The ACFB Product Roadmap
Follow the progress of our Social Enterprise through the years!
ACFB Product Roadmap
Frustrated by the community mental health system, Ashley looked for better ways of providing mental health support that didn't mean needing the professional to take a pay cut to provide free services after client funding ran out.
The rest of the year was spent researching, surveying, and creating what would become the ACFB Platform and the ACFB Fund.
As documented in our article, "Not All Web Companies Deliver on Their Promises", we go into detail about the New Zealand web company who promised us a working platform in 6 weeks but hadn't started the project in 3 months and the battle that ensued.
Long story short, we were able to recover our money but lost valuable development time and marketing momentum as a result.
This set us back well into 2021 and took time, education, and confidence to trust in outside developers again.
As mentioned above, we took quite a hit both in time and confidence with our battle to win back our money.
We spent 2021 doing research, trial and error, and educating ourselves about the in's and out's of our website.
In September 2021, Ashley's Mother in the US was diagnosed with cancer. She returned back to the US from October 2021 to May 2022 to help look after things and take the burden off the family.
This time ended up being quite fruitful as Ashley spent much of her downtime getting heavily into the building of the platform and fixing problems that had been persisting for several months.
It took Ashley, Joe, and the team until about February 2022 to have a proper working prototype to test with an audience.
Via a couple mentions/ posts on social media, we were able to bring aboard 36 beta testers from New Zealand, Australia, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
Each tester was given our Premium Professional Membership and asked throughout 2022 to give feedback on the look, feel, and function of the platform.
Feeling confident, we launched the platform to paid members with a lifetime offer to those who were willing to take the risk on a small up-and-coming company like ourselves.
This campaign was quite successful and funded the next stage of development for the platform which includes a more cleaner, sleeker user-friendly design, more tools to help therapists and other professionals market their personal practice, the transfer to a multisite design that will direct users by their IP to the appropriate website with professionals only listed from their local area, and the ability to host self-guided courses.
This project has taken from August 2022 (official launch date) into 2023.
The other main focus of the year has been building our Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) so that we are sure to rank for the most important keywords and phrases that people are looking for in the wellness and therapy sphere.
We've increased our Domain Rating into the 50's, focused on building backlinks, and trust flow. We will continue this project ongoing as SEO is something that takes time, patience, and consistency to achieve.
Finally, using what we learned, Joe and Ashley launched a side project called Our Office Online to help therapists who are time-poor or uneasy with technology to take their practice online via the building of social media platforms and website design.
With help from Perpetual Guardian, the ACFB Fund became more than just a dream of Ashley's.
They have been instrumental in helping to set up the charitable trust deed and guide us on how best to apply for charitable status.
In September 2022, the ACFB Fund (without official status) was recognised by the Clyde Graham Foundation and granted $2,000 towards providing therapy to individuals who didn't meet the criteria for other means of funding (ACC, WINZ, etc).
In very early 2023, we will put in our official paperwork for charitable status.
Having had an encouraging 2022, 2023 will be the year of great growth and prosperity for all associated with ACFB.
The finalisation of the ACFB Fund's charitable trust paperwork concluded at the end of 2022 with help from Perpetual Guardian. 2023 will see us apply formally for charitable status for the ACFB Fund. In this endeavor, we will then start fundraising efforts outside of the money raised within ACFB including applying for additional grants and collaborating with other charities that provide mental health support.
On the development side of things, we hope to wrap up our mega list of features/tools to help therapists market their practice.
Once the build is considered complete (well, version 2.0 at least), we will spend most of our time on building awareness and trust in our brand, connecting with other professionals, agencies, and organisations to expand our reputation and reach, and providing personalised attention and support to each member while the platform is small enough to still do so.
We also hope to offer Cliniko (Electronic Health Register) to our Premium Members also signed up with the ACFB Fund by mid next year, depending on the processing times for the charity's status.
Just because the official build will be considered "done" does not mean we will not be continuing to look to add new features. We want to spend 2023 finishing off the original ACFB Platform concept, test it with our members, and get feedback about what features professionals would like to see.
To submit a feature request, please email Ashley directly at: [email protected] with your ideas.