Ryan Pokrasso graduated from law school with a vision: to have the freedom to help create social change—and he didn’t want to do so working for anyone else.
Partnering with a co-founder, he launched Elevate Law and Strategy, a business law firm located in the Bay Area. “We focus on businesses working toward social good and environmental stewardship, from app developers, to tech folks, to people building schools in Nepal,” Ryan says.
Elevate found its first clients through referrals from family and friends. They still get a lot of clients through word of mouth, but are also working to build their reputation in person and online: actively blogging, great reviews on Yelp, presentations, and networking events.
It's amazing to feel like we have the tools to help people build the things they've dreamed about.
Before starting Elevate, Ryan sought advice from 40 different people to understand what they do and the opportunities for his business. He also read books specific to starting a law firm.
“When I was talking to different people about starting a business, many said hiring a payroll service would be one of the most critical things to get right,” Ryan says. “They said a good payroll provider was important because it’s hard to stay on top of all the submissions to the EDD (California’s Employment Development Department) and the IRS.”
He found the right partner when his research into payroll vendors landed on Gusto: he says it’s simple to onboard new employees or contractors, it’s user friendly, and it fits perfectly with their paperless philosophy. “We’re committed to being eco-conscious — all our papers are limited to one drawer.”
Gusto has great customer service; they’ve been really accountable and upfront about any issues that crop up, and everything gets handled.
Peace of mind, Ryan says, carries a high value. “Gusto has great customer service; they’ve been really accountable and upfront about any issues that crop up, and everything gets handled,” he explains. “We received a notice from the IRS before we even signed up, and Gusto helped us get through that too!”
Ryan recognizes that he isn’t the only one looking for a payroll solution that’s convenient and easy to use. “We recommend Gusto to every single one of our clients who are new businesses.”