Building a Versatile Growth Platform

Chris Allsopp

By Chris Allsopp - Published June 26, 2024

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When we set out to build Growthware, we faced a multifaceted challenge: How do you build a single platform that not only drives growth for diverse local businesses like yoga studios, general contractors, and HVAC services, but also serves the needs of partners who aggregate these merchants, and the end customers who use their services? This complex puzzle set us on a journey of discovery, innovation, and continuous learning.

Finding Common Ground

We started by recognizing that despite surface-level differences, local businesses - whether they're yoga studios, general contractors, or HVAC services - share fundamental needs. They all require efficient operations, robust customer acquisition, and scalable growth strategies.

This realization led us to focus on core features that serve as the backbone for any local business: robust customer relationship management, flexible scheduling, and seamless payment processing. By focusing on these elements, we've created a solid foundation that serves businesses across various verticals.

Image of Growthware partner portalImage of Growthware merchant portal

Embracing Modularity

While our core features serve most businesses well, we quickly learned that each industry has unique demands. Our solution? Go modular.

Growthware is designed to be highly flexible, allowing businesses to add industry-specific functionalities as needed. For instance, a yoga studio might require class scheduling and membership management, while an HVAC company needs invoicing and estimates. This modularity ensures each business gets the tools they need without being overwhelmed by irrelevant features.

Designing for Multiple Profiles

Another challenge we faced was catering to different user types. Growthware serves three main profiles: partners, merchants, and merchant customers.

To address this, we implemented a consistent design language across the platform while allowing for customizable views and access levels. We've created a fluid platform where actions on one side seamlessly influence another. This interconnected approach ensures that whether you're overseeing multiple businesses, managing daily operations, or booking a service, the experience is dynamically responsive to real-time changes across the platform.

Growthware consumer portal

The Balancing Act

Yet another key consideration of building a versatile platform is deciding which features should be universal and which should be industry-specific. This decision-making process involves a delicate balance of user demand, strategic vision, and technological feasibility.

Prioritizing features that drive significant value across all verticals is generally a safe bet. However, it's equally important to remain flexible enough to invest in niche demands that could potentially deliver value to our customers.

Leveraging Technology and Feedback

AI plays a crucial role in our platform, helping it adapt to user behavior and deliver personalized experiences and growth strategies. However, no matter how sophisticated technology becomes, nothing beats user feedback. 

Continuous engagement with our customers is crucial. This feedback loop not only informs product development but also helps in identifying emerging needs across different sectors.

Looking Ahead

As we continue to evolve Growthware, our focus remains on striking the right balance between universal functionality and industry-specific features. Our product roadmap is a living document, shaped by market trends, tech advancements, and most importantly, the voices of our customers.

At the end of the day, our success is measured by the success of the businesses we serve. When we see a local business streamline its operations or significantly boost customer engagement, we know we're on the right track. These wins drive us to keep innovating and refining our approach.

Chris Allsopp

Article by

Chris Allsopp

Chris Allsopp is an innovative product leader with a proven track record of developing and executing on vision. He is currently serving as VP of Product at Growthware.

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