I often get asked for recommendations on how to run a successful online business, especially if it’s going to generate passive income. Honestly, there is lots of tech involved in getting a business to be as automated, and therefore as passive, as possible in the first place, never mind adding in the new software you’ll need to create and sell passive products. So, the easiest way for me to start is to tell you how I run my business! Here’s everything I use and/or would recommend to anyone out there looking for good software, outsourcing and tech to make their business less busy…

This post may contain affiliate links. As a result of any purchases you make I may receive a percentage of the retail value, at no expense to you. Thank you for supporting my business by making any purchases through my links

how to run your business: automations, outsourcing and tech

Automation & Outsourcing


Automation is my number one recommendation when you’re looking to enhance the operational processes in your business. You can spend far less time pratting around with administrative tasks if you think clearly about how your business works and what you need it to do automatically for you.


I adore my scheduling system through Acuity! I swear, this keeps me perfectly organised and allows existing clients, potential customers and Academy students to easily book an appointment with me. It integrates with my email software, ConvertKit and with my website, so everything runs smoothly. (Obviously not excluding my beautiful Filofax, because, paper!)


To keep me legal, I don’t want to worry about signatures in the mail or having to post things out, so I use Signable to manage client contracts and important documents. I outsource my accounting to Linda at WeDoTheBooks.co.uk. Why? Because it’s not my zone of genius and it needs to be right!


I looked into email solutions and literally researched every possible solution to the “email list”; trying a few free ones before settling happily with ConvertKit. They are a platform built specifically for creatives working online and they know what they’re doing! It’s simple to use and an effective method of automating my email marketing and customer communications. I absolutely love the visual automations, landing pages, segmenting options and ecommerce integrations that are all built in.


I rely on Last pass to manage my passwords and it allows me to securely share important information with my VA and other project managers when I outsource.


And if I get stuck with any of it, I have the fantabulous Nic and Lesley of the Digital Fixers on my team!

Web & Hardware


I run my website through WordPress using a unique theme: The Passive Platform which is designed and hosted by the incredibly talented HaydenIngham.com. Previously I used hosting services provided by Site Ground and honestly, they’re fab (that’s why I still recommend them!). I cannot sing the praises of their customer service team highly enough! They used to cope with my very non-tech speak if ever I needed support, without making me feel silly!

When it comes to websites there’s plenty of choice to go at and all the big hitters are out there but why not have a look at Create for a more personalised approached. Alternatively, if you’ve decided WordPress is your thing then you’ll need a good theme. Prior to implementing the Passive Platform, I used a number of themes created with loving care by Bluchic who also create beautiful landing pages, sales funnel templates and social templates all designed to make your brand the best it can possibly be.

Depending on what your business does, you may want to consider an e-commerce solution, and I can’t recommend EKM enough for their customer care and the values they hold as a company.

However, you don’t need a brand-new website or a fandangled ecommerce platform if you don’t want one! When I first started on a tiny budget, SendOwl was my choice of digital product sales platform and I still highly recommend it, plus I’ve heard loads of good things about PayHip too.


Most of my computer hardware including my laptop are Acer, but I use other tools to make everything work smoothly:


Software, Lead Gen & Design


To create most of my digital products, I use a combination of Microsoft Word, PDF and Canva to design the visuals and graphics and I distribute them through The Passive Platform. There are so many options out there though, depending on what you’re looking to create and who you’re creating it for.

If I need more specific work on my brand as a whole though, I use Katie at KeppelLeopardCreative.com

Pinterest is a big driver of traffic to my website, so I use Tailwind scheduling to take a lot of heavy lifting out of it.

I use Zoom for video meetings and to record training, with Kapwing to add subtitles later.

If you’re looking to add some pizazz to your social or websites, I’d recommend having a look at Quizcheck for lead generating quizzes and Sparkol for white-board style animation.

Lead Generation can be a whole hoopla of things but there is one essential thing that you absolutely need to get right above all else; your copy. When I need an expert eye on something super special, I hand over to the most talented Jo Watson of AGoodWriteUp.com. I also regularly pick her brains and am drown in phenomenal ideas during her Sorted in 60 Sessions.


Courses, Subscriptions, Memberships and Digital Downloads


If you’ve decided that courses, subscriptions, memberships and digital downloads are in your business future then the tech can start to get overwhelming. Here’s my top suggestions when you’re in the market for a platform that works for you:



Affiliate Marketing


The question I get asked most frequently about affiliate marketing is how to find programmes to join. Now my absolute top recommendation for this is Awin, simply because they are one of the largest management platforms and there is a brand for every possible niche you can imagine. Along with programmes including Ultimate Bundles, Share-a-Sale and Amazon, I use affiliate marketing in my own business to make recommendations another income stream that benefits my business.


Drop Shipping


CJ Drop shipping is a one stop shop for everything drop shipping: from product sourcing, warehousing, order fulfilling, and shipping. You may also want to consider a discussion with the EKM platform if you’re looking for an ecommerce solution that is kitted out ready for drop shipping.


Print On Demand


If you’re looking to sell your art or designs through a more scalable model then print on demand is for you. I always recommend my customers start with Redbubble, because the user experience is straightforward from my experience however, CJ Drop shipping also offer this service along with many, many others.


Learning & Development


Anyone who knows me knows that books are my thing, but not only do I love to fall down a rabbit hole of Carroll’s making, I also love to read for self and business development. My top recommendations to find great books are:


As well as being an affiliate for them, I also dip my toe into Ultimate Bundles when they have a bundle offer that I know I can learn a lot from. Plus, I subscribe to Freelancer Magazine for a quarterly foray into the industry.

Blogging can be both cathartic and lucrative, having massive impact on business in terms of SEO, marketing strategy, affiliate marketing and so much more. So getting it right is essential. I rely on From Blag 2 Blog by the aforementioned Jo Watson of AGoodWriteUp.com

In addition to the tangible experience of sitting with a good paperback, I love to listen to audiobooks which I think can really bring some purpose to mundane chores. My favourite self-development related audiobooks (via Audible) include:


If courses are more your bag, then I’ve certainly been known to partake in one or two of those as well:

  • Learning 24/7 – courses on every subject from horticulture to social media!
  • Wonderlass – Planning for profit in business
  • Futurelearn – multiple disciplines available with an especially good selection of business and management courses
  • Natasha Bray – emotive self-development using hypnosis and clever mind trickery (it really works!)


Other Useful Links


If you want more help on any of the topics I’ve covered, you need to join us in the Passive Business Academy!


Join the Academy

Step into your Passive Income Super-Pants…

Discover your hidden passive income identity and super-charge your business…

    Scouts honour, we respect your privacy & there isn’t a spammy pammy in sight here! But, if you’re not happy with the amazing stuff dropping into your inbox, no hard feelings – you can unsubscribe at anytime.