If you've ever said "there has to be a better way to do this," good news: These days, the short odds say there is indeed a more efficient, effective way to perform key business tasks. The trick lies in finding the right tools for the job--and the choices still seem to multiply daily.
Enter the 2011 Under the Radar Conference, hosted by Dealmaker Media. The event will shine a spotlight on 12 growing startups that either have a focus on fellow small and midsize businesses (SMBs), or may simply make good sense for the SMB environment. (You can read the complete list of companies featured at this year's conference, which kicks off Wednesday night in San Francisco, here.) From employee incentives to timeless back-office functions to email productivity, these tools are poised to help SMBs do things smarter and faster--without breaking the bank. In fact, some of the services that these companies offer are completely free.
In an interview, Dealmaker Media CEO Debbie Landa gave her take on some of these companies and why they were picked for Under the Radar. You might notice a recurring theme: Each firm on the list hopes to solve a particular problem or business need. In some cases, these services apply new technologies to long-standing--and often cumbersome--processes like tracking expenses, balancing the books, or employee motivation. Others deal with new-world arenas such as online video, social business, and dynamic email content. Read on for Landa's thoughts and a snapshot of each company.