Payroll City wants to get bigger by staying small.
The payroll software provider targets small- and mid-sized businesses as its niche in a market dominated by ADP and Paychex.
The Colorado Springs-based company has redesigned its software - called Sparta 2.0 and launched earlier this month - specifically for small-business professionals. Payroll City has grown 30 percent a year since it was founded in 2001 by Kathleen Fox, who previously worked as a controller and accountant for 13 years at three local businesses. And instead of advertising, the company has thrived on the strength of client referrals.
Fox started the company out of frustration with larger payroll providers over the ability to access her employer's data and a belief that she could "do better." After determining that smaller companies lease software that can't be customized, she and her son, a mechanical engineer, developed the software that is now Payroll City.
The company targets businesses wanting technology that is supported by personal service with "real people," according to the Payroll City website. The company says its culture offers "a friendly, knowledgeable voice on the other side of the phone and a willingness to help that goes way beyond" what competitors offer, according to the company's press release. Fox believes Payroll City's updated, customized software will become the most advanced, cloud-based solution on the market.
"The new version includes upgraded security features, responsive design for easy viewing on any device . and an analytics dashboard that allows business owners and accounting professionals to easily gain critical financial insights," according to Payroll City's release.
"We focused on software functionality: how easy is it for you to stay on a page, without having to go back to (another screen) to enter wages or hours . we try to keep you from having to leave your web page. We want it to be easy." Fox said.
Fox was Payroll City's only employee for the company's first six years, adding her son in 2007 and - two years later - its first employee who was not a member of her family. The company remains a small business - just like the customers it targets - with just nine full-time employees.
"We are here, available readily; we want to be known for our great service," said Fox.
While Payroll City sells its software to businesses nationwide, more than three quarters of its customers are based in the Colorado Springs area.
"Our target market is smaller. And Colorado Springs is our home base," Fox said.