What is “The Minimum Viable Business-MVB”;
The term «Minimum Viable Product-MVP» has been known by Eric Ries, writer of the book «The Lean Startup» (a book that I recommend you to study… not read). This term represents a mindset and not a strategy as we often read in many posts. This mindset, this way of being and acting corresponds to the idea of creating “incomplete” products with the usage of the minimum resources, which are tested into the market aiming at collecting customers’ reactions. So, then, the company can make all the appropriate changes in order to produce a final product that fulfills customers’ needs. A product that offers true value.
MVP is a method which produces innovation with the minimum cost. In reality, it is a method which, we, the project managers, name “stage-gate” or “phase-gate”.
How the term “Minimum Viable Business-MVB” came up
Within the framework of a business coaching I was trying to explain to my customer what MVP is and then he told me: “All these are fine! But I still need money in order to implement my idea. And don’t have even one cen!”
And spontaneously the term “Minimum Viable Business” showed up! I told him: “But ther is the Minimum Viable Business”.
In our days, what an entrepreneur really needs is this new mindset which came up to me as a product of connecting my dots. What she really needs is the mindset of MVB so as to manage her ideas effectively.
What is “Minimum Viable Business-MVB”?
This is what I mean by using this term:
It is the creation of a small business-which has every opportunity to become big-with the minimum money and which can be feasible, it can survive. It can have income from the first months of its operation. But… MVB doesn’t mean I develop a business with zero money!
The Characteristics of the “Minimum Viable Business-MVB”
A prerequisite for developing a MVB is that the entrepreneur is conscious and constantly observant. He should also be aware of the modern business tools and to use them effectively.
- The first characteristic of MVB is the “consciousness”. The person who builds this kind of business should be fully aware of the resources she owns. Most people, when they hear the word “resources” their mind go to the word “money”. But in the case of MVB money come last. The entrepreneur should be focused on her knowledge, on her soft & hard skills, on her professional and personal experience, on her durable equipment that already posses, on her time that wants and can dispose and on the human resources that can have. These are the basic resources of a MVB.
- The second characteristic of MVB is that it follows the agile approach at management level. This means that it uses the methods which are based on repetition and on the stage-gate evolution during the execution of its projects and operations. Via this approach the company can divide its operations into small projects and it can deliver gradually parts of them. This allows the company to react directly and quickly to any change occurs by making all the appropriate adjustments while in parallel it reduces the cost of project implementation.
- The third characteristic of MVB is that it is based totally on business administration best practices. The founder should necessarily make use of Project Management, develop a Business Model, be focused on building company’s brand which is rooted to her personal story and she has to know how to pitch her ideas that take the form of a product/service in the end.
- The fourth essential characteristic of MVBs is that they operate in an H2H-Human to Human framework. The count on theirs founders’ “Why-How-What” and they choose as target-groups for their products/services people that share the same “WHY” with them.
- The fifth characteristic is that they are based on the passion of their founders who has an idea in which she believes and for which she doesn’t afraid to work 24 hours a day. MVBs need hard work!
- The sixth characteristic of MVBs is that they operate in an environment where laziness, misery and fear don’t exist, even as words in the vocabulary of their founders. Instead, will for change and will for taking risks are all over in each phase and facet of their creation and development.
- The seventh characteristic, which is the last one, of MVBs is that they don’t back up their operations and projects with external funding or with “free of charge”. Yes, they can and should be supported by open source platforms which host blogs or websites, or, they can use open courses provided by several carriers in order the entrepreneur to learn all she needs about business. But… only at the first stages of MVB creation. The “Free” concept, by its nature, doesn’t give complete and integrated information and doesn’t provide all the needed services. In order to build a company a serious attitude is needed. Wanting to gain value by offering value to the market, to the customers, requires that you have also to invest a “value” into this project.
Why to Choose to Build a Minimum Viable Business-MVB?
In times of uncertainty it is not needed, even if we have money, to try and implement our full ideas from the beginning.
Everybody should start with a MVB and to go further step by step in order to develop their businesses. Consumer demands are changing, the external business environment varies constantly.
MVB gives the opportunity to entrepreneurs to adapt easily and quickly to the changes that take place. To be effective and efficient from the initial phase of a business creation. At the time when is more critical to take the right decisions and to continue to implement their ideas.
MVB is dynamic! And whatever is dynamic is also evolvable. And the evolution that is based on the qualitative change is the one which keeps people alive, thus and the enterprises.
In other words…
Building a MVB is a project full of challenge, suspense & surprise! When you know how to manage effectively using all the modern business tools, then, you create business models and life models which are “mimic” Nature. And these kind of models never fail!!!
For this reason….
Find what you love to do and then implement the concept, the mindset of the Minimum Viable Business-MVB. Catch the opportunity and create your own viable reality based on your Vantage Angle. This is real innovation and this is the one thing which offers a life with meaning.
Dimitra Zervaki, EMBA, PMP, TTT