During the production and development of your SaaS product, there’ll naturally come a time when you’re ready to share your idea with the world. The problem is, your application might not be ready, and that’s where a minimum viable product (MVP) comes into play. An MVP is a popular tool used across all business models, not just SaaS applications, and today, we’re going to unpack why MVPs are so crucial to a SaaS application’s success.
What’s an MVP?
A minimum viable product is a carefully crafted version of your application and is considered to be the bare minimum. The MVP only showcases minimum features that are sufficient enough to satisfy early users. It’s a product that holds enough features to gain constructive feedback but doesn’t take too long to build. Showcasing your MVP is one of the best ways to gain user feedback and ensure you’re correctly investing in features that work and eradicating features that don’t work.
Why build an MVP?
There are multiple benefits of building an MVP. Check them out below:
- Validate your ideas = Up until now, you’ve likely been building a SaaS product based solely on an idea in your head. It’s always good to test your idea outside of your bubble, and an MVP is the perfect product to show to a wider audience and help validate your idea. You’ll soon learn if there’s a market for your product!
- Enter the market = An MVP allows you to enter the market from a research angle. You’ll quickly learn whether you fit and whether there’s a big enough demand to sustain your product.
- Save on Time = Building an MVP might take a little time, but the time you’ll save by doing so is tenfold! Without testing an MVP, it’s unlikely that you’ll know which features of your product work and which don’t. Not knowing this means you could waste time building out your application, only to scrap particular areas once you launch. The MVP allows for earlier insights, and you can then avoid spending time on ‘dead’ projects, so to speak.
- Save on Money = In the same way that an MVP can save you time, an MVP can also save you a lot of money. It’s a low-risk investment! Instead of investing in areas of your application that don’t work, you can target the features that received positive feedback during the MVP testing.
- Gain valuable insights = Without creating an MVP and subjecting it to UX testing; you’ll never truly know what works and what doesn’t. MVP feedback provides valuable insights into areas of your product that perhaps you thought were flawless.
- Test new product ideas = MVPs aren’t just for startups; they’re also a great way for fully-fledged SaaS companies to test new features and sample new products.
- Investment tool = Showcasing your MVP to investors is a great way to increase your chances of injecting cash into your project. You would be wise to use this cash to develop your product based on your research findings.
The Aims of a Good MVP
A well-thought-out MVP should be developed following the specific needs of your SaaS application. You should be aiming to engage with, and provide value to, your target audience. At the end of the day, you want the user to need your product. The MVP should be designed with this in mind, so aim to show the benefits of your product in a succinct manner.
Another crucial aim of the MVP is to produce valuable feedback that can be actioned on. All feedback gained should be used to build your product, influence investment, and aid the development team. If you’ve created the perfect MVP, you should be able to build your final SaaS application much quicker with this feedback under your belt. As such, increased turn-around time is a good aim to have.
At What Cost?
SaaS application MVPs can cost as little as $0 to as much as $10 million. In fact, the spending can be endless. However, spending that much isn’t a requirement and how much you spend depends on your skill set, availability, and general business outlook. Spending more doesn’t automatically mean your MVP will be better, so it’s worth noting that your success doesn’t depend on your MVP budget.
Building an MVP for your SaaS application is a great way to conduct market research, refine your development, and get your foot in the market. Not only is it an affordable business strategy, but it’s one that can be used time and time again. No matter how big your application gets or how successful your program becomes, learning how to build an MVP in the early days of your business venture is something you’ll never regret.