Running a small business in today’s tech-oriented society can be a daunting task. Once you’ve mounted the social media beast and are off to a rocky but stable start, you’re immediately confronted by other social forums. Which ones do you take on and which ones do you ignore? Then there’s what most businesses don’t know – and that’s that beyond social media apps, there are really competitive business apps and business software solutions.

And this is the explosive truth that most successful PR and marketing houses don’t even know. The full extent of software is really not an area that’s explored. Further, to even a trained professional who doesn’t really understand the market or application (even if they are in PR/Marketing), a lot of software/apps will look the same, so it’s pretty easy to get confused.

Take Mindjet for example. While reviewing Mindjet, I thought “I wonder if Average Joe will know the difference between Mindjet and Backpack [which I’d also just reviewed].” So I asked the closest well-educated professional Average Joe I could find and gave them five minutes to review both. The results were not promising. Curious, I put the question out on Facebook to get a feeler for what others thought. Responses there were also not promising, but they essentially confirm my suspicions.

To quell confusion, the difference between Mindjet and Backpack is essentially in the function each provides. While they’re both web-based collaboration tools, Mindjet is specifically designed to help business flesh out initiatives. Mindjet is also great for businesses looking to go beyond project initiative apps and use more engaging and result-driven software.

Mindjet gets you three things: Connection, Planning and SharePoint. With cloud collaboration accessed anywhere and at anytime, Mindject’s “Connect” feature gets a visual for organization/action. You get a project framework, co-editing capabilities, content management, task execution assistance and prioritization (including social task management), email integration and, above all, project transparency, so there are no unforeseen hiccups.

With Mindjet MindManager, users can organize ideas and plan projects around mapped tasks and timelines. The feature includes sharing/integration, including import capabilities from a host of frequently used outside software suites such as Microsoft, PowerPoint, SharePoint and even SWF, PDFs, images and web pages. Users can also layer files with hyperlinks, attachments, notes, images and spreadsheets, as well as icons, tags, etc. And Mindjet’s Sharepoint (SP) feature lets you read/edit and create maps, manage/share information and co-edit/collaborate in real time – all without any software downloads.

Mindjet is ideal for a number of diverse industries including sales, IT, consulting, human resources, product teams, professional services and of course marketing. Marketers will find it easier to launch campaigns, improve event management and streamline PR. In short, anything that requires a process and a level of detailed planning will be helped by the software.

Users across all industries appreciate Mindjet’s delivery of these four key functions: 1) effective account planning, 2) improved account team collaboration, 3) faster new rep ramp up and 4) deeper account insight with organizational charts. Karl Gudmundsson, Marketing VP of Ekso Bionics, adds “Mindjet helps us choose the best design direction to balance safety, design and schedule risks.” The software is also used by Coca-Cole, HSBC and Microsoft.

Mindjet has several different tiers and pricing options. Taking a quick look at their website’s pricing page will help guide you through the various choices, including annual pricing options and specific solutions for universities, academics, nonprofits and simple cost-friendly business packages.