One thing makers praise about no-code app building is that it gives you, or your mobile app development agency, the freedom to "move fast and break things" – especially when it comes to building products.

But this thinking isn’t new at all! In fact, it has driven startup culture for the past decade or so, and has accumulated a lot of fans, and some skeptics too. It’s a part of the theory that makes up the Lean Startup Methodology.

So let’s unpack those principles and see how they apply to your agency!

A Lean Startup? What’s That?

Lean startup is a popular methodology for building a tech company. It has its foundation in experimentation. You build a product that’s stripped down to the skeletal elements, put in the hands of users, and rapidly change things up based on their feedback. The goal is to quickly and inexpensively find out what works, and ruthlessly eliminate what doesn’t work.

Here are some hallmarks of a lean startup:

  1. Lean startups begin with a series of ideas and educated guesses, before investing heavily in research. They list out all the possible features and options, and consider.
  2. Lean startups focus on building an MVP (minimum viable product) with limited features. They take that MVP out to potential users for feedback, and use their insights to inform their product iterations.
  3. Lean startups develop a product incrementally instead of spending months or years building something, simply because they don’t want to risk building something that users won’t like.

By applying these principles, lean startups get up and running quickly and affordably, and have the flexibility to make changes wherever they need to.

Your Mobile App Development Agency’s Lean Startup Blueprint

The lean startup methodology can help your mobile app development agency because it focuses on minimizing three major risks that every startup faces: product / service offering risk (choosing an irrelevant or inadequate service to offer), customer risk (offering a good service to the wrong clients), and business model risk (not paying attention to the operations).

Here are some of the best lean startup principles that you can apply to your mobile app development agency.

  1. List out ALL the ideas

Lean startup thinking begins with coming up with plenty of ideas, educated guesses, and the like. Think about how your agency can create value for clients. Then, instead of drafting a standard business plan, the lean startup methodology uses a ‘business model canvas’. This document should summarize your hypothesis, and outline your plan-of-action.

A comprehensive business model canvas typically includes:

  • A value proposition: This is the concept for your agency, focusing on what problems it solves for its clients. That could be helping them reach a wider audience, or as straightforward as giving them a mobile app faster and at a lower cost than any other alternative.
  • Key activities: List out all the steps your agency needs to take in order to make the value proposition a reality. This could be launching a website, creating an email client list, or setting up a project management system.
  • Key resources: What resources do you need to get your agency’s strategy off the ground. Do you need to hire a developer, or a virtual assistant? Make a note of all of these resources.
  • Customer relationships: Make a note of how your agency will interact with its potential clients to clearly communicate and demonstrate value. Define all the engagement touch points that your mobile app development agency will have with its client base.
  • Client profiles: Identify who your ideal clients are, and group them into segments based on similarities like their mobile app development niche, requirements, goals, or even geography.
  • Costing: Figure out how much it will cost to accomplish your key activities. Identify all the costs you might incur when running your agency. Figure out what your mobile app development agency tech stack looks like and make sure you account for those expenses.
  1. Get ALL the feedback!

The lean startup methodology helps agencies and companies build only what their clients truly want. The goal of getting feedback is to either validate your initial ideas, or to know how to change them.

  1. Get rid of ALL the fluff!

The idea behind running a lean startup is to minimize wasted time, resources, and effort. By focusing on shortening the ‘business plan’ and research activity, this methodology encouraged iterative and collaborative processes for running a business.

  1. Apply the Build–Measure–Learn cycle to ALL your work!

Anyone that is running a lean startup is encouraged to question everything that revolves around their offering – from the relevance of their business idea, to their user profiles, design preferences, and tech stack.

This is important because it helps to eliminate biases, one of the biggest roadblocks to innovation. Lean startups will generally use an MVP to quickly test what’s working and what isn’t, and then apply that feedback to the next version of their product.

If your mobile app development agency commits to constantly sticking to the build–measure–learn cycle, they can optimize their offering, working style, and development cycles.

Wrapping it up

We hope these principles will help you optimize your mobile app development agency and ensure it’s growing and progressing in the right direction.

If you’d like to learn more about building a successful no-code agency, or if you’re interested in being a no-code freelancer, check out the Adalo App Academy to get plenty of free resources to help you navigate the world of no-code app building, business, and more!

Want to know how to sell no-code apps and start a profitable business? Watch this video by Adalo co-founder and CEO, David Adkin on the Adalo App Academy! If you’re interested in other ways to monetize mobile apps, here’s a blog that explains how mobile ads and other monetization tools work.

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