of social media often creates a strong platform for audience and community engagement instead.
The key social media channels worth considering are:
- Facebook – ideal for B2C discussion and longer content
- Twitter – good for B2B
- Instagram – great for any business with strong imagery
- LinkedIn – B2B industry networking
- YouTube – video blogging content
- Medium – quality long-form content
Social media offers real value when it comes to building social proof. This is one of the key ingredients your MVP business needs to be a success.
By reaching out to your first customers and fans via social media, take the opportunity to build meaningful relationships with them. These fans will be your business’s loyal building blocks and a key to future success.
The MVP model is stronger than ever. We are sure to see many businesses launch in 2018 using MVP strategies, with clear benefits. However, 2018 will also see a lot of these businesses fail.
Whether you choose to buy an existing website or create your own, or perhaps just focus on social media, take onboard the tips in this article. Maximize your business’s potential and give yourself the best chance at launching a successful MVP business.
And don’t forget: just get out there and do something, before somebody else does better with less.
Victoria Greene is a branding consultant and freelance writer. On her blog, VictoriaEcommerce, she shares tips on eCommerce and how companies can improve the way they represent their brand. She is passionate about using her experience to help brands improve their reach.