A Guide on How to Quickly Make an MVP & Fail Early

A Guide on How to Quickly Make an MVP & Fail Early

Prove to yourself that you have a product-market-fit, then enhance

A Guide on How to Quickly Make an MVP & Fail Early
Image by catalyststuff on Freepik

I’ll give you this — This is far by the gloomiest title I’ve written in an article. However, I put a cute kid with a bright background to make you feel safe.

Let’s do this! (Get excited, someone will create a billion-dollar company, and that person might just be you.)

Entrepreneur: “Alright team! Who’s pumped up?!”

Team: “We are! Wohoooo!”

Entrepreneur: “Super, it’s time for business. As you know, our software-as-a-service subscription platform Lovification needs to be built. Tech team, what’s your estimate?”

Tech Team: “Well, we need to create the database, the subscription payment integration, the design, and the UI of the pages. It’ll take around 3 months to build. We will need our designers to work with our writers and developers.”

Entrepreneur: “Umm, alright. I believe in Lovification. The market research is optimistic and the team is super pumped, aren’t you?!”

Team: “Heck Yeah!”

Entrepreneur: “Awesome, cost?”

Tech Team: “Well, it will cost an estimate of $10,000 over those three months.”

Entrepreneur: “Go for it!”

*Six Months Later*

Entrepreneur: “We finally have the website ready. Our estimates are 1000 subscriptions in the first month. We’re ready to launch, but most importantly, who is excited?!”

Team: “We are!!!”

Entrepreneur: “Let’s ace the game!”

*One Month Later*

Entrepreneur: “Alright, our CFO is now going to announce our first month’s numbers to all of you. We care about transparency and we are all super excited!”

CFO: “Umm, are you sure?”

Entrepreneur: “Of course! Listen to the roars of the team!”

*Team Roaring*

CFO: “Okay. We were expecting around 1000 subscribers and we ended up having 16 subscribers.”

Entrepreneur: “Do you mean sixteen thousand subscribers? Ladies and gentlemen, we did it!”

CFO: “No, I mean sixteen subs…”

*The entrepreneur jumps in the crowd for the team to get caught by the team.*

*The next day, this entrepreneur vanishes from public existence.*

*Note: This above conversation and Lovification is imaginary.*

You could have a business or an idea and think of starting a website. This website could be a vital element of your business. It’s where all your signups will be.

However, do not cling to it as the element that will make or break it.

  • “Oh, the website does not look good. That’s why our business failed. If only…”
  • “The website did not have an easy payment process.”

The problem might be that people did not want Lovification as a product and that there was no product-market fit.

Suppose I’d go back in time and give this entrepreneur this article. The timeframe of six months could’ve been decreased to a day. The time of everyone working on this could’ve been used for something else more productive.

This is what this article is all about. I get a lot of entrepreneurs who want to start businesses from scratch and glorify the importance of their websites.

It’s important. However, prove to yourself that you have a market, then build an enhanced website.

During my journey as a business consultant, I’ve come across some tools and websites that will help you create a fantastic website in no time.

Here are the common thoughts that I will address:

  • “I do not have coding experience.”
  • “I want something decent.”
  • “I want the website to be functional.”

Believe it or not, this is the majority of businesses of our time. Unfortunately, entrepreneurs tend to overcomplicate the situation. You sometimes simply need a stunningly beautiful modern website that showcases some elements, allows for signups, and has a shop for purchases.

Shopify is my least favorite.

Simply, it’s because I feel that it’s limited and they charge a monthly fee. An extra cost is not the best when testing out an MVP, I believe that this cost is better spent in marketing for instance.

1. “Wordpress it.”

I advise you to use WordPress. Even if you’re not a coding guru, WordPress is relatively easy to navigate through. However, if you do not believe you can install some easy software elements, I’ll tell you what to do at the end of this section.

2. “It needs to look amazing.”

If most new entrepreneurs need a simple website, then the design is what makes a difference to customers to an extent. However, investing in a UI designer would cost a fair amount of time and budget. So here is what I recommend.

  • Head over to Envato market or Theme Forest (They’re the same thing. But not Envato elements, they’ll try to push you to go there.)
  • Write your industry in the search, and filter “Categories— WordPress.”

For example, if I am looking to create something in NFT, this is what I will see.

Screenshot of Searching for “NFT” in Envato Market

You can surf tons of WordPress themes that look stunning.

Then you can click on one that you like.

Screenshot of Selecting a Theme in Envato Market

Now the most essential part is the button that says “Live Preview.

You will be able to see what the website looks like once installed. Remember, you can easily change anything you see. However, the designers already created this demo that you can use and alter.

A crucial thing to do and not forget is to check it on your mobile for mobile responsiveness.

Screenshot of Live Preview of a Theme in Envato Market
Screenshot of Live Preview of a Theme in Envato Market

If you are settled on it, buy it and install it on your website easily.

I am skipping the part where you buy a domain. You can do that from Godaddy or whatever hosting company you prefer. In almost all cases, you will see that you can simply install WordPress via that hosting provider.

You’ll then navigate to your WordPress dashboard, install this theme you purchased, and install the demo content. They usually have detailed documentation that tells you how to do that.

Now that this is done, you ought to simply change the text, images, logo, and colors to fit your new brand, which is quite a simple task as most of those themes are created by a drag-and-drop editor.

“Alright, but I don’t know how to set up WordPress.”

Okay, here’s what you will do differently.

You will still go to Envato, select a theme, and live preview it. Then you will start a detailed process of documenting what you want to change with what. For example, “Change the first title to Lovification NFTs.”

The more detailed you are about this, the more time-saving it is. (You could also hire a website content writer to write your pages in case you are not the best with words.)

Finally, you will hire a freelancer from Fiverr or Upwork to only install that theme for you and change the content to what you already planned.

Again, this should not consume more than $150 of a budget as it’s a straightforward process that should take 3–5 hours from any experienced WordPress freelancer.

For people interested to sell products through a shop, make sure the theme supports a shop. There is quite a large amount of them that support shops through something called Woocommerce, which will just require you to connect a Stripe, Paypal, or any common payment platform.

Final Note: Envato is pretty good. If you need another inspiration that is exactly the same, then head to Creative Market.

Then I will guide you to my favorite discovery of this year — DevDojo’s Wave (Google it.)

Wave is a pre-built SaaS platform. So you head to it, download the files, and install them easily on your website using their detailed guides.

Here I recommend that you hire someone only to install the files as it’s a coding matter. Yet, it also should not take more than 6 hours with a small budget as the documentation is thorough.

The beauty of this platform is that it is designed for SaaS platforms. So you will be easily integrating Google Sign Up, for example, and payments.

Screenshot of The Demo Website of Wave (DevDojo)
Screenshot of The Demo Website of Wave (DevDojo)

“But how do I change the design?”

They created something called tails for it. It’s a very easy drag-and-drop editor that is quite stunning. You just have to create an account on DevDojo and navigate to devdojo.com/tails/app.

Screenshot of Wave (DevDojo)’s Tails Drag-and-Drop App

Then you can create your own design, change the colors, text, images, logo, whatever you wish. Then Export it in a Zip file where your hired freelancer would just install this easily through their three-minute documentation file in their video tutorial.

Some of the drag-and-drop elements are premium which you can access if you subscribe to their $15 per month platform. Yet, I don’t imagine you need it for more than a month.

I’m Al, a business consultant in Zurich, Switzerland. I believe in the power of delivering value to you, the reader. Follow me on various social media platforms if you’re interested in the value of my content.

Note: I am not associated with Wave, Envato, Creative Market, or any other company mentioned in this article. I do not get paid by them for such an article and never will. I only write to inspire the many entrepreneurs to be out there.

Go to Publisher:

Entrepreneur's Handbook – Medium

Author: Al Anany