From Concept to Launch: A Guide to Successfully Launching Your Minimum Viable Product
Any business or startup launching an MVP wants to ensure that they get to use their resources in the most effective way possible. With such dense competition on the market nowadays, any wrong move can lead to delays, waste of money, and even result in MVP failure.
To keep that from happening, it's necessary to have a strategy in place to help ensure you will get your product to market fast, on time, and with minimal investment. Read on to find out what should be done before an MVP launch, what a good launch strategy should look like, and what pitfalls to avoid along the way.
4 Things to Do Before Launching an MVP
Set your expectations
It’s important to set realistic expectations for yourself and the team before launching an MVP. You should consider the resources available, the time frame, what you can do and can't, what MVP outcomes can be considered satisfactory, and so on. By doing so, you will also establish clear goals for your project and understand what is achievable in a short-term perspective.
Decide on the launch approach
Choosing the launch approach for your MVP is necessary because it directly affects the outcomes of your project. Normally, companies go with one of the three main approaches when launching MVP apps or a website — soft, hard, and dark launch.
Soft launch — a controlled release of the MVP to a limited audience or a specific location (area, region, market, etc.) to validate business hypotheses and gather user feedback. A soft launch is generally low-key and doesn't involve a lot of advertising or promotion.
Hard launch — this is a full-scale release of the MVP to the market. It involves a lot of advertising, promotion, and public relations to generate buzz and attract users. A hard launch is used when the company is confident that the MVP is ready and can meet the projected demand.
Dark launch — a release of the MVP to a limited audience in a controlled environment. Unlike a soft launch, this one is done "in secret" without any marketing or advertising. The primary purpose of a dark launch is to test the product's functionality, performance, and scalability under real-world conditions before the full-scale launch. It is generally used for complex products that require extensive testing and debugging.
Plan for future updates
MVP launch is the very first stage in the product life cycle. So, apparently, it will require updates and improvements over time. Therefore, before an MVP launch, it's better to come up with a product roadmap that not only details which updates or changes you expect to make, but also the resources required.
Obviously, the project scope may change after testing the MVP and receiving user feedback. However, it's still better to be prepared and know what you'll need to do when changes need to be made.
Define your limits
Before launching your MVP, you also need to set specific boundaries for the project. These include the budget, timeline, and any other resources that are necessary for the project. On one hand, it is important to stay realistic all the way through and make sure that you don't overstretch your project budget right from the start. On the other hand, however, defining your limits will also help you stay focused on the core functionality of your MVP and work to improve that first.
How to Develop a Good Launch Strategy for an MVP
Establish clear goals and metrics
One of the most important steps in developing a good MVP launch strategy is to establish clear goals and metrics. You want to know what the objectives of your MVP launch are and what metrics to use to define whether the product launch is successful.
Let's say, you're launching a website. You want to know the number of unique visitors, and the average amount of time users spent on your website. You want to know the percentage of visitors who leave your website after viewing only one page, or the percentage of visitors who performed a target action. And so on and so forth.
By tracking and analyzing such metrics, you can gain insights into how your MVP is performing and identify areas where user experience can be improved.
Develop marketing plan
The next step is the development of a marketing plan. It should detail how you are going to reach your potential customers, how to market the product, and how to track the performance of the MVP launch. It also has to include all the channels that you're going to use to get your MVP to the early adopters, and relevant metrics that will help to measure the effectiveness of each of those channels. The marketing plan should also outline the projected budget and detail potential risks that your product may come across.
Balance speed and iterations
While one of the main points of MVP development is to act quickly, by no means should speed be an excuse for compromising product quality. The key to a successful MVP launch is to strike the right balance between the speed and iterations you are making. It’s important to take time to test your MVP and make sure that it works smoothly. You don’t want to roll out a product that is not fully refined or optimized for the market.
Test your MVP
Before you launch your MVP, make sure it’s ready for the public. This includes running various types of tests, such as usability, performance, compatibility, load, functional testing, and others.
You can also test your MVP in a controlled environment to ensure that it is working as intended. As mentioned above, if you are planning to go with the hard launch for your MVP, test it on a smaller group of users first (dark launch) to make sure it meets all the requirements you’ve set.
Get ready for everything
All in all, launching an MVP can be a risky venture, so we recommend getting prepared for everything — both positive and negative outcomes. You should have a contingency plan in case something goes wrong and be prepared to handle any issues that arise during the MVP launch.
Remember that even if your launch doesn't go as planned, it doesn't mean the MVP is a failure. In this case, you still have an opportunity to learn from the situation, re-approach the project from a different angle, and move forward.
Top Tips for Launching an MVP from Experts
The success of any MVP depends on a large number of factors, and for obvious reasons, it is almost impossible to list each and every one of them here. However, we can still use some tactics to make sure we can successfully launch a Minimum Viable Product. Here are some tips in that regard:
Have a ROI plan
When launching an MVP, you need to not only have a plan at hand to measure its performance but also understand how the project will be monetized. The Return on Investment (ROI) plan will let you assess the viability of your project in the short and mid-term perspective, and ensure that the MVP will generate enough revenue to allow for future updates. There are several models you can choose from when it comes to project monetization. It can be a freemium model, a subscription-based one, embedded ads, in-app purchases, and others.
Focus on value first, perfection second
Remember that when developing an MVP, your goal is not to make it perfect. The perfect doesn't necessarily mean better, especially in the case of an MVP when your time frames are limited. While the quality of a product should still remain your top priority, polishing out every tiny detail isn’t the best way to go when your budget is really tight.
Your goal is to provide particular value to the users. An MVP should be able to solve a specific problem, allowing users to see the potential of what you offer. In any other case, no matter how polished or perfect your product is, if it can't deliver value (solve a problem), it won't succeed.
Get ready for the presentation beforehand
Attracting investments is a common practice for startups who are rolling out MVPs. So, when the time comes to present your product to potential investors, make sure you get prepared beforehand.
Your presentation should be succinct and clear, outline the key features of your product, include a market overview, and also the ROI projections. Having a well-prepared presentation will help you feel confident and increase the chances of successfully raising funds for further MVP development.
Lunka Tech Experience in Launching MVPs
One of the main areas of specialization in our company is the development of MVPs. We understand that an MVP launch is an important step for any product. So, with each project we work closely with clients to understand their core needs and tailor our MVP app development services accordingly.
At Lunka.tech, we have a proven track record of successfully launching MVP products, which can be seen from our portfolio. Our most recent projects are Bianu — an app that provides useful nutrition tips during pregnancy, Match Fit Pass — a service that is a perfect blend of a telehealth app and a booking platform, KR Taxi — a car booking app designed specifically for the European market, and many more. Get in touch with our team today to learn more about our services and how we can help bring your MVP to life!
When launching product as MVP, you want to have a clear understanding that you're using your time and resources wisely. Having a well-planned MVP launch strategy allows you to focus your efforts on the most important areas of your project, and identify potential drawbacks beforehand. All this, in turn, will allow for faster and more efficient validation of your business idea (via MVP), saving you time and money in the long run.
Hopefully, the tips provided in this article will help you to plan your product development more thoroughly. If you have any other questions on how to launch an MVP, feel free to contact us directly. The Lunka.tech team is always ready to help you!
What is the goal of launching an MVP?
The goal of developing and launching an MVP is to test the viability of a product idea with minimal investment of time and resources. MVPs allow businesses to come up with a basic version of their product, with only the core features necessary to provide value to early adopters. With an MVP you can launch quickly, get feedback from early users, and use that feedback to further improve your product.
What to do after MVP launch?
After your launch MVP, the next step is to gather user feedback to learn about their experiences with your MVP, what they like and dislike, and so on. Use this information to add new features, refine existing ones, and address any issues or bugs. Once that's done, continue gathering feedback and iterating the MVP to ensure it stays aligned with the needs of your target market.
How much will it cost to develop an MVP?
The cost depends on such factors as the complexity of your MVP, the number of features to be integrated, and the development team's rates. In view of that, MVPs can cost anywhere from $5,000 to more than $50,000 depending on the aforementioned factors. To get a more precise number, contact our managers directly, and they'll provide you with an accurate estimate based on the specific requirements of your project.
How to develop an MVP?
First, you need to define the problem that your MVP is going to solve. Then, identify the core features of your product that will provide the most value to early adopters in solving their particular problem. After that, find a reliable development team capable of creating your MVP. Once the MVP is developed, launch the product into the market and gather user feedback to identify whether this product idea is worth investing in.