5 Questions with Goodroot’s Amplified Services Leaders
As VP of Launch, Ben Callaghan leads brand development and business-building initiatives that align with Goodroot’s mission, growth objectives, and go-to-market strategies. His ability to understand and analyze complex solutions and identify their broader implications, allows the Goodroot community—and new affiliates and entrepreneurs—to innovate further and faster.
Q: How would you define “Amplified Services” at Goodroot?
A: Entrepreneurs who choose to build their business at Goodroot gain access to Amplified Services—the marketing, product, legal, IT, sales and HR support teams they need to build their idea and scale. It relieves the burden of having to hire talent for those roles. We have a prebuilt team of seasoned pros who are absolute rockstars in their fields. The best part? They’ve got their fingers on the pulse of the market. They know the players, the competitors, the potential obstacles—in and out. Goodroot affiliates have a dedicated team on their side that knows how to position their businesses for success. The idea here is to relieve entrepreneurs of operational tasks, enabling them to focus on nurturing their core business concept and driving growth.
Q: How do you align brand development, business growth, and Goodroot’s mission when working with new entrepreneurs?
A: Sometimes, we have those ideas that are pure innovation—entirely unique. Here, I’m all ears, absorbing the unique value the entrepreneurs bring and translating that into a compelling, meaningful go-to-market brand and strategy. I focus on finding the sweet spot – where business value, customer needs and Goodroot’s overarching goals all meet. Then, we have some businesses where the market’s buzzing with competition. In these cases, I play more of an R&D role, doing competitive analyses and figuring out how we can provide a superior product and customer experience. In a healthcare industry that often feels like a maze, our aim is to redefine expectations—helping entrepreneurs launch user-centric products that make the customer experience smooth, intuitive and enjoyable.
Q: Over the course of your career, you have helped diverse businesses define their growth strategies and differentiate their brands. How does this experience inform your approach to launching new healthcare businesses and solutions in a crowded market at Goodroot?
A: Before Goodroot, I worked at a consulting agency where we focused on building high-performing, purpose-driven companies. We realized very quickly that when people feel an organization is part of a worthy cause, they’re more committed or loyal to the brand. So, we push all the entrepreneurs we work with to look into the future and clearly define their mission and their goals. The question then becomes, how can we use imagery and language as a tool to differentiate our businesses in a crowded market with players that may have the same or similar goals? I’m part of the team that answers that question. We dive deep into competitive research, building the look, the feel and the key differentiators that set us apart.
Q: Working across various functions like product, technology, sales, marketing and brand, you’ve emphasized the importance of user-centric design. Can you explain how this approach enhances the client experience in the context of Goodroot and its affiliates?
A: In customer-focused businesses, user-centric design is your guiding star. It’s part of your DNA. In the healthcare industry, very little is user-friendly—and that’s where the customer experience starts to fall short. At Goodroot, our overarching mission is to improve access to healthcare and lower patient costs. By making it easier for stakeholders to “do the right thing,” we believe we can make a difference. For example, employers have been insanely underserved. They get questionable service from their fully insured carriers and every year their premium costs rise by double digit percentages. They’re faced with the tough choice of having to increase employee cost share or lessen the quality of the benefits they offer. Nobody wins. All our products are backed by user-centric design. For example, with Sola Health, we’ve designed refreshing and intuitive health plans that make the lives of employers easier, and we hold their hand every step of the way, delivering the data, guidance and targeted solutions they need to lower costs, while taking care of their biggest asset—their workforce.
Q: Evaluating strategic partners is an essential part of your role. Can you discuss your criteria for selecting such partners and how this selection strengthens Goodroot affiliates’ standing in the healthcare sector?
A: There are a ton of potential solution partners out there and many entrepreneurs have accepted a ridiculous level of mediocrity. One of the most damaging things a new entrepreneur can do is to sign a contract or spend a ton of money investing in a poor strategic partnership that promises the world. At Goodroot, we’ve created a strategic process for researching, documenting and keeping an inventory—or rating system—for potential affiliate partners. We’ve spent a lot of time learning and networking. Our strategy is to find the right partners for our affiliates and hold them accountable to meet our high standard of work.
Bonus Question: What’s one example of an entrepreneur Goodroot has helped innovate further and faster—beyond what they could have achieved on their own?
A: Joe Boyle, the President of ClearFile at Penstock, was someone who worked in a very niche discipline—regulatory filing—at a health plan. Joe knows everything about regulatory filing, and he came to us with an idea that would transform and simplify the administrative process for qualified health plans. In under a year, we helped Joe launch his business under the Penstock brand, attract clients, build industry relationships and launch a SaaS technology solution. It’s wild. Joe’s story is a great example of how we help entrepreneurs innovate further and faster.