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Why a Minimum Viable Product is Your Business’s MVP

Regardless of the goods or services you offer, you may find it beneficial to stop thinking of yourself as a general store and to start considering yourself to be a boutique.

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Launching a new business carries with it uncertainty, risk, and no guarantee of success, but a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) is a powerful tool you can leverage to help you determine your relevance in the market you’re pursuing.

Initiating a new entrepreneurial venture requires careful investigation and planning, yet many people launch businesses with no true practical foundation for success. Believing passionately in what you create—the goods and services that you want to be able to offer—is a crucial component for establishing, growing, and developing your business. But mere passion will never address the myriad of factors that need to be examined in-depth before you take the first steps toward bringing your new business idea into being.

Every entrepreneurial undertaking should be tackled by first carefully analyzing your potential market. This holds true when initially launching your business but also later on when you endeavor to branch out into new markets or augment your product line with additional options for consumers. What looks to you like the most incredible idea since sliced bread may fall flat in the harsh reality of the marketplace. This can be one of the most difficult concepts for entrepreneurs to grasp; it can be extremely challenging to disassociate yourself from all the aspects of your business offering you believe in deeply. Your enthusiasm for your ideas can quickly get out of bounds if you fail to remember that whatever you’re offering needs to resonate deeply with the people who will be (hopefully) willing to pay you for what you’ve created.

And yet, many entrepreneurs take the plunge into the business world armed with nothing more than wide-eyed enthusiasm. This can quickly run into the brick wall of the reality that people will only patronize your business if you’re legitimately offering something that enriches or brings value to their lives. No matter how well you package and present your offerings, if they’re ultimately irrelevant to the people you’re trying to reach, your best efforts will be all for naught. This very scenario causes so many people to undertake an enterprise with complete confidence that it will be a smashing success, only to discover that they end up being smashed by the cold truth that no one is really interested.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, approximately 20% of new small businesses end up closing their doors within the first year of operations. It’s reasonable to assume that many of these failures result from the entrepreneur not properly researching to determine the viability of their undertaking. Trend analysis is a crucial component in understanding the nature of the marketplace and your role in it, and various data collection points can help to establish a narrative from which you can draw meaningful conclusions.

A reasonable start is examining conversations occurring in social media circles pertaining to the nature of your business. Look for common themes—repeatedly asked questions or “pain points” frequently mentioned by those looking for workable solutions. Doing so can provide unique insights and identify where there are unmet needs in the marketplace. This can be further augmented by conducting keyword research to see the interest in the services or products you’re offering. There are various subscription-based options to assist with doing this. Some are expensive enough to be potentially off-putting to entrepreneurs just launching their business. Fortunately, there are many affordable alternatives for keyword research, such as Wordtracker, and completely free solutions, including WordStream and Google Trends.

Another prudent investigative step involves garnering feedback from potential clients or customers via online surveys. Using tools such as Google Forms, you can ask pointed questions about what you’re hoping to offer to determine whether people are interested enough to consider paying for it. This can be key in shaping how you establish or modify your business. The feedback you gather may help clarify who you need to target with your marketing, and you may discover that you have better potential to serve a niche market than to try to generate broad appeal. Regardless of the goods or services you offer, you may find it beneficial to stop thinking of yourself as a general store and start considering yourself a boutique. This can help you avoid saturated markets and focus where your offerings have the greatest chance of being well received.

After deriving as much information as possible by using the tools we’ve discussed thus far, the next step is to develop a buyer persona. Suppose you can disseminate the research data that you’ve obtained, dividing it into specific demographic categories. In that case, you can come to understand what your ideal client or customer would be. This can enable you to fine-tune your offering to have greater appeal and relevance and develop comprehensive marketing strategies in a way that deeply connects with your potential clients or customers. 

Once you’ve completed all of this groundwork, the logical next step is to create a tangible incarnation of the product or service you’re offering so that people can observe firsthand what it’s all about. This could occur before you officially launch your business, or it could be a precursor for introducing a new aspect of your operations into the arena in which you’ve already been engaged. The underlying goal of this approach is to mitigate risk, particularly from a financial perspective. Before you pile all of your resources onto a fledgling idea, it’s good to do some validation testing to determine if you’re really on the right track.

This is best addressed through developing a Minimum Viable Product (MVP). On its most basic level, this could be introduced via something as humble as a landing page, which presents a hypothetical overview of your new business or offering. Just as would be accomplished through an online survey, a landing page can be a source of honest feedback about the potential value of your product or service. Rather than simply gathering generic observations, it’s much more beneficial to develop a curated list of specific questions that will help direct the responses people leave on your page. These questions can provide tremendous insight into what you’ve created thus far, offer perspective as to what you need to tweak or enhance, and help you gain a much deeper understanding of how to relevantly meet the needs of your target audience.

A landing page can be a valid first step, but an even more impactful approach is to actually create a tangible incarnation of either the product or service you’re offering so that people can observe firsthand what it’s all about. Before you direct all of your resources and operating capital toward going full-tilt with your offering, an MVP can enable you to offer a prototype that embodies all of the crucial aspects of the finished product. Even if it’s impossible to fully develop your idea to a level of finalization that matches what you anticipate being able to eventually market, doing something on a smaller scale is still worthwhile. 

If you can get your prototype in front of a test group, ideally comprised of a cross-section of those who you envision as potential clients or customers, the feedback you gather will help you to adequately ascertain if you genuinely have something of value to offer to the buying public. This concept must be married to additional efforts once your business, product, or service is introduced to the market. A positive response to your MVP isn’t an ironclad guarantee of business success, so it’s essential to carefully consider pivot strategies that can enable you to further modify your offering if you find yourself struggling to connect with your market once you’ve officially launched.

Blindly pursuing a business idea without a substantive connection to the real world is not prudent. If properly leveraged, a Minimum Viable Product can help you chart your course and prove to be the Most Valuable Player in your entrepreneurial toolbox.


Ready to take your business idea to the next level with a Minimum Viable Product? Let's turn your vision into reality and validate your concept in the market. Visit our website at, to book your power hour session where you’ll meet with ValorExcel staff to get started. Or, call 240-329-9387 or email us at, ✨ Also, don't forget to check our recent videos on YouTube by clicking HERE. Start building your MVP today and pave the way for business success! #MVP #BusinessStrategy #PrototypeTesting #EntrepreneurshipJourney

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