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You’re an influencer, a digital marketer or even a freelancer. You’re any number of of titles as a single-person business and also the CEO, the CFO, the marketing team, and more all in one.
With your ‘solo-preneurship’ comes many responsibilities, not the least of which is payroll. Wearing all of the hats you do as a one-person business, you value your time enough to know you don’t want to be stuck doing hours of manual record-keeping and payroll. Lucky for you, I’ve done dozens and dozens of hours of research over all of the top payroll services for small business owners and found a top option specifically for one-person businesses.
Gusto, a payroll and HR software, is optimized for small businesses. Further into it, Gusto is a cloud-based company that provides payroll, benefits, and human resource management software for businesses in the US. With its most-notable user-friendliness, it boasts some other strong features compared to its similar competitors.
Let’s dive into specifically, why I landed on Gusto has the best option for single-person businesses like my own.
What Is Gusto?
Gusto prioritizes small businesses specifically, and serves over 200,000 of them, including my very own! It’s what I, as a single-person business, use to pay myself a salary and save myself the big bucks on taxes at the end of the year.
Here’s what else Gusto offers that prioritizes my needs, especially as a one-person business:
Payroll: Automatic deductions, filings, direct deposits, W-2s, and 1099s
Employee Benefits: Medical, dental, vision and life insurance, HSA, FSA, and 401(k)s
Onboarding and Hiring: Checklists, offer letters, and more
Gusto Wallet: An employee tool to help them track their spending and save money
Time Tracking: Time-off requests, PTO policies, and simple time tracking
Is Gusto A Good Option?
As a solo-preneur, and any business owner, it’s always imperative to do due diligence in any decision, especially when it comes to deciding on a payroll service. And like any platform, there will be pros and cons, so let’s see the rundown of Gusto.
Gusto appears to be the most affordable option on the market amongst competitors starting at just $46 per month (plus further additional rates for each employee thereafter). The sign up offer is a $100 Visa gift card once your first payroll is run.
User-friendly is an understatement, and Gusto offers services for payroll, employee benefits, hiring and onboarding, and automated tax filing including withholdings, and reporting all in one place. Essentially, Gusto handles all of the repetitive HR and payroll tasks that would otherwise take hours of manual input; time that a single-person business just probably doesn’t have at their disposal.
I also personally appreciate their employee dashboard and they even have a simple time-tracking feature along with time-off requests and PTO policies. It’s the one-stop HR place for small business owners, even with access to other HR experts.
While the pros outweigh the cons (in my most humble opinion), there are some lagging features to make note of.
There have been instances of complaints with their customer service. While I personally haven’t had any issues; even when I had to get in touch with them for moving my business state to state, there have been some events of dissatisfaction amongst other customers. They operate on a business week so some people may prefer weekend support as well which may be a deal breaker for them. Either way, there’s been some history there.
Secondly, it’s not free. I mean, none of these payroll platforms are free and the only way for it to be is to do it all yourself manually but who wants to do that, especially as a one-person business as if your time isn’t crunched as it is.
However, something good to note is they don’t actually start charging you until you run your first payroll. I even recently added a business to my Gusto account and I’m waiting to run the first payroll so I don’t start getting charged prematurely. So while there are some cons, with the dozens of hours I’ve spent researching all of the numerous payroll options, the benefits of Gusto outweigh the negatives for me, personally.
Take a look at my in depth video below for more information.
How Does Gusto Stack Up Against Competitors?
Like I said previously, I have done DOZENS of hours of research on payroll options and Gusto is the one I personally landed on. But it’s worth seeing what the competitors offer too, so here we go:
Probably one of the bigger, and more well-known names is Quickbooks. Also for small businesses, they charge a bit more starting at $50 per month. Important to point out, Quickbooks can eventually be cheaper if you have dozens of employees. But unfortunately, for a single-person business, that just doesn’t matter so it would not be an ideal choice. Disappointingly, the features are quite limited as well, with many requiring further payment beyond the original subscription.
While a competitor, ADP is more prioritized for larger businesses but does actually have a small business version called RUN. As far as cost goes, it requires calling them up and getting it custom-built for your business needs so rates could vary drastically. Similar to Quickbooks, extra fees are not uncommon and can add up quickly. To add one more here, Paychex is a similar competitor to ADP with similar features. Again…not ideal for one-person businesses.
All in all, it came down to user experience and cost for me. Gusto takes the cake in both those arenas, especially for solopreneurs. However, some of its competitors may be better choices dependent on business needs, size, and headcounts.
What You MUST Know About Gusto
Some final takeaways are if you’re a solopreneur making $60k or more in profit each year, odds are you are or will be set up as an S Corp. For more details about S Corps, take a look at my video here. Anyways, as an S Corp, you must have a payroll provider, so Gusto is the top option to keep in mind!
Again, with the dozens and dozens of hours I’ve put into researching each option, as a single-person business, Gusto hits all the marks in a way the competitors simply lack. So if you’re in the market as a solopreneur for a payroll provider, be sure to take advantage of the $100 Visa gift card when signing up right here.