Building an MVP is a crucial step for getting your SaaS product off the ground. While most teams who don’t understand the inner workings of building a product might think that getting your foot off the ground will take a large amount of cash, that doesn’t have to be the case.
No matter the size of your company or the amount of money you have access to for building a product, the key thing to remember is that the goal of an MVP is to provide just enough features for your product to be usable. Once people can use it for the purpose you intended then you can take the feedback from the initial trials and use it to adjust your hypothesis.
Startups such as Loop Email have spent $1 million building an MVP, others like Socio have managed to do it with as little as $9,000 and Envoy even managed to build their MVP using only a bunch of free tools.
Nowadays your MVP doesn’t have to be expensive unless you’re building a high-level product. For software, however, in most cases, you can get away with using other free SaaS products to help you. And if you’ve already gotten some financial resources to count on, this helps you avoid making your burn rate too fast.
What Tools Do You Need?
Your MVP is the first viable stage of your product. The first validation of your startup idea. The goals for your MVP are to research your market, build an audience to support your product, and ultimately build and continue testing before you officially launch your product.
To accomplish this you’ll need resources to interview your potential target market and gather information, build a raw version of your product, and promote it to your target market.
When building a product your goal is to solve a problem that someone is having. Your big idea doesn’t mean much if it isn’t something that people are likely to value.
So, the first tools you should consider are tools for interviewing your customers and gathering feedback. Interviewing your audience helps you to validate your idea and find out if your idea is on the right track, or if it’s dead in the water before you even begin planning any more elaborate uses for your resources.
Typeform is a great survey tool for conducting interviews, not least of all because it provides an amazing user interface that’s not as basic as a simple multiple-choice or a fill-in the blanks form. You can pick a custom template to start building your form and then share it via email or embed it into your landing page. Afterward, you can review the results and use them to inform your next decisions about if you’re building the right product.
Product Building Tools (No Code)
After you’ve gotten your feedback, it’s time to start building your mockups. If you don’t have a developer in your team then it’s best to keep it simple. Luckily for you, there are quite a few tools you can use without having to worry about code.
Building your product doesn’t have to be complicated, especially when it comes to SaaS products. Landing pages are an easy way to get your product idea in front of a potential market and Unbounce is one of the best landing page builders available.
Unbounce helps you to build custom high-converting landing pages. The simple approach makes it easy to focus your audience on one goal without the distractions other pages may provide. You can also test and iterate quickly until you can find the right solution.
No-code tools make it possible for entrepreneurs to build apps without coding. Bubble is one of the most popular no-code tools around. It’s visual programming interface and drag-and-drop tools simplify the app building process that makes it possible for non-technical founders to launch their MVPs.
Bubble isn’t just for MVPs either. Its capabilities allow you to scale your product and continue testing after you’ve used some of the other resources on this list to help build your first product.
Get the word out! Having a hypothesis and a test product is great but that doesn’t matter if no one knows about it. Marketing can keep your audience up to date on what’s happening with your product testing activities.
Blogging is a great way to provide updates about your product to your audience and WordPress is a great starting platform for your website or just a blog. With a content management system (CMS) like WordPress, you can start sharing news and educational content that helps grow your audience and attract them to your MVP.
Email marketing is a popular way of updating customers. Get your audience to sign up for updates and deliver them straight to their inboxes. A tool like ConvertKit provides you with the customization that you need to keep your audience updated, put them into different segments, and provide them with relevant information about your product.
With email marketing, you can grow your audience into a community that supports you throughout your product building journey.
Build in Public and Get Feedback
We’ve provided five resources to get you started on building your MVP but there are variations to each of these tools as well.
Also, don’t get stuck building your product in a hidden cave without sharing it with anyone. One of the best ways to get feedback is to build your product in public. Use social media to your advantage and share updates on what you’re building as well. It provides another avenue for you to acquire feedback on your hypothesis until you have everything you need for the next major SaaS product.
Still not convinced you can build your product on your own? At MintBit we can help you using our experienced product development team. Maybe you’ve already passed the MVP stage and need some real developer help to start scaling? Wherever you’re at in your journey we can assist you.