How to build a professional website: Part 3 – Minimum Viable Product (MVP)
At this point you should have a solid understanding of your site's flow and how users will interact with your website.
You should also have a solid understanding of what your website's look and feel will be. **If you're not to that point yet, and you haven't checked out part one and two of this blog series on how to build a professional website, here's a link to those posts.
The next step in building a professional website is understanding what your business' minimum viable product (MVP) is exactly. But you ask, "what is minimum viable product exactly?". Well MVP is a concept, where you always produce the minimum needed to turn leads into sales. It's also the bare-bones of what you need in order to go live and start returning value on your initial investment. Minimum viable product is an important concept for startup companies as well as large and very formal organizations! -It helps you get the return on your invested capital as soon as possible, and ensures you don't waste time and money building something no one will use.
Example: Let's run through a quick example to demonstrate minimum viable product in a business setting. **If this isn't your business model that's 100% ok! Please try and equate it to something similar for your circumstance.
Here we'll talk about a real estate website: Minimum viable product for real estate website might be as simple as; a main page, a blog, integrations into your social media, and then three or four tabs on your top menu (one for buyers, one for sellers, and one for a contact you page). You notice here, it's very simple! This type of site will show as very clean and professional to viewers. It also will enable you to advertise, differ yourself from competition, and build a brand for yourself very affordably! With a simple and clean site, you have the opportunity to analyze how visitors interact while browsing, and you'll be able to get feedback from them about what works and what doesn't work. Why is this important!? Well, having this information enables you to make better decisions on what features and niches to get farther into, and which features to remove. Meaning you will save a huge amount of time and money!
Bringing it back together
So rather than building out a ton of "cool guy/gal" features you have something clean and simple up front! Something you can start making money from with only an initial investment. While when it comes time for enhancements you know exactly what will work for your viewers and why. This is the power of minimum viable product! It helps ensure you can make maximum returns on your investments, while learning what the market needs of your product in order to increase your investment returns.
Usability in MVP is Everything!
Think of this! Your remote. How many times do you press the "replay" button versus how many times do you press the "on/off" button? Now what makes the most sense if you are building remotes as a company? To only provide the top five buttons people push as an initial product launch (asking for feedback from users after launch on what additional buttons they need), or does it make more sense to build a remote with 50 buttons when users only needed five (realizing this after spending time and money developing the other buttons)? This is the power of minimum viable product! It ensures you get in front of the customers as soon as possible, understand what they need to become your client or customer, and it helps you understand what additional things are needed from you in order to grow your business as efficiently as possible. We hear Joseph Studios use the MVP approach and we highly recommend it to our clients!
So to wrap up blog post number three!
Minimum viable product is a fantastic way to reduce the costs to build a professional website, while also increasing the return on your invested capital (meaning getting in front of clients or potential customers sooner rather than later). Then it's also a fantastic way to test the market and see what works and doesn't work. Helping you remain more competitive.