Taylor Davidson · Tools I use to run a solo online business

Here's how I run a solo business on the web

Here are the important tools I use to run Foresight and make a living by running a solo online business.

I’ve been building things online for over a decade and all of these tools are valuable parts of the infrastructure behind my business. (Yes, a couple affiliate links are included, but these are tools I actually use to run my business). Enjoy. [1]

Ecommerce: Gumroad

gumroad.com - Free + % of transactions

I’ve tested every ecommerce product out there, and everything has pros and cons, applicable usecases, and infrastructure requirements. I’ll just say this: given that I sell digital products and that seamless digital product fulfillment, ease of use, management of taxes and VAT, and that I build my site using a flat-file CMS called Statamic, and do all site design, development, and deployment myself, Gumroad works for me. I’ve used Gumroad for over $230k in sales, so it’s been an important part of my business. Other options to check out include Selz, Paddle, and Snipcart, as well as the hosted services like Shopify and of course, the payments platform Stripe. One way to see a ton of different ecommerce platforms is to look through the list of ecommerce solutions that use Stripe.

Newsletter: Gumroad

I used Mailchimp for years and it was a key part to making my business run. I’ve worked with many businesses and used Klaviyo, Sendgrid, ConvertKit, EmailOctopus, Buttondown, and others, but currently, I use Gumroad’s native email product to run most of my email campaigns.

Time Tracking and Invoicing: Harvest

getharvest.com - $12/month +

I track how I spend my time because I want to understand the return on my investment into creating products, marketing, customer service, and other activities. Harvest is also great for tracking and invoicing my client work, and it’s easy to use to track time, issue invoices, and get paid.

Hosting: Netlify

netlify.com - Free +

I’ve used Media Temple for years, it was the hosting service I used when I first started putting up websites in 2002, and I continued to use it until 2022, when I made the shift to Netlify. The primary reason for the shift was my shift in my website technology stack from Wordpress and Statamic to Eleventy, using Github to better version control my website’s source code, and using the prebuilt features of Netlify to handle the site building process. It’s a breath of fresh air.

Video Communications: Loom

loom.com - Free +

Loom is a great service to easily record videos, screenshares, and share with people. I use Loom almost daily for customer service requests, to record quick screenshares of me using the model, which ends up being far more effective and personal than just writing an email. I also record many how-to videos and screenshares to help detail the models and how they work.

Scheduling Assistant: Calendly

calendly.com - $12/month (Plus) +

I use Calendly for booking meetings, and to book my paid Get Started services. It’s like having an always-on, 24/7 assistant to handle my schedule. There are many services that make it easier to schedule meetings, my advice is to pick the service that best fits what you want, it’s well worth saving hours in email chains scheduling calls.

Analytics: Google Analytics

google.com/analytics - Free

Free and easy to use, it’s easy to get started with Google Analytics and it’s well-worth the investment of time to really learn how to use GA to answer questions about how people use your website. I’m a big fan of Fathom Analytics, but haven’t made the jump yet.

Questions on tools, drop me an email anytime.

  1. Expanding on The Entrepreneur’s 2016 Gift Guide, and thanks to Paul Jarvis for the idea. ↩︎