You have an idea to start an online rental marketplace, and you made your business roadmap in the mind. You decide to launch with a bang surprising the people in town.
Hold your horses before you repent it. How do you know people will accept the business idea? How do you know your idea is successful?
To answer these questions, Eric Ries recommends building a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) of your startup to test it with few customers before launching to a mass audience.
But, what is MVP? Let’s clarify things out in this blog post.
What is Minimum Viable Product?
Minimum viable product is the product having minimalist features to build a functioning product for your target customers.
The term was first coined by Eric Reis which he elaborated more in the book, The Lean Startup. Taking a quote from the book:
The MVP is that version of the product that enables a full turn of the Build-Measure-Learn loop with a minimum amount of effort and the least amount of development time.
The MVP product built to validate your business idea with your targeted customers.
How to decide the feature set in MVP?
When making the MVP product of your online rental marketplace, aim at solving the real problems your target audience face in using another marketplace platform. Keep that as an objective.
Here are the steps in choosing the features set to building your MVP
Step 1: Find and Analyze the customer needs
Building a online rental marketplace with user-centric goals can make you build a better product.
To understand the user’s needs, one must research the customers pain points and untalked difficulties they face while using the website/app.
Start with making a list of hypotheses of the possible customer needs and benefits.
Talk to your targeted customers and set an interview with them. Ask their opinion of each hypothesis, such as:
- Tell me about your experience using this app
- How does this benefit you?
- You mentioned using the X feature. Could you tell us more about that?
Through such questions, we can infer in-depth needs of the user for each hypothesis we have created. We would begin to understand it’s value and other expectations customers want.
By gathering insights, analyse and label each customer’s needs based on the ‘important’ and ‘nice-to-have’. Some customer needs are very important and some needs are “nice-to-have”.
Step 2: Create user stories
The user story is the representation of the feature idea along with corresponding benefits.
The commonly followed template when writing a user story is:
As a [type of user], I want to [do something], so that I can [desired benefit].
For instance, if the user story is:
As an end-user, I want to share the property photos, so that I can show it to my friends and family or a colleague before booking it.
If you look closely, you can share the property photos to our friends and social circle on Facebook, Twitter, email, WhatsApp, Instagram, Pinterest or just copy the link to share on other platforms. When creating your MVP product, you don’t need to provide all the social channels for sharing it.
You can start with building one or two social channels, and plan it to add other channels in the next iteration.
By this process of creating user stories, it’s easy to break the features down into small components and prioritizing their importance to implement in MVP.
Step 3: Prioritise the features to build your MVP
This is the most important task of all. After writing the user stories and breaking down into little components, it’s time to prioritize the features as High, Medium and Low.
A simple strategy to prioritize the features as High, Medium and Low based on development efforts and customer value.
If coding a feature takes more development time and regarded as low value to the customer, label them in the 9th box. Likewise, analyze for all features.
This helps in getting a clear roadmap in building the MVP of your online rental marketplace.
Build your MVP and learn from feedback
Start building your MVP product with important and must-have features. And get ready for marketing your product to your target audience.
The first MVP release is the first learning step in your rental business. Customers give feedback based on their UI experience, the functioning of the product, lack of certain necessary features or website performance.
Learn from the feedback and start planning for the next iteration development. Take mistakes into account and strive to build a better product in the next release.
Building your online rental marketplace platform is a challenging and mind-boggling experience. You start with learning the customer needs and their pain points and analyse the benefit of each needs.
You take the entrepreneur step by designing a MVP of your platform and start coding to make a complete marketplace platform. In this process, you learn practically many barriers and limitations in launching your business. And, with our RentALL, designing a MVP product would be much faster.
Hope this blog post helps in the process of your business journey.