Running a small business is challenging enough. You need as much technological help as you can get to increase sales, stay on top of projects, and create compelling content that will help you win customers. But buying the software that will help your business succeed can also destroy your budget. Are there tools out there that will give you an edge--and that you can afford?

Yes, and yes, according to the folks at IT project management software company LiquidPlanner. They've shared this list of affordable software tools they couldn't live without (including their own product). Check them out--you're likely to find something that could benefit your business:

1. Crazy Egg

This product has an odd name but performs a very useful function. Crazy Egg creates heat maps that show you just where people are clicking on your website--vital information if you want to design your site for maximum effectiveness. Pricing depends on how much traffic your site gets, and starts at $9/month, billed annually.

2. Promoter.io

How many of your customers, love you, hate you, or don't care much either way? The answer to that question is your "net promoter score," a measure that can tell you in what areas you need to improve in order to build the  customer loyalty you need for your business to thrive. Promoter.io lets you use surveys to determine--and improve--your net promoter score. Pricing starts at $25/month.

3. SurveyGizmo

Your net promoter score is only one piece of data you need about your  customers. SurveyGizmo lets you collect all sorts of information from customers in multiple languages, provides analysis, and integrates with other types of business software as well. There's a fairly robust free version; pay versions start at $25/month.

4. LiquidPlanner

If your company has a technology team, LiquidPlanner can help them keep all their projects on track. The tool combines tasks, collaboration tools, charts, and document sharing so that everyone is literally on the same page, and it integrates with such other tools as Salesforce, Dropbox, and Zapier. Pricing starts at $290 per month for up to 10 users, billed annually.

5. Prezi

Prezi uses templates to help you easily create dynamic visual presentations stored in the  cloud but available offline and available across your desktop and mobile devices. Pricing starts at around $5/user/month, billed annually.

6. Infogr.am 

Infographics are insanely popular, and Infogr.am makes creating both charts and infographics painless. Like Prezi, Infogr.am depends on templates to simplify the process, and once the infographic or chart is completed, the software can publish it to your blog or website as well. Pricing starts at $19/user/month, billed annually.

Have you tried any of these? Let me know what you think.

Published on: Mar 30, 2016
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