Nicole Chan spent four years as a management consultant before making the leap to follow her passion for photography. “I love creating images that become family heirlooms,” Nicole says. “I see the way people react to the images I take; sometimes they start crying, and I feel proud and touched by their emotion.”
Nicole shot one of her first weddings in exchange for television speakers. Four years later, Nicole Chan Photography is now a highly sought-out wedding photography studio that captures 80 weddings each year and even photographs clients internationally. Competition is tough, but business has grown quickly.
“The photography market is saturated and amateur photographers are everywhere. But clients are able to differentiate between professional and amateur work. My creative wedding documentary photography style isn't a good fit for everyone, but for those who like what I do, I promise to be exceptional,” says Nicole. “I’m lucky to have incredible couples and families who have chose me to document their lives and relationships. I haven’t spent any money on marketing—it’s all word of mouth.”
Switching was seamless and the onboarding process had the easiest step-by-step instructions I have ever followed.
Nicole dreaded the end of the month. Using a local payroll provider, she found the experience clunky and time consuming; it took her one and a half hours every month to input labor codes and work through technical glitches.
“I was sure there must be a better way to do this!” Nicole says. “I did some research and was impressed by the reviews I read for Gusto. Switching was seamless and the onboarding process had the easiest step-by-step instructions I have ever followed.”
There’s someone on the phone I can actually talk to. I don’t have to jump through a lot of hoops—and that makes Gusto very small business friendly.
Now, it takes Nicole five minutes to run payroll. “Karen and I can do a lot with that extra hour and twenty five minutes! We've been making a distinct effort to work on personal creative projects, so that additional time is really valuable.” Nicole also really appreciates Gusto’s email reminders about running payroll, while her bookkeeper is a fan of their customizable reports.
Nicole values the relationships she builds with her clients; she bonds with them over home-baked cookies and gets to know the families and their stories. Because the photography market is so saturated, Nicole has focused on differentiating herself through exemplary service. “I always think to myself: ‘If I were a bride, how would I want a photographer to take care of me?’”
She says she feels that same dedication when she works with Gusto. “Customer service is fast; I always get a response within 24 hours of emailing. There’s someone on the phone I can actually talk to. I don’t have to jump through a lot of hoops—and that makes Gusto very small business friendly.”