"You launch, and you want a million users. That's the startup dream, but it rarely happens.”
In order to take control of your product and take it from the initial stages of developing your business, there are certain steps that must be your main focus.
Not all businesses are the same, and some might find success with different steps, but the following is a robust framework for getting your business off the ground and creating a product that your customers will love.
1. Build the Right Idea
In order to create the right idea, you will need to ask yourself a few questions.
“Who is your target market? How will you scale? What platform will you build on?”
The only way you will be able to answer these questions is by truly understanding your target market. Product-market fit can only be achieved if you are creating something that delivers a solution to your customers by taking away a pain point.
How? Quickly and cheaply. Read The Startup Framework to Validate Your Idea Without Spending $1
2. Define the Scope
By figuring out what is needed in the product beforehand, you will save yourself time and trouble down the road. “It’s more difficult to take out features than to add them.”
When creating any product or platform, start with what is needed for a great user experience. Less is more. You can always add features down the road when the demand is there or when the request has been made.
“The key was to take features out so that you can find product-market fit.”
3. Walk through the User Experience
“Create a sitemap of the application. Dump out all of your ideas then connect the dots. Then make it simple. What is required for the user to accomplish their goals?”
Problems will arise if your user struggles to find answers, buy your product, or use your service. The most important thing you can do is make your user’s experience as simple and beautiful as possible. Not everyone is Internet-savvy, so make sure that the there is nothing on your site or app that will trip them up and leave a bad taste in their mouth.
4. Design the Right User Interface
“How can we accomplish objectives with the fewest steps possible?”
This has a lot to do with growth and scalability.
Having control over your UI is imperative. The fewer steps between a chance in ideation and application of the idea, the easier it will be to scale.
But don't make these mistakes: 3 Reasons Why Your Visitors Don't Convert
5. Lock In Your Build
You can’t go into the building process without being prepared.
Building a product is going into battle against time, money, and uncertainties. It is a test of teamwork and endurance, taking ideas and bring them to fruition.
Being unprepared will be the imminent demise of your project. Have clear steps you'll be following, and well as an agreed-upon methodology for going from start to launch.
6. Start Building the Product
Building a product that delivers value to your users is an immense undertaking that will test you and your team.
The process must be organized, and responsibilities must be delegated to the right people.
The team must keep all of the needs of the user in mind as they create the product. If there is no use or demand for a certain feature, there is no use putting it in. Focus on what matters most to the user.
7. Double Down on Quality Assurance
"We believe this is the most underrated aspect of the entire product development process.”
Communication is of the utmost importance to working out issues and making it possible to solve problems. By addressing - and solving - these potential kinks and bugs, your product will be clean, and your users will have a positive experience that isn’t plagued with issues.
"You don't want the developers doing all the testing. They're expensive, and you want them focusing on building product and features.”
8. Develop for Scalability
To get to the point where scalability is even a concern means that your company is growing. Growth means that you are focused on achieving set goals.
Saying you want a million users is an unrealistic goal if you aren’t laying the groundwork to get to that point. It is one thing to say you want millions of users. It is another to focus and create the right steps to get there.
Instead of shooting for the moon in one jump, take strategic steps that will get you closer to each and every goal.
And instead of focusing on selling a million units of one product, focus on growing your entire company. There is a lot more to simply creating a great product. You need to build a great business to back up whatever product or service you offer.
"We're not building a product; we're building a business.”
Pramod Dabir is the CEO and co-founder of West Agile Labs, a premier digital design and development company that employs over 120 people and has offices in San Francisco, Ukraine, Pakistan, and India.