What is “Minimum Viable Funnel” and is it Worth Your Time to Make One?

If you’re ever asked “What is a minimum viable funnel?”, then this article is for you. Here, you’ll learn what a minimum viable funnel is, and how it can benefit your business.

Most entrepreneurs have optimism syndrome.  When we come up with our “big ideas”, we think they’re the best, and we’re “sure” they’ll work UNTIL we act on our optimism too many times, and learn the hard way that’s not the way to go.

How would you like to know soon after you get your “big idea” whether it’s going to sell or not?

Well, guess what?

You can and…

The minimum viable funnel is your answer.

You don’t have to spend alot of money on a website, a prototype, or very much at all with the minimum viable funnel, so you’re probably wondering, “How is that so?”.  Let me explain…If you’d like to see this content in video, check it out here:

Where Did The Minimum Viable Funnel Come From?

what is minimum viable funnelIn their books, “The Lean Startup” and “The $100 Startup”, Eric Ries and Chris Guillbeau both discussed the concept of building an inexpensive minimum version of the full product, then testing to see if you get buyers.

If you get buyers, good for you!  Scale up.

If you don’t get buyers, tweak, and retry on the market.

It can save you tons of cash to attempt the minimum viable funnel method, rather than buying everything necessary to create the full blown product or service, spending lots of advertising dollars, and finding out the idea is a flop.

Instead, why not test it out and let the market give you feedback?

 

The Benefits of the Minimum Viable Funnel

Regardless of how big or small the company is, there’s always room to grow and using the money wisely can enable that, but especially if you’re on a tight budget or schedule, you don’t want to throw money or time away.  The MVP makes sure:

1. You get feedback from the market before you invest

A good idea is not a really good idea unless it is in demand.  As creative or exciting as the idea may be, if people don’t want to buy it, it won’t make you money, and it turns into a business flop.

Before you invest lots of time or money into an idea, it’s best to have feedback from the market regarding whether they like the idea or not.

2. You’re sure people will buy before you invest

If they really like the idea, they’ll buy.  If they say, “Wow. That’s a great idea for someone else to spend money on”, it’s not good enough.  You need proof of concept by way of sales.  When you have purchase orders before your product is created, you have: 1) Money for production 2) Proof your concept solves a problem in the market.

what is minimum viable funnel3. You potentially have money to invest in scaling

With enough sales, you can:

  • Get help with production
  • Provide better quality
  • Market and advertise more so you can get more leads

With the minimum viable funnel, you’re keeping your startup costs extremely low until your concept is proven.  As a result, you’ll save lots of money from flops, and you’re able to allocate money to scaling the business.

4. You don’t wait long periods to find out if it works

Depending on what your idea is, it could take months or even years to make a prototype!  If you create a minimum version of the idea, it could cut down the production time drastically, and enable you to get feedback much quicker.

What does a Minimum Viable Funnel Consist of?

The recipe for a minimum viable funnel will vary from business to business, but in general, the MVP will consist of:

1. A Minimum Lead Generation System

The minimum lead generation system could be as simple as testing the idea out with $5 Facebook ads or search engine ads sending traffic to a WordPress landing page for signup or purchase.  You want to see:

  • How many people would respond to your ads and the copy on your landing page?
  • Does the data prove there’s a demand for the idea in the market?
  • Are people willing to buy?

what is a minimum viable funnelAbove: This is a former iteraction of my homepage that serves as an example of a lead generation landing page

2. A Minimum Lead Conversion System

If you’re an online business, you might feel comfortable having a full lead generation and conversion experience on your website.  An example of a page that serves the dual purpose is here…
what is minimum viable funnel

Almost every page on Amazon serves a dual purpose.  Others, might have “sign up for a quote” or transfer internet leads to an offline setting.  Regardless of which way you choose to convert leads into buyers, you’d want to have this setup in your MVP.  It could be:

Search or Social media traffic > Sales page > Checkout page

-or-

Search or social media traffic > Lead Generation page > Sales/Conversion personnel phone call

For example, let’s say your idea is a women’s dress design.  You can create a mockup on Photoshop or have someone help you with that, create a landing page on your website using an e-commerce plugin like Woocommerce, or using a landing page plugin like Thrive Architect.  Then, you’d setup ads to drive traffic, and see whether or not you acquire buyers. The market will speak.

Each industry is going to have a relatively different standard and different customer expectations, and you’ll want to translate that into your MVP.  For me, I use Thrive Themes for landing pages (including sales pages) and I choose my advertising based on my campaign goals.

You can always get digital marketing training (you can get started free!)

what is minimum viable funnel3. Client Fulfillment System

You’ll want to have a way that you will deliver the expected goods or services to the customer.  In the beginning, you may provide streamlined product and as the proof of concept becomes clear, you can add more quality, but the idea of the MVP is to startup with a minimum version.

4. What About the Other Business Components?

While I’m a proponent of having all 7 business systems in place for a full business, the MVP is simply a product/service test to see if you can scale your concept into a business or product line.  The other business systems such as the branding system, management system, leadership system, and job prototypes can be worked more after the concept is proven.

Final Words answering What is Minimum Viable Funnel?

The goal of this article was to show what is minimum viable funnel?  This concept can really save you loads of money and time in your business if it’s used properly.  If you have questions or concerns about this, don’t hesitate to leave them in the comments section.  I’d love to help you out!

If you would like to get more tips on setting up your minimum viable funnel, check out my free e-course. It’s a framework to grow a business from idea to enterprise. Plus there’s my invitation to get help setting up your minimum viable funnel there. Check out the free e-course and you’ll see what I mean.

Now, it’s Your Turn…

Have you invested too much money in an idea that flopped?  What was your experience?  What are you thoughts on minimum viable funnels?  Leave your comments below.

4 thoughts on “What is “Minimum Viable Funnel” and is it Worth Your Time to Make One?”

  1. Emmanuel Buysse

    This is a post which will really help me, and many other people along us, since I have the feeling people look to the content, but they don’t buy it.

    Maybe it is because my traffic isn’t too much yet, but with this post, I might consider invest a bit in my site, so what I think about this Minimum Viable Funnel,, is that it can really worth the time and effort!

    1. Emmanuel, you really can’t work too hard on conversions without traffic, so if you’re in the phase where you’re working on the traffic, you may want to focus on that. If you want to prepare early for the traffic by setting up your funnel, go for it. You won’t get the full benefit though until your traffic has ramped up.

  2. Hi Tiffany,

    I have never heard of an MVP before.  I know that a lot of corporations perform surveys and product testing before releasing products, but I never thought of using it to scale the profitability for an online business.  I think it’s a great idea to avoid wasting a ton of time and effort building a site that you think would be profitable, only to find out you can’t get traffic, or, that your commission isn’t worth your effort.  

    I’m definitely going to start implementing this strategy into my own online business efforts to test out different ideas.  Thanks for the tip!! I look forward to reading more of your blog posts.  You really provide value to those of us trying to grind it through this crazy online world! 

    1. Hi Nicki! I’m glad I was able to introduce you to something new. The point behind the MVP is to save you money and time. Try it out and stop back by to let us know how it works out for you!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *