I took my software idea to a development company and had a working MVP created. It is great to see the idea brought to life and work better than expected. My question is what to do next?
I want to take the next step and turn the MVP into a licensed program and sell it. I am talking with a lawyer now to protect myself and the idea. The development company can't help me with all the business questions that will arise along the way and I will have to raise money in the near future. What should I do? Thanks
As others have suggested, having an MVP is good (well done!), but having (potential) customers is better - and should come first - otherwise how do you know you're building something people want?
So, talk to potential customers. Do they have a problem worth solving? Can your product solve it?
Key things to read:
. Validate Your idea With potential 50 customers. That is run a pilot to validate . Problem and solution fit and product and market fit
Congrats on the MVP. As Satish said below, you need to validate your idea. Get a BETA group and work closely to not only monitor progress but try to get some "raving fans" who use and love your software.
There's so much more to starting and growing your business.
I strongly recommend CoFoundersLab, Start-Up Accelerator program. Big value for any Start-Up or Growing Company. We have live one-hour video conferences for Accelerator members with Q&A and fine-tuning both pitch decks and pitches for capital raise. We are also going to be presenting Companies, when ready, to investors at 1000 Angels. #1 on-online and virtual live program in the world. You should take a look and consider it. Here is the Accelerator landing page with the link to the application: http://info.cofounderslab.com/cfl-accelerator-lp To your success! Steve
Write your business plan.
@CoMar, congratulations on turning an idea into a product. Unfortunately a product is not a business or a plan. This isn't "Field of Dreams." If you build it, they will not come (automatically). All businesses should start with validating a marketing strategy and product-market fit, never with the product. It's likely you will discover a need to re-work your product significantly when you find the answers to all those "business questions" that could have been asked and answered before writing the first line of code.
Don't let that discourage you. I'm glad it does what you expect. But now does it do what other people want enough to pay money for it?
It sounds like your idea may already be known to others. Typically intellectual property protection must begin before you let anyone know what your idea is, otherwise your disclosure, even to software developers, may prevent your ability to do any more than copyright it.
I'm not sure what you'll be raising money for. Investors don't generally give money to advertise a product or to figure out how to sell a product. Investors invest in plans, not ideas or products.
Take a step back and work on your plan. Skipping those first steps in your excitement hopefully won't cost too much time and money to correct. Good luck.
Thank you for the advice. I see a lot of focus on validating the idea. I want to add that I have been in the business that this software is focused towards for many years. It's a very educated answer to problems that are common in this industry.
I want to start beta testing it soon as I know I am protecting myself properly. I have spent years discussing this idea with all types of people to gauge their reaction before I dove in. All very positive.
How can I find help with a business plan? or how can I find a business oriented partner?
You say that you have an MVP
Your next task is to get 10-50 paying customers. Don't worry about getting the price wrong - if you're successful, 50 customers at the wrong price forever is in the noise.
Investors won't pay for early sales people. (For good reason - good early sales people are very expensive.) If you're not willing to do sales, you have to find someone who will, and they'll (rightly) insist on a huge fraction of the company.
Your best bet going forward is to your mvp with high need high value users who have tried similar product but did get solution to their problem or challenge. They are willing to try anything else even if it is completed yet as long as it will solve their problem right away.
This is where your product meets it’s true test.
In my view, instead of legally protecting it, try and test your little one in the market its intended for. Go out and test with the end user and get the feedback.
If you're thinking of protecting it legally, don't do it right now. You don't know whether stands in the market or not. God forbid, if it does not, then you'll waste valuable time, money and efforts for the thing that was not required.
Protect it after you feel its working for the end users and helping them.