minimum-viable-audience

The Minimum Viable Audience In A Nutshell

The minimum viable audience (MVA) represents the smallest possible audience that can sustain your business as you get it started from a microniche (the smallest subset of a market). The main aspect of the MVA is to zoom into existing markets to find those people which needs are unmet by existing players.

Inside the Minimum Viable Audience

The entrepreneur looking into the concept of Minimum Viable Audience, will be more like an artist. As Seth Godin defined it:

The smallest group that could possibly sustain you in your work…

Seth Godin also further explains:

If you could pick them and needed to delight them because you had no one else available, would your product or service improve? If you had no choice but to ignore the naysayers (they’re not in the group) or the people who don’t think they need you or your work, would that force you to stop compromising and start excelling?

A simple case study to find your Minimum Viable Audience

Let’s apply this concept back to the entrepreneurial world, and let’s search for our MVA.

As a simple example, imagine the case you’re staring a bookstore online. None would find that interesting. At least not today. This idea was already proved commercially viable by Amazon, at the and of the 1990s. 

Therefore, you will need to zoom into the publishing industry and curve out your own niche first. 

For that, the major gatekeeper in the publishing industry can help you out. You can use Amazon search engine to identify your own category. This is only the first step. 

To make the exercise of finding your micro-category viable you need to drill down at least three times to what you might think is a viable audience. 

Drilling down at least three times

Thus, if you start from fiction, this is the process:

  1. Within the several possible categories, pick yours. What about starting from fiction? 
  2. Within fiction you will look for a specific sub-category, perhaps historic fiction.
  3. Within historic fiction, you will look for another specific sub-category, what about historic fiction, focused on Renaissance? 

Now you found your microniche. What about building up the best website/blog about Renaissance Historic Fiction? 

How do you know there is a viable audience for that? 

One simple way, perhaps, is to look at the volume of search in that category, especially for the most known authors (you might be surprised to find out there are micro-stars also within that microniche).

For instance, Johanna Lindsey is a great example of an author that has an incredible engaged following in a microniche. This is an example of how you kick things off and find your Minimum Viable Audience. 

keyword-analysis-microniche

Key takeaways

  • In today’s gatekeeping era, there are many approaches to enter the business world. One way is through the Minimum Viable Audience.
  • With the Minimum Viable Audience, rather than try to do something for everyone, we’ll try to build something exceptional for a small group of people, which needs are unmet by the current market.
  • Contrary to what happens in other markets, finding your Minimum Viable Audience means having a group of people that are willing to sustain and preserve your business as this adds so much value to them.

The FourWeekMBA Business Strategy Toolbox

Tech Business Model Framework

business-model-template
A tech business model is made of four main components: value model (value propositions, missionvision), technological model (R&D management), distribution model (sales and marketing organizational structure), and financial model (revenue modeling, cost structure, profitability and cash generation/management). Those elements coming together can serve as the basis to build a solid tech business model.

Blockchain Business Model Framework

vbde-framework
A Blockchain Business Model according to the FourWeekMBA framework is made of four main components: Value Model (Core Philosophy, Core Values and Value Propositions for the key stakeholders), Blockchain Model (Protocol Rules, Network Shape and Applications Layer/Ecosystem), Distribution Model (the key channels amplifying the protocol and its communities), and the Economic Model (the dynamics/incentives through which protocol players make money). Those elements coming together can serve as the basis to build and analyze a solid Blockchain Business Model.

Business Competition

business-competition
In a business world driven by technology and digitalization, competition is much more fluid, as innovation becomes a bottom-up approach that can come from anywhere. Thus, making it much harder to define the boundaries of existing markets. Therefore, a proper business competition analysis looks at customer, technology, distribution, and financial model overlaps. While at the same time looking at future potential intersections among industries that in the short-term seem unrelated.

Technological Modeling

technological-modeling
Technological modeling is a discipline to provide the basis for companies to sustain innovation, thus developing incremental products. While also looking at breakthrough innovative products that can pave the way for long-term success. In a sort of Barbell Strategy, technological modeling suggests having a two-sided approach, on the one hand, to keep sustaining continuous innovation as a core part of the business model. On the other hand, it places bets on future developments that have the potential to break through and take a leap forward.

Transitional Business Models

transitional-business-models
A transitional business model is used by companies to enter a market (usually a niche) to gain initial traction and prove the idea is sound. The transitional business model helps the company secure the needed capital while having a reality check. It helps shape the long-term vision and a scalable business model.

Minimum Viable Audience

minimum-viable-audience
The minimum viable audience (MVA) represents the smallest possible audience that can sustain your business as you get it started from a microniche (the smallest subset of a market). The main aspect of the MVA is to zoom into existing markets to find those people which needs are unmet by existing players.

Business Scaling

business-scaling
Business scaling is the process of transformation of a business as the product is validated by wider and wider market segments. Business scaling is about creating traction for a product that fits a small market segment. As the product is validated it becomes critical to build a viable business model. And as the product is offered at wider and wider market segments, it’s important to align product, business model, and organizational design, to enable wider and wider scale.

Market Expansion

market-expansion
The market expansion consists in providing a product or service to a broader portion of an existing market or perhaps expanding that market. Or yet, market expansions can be about creating a whole new market. At each step, as a result, a company scales together with the market covered.

Speed-Reversibility

decision-making-matrix

Growth Matrix

growth-strategies
In the FourWeekMBA growth matrix, you can apply growth for existing customers by tackling the same problems (gain mode). Or by tackling existing problems, for new customers (expand mode). Or by tackling new problems for existing customers (extend mode). Or perhaps by tackling whole new problems for new customers (reinvent mode).

Revenue Streams

revenue-streams-model-matrix
In the FourWeekMBA Revenue Streams Matrix, revenue streams are classified according to the kind of interactions the business has with its key customers. The first dimension is the “Frequency” of interaction with the key customer. As the second dimension, there is the “Ownership” of the interaction with the key customer.

Revenue Model

revenue-model-patterns
Revenue model patterns are a way for companies to monetize their business models. A revenue model pattern is a crucial building block of a business model because it informs how the company will generate short-term financial resources to invest back into the business. Thus, the way a company makes money will also influence its overall business model.

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