I have a very basic minimum viable product in a google app, but obviously that won't be scalable for enterprise companies (today's solution requires a lot of handholding on my part - it's not self serve). I'm trying to figure out if I should keep selling the tool or if I should go raise seed money and actually build the end product.
It is a common question in the startup community. Reality is, no major investor will invest a penny if you don't show proof of concept and traction.
If you can sell the mvp, do it, as much as you can. You'll have two very important things to show: first and most important is the market wants/needs what you are selling, and they are willing to pay for it, and consequently that you can monetize it. And second is traction.
If the TAM is big enough to justify an investment, investors will give you the necessary capital to scale your product to enterprise level.
Very difficult to sell MVP to a qualified investor. Maybe another founder in the space. If you can put the $ together to build a beta product, you'll be ahead the game with all options.
It's not clear what you mean by "keep selling the tool", but I'll assume that you mean keep doing what you do now, handling the users semi-manually and not try to grow your user base beyond what you can manage on your own. I will also assume that this MVP generates non-negligible and reliable revenues, otherwise there is no dilemma here, nothing to think about.
Given all these assumptions, I will suggest (and recommend) a third option - find a technical co-founder who will be willing (and able) to build your end product, or rather the next stage after MVP, in exchange for equity.
Many people will tell you it's difficult, but if you have revenues then it becomes much easier.
Anyway, when it comes to apps and websites, you don't really need (or want) investors in this early stage - all you need is a team.
Moreover, without a team you have little to no chances to get funded anyway, unless you are unbelievably well-connected or have like an 8-figure exit under your belt (of course, if you did, you wouldn't ask such questions on forums).
Of course, if the existing revenues are high enough to repay you for you labor and then some, and you are satisfied with the cash flow, and it's not your goal in life to build something big and popular that will have an impact on the world, then you can just leave it as is, why not.
If you had access to raise money, go that route.. However be prepared on the amount of time you are going to spend trying to raise (outside) investor capital and that can become discouraging.
But if you kept selling the tool as it is, you will continue coming up with ways to build and fine tune for a beta product/period.
Does anybody want to buy your MVP? Seriously? They want? Sell it!
Whatever you get, you can make the next one better with that money.
The value you gain out of MVP is less , Convert into Mimimum Saleable Product, Beta launch 🚀
You can get paying customers, which shows value to potential bidders
Don’t and Never Give Up!
Goal of an MVP is usually to answer questions, often about product-market fit, not to necessarily make money.
Some questions I would want answers to as an Investor:
I would say, raise money, build product and then sell it. MVP is just one step above of an idea but it still worth close to nothing.
Yes - keep selling and raise money.