Payroll and Benefits for Dev and Design Firms with Chad Pytel

The Payroll and Benefits management space is in dire need of improvement and brimming with opportunity. Listen to Chad describe a business idea that starts in a niche and stands to solve some huge headaches for many growing businesses.


  • Learn what the power is in aiming higher and serving niches that demand better services.
  • Learn how having an audience that emulates your business leads to rapidly scalable revenue opportunities.
  • Love what you do and you’ll never work a day in your life? Chad doesn’t buy it. Understand his distinction between caring about what you do and loving it.

Action Steps:

  1. Do some fact-finding. What are the logistics of providing payroll, benefits, and HR management services? How do these services make money? What are their margins?
  2. Pick a niche and contact HR or management to discover their pains, their willingness to try something new and the value of your solution. Chad suggests working with Design and Development teams because that’s his niche already. You could discover a new niche that works well for you. 
  3. Tip. Contact growing teams of 20 or less that are considering hiring an HR director and propose to save them 80K per year implementing your services instead.
  4. Take advantage of the Q4 open enrollment period when these topics are top-of-mind to start discussions with businesses.
  5. An advantage of working in the design and development niche is that you can focus on smooth attractive interface and robust API where it will be appreciated most. Scale as the most elegant solution to a broader audience from there.
  6. Don’t forget, if things go right, you've got a great potential partner and customer with Chad and thoughtbot.
Follow through on these action steps and email us your results at You'll get exclusive access to a private Facebook group of action takers and one listener will earn a free mentorship call with our guest, and potentially, a business partnership.


Seth Godin on Giant Robots

Chad Pytel is a developer and the CEO of thoughtbot, a web and mobile design and development studio, with small teams of designers and developers in Austin, Boston, London, New York City, Raleigh, and San Francisco. thoughtbot has produced top-quality applications with hundreds of clients, from one-person startups to Fortune 500 enterprises, universities, and non-profits, for more than 15 years, and are the creators of many popular open-source projects. In addition to working with clients, Chad is responsible for overall strategy for the company. He has co-authored two books: Rails Anti Patterns and Pro Active Record, and spoken at conferences around the world. He lives with his wife and two children in Newton, MA.

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Run With It by Chris Justin and Eathan Janney is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.