Have you been “trying to” launch your website, product, course or business for FOREVER? Today, I want to tell you about a concept that can truly transform your startup journey – the Minimum Viable Product, or MVP. I know, I know another business acronym you have to learn! But trust me, understanding and embracing the MVP approach can work wonders for getting your doula business off the ground and this is especially important for those who are prone to procrastination or maybe have a perfectionism complex. So if there’s a project or a product you’ve been working on foreverrrr but just can’t seem to finish, much less actually LAUNCH… you’ll definitely want to read this blog. So, grab your favorite drink, pen and paper to take notes and let’s dive in!
Let’s start here: what’s an “MVP”?
An MVP or Minimum Viable Product is essentially the simplest, most basic version of your product or service or whatever is it you’re creating- that allows you to test your business idea with the minimum amount of time, money, energy, and stress. It’s not the final, polished, perfect product you envision; instead, it’s your product in its most raw, basic, simple form that showcases your core concept and essential framework.
This isn’t a novel concept; honestly it’s the approach that pretty much all big name companies use.
Real-life examples of an MVP
When I first launched my signature coaching program, Doula Biz From Scratch, it was not the robust, gorgeous, 12-module course portal with bonuses, a podcast, community and a mobile app… that it is now! When I first started out, I knew I had developed a powerful and effective framework for helping doulas build their doula business and I wanted to share that framework with as many people as possible, as quickly as possible, because I was tired of seeing doulas struggle to build their business and struggle to make money. So when I launched DBFS, I just taught my basic framework. It was just a six-week program; no fancy, beautifully edited, professional slideshow videos; really just me with a Google Doc with live coaching calls. I launched the beta tester version, continually got loads of feedback, and let the program evolve and expand over time. People enjoyed the program and got amazing results from it! I refined and upgraded and expanded the curriculum and features over time. This is why my coaching business was profitable from day; I created and launched a program in just a few weeks and started getting clients ASAP.
I shudder to think about what my life and business would have looked like if I had waited until the course was “perfect”. Not only would it have taken years to create a profit (instead of just weeks) but I also think about all the people who would be suffering and stressed AF because they didn’t have access to the information.
The idea is to HELP PEOPLE NOW. And usually what’s needed in order to create real transformation and amazing results in the lives of others… isn’t a lot! Just a few key ideas, well implemented, can absolutely change the trajectory of someones life.
When I first launched my coaching business I didn’t even have a website! I had the MVP version of a website, which at the time was- no kidding- a plain-ass Google Doc! Yes, I had the sales page for the Doula Biz From Scratch program typed up in a Google Doc- no website. That’s what I used for about a year. When someone asked about working with me, I sent them the Google Doc and they could enroll by clicking a link in the Google Doc. I didn’t have the expensive, purdy, 30-page website that I have now!
So my message to you is: quit getting so caught up in how things “look” or thinking you need to provide people with an ENCYCLOPEDIC volume of knowledge and 10,000 worksheets to help them. Keep it super simple and just provide value; give people the transformation they’re seeking, give them the results they want.
Giving people immense value, transformation, and results does NOT have to be complicated, expensive, high-tech, or look “fancy”.
4 Reasons You Want To Create The MVP Version First
1. Well, first of all: Speed to Market!
Building an MVP is quick and efficient. It allows you to launch your core idea quickly and get your foot in the market door before your competitors. Otherwise what will happen is; you’ll have this GREAT, revolutionary idea, but you’re so caught up in making it perfect and polished and super robust that in the meantime your competitor, or several of them, have already brought a similar product to market.
2. Real User Feedback:
With an MVP, you can (and should) gather valuable feedback from real users or beta testers. The data and feedback you get back from them will help you adapt your product, enhance it, and refine it so that it truly suits their needs and preferences. In fact, you want loads of consistent user feedback even when you have an established product! The idea is for your product to get better and better as time goes on. With user feedback, people will tell you what features they love the most, which features they didn’t like or need, etc. With user feedback, you’ll continually recalibrate, reiterate and your product will get better and better over time. Your product should continually evolve to meet the demands of the market. Be sure to give your customers a feedback form; this is an essential MVP tactic.
3. It’s way more cost-effective:
Developing a minimal version is budget-friendly. It saves you from pouring all your resources into a full-scale product that might need significant changes later.
4. Value Creation:
You want to start helping people and adding value to people’s lives today! You have this skill set, this passion, this message you want to share with the world. Well, your job as a nice human is to start helping people NOW. Chances are, you can create real, profound transformation in someone’s life today; it doesn’t need to look perfect or be “complete”. It just needs to get them from point A to point B in the most efficient, simple way possible.
Top 5 Tips for Creating an MVP
1. Identify Core Features:
Focus on the fundamental features that define your product. Strip away all the non-essential elements and concentrate on what truly matters to your users. You don’t need all the bells and whistles; just the essentials required for their transformation to take place.
2. Solve a Problem:
Ensure your MVP addresses a specific problem or pain point. Your product should provide a solution that resonates with your target audience. Get them from point A to point B in the most efficient, simple way possible.
3. Build a Prototype:
Create a basic prototype or a simple version of your app or website or product (whatever it is you’re creating). It doesn’t have to be perfect; the key is: Functionality.
4. Gather Feedback Early:
Launch your MVP to a select group of users. Pay close attention to their feedback. What do they love? What did they think was “missing”? Use this information to iterate and improve.
5. Iterate and Pivot:
Based on the feedback, iterate on your MVP. Don’t be afraid to pivot if the feedback suggests a different direction. Adaptability is key in the startup world.
Overcoming Perfectionism and Procrastination with an MVP
Perfectionism can be a dream killer. We often get stuck in the pursuit of perfection, fearing that our product or service isn’t good enough. But here’s the secret: it’s okay to start imperfectly. In fact, it’s more than okay; it’s necessary. An MVP liberates you from the chains of perfectionism. It gives you the freedom to make mistakes, learn, evolve and grow. Don’t get so caught up in the “aesthetics” of it, the vanity of it; make sure it’s high quality and get your clients great results, in the most simple and efficient way possible. Again, you’re just trying to get them from “point a” to “point b” is the quickest, most efficient way possible. When you do, they’ll love you for that.
Remember, Facebook started as a simple website for Harvard students, and look where it is now! Embracing imperfection through your MVP allows room for innovation, learning, and, most importantly, progress. Don’t let the quest for perfection hold you back. Launch your MVP, gather feedback, and watch your idea evolve and flourish. Your journey to success begins with that very first, imperfect step.
Drop a comment below and let me know what product you’re going to launch the MVP version of. I can’t wait to hear!!
Stay bold, stay creative, and keep building. 🚀✨