How the Company Sells Time Savings
Attracting business customers for Closet Tools took time. While the software company now earns $38,000 in monthly revenue, it makes a simple offer based on saving time. “It's a thirty-dollar-a-month product. Is saving a few hours per day worth a dollar a day? The product sells itself,” Closet Tools founder Jordan O'Connor told the Indie Hackers podcast. Stripe, a payment processing company, runs the Indie Hackers website.
Growing a One-Person Company
Unlike a venture capital-funded company, Closet Tools has been the work of its solo founder Jordan O'Connor. The company doubled its revenue in 2020 even while the founder took time off for paternity leave, according to an Indiehackers interview. Before starting Closet Tools, O’Connor spent three years working on websites for other people, learning search engine optimization and web development before launching the company.
As a business, Closet Tools has no employees beyond the founder. While a solo founder business might not become a billion-dollar empire, it can still provide the owner with a significant income and help many business customers. For example, Overcast is a podcasting app company run by a single founder Marco Arment. The podcast app business earns revenue by advertising and charging $10 per year for a premium ad-free version of the app.
How Poshmark Works
Building a business to automate activity on social platforms is nothing new. For example, MeetEdgar, an automation business, has automated posting updates to Twitter. Hootsuite, a business that earns X, provides automation for Facebook. However, Poshmark is a relatively new business with 50 million users (and 5 million sellers) as of 2019. Furthermore, Poshmark is directly focused on shopping rather than socializing. With more than $2 billion paid out to stylists in 2019, Poshmark is a significant player for every fashion business seeking to sell online.
The Poshmark business model relies on taking a transaction fee for each product sold. For sales under $15, the social selling company charges $2.95. For sales over $15, Poshmark charges 20%.
The Chrome Extension Marketplace
Closet Tools leverages the popularity of the Chrome extension marketplace. As one of the world’s most popular web browsers, it has more than two billion users. Launched in 2010 by Google, the Chrome Web Store now also has apps from large companies. For example, HubSpot and Salesforce have Chrome extensions.
About the Author
Bruce Harpham is an author and marketing consultant based in Canada. His first book, "Project Managers At Work," shared real-world success lessons from NASA, Google, and other organizations. His articles have been published in CIO.com, InfoWorld, Canadian Business, and other organizations. Visit BruceHarpham.com for articles, interviews with tech leaders, and updates on future books.