Not too long ago it was only big businesses that would have access to automation tools to run their business. Big companies like Microsoft, Oracle and SAP would sell huge systems and charge recurring licensing fees that would cost more than small businesses could ever dream of being able to afford. Today, the Web has made the cost of selling apps for small businesses so much cheaper than before. Applications can easily run in the browser, which means that developers no longer need to worry about installations and operating systems. But, most importantly, the cost of customer acquisition has been radically reduced, and so amazing products can be sold for much less than $500 a year. In this article we cover some of the best web apps that are available for small businesses.
Most customer relationship management software is expensive and hard to use. You might end up paying over $50 for each user in your company, and you might asked to pay for a minimum number of users. Additionally, the product will be made for big businesses and will have lots of bloat that complicates the product and makes it inappropriate for small businesses.
That is why Highrise is so effective. This is a simplified CRM product with prices starting at $24 a month. And that price is not per user – that’s for 6 users, which is more than enough for most small businesses. If you need a fuller package, you could upgrade to the $99 package that allows up to 40 users to access the system.
Optimizely is a conversion optimization product that starts at around $19 and goes up to around $400 a month. It’s completely affordable to small businesses and lets you easily make the money back by increasing the conversion rate of your website. The idea behind the product is very simple: send half of your visitors to one version of a landing page, and send the other half to another version. Once enough visitors have been to both versions, you’ll know exactly what version works best. Rather than relying on your intuition, use Optimizely and start making better decisions for your website.
This is an email marketing product that makes it easy to send email newsletters to your customers. Email newsletters have been proven to deliver a strong ROI for small businesses, and now it’s simple and cost effective thanks to iContact. The service allows you to modify beautifully designed email templates, so there’s no need to hire a professional designer. They also handle all the complexity of email deliverability, which is too complex for most small businesses to be able to manage well on their own.
The company’s prices start at just $14.99 to manage 500 subscribers, and the price goes up to $47 to manage 5,000 subscribers. In other words, the price is very affordable for small businesses. At one point in time a similar service would have cost hundreds of thousands, and now the service is truly available to everyone.
This is a product that will save you time and money, and prices start at just $14.95 per month. Instead of going to all that effort of hiring a web designer to design forms and store answers in a database, you can use Wufoo. It has a really simple interface that makes it easy for anyone to design forms using a drag and drop interface. You can even take payments using the service, so there’s very little it can’t do. Each time someone fills out the form you’ll be sent an email and the answer will be stored away inside the database so you can view the response online.
While most people think of Dropbox as a consumer company, it also has a growing and successful B2B offering. Prices start at $795 for five users, which works out at around $66 a month. While it’s more expensive than many options discussed in this article, it’s still within the budget range of most small businesses. Most large businesses have file sharing, but it’s not nearly as usable or as convenient as Dropbox. Now small businesses can get all the benefits of enterprise file sharing systems, and they end up paying a fraction of the price.