Editor note: the title of the article was edited to reflect the real purpose of the review, which is to announce to our readers an online business management tool of great potential.
Are you familiar with that half melancholic, half regretful feeling one sometimes has when looking back at a project or relationship that did not go very well and thinks of what could have been if only a few little aspects would have turned out differently? Change few to a lot and you will get my feeling after testing MyOnlineToolbox for a couple of days.
What MyOnlineToolbox wants to be is a complex, yet easy to use business management platform, and an online one nonetheless, mainly designed for the repairing, construction and computer service industries. It provides an integrated interface for invoicing, contracting other company’s services, requiring and sending out estimates and creating projects and assigning them to your team. Basically, it takes over all the accounting, project and customer management effort, leaving you with the time you need to develop your business, promote it and see it grow. Or at least it tries to.
Other than errors, some buttons don’t act as one would expect. If I have a Select/Add new customer option, I expect it to allow me to either select a customer from a list or enter details for a new one. All details, not just the name, to then force me to go in the dedicated Customer section to enter the remaining information.
The cool part is that you don’t have to use your contractors. You have an entire directory to select from, network with and create new business opportunities. There’s only one problem to this networking heaven… I haven’t managed to find any easy way of browsing through the many companies offering a various services. There is a forum, but you can’t see it once you’re logged in and there are only a couple of mostly irrelevant posts in it. The only other way to find your peers is to import their information in your contractor list, then click their profiles, then pray for some relevant info, such as a website, customer references, a list of services, something other than just the industry segment they activate on.
Bottom line, MyOnlineToolbox promises a lot. It could make your business run smoother, it could create opportunities to find new customers or get better business partners. It could free up more time for you to market your business, promote your services and see your revenues grow. It fails to deliver a lot of it simply because the interface is a bit annoying and it does not work properly and because the networking options are invisible or nonexistent or maybe the fairies from tales… Yet if they manage to clean up their code and make their site run smoother and actually get some social dimension integrated in what they offer, they’d actually be an amazing service!