If you’re looking to build an app, you’ve already been told a thousand times you need to start with a great MVP. You want to test the idea first before you invest and potentially lose a whole bunch of money on a bad idea.

When going through the minimum viable product process, there are some definite best practices you want to be aware of. These tips and strategies will help you to learn how to leverage your MVP and get the most out of your startup business idea.

Don’t Start with a Final Product in Mind

This might sound completely backward, but hear me out. The point of the MVP process is to test an idea. You want to invest only what you must to create a product that users can test. The point of this is to use their feedback to design the end product.

But if you already have an end product in mind, what’s the point? The best apps have come from user-driven data. People tell companies what they need and want out of their apps, and the successful ones listen. So let your customers be in the driver’s seat and point your app in the right direction.

Ensure that when you create your MVP, you’re building in areas that will help you capture user behavior. You want to know what people are doing, where they are spending their time, and much more. As soon as you gain some understanding of how consumers want to be able to use your app, make a hard shift to set that in motion.

how to leverage your mvp

The Cheap Comes Out Expensive

There are many, many mistakes you can make along the way that will do nothing more than cost you time and money. The point of building an MVP is to save money, not waste it.

Keep the following tips in mind when you consider how to leverage your MVP:

  • Make sure you have the initial capital to complete your project from start to finish. Don’t jump in and start without funds to finish.
  • Avoid a fixed-price development model when you can. It may seem like a good idea to control your budget, but it can sometimes turn into a nightmare. Your best bet is to hire someone hourly, who is going to be in the trenches with you from start to finish.
  • Consult a business analyst if you’re not heavily involved in this market already. The developer can build your app, but won’t be able to give you critical insight into things like industry-specific requirements and features for an app.
  • Don’t ignore the power and importance of mobile. Some startups make the mistake of building their app specifically for desktops first, just to get something out the door. The reality is that the majority of your customers will want a mobile app. You need to give people what they want, or they won’t use your app.
  • Don’t build expensive features until your customers have told you it’s what they want. Resist the urge to look more established than what you really are and let your customers tell you what they want before you spend more money.
  • Don’t skimp on good automation and architecture that will provide the foundation you need for scalability down the road. This is one area where you need to think big from the onset.
  • Unless you have an experienced internal development team, trying to build the app yourself won’t save you money or time. Finding the right firm or partner to help bring your design to life will almost always save you money in the long run.

To recap, here are the most important things to know and do when it comes to how to leverage your MVP. Let the customers drive the end-product design, and don’t make the common mistakes mentioned above that waste your hard-earned or raised money. Making the most of your MVP will set your business up for a successful future.

Post originally appeared on gojilabs.com.

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