Have you completed MVP testing with the Javelin Board? If you have, then it’s time to improve your minimum viable product. Your MVP has been put to the test by your first customers and passed to your satisfaction. But is this enough? You can and should make it even better as you move forward. A better product or service, after all, means more interested customers and more sales.
How to Improve Your Minimum Viable Product
Throughout your testing phase, you have reached out to niche customer groups. You should have been able to gather quite a bit of information from them. All of their comments and feedback are exceedingly valuable to you as you take the next step to improve your minimum viable product. You will also want to maintain good relationships with these customers and any others that you gain along the way. You may not be able to incorporate all the feedback into your product or service at once. It’s therefore important that you keep in touch with them so they don’t lose confidence in you.
Brainstorm from Feedback
Go through the feedback that you have gathered along with your team and discuss. You want to find which parts of it you can implement, and what will be best for your product or service.
Consider first what is physically and financially possible for your business at this point. From there, rank the possibilities to improve your minimum viable product and talk over which ones will create the greatest hype. You can usually get a hint from how many people requested a similar feature or commented how much better your product or service would be if it had that feature.
Brainstorm with your team to come up with a feature or two that you can put together to release with the next version of your product or service. Keep the others to implement later, tweaking and rearranging as you brainstorm more and gather more feedback.
Once you have chosen your new feature, get the ball rolling on it. Schedule out its implementation with your team, and add new members as needed to get things done. You will want to thank the customers who gave you the idea for the feature. You can do so by offering them a discount or some other token that shows how much you value their feedback. This can encourage others to provide their feedback as well if you choose to make the thanks public.
You will also want to inform the public of your upcoming release. Timing is essential here, so make sure that you have a good marketing team that can help you figure out the best way to reveal the upgrade against your initial product or service. It will always be evolving, so your team needs to be a solid one that can stay on top of things as you continually improve your minimum viable product.
Case in Point: FreeeUp
FreeeUp is an online hiring marketplace that used this very system to attract hundreds of freelancers every week and grow to serve thousands of clients in two short years. At the very beginning, FreeeUp’s MVP was three-pronged. It offered to its first clients eCommerce/Amazon consulting services, courses on Selling on Amazon, and hiring pre-screened remote workers. This service selection was intentionally broad at this early stage. The founders wanted to test how their targeted potential client markets would respond to each offering. It was also a way for these highly experienced eCommerce entrepreneurs to build relationships and gain trust for their new online hiring concept.
Testing the MVP
During the first six months that FreeeUp was operating, it offered these three sets of services to the niche groups of clients that they had identified. These groups included people who were selling via Shopify websites, on Amazon, on eBay, and the like. They learned from these groups where the most value was being added to their business.
Singling Out the Best Focus
At the end of those six months of testing and observation, they determined that hiring experienced eCommerce freelancers was the golden card of the business. Clients were really loving this service and how FreeeUp had designed it to be different from the other available online hiring options out there. Clients were referring their friends to FreeeUp to hire their own online workers and leaving positive reviews online about their hiring experience with FreeeUp. Most of all, they were hiring more and more freelancers from the marketplace to help them grow their businesses.
Growing from Feedback
FreeeUp went wide at the beginning so that the founders would be able to gather more information. The founders were also ready to receive all that feedback and put it to good use. They listened intently to their first customers and made changes accordingly. FreeeUp was then able to provide these clients with the specific services that were adding real value to their businesses. This is a true recipe for success, and these happy clients brought in more clients that were thrilled with the FreeeUp concept. FreeeUp now focuses on connecting the top 1% of freelancers with clients who need specific skill sets and experienced hands.
Start to Improve Your Minimum Viable Product
As entrepreneurs, we are always looking for the next great idea. We should, however, also be consistently looking for ways to improve the ideas that we already have. This includes ideas that we are already successfully selling. A product or service that sells can always be made better to sell better. The best way to choose how to improve your minimum viable product or service is to keep close ties with your customers, learning about their real experiences with it and listening to what more they want from it.