How to use AI in a small business

If you are a small business owner, you may wonder if it is possible to implement AI in your business; you may even feel very challenged by the idea. There is a sense amongst small business owners that AI is only for the big companies, but this is a mistake; there are ways to use it regardless of the size of your company. Furthermore, at some point your competitors will catch on to the idea of AI and then you’ll be left behind, so don’t follow the sheep and keep thinking “I’m too small for AI.”

  1. Use AI to analyse data

Big business obviously has lots of data to analyse and AI is very useful for this, but it can be applied to more modest amounts of data as well. Plus, it is far less expensive than hiring a firm to do the calculations and provide the insights. From determining what keeps customers coming back to your business to helping you discover new market niches, AI is a versatile statistical tool.

  1. Use AI to hire staff

Small companies don’t usually have an HR department, but AI can help you here. For example, AI can determine which of your past hiring practices were the most effective. Other AI applications can discover solid leads in surprising places, and inform recruiters about the details of a candidate’s work history and his or her fit for a particular role.

  1. Get more organised with AI

AI can help with bookkeeping and other housekeeping activities that staff often find monotonous and dull. When AI is used in this way, staff see it as less of a threat to their jobs.

  1. Improve customer service

It has become essential for companies to develop new ways to quickly address their customers’ concerns. This is one of the reasons why Gartner predicts that a quarter of customer service operations will “integrate virtual customer assistant (VCA) or chatbot technology across engagement channels by 2020, up from less than two percent in 2017.”

  1. AI can assist with marketing

An Inc.com survey found that 93 percent of market researchers think AI presents an opportunity for their industry. It eliminates the need for employees to do mechanical tasks; from data preparation to advanced data analysis, which is the most common use of AI.

According to an April 2018 McKinsey report  AI is “likely to have the most substantial impact in marketing and sales.” Therefore, small businesses should start integrating AI now to reach as many consumers as possible in the future.

 

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