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How to Build a Successful Product: A Framework for Entrepreneurs

  • Rating — 5 (6 votes)
  • by Anastasiia Mikula
  • Updated on February 25, 2021
  • Read —
    13-14 minutes

Starting the business from scratch can seem quite challenging. Considerations if your idea is brilliant enough if your revenue will be just the same as you imagine, if your solution is great enough to be competitive in the industry – we can continue to count hesitations forever. Unfortunately, far not all of these outstanding ideas will be turned into life. The reasons are common such as:

  •  low budgeting and resources;
  •  no understanding of modern market and products, etc. 

But how would you know if you don’t try? That is why we would like to present a framework for entrepreneurs that are ready to start but are not sure where to. We know how to lead your idea to realization by developing and launching a highly qualified solution. Go on reading to find out what the main steps for building a successful product are.

Steps of building a successful product

We are not saying the transformation of your idea into a real product is an easy and quick process. It requires much effort, time, and investment. If you are ready to dive into the development process, then this guide is just for you. Keep on reading to figure out how to decrease risky situations and successfully release your custom solution.

The uniqueness of your business idea

You may know that any successful product comes from the idea. The question is if this idea is worth considering and putting into practice. First of all, you need to be sure if your product idea is unique and efficient in your business industry. The market of competitors is wide and has to be researched. Usually, the marketing research is held by the hired team of developers. It gives the opportunity to check competitors, reveal what needs the business industry has and how your solution could resolve them. Consequently, the marketing research will help to build accurate project specifications including its objectives, value, and required functionality. 

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 42% of startup fail because there’s no market need for their services or products

U.S. BLS

If you have a brilliant idea but do not own enough funds to turn it into reality – that is not a big problem. The modern market is full of investors who are ready to provide the required funds in order to get more profit and earnings. Everything depends on the uniqueness of your idea. However, this fact does not mean that your idea should have no competitors on the market. It means that you need to find what features differ your product from others and explain why success is guaranteed according to these differentiators. 

Define your business priorities 

Building a consequent plan of product development is a key to successful launching. Initially, as a client, you need to understand what is the aim of building the solution for your future business and what profit you want to get. Meaning what problems it should resolve, what and how efficiently it will be for developing your business. That is why we recommend the discovery stage for your product that includes a range of features that should be defined on the pre-development stage. Among them are:

  • creation project requirements and fixing them in documents;
  • identifying the needed technologies and developers;
  • estimation within the budget;
  • dividing the project into smaller sprints and scheduled tasks;
  • wireframing and prototyping.

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Discovery stage

Find and hire a reliable team of developers with transparent reports

Due to the incredibly vast number of software development companies worldwide, it is important to keep a clear mind and concentrate on their real experience, availability of transparency of all processes, and a full package of documents for reliable partnership. In case you are cooperating with stakeholders, they usually require setting proper deadlines for developing and launching the solution as any delays can cost them much money and effort. You have to be sure that the team goals fully align with your goals and they understand what is important for you and your company.

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How to hire dedicated developers?
Find more answers to your questions by the link.

Build a detailed plan with the project`s requirements

To consider all project peculiarities, we recommend dividing the entire project into smaller parts or sprints with a detailed description of tasks and responsible specialists for their performance. For separating the product, it is obvious to create a list of strong requirements to detail describe each of them. There are different methodologies of software management, for example, our company uses Scrum methodology that is convenient and suitable for the development of all solution types and sizes. It implies regular meetings to check the development progress like:

  • planning meetings to define what backlog tasks will be performed in the next sprint;
  • grooming meetings that help to review the backlog tasks and decide which ones are at a higher priority to deliver.

Due to Scrum methodology, we divide the entire project into smaller parts, particularly:


Epics
One epic is corresponding to one of the core product functions. Splitting the project into epics provides a more accurate evaluation of development hours and required budget, makes the development process transparent and well managed and helps to define the priority project blocks.
User story
User stories identify the details about each epic ( core function) and include information about what particular epic should contain and what actions should be available to perform.
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Project specifications
We suggest checking out our article about epics and user stories to see the real examples of these project parts.

Estimate all user stories and tasks including the testing stage

As an entrepreneur, you may not have an endless time and budget even with investors as from the beginning the product seems to be quite questionable. The estimation of all product requirements depends on the chosen pricing model.

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Pricing models for software projects
More about pricing models for software projects read by the link.

Our team usually offers an accurate estimation in the way of evaluating the lowest and the highest case of the product, thus, we get an average final sum that will be needed to build the solution. The estimation also depends if you are going to initially launch MVP or the full-fledged product as each of these decisions takes different amounts of effort, time, and money. Along with developing the core functionality, we strongly recommend paying much attention to the testing phase. It helps to reveal any errors in the product workflow and fix them before the release that lets you save resources. 

Know and meet everyone who is involved in your project

Obviously, you hire a dedicated team of developers and fully entrust them with the development of your custom product. Along with the head of the development team, Scrum Master, we strongly recommend you to meet everyone working on your project. In order to provide a productive partnership, you need to see that they feel and understand you and your business requirements as sometimes there is a probability of cultural and other misunderstandings despite the levels of specialists` experience. It is better to figure it out from the very beginning to avoid critical situations in the further stages of the development. 

Be engaged and monitor the development process

Reliable software development companies tend to keep their clients engaged in the development process. Usually, all communications are held by the Scrum Master who tracks the work of the whole team. However, you should also be involved in the process and monitor any updates to avoid confusion and misunderstandings with the hired team. No developer can be engaged in the development of a custom solution more than a client. Here at GBKSOFT, we guarantee constant communication with the Scrum Master and members of the team. We know how important it is to keep our clients informed about project updates. There are different types of meetings that are supposed to report the performed tasks by developers as the successful ending of each sprint shows the real result and helps to plan the following steps in product development. 

Think of keeping up with the new technologies

Innovativeness keeps your company in business. You have to be ready to keep up with the new tech trends that are constantly changing and adapt them into your company’s internal systems. It is important not to miss any technological trend that can boost your organization’s productivity and profit. You risk staying out of business if you do not take measures quickly in order to correspond to modern technologies and implement them into your workflows. And here comes one more tip to consider when looking for a development team is to figure out the technology stack they specialize in and check if the company is growing and going to widen their tech stack further. 

Launching the product

As your product is a brand new solution on the market, we would recommend you launch an MVP or minimal viable product with the basic functionality. It helps to test the product and gather first impressions and reviews from users to find out what options are good and what else should be added to product functionality. MVP also decreases risks and the probability of failure. We also suggest building a launch plan for your product that includes all deadlines and tasks that should be done before the release. 

We also suggest you watch the video where you can hear about the most widespread factors that influence startups’ success.

Maintenance

In order to keep up with the development of modern technologies, your released software product requires changes and upgrades due to the latest tech trends. Obviously, you would like to prevent the need to provide product improvements on your own as you may not have enough resources to make these changes properly. Consequently, we’d recommend you to keep a partnership with the maintenance team that is usually the same team that has been developing your solution. Certainly, you do not need a full team of developers, it is mostly several specialists who will monitor the reputation of your solution and take corresponding measures. Here in GBKSOFT, we have three different packages of product maintenance that involve different numbers of specialists, work hours, and prices. We offer you to have a look at our maintenance services in more detail in the presentation below. 

Enter your name and email to download the file.

How to choose and hire a reliable team of developers? 

So what are the criteria for choosing a reliable team of developers who has vast experience in building custom solutions for all business industries? There are several well-known platforms where you can find all needed information about software development companies and feedback from their clients like Clutch, Goodfirms, and companies` websites. What to look for? We recommend you to pay attention to the next information:

  • how long the company is on the market;
  • what industries the company has experience in;
  • what is the number of current employees and make sure if it is constant to avoid developer replacement during the development process;
  • check the company website including all pages;
  • look or ask for the company`s portfolio to see what types of project they have experience in for sure;
  • check out the technology stack that the company provides and decide if it suits your project;
  • ask for feedback from their clients and the possibility of contacting the clients to find out more about their development flow; 
  • look at the documentation package and if they offer regular reports;
  • ask if the company offers a maintenance team after the product release as this point is a must to keep pace with modern tech trends.
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Related article
Our guide on what to ask developers before hiring is a must-read for you.

Generally, there three types of a development team that are available to hire:


Freelance
This type is supposed to be rather challenging and far not reliable. The freelance industry does not have strict or any rules they follow as they work whenever, wherever, and whatever they want. What do you think is the chance of a transparent development process, responsibility, and regular report about the performed tasks? The answer is obvious. However, if you are a risky person, you can try a freelance team but we ensure that the result will be disappointing.
In-house team
An in-house team implies looking for and hiring developers who are ready to work in your office on a constant basis. This variant is efficient for building the custom solution however this is not really for startup projects even if the budget is vast. And we would like to explain why. Imagine that you need to hire a full team of developers including a Business Analyst, Scrum Master, front-end and back-end developer, HTML\CSS developers, QA specialists, designers. We counted only the basic team members that you will require. First of all, you need to provide research on available developers who are looking for a new team, check their experience (portfolio), hold the interviews, pay salaries that correspond to general market payrolls, provide them with the needed equipment, and many other things to consider. Think of how much you are going to spend time, money, and effort just to create and maintain your own team during which time you could have already developed and launched the product.
Outsource developers
We are not saying outsourcing is the only best variant of developing custom software. Nevertheless, we suppose that this way is a great fit for startup projects. Outsource team of developers provides the same wide range of responsibilities as the in-house team does but takes less effort, time, and consequently money. There is no need to handle a lot of paperwork with hiring each developer separately as an outsourced team is usually formed and offers all required specter of services and specialists. You also have no need to rent an office, buy equipment and worry about the process as you do not have to control everything on your own. However, you need to check the company properly including their experience with startups, available documentation, and code security, etc.

FAQ

When you come with an idea, it is vital to identify what features differ your product from the competitors particularly in your industry. That is why we insist on holding the marketing research that not only reveals what competitors offer but defines the product goals and necessity on the market. Feel free to contact us to provide marketing research for your case.
As we have already mentioned in our article, research and planning are the first stages that lead to product release. However, we think that the first step is to find and hire a reliable team of developers who have experience with startup projects and know where and how to start. We also suggest looking at our portfolio as GBKSOFT has 9+ years of experience in building custom software, including startups.
The duration of the development depends on many factors like:

  • range of product functionality;
  • project`s scope;
  • availability of resources;
  • availability of required budgeting.

To end up

Building a custom product can be challenging and demands much effort to lead your solution to a successful release. Our best recommendation is to plan the development process and follow this plan to the launching. As an entrepreneur, you may have some hesitations and lots of questions about where to start. However, you need to remember that one day your idea can become a successful product. Trusting your product to a dedicated team of developers reduces potential risks and leads your company to a prospective future that will correspond to your expectations. Do not waste your time and start turning your idea into reality at once.

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It is high time to turn your idea into a successful product.
Contact us to discuss the details of your future project.
Anastasiia Mikula Due to my Master`s Degree in journalism, I focus on the details while doing the research on the topic. My particular curiosity is about the latest mobile app developments that start in 2015 that make life easier and save much time to spend it more productive. I am an expert in reviewing and consulting web projects related to web applications, especially if they are connected with wearables.
Alexandra Rostovtseva Being a proficient leader with over 10 years of experience in Project and Product Management, Business Development and Sales, I have strong skills in Negotiations, Crisis, Client and Risk management. Being an outstanding communicator I’m also a good mentor and leader in the tech industry. Experience and expertise are the key foundations in my ability to provide deep insights into the industry and as result I’ve also been published or was a contributor to several tech and business articles.

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