If you're your only employee, who minds the home office while you're away? Does your business receive telephone calls, faxes, and electronic files? You could organize a complicated series of call-forwarding and remote-communications systems to take over every time you leave the office. Or you could just program your trusty computer to handle everything while you're gone, giving clients the continuity of one point of contact for your company.

That's what Frank Boss does at Power Find, a start-up marketing-information service in El Cajon, Calif. "The computer takes over my office while I'm gone," he explains. "It receives calls, lets me know who called and when, and, while I'm away, I can remotely access my files." Boss uses BitWare (Cheyenne Software, 800-243-9462).

When callers dial his office, they can leave a message, send a fax, or upload and download data files. Boss has set up firewall protection to limit access to certain sections of his computer. His computer pages him whenever he has a message or fax, and Boss can phone in to retrieve the electronic missives whenever it suits him. He can arrange to have faxes forwarded to a nearby fax machine or to his laptop computer.

"I can retrieve anything from my office," he says. Boss is out of his office for 50 hours of his 80-hour workweek. So he's grown to depend on his technological sidekick.