Having an online store allows you to disconnect from the office and administrate it from anywhere there's a computer and an internet connection. I've had an online store for about 4 years now, and I love being able to get notifications of my orders instantly via my smartphone. Since I've got an iPhone, I'm able to manage this blog directly from it with a few free apps. Here's a list of helpful online services that will make your life a little bit easier:
1. Evernote - When I'm searching through pages, I'm always gathering links, quotes, and random bits of information to access ltaer. Unfortunately, I've always had a habit of forgetting where I'm storing them. When I first started taking some night classes at the local college, I found this handy little website. Evernote allows you to capture inormation, organize it, tag it, and even search for it later. The best part about it is, the iPhone application and the basic service is FREE! This makes creating to do lists that I can access from anywhere a breeze. The most freedom can be found when I am writing up a blog post from home, accessing it on my iPhone at the cafe, and then accessing it seamlessly in the office.
2. Ping.fm - There's no hiding the fact. The web has exploded with social sites and networks. The only problem is, have you ever tried to update all of them? It gets tiring really quickly. As a store owner, its important to have a presence on every major social site. With ping.fm, you can add all of your accounts, and with 1 update, send that information to every site at once. What a timesaver!
3. Contact Help - Last, but certainly not least, is contact help. This site has come in handy more times than I can count. I loathe telephone menuing systems and nothing will cause me to lose my mind quicker than not being able to get a hold of a live human on the phone. With this site, you can simply look up the company you're trying to reach and receive instructions on how to get a live person.
If you have any online tools that you find handy, please mention them in the comments or drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org