With a mission to make accounting and payroll fast, simple, and affordable for American Small Businesses, Patriot Software Company began in the sometimes heated basement of a factory in Canton, Ohio in 1986. Back then, the company had an unusual list of visitors in its office premise, including rats, birds, flies, and snakes! Office walls were complemented by worn out blankets and maxed out credit cards left the company in a state of financial crisis.
“The early years in that basement were very rough, giving me a deep respect for small business owners. I learned first-hand how incredibly difficult it is to start a business from scratch and keep the business running,” recalls Mike Kappel, CEO, and Founder of Patriot Software. After barely surviving past those days filled with bitter experiences, Mike realized his new-found passion to help small business owners.
Delivering Solutions that make the Company Stand Out
Patriot Software offers Accounting and Payroll software that is both simple and affordable. It also provides Time & Attendance and HR software that customers can turn on if desired. “All of our products are fully integrated together and accessible with just one login,” mentions Mike. Patriot consistently receives ratings of high standards, owing to various factors. Contrary to its competitors, Patriots price range is much less and the company proudly displays the fees on its website. Add to that, its free of charge US-based customer support coupled with the simplicity of its software further pushes Patriot ahead of the rising competition. Also, unlike other companies, Patriot does not ask its customers to sign long-term contracts.
Stirring the Secret Sauce for Success
Back in 1986, when computers were comparatively new and programming techniques were rudimentary, Mike searched for a national niche market to address after going through a handful of custom programming assignments. Subsequently, Mike’s research led him into the recruiting industry, which at that time was a very narrow vertical niche industry. For the next fifteen years, Mike and his team of professionals at Patriot Software learned “the secret sauce” for providing software and services to thousands of this small business executive recruiting firms.
“The knowledge gained during this time prepared us to move beyond the vertical niche of recruiting to create accounting and payroll software for small business owners horizontally across many industries nationwide,” Mike mentions.
Making a mark in the Industry
1987 saw Mike and his team earn their first dollar in the market ($235) for creating a piece of desktop software to mass print 1099. Mike’s office wall still occupies a framed copy of the first dollar bill they received. But much like most entrepreneurs, Mike couldn’t see the forest through the trees and did not pursue the payroll industry any further from that point. Instead, he and his team shifted its focus to the recruiting industry in 1988 and created Top Echelon, which today holds the distinction of being the largest SaaS network of Executive Recruiters in the USA. “That’s where we learned how to write cloud-based software and properly service small business owners who demand excellence.”
In 2002, Mike decided to diversify beyond the recruiting industry and created Patriot Software to provide an Accounting and Payroll Software-as-a-Service, which would benefit Small Business owners.
Sacrificing Quantity for Quality
Mike’s 30+ years of experience in business has taught him the importance of not taking shortcuts. He firmly believes in the expression, “When you buy quality, you only cry once,” and aims to stay true to the same.
Mike breaks it down by saying, “Building something of high quality is always costly. But, if you can maintain high quality, you will never be sorry.” Knowing that writing a payroll engine would be a terribly complicated endeavor, Mike was willing to sacrifice short-term customer growth by allowing his Software Engineers to spend as much time as necessary to build their payroll engine with extreme quality.
Sacrificing short-term growth is not a concept embraced by today’s SaaS companies and their investors, who are on a constant lookout for quick profits. “But, Patriot Software is not your typical SaaS company.” The company understands that precision in quality is required to deal with hundreds-ofmillions of dollars in payroll and accounting, which prompted Patriot to deliberately sacrifice “quantity” for ”quality.”
“We self-funded tens-of-millions of dollars to build our award-winning payroll engine, which went live in all 50 states in 2015. People thought we were crazy to spend our own money building our cutting-edge software company in Ohio. But our gamble is paying off because Patriot Software’s 2-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) is 199%… which essentially means that we’re tripling year over year. And our entire operation is poised to scale,” asserts Mike.
Disrupting the Status Quo in the Future
“I very much respect our competitors, but I don’t envy the challenge that’s before them. I would not want to compete with a company like Patriot Software who’s efficiencies are extremely high and costs are very low.” Small Business owners are savvy enough to know the real value of cloud-based software upon using it, which is why buyers rate Patriot’s Payroll with the Best ROI amongst all its competitors.
Patriot Software is quite similar to a well-trained athlete, whom you’ve never seen or heard of before. “An athlete that has been quietly building his strength behind the scenes, very lean and very strong who comes on to the scene and goes off winning.”
To summarize, Patriot’s future lies in disrupting the status quo.