Defining Your MVP

What is an MVP?

In the software world this means Minimum Viable Product, but essentially it defines the minimum set of features your system needs to have in order to support your business. In business in general, you want to expend the least amount of effort and get the maximum value in return. Doing this means you have more time and energy to put into building your business and serving your clients.

You can apply this same principle to choosing what software to use for your business.

Let’s say you are deciding between 2 different email campaign systems:

  • One gives you a free version that allows you to have up to 2,000 people on your list and offers a few basic landing page templates to choose from. You can upgrade any time to the next level plan which is $35 a month and lets you have 10K people on your list and gives you 50 landing page templates.
  • The other option is $79 a month, lets you have unlimited people on your list, has 1,000 landing page templates, has multiple drip marketing flows, does upsells, downsells, and cross-sells, and integrates with every payment processor out there.

The second option seems like a better value – it’s only $44 more than the basic one and offers so much more. But here’s the rub: you don’t need all that extra stuff right now. Plus the second one is hugely complicated and you will spend hours upon hours going down rabbit holes, searching the help support knowledge-base, watching ‘how to’ videos and posting in Facebook groups asking people for advice on how to use it.

If you’re using the MVP principle, think Minimum Viable! What is the minimum you can put into this and get something of value into market as fast as possible? Looking at it this way, Option #2 probably isn’t worth it. The MVP choice would be to get the free one now, because it’s simple, it’s really all you need, and you can upgrade later when your business is bringing in revenue and you can hire someone to migrate your list for you.

The trick here is to be realistic. Really be laser focused on what you need RIGHT NOW. Get over (or at least ignore) your fear of making the wrong decision.

This approach can save you hundreds of dollars and countless hours of frustration and delays. Make a deliberate, rational decision about what is the minimum you need to do and move on.

You can apply this same logic to nearly every decision you make in your business. It’s especially useful for operational decisions.

So why not get started now? Try making a list of all the different software you use and think about whether you really need them all. See if you can’t put some of them aside for now. Then head on over to the Facebook group and share what you’ve decided to cut out with us.

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