How to Build an MVP and Onboard Your First Paying Customers

MVP development for startups in UK

The last decade was a decade of disruption and innovation, driven by startups. In fact, we have seen an explosion of startups popping up all over the planet, but we only hear about the ones that make it. Failure was often the direct result of not building a successful Minimum Viable Product (MVP).

According to the Global Startup Ecosystem Report 2020, an astounding 92% or 11 out of 12 startups failed last year. Whenever this happens, investors face significant losses that potentially impact the next great idea. 

If you take a closer look at why they failed, it’s usually a case of building digital products that don’t meet the demands of the target audience. 

Why Is MVP Critical to Understanding Your Product Market Fit?

For any business to succeed, there has to be a need for their product or service in the marketplace. To understand if there’s a gap in the market that can be filled by your product, you have to research and identify core features and functions that can solve a problem for your target audience. 

When you build an MVP, your startup is better placed to study the market situation cost-effectively. In this scenario, if your initial idea doesn’t work, it won’t lead to bankruptcy, as MVPs cost much less than a fully-fledged solution.

Furthermore, an MVP helps startups attract more funding to build the final product. Some examples of startups that successfully secured additional funding through MVP development are as follows:

  • Amazon
  • Airbnb
  • Dropbox
  • e-bate
  • Offerd
  • Twitter
  • Spotify

In a nutshell, the primary goal here is to test the product’s viability, cost-effectively.

“By understanding the product-market fit earlier on, you spend less on the development process (saving both time and money),” says Colette Wyatt, CEO of Evolve. “This approach accelerates time to market if your software or mobile apps solve at least one problem for the end-user.”

For example, Airbnb came about when two guys from San-Francisco wanted to start a business but didn’t have enough resources to get by. However, when a design conference came to town, they rented out the upper floor of their residence to people who couldn’t secure a hotel room.

The first incarnation of this billion-dollar company’s app came in the form of a simple landing page with photographs of their apartment. Before they knew it, they had three clients who rented accommodation during the conference, and the rest, as they say, is history.

But not everyone has it so easy.   


What can go wrong with MVP development?

Even if you know how to build an MVP, things can still go wrong. If you don’t have a sound application development strategy that ties everything together, you can run into some unforeseen problems.

Sometimes misplaced priorities lead to failure.

App developers, for example, might start building a product without focusing on the problem they’re trying to solve. In this scenario, the product usually fails during the concept testing phase because there’s no market.

“When the goal is to build an MVP, you should develop a basic product that highlights its purpose,” says Colette Wyatt. “Sometimes startups try to do too much and make an excess of unnecessary features. This often leads to delays and sometimes negatively impacts the user experience.” 

Excessive features also lead to fragmented feedback and miscommunication with users. All these together create nightmare scenarios for startups, especially those that lack experience. When you lack an abundance of time and money, professional expertise is key to startup success. 

For example, e-bate, the world’s first SaaS-based Rebate Management Platform, ran into issues before building and launching their product. The primary issue was that the company struggled to build a qualified software development team within the UK. However, this quickly changed when they hired an extended development team in Ukraine and Spain.

Read e-bate's detailed story here.

Having an established, experienced bespoke software development partner on board provides startups with immediate access to a wealth of expertise, experience, code libraries, and other resources. They will also be able to highlight the hurdles that lie ahead during the brainstorming phase. 

The primary benefit of embracing an outsourcing approach to developing an MVP is access to significant knowledge and experience at a lower cost. British startups, for example, would have to hire a whole team of experts in-house to build an MVP. With the ongoing tech talent shortage, it’s near impossible to compete in the marketplace without extensive financial resources. 

If the founders or internal hires are equipped with some technical expertise, an extended MVP development team is an excellent option as it provides complete control and immediate access to top tech talent. This highly cost-effective MVP development model allows them to scale your team up or down based on present demands. When you don’t have the necessary expertise in-house, nearshore the whole project with an established outsourcing partner. 

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, a final product with core features can only be successfully built with the right strategy and analysis. Most often, this comes with a lot of experience building digital products. 

So when it comes to concept development, prototyping, and testing, it’s vital to go with an established MVP development provider that boasts a proven track record and appropriate resources.

Are you looking to build an MVP fast and cost-effectively to start making money on your software product as soon as possible? Get in touch with Evolve to discuss how we can help!


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