MVP / Lean first methodology is not just for app companies

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Many of you have heard the concept “Lean Startup” or “Most Viable Product”. This is being thrown around as a term a lot in the software industry, but I have not seen it translate much to lead generation and ecommerce businesses.

We get a lot of clients that make decisions in a board room after a long day of spit balling. They come up with a new theory for their business model and simply make the decision to do a massive overhaul to infrastructure before testing first. There is no reason to invest heavily off assumptions when one could test the concept first. Here are a couple of recent relevant examples that I have seen in the last few months that articulate how you could involve Lean Startup methodology to your business.

An Example: Ecommerce Integration – We have a client that is looking to expand their offering. This company has traditionally used the web as a lead generation tool, not a direct commerce transaction. It was decided that they are going to offer a new product line to their website. They then planned internally a massive ecommerce build that will take hundreds of thousands of dollars without even knowing if people are going to buy the product. In this case, my recommendation would be to just throw up a landing page for lead generation and make it appear they are buying the product. Buyers would fill out the initial lead form showing interest to buy, but after they fill out their name, email and phone number, we are going to have a call center person call them up to close the deal and ask questions on why they decided to buy the product. The idea is that if no one is taking the simple tip to filling out the form, which is a really easy-to-convert conversion funnel, then certainly no one would whip out a credit card and buy something either. So, for $10k and 1 month of development and launch time, we can test the theory. If it comes back favorable, we move forward with the full build out. If it fails, we dump it or change up the offering and retest.

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