There are a few things that help the business end of Always the Forest run smoothly, I call them business essentials. Not to be confused with craft essentials, which would be the obvious sewing machines, fabrics, thread, etc. They are:
1. Computer with internet access. I use my MacBook all the time for ATF related activities. I used it to build the website, and then to edit photos for the site and blog. With 24/7 internet access, I'm notified of orders as soon as they come in. I can also keep track of the latest craft shows and opportunities.
2. Shipping center. I have my very own shipping center in my hall closet. Inside, I keep bubble wrap, packing tape, postage labels, and different sizes of shipping bags and boxes. I also keep promo buttons, stickers, and business cards in there. When I get an order, I can go straight to my shipping center, package everything up, and it's ready to be sent out. I ordered all of my boxes completely free of charge at www.usps.com. I didn't even have to pay for shipping!
3. The Switchboards. The forum at www.theswitchboards.com is a wealth of information ranging from legality issues to website help to helpful hints from other indie businesses. It has proven to be indispensable whether I'm baffled about taxes, business insurance, suppliers, and most every other aspect of running an indie business.