For most people, small businesses and artificial intelligence couldn’t be part of the same conversation. Small business owners may think of AI as the obsession of computer scientists and mega-corporations focused on leveraging the best technology has to offer. Sounds about right, yeah? Not necessarily. There are a plethora of ways in which SBs can take advantage of AI in the present time.
With the amount of press that AI has received and all the laurels that have been heaped upon it since the beginning, it’s no surprise to see an average technology guy think of it as a uniquely destabilizing economic force. But the truth is AI is not a whole lot different from various other technologies. What we’ve witnessed in the past few years is an increase in the number of AI-based applications. That has had a ripple effect all throughout the business world. As its adoption rate goes high, the competition gets stiff, leading to lowered costs and increased accessibility to a wide range of businesses. Now there are nearly 30 million small businesses in the US employing 37.8% of the US workforce. AI developers want their products out there at Small business owner’s disposal whose contribution to the economy continues to reach new highs.
As AI becomes more popular among companies of all sizes, it will be all the more important for your small business to take advantage of what this revolutionary technology has to offer. Here are five ways to do just that.
1. Data Gathering & Analysis
A recent study by Qualtrics that analyzed 250 marketing leaders’ feedback found some really startling stats. 96% of the firm owners expect AI to handle various repetitive research tasks like data cleaning within the next five years. Furthermore, 63% are of the view that AI will completely take over statistical analysis within the next decade.
To think these changes are exclusive to the marketing industry would be a misconception. Although AI’s role is crucial for large corporations who have copious amounts of data about their customers, it’s equally important for small businesses to draw out key insights from a modest amount of data that they can get their hands on. Now if we think of advanced techniques like statistical regression analysis, they were pretty much unavailable to small business with a limited budget. Thanks to AI, that’s made them more affordable and intuitive.
Small businesses shouldn’t underestimate the value of data. With hands-on sophisticated statistical tools, they can understand their customers in a better way and maybe even find new ones. Coming back to the regression analysis, it’s incredible how it allows you to draw connections between an array of variable and ascertain how they’re making an impact on your business. From learning more about customer-behaviour and what drives a buying decision to explore new market niches, AI proves to be a versatile statistical tool.
2. Smarter Hiring with AI
Let’s face it, small business never have it easy when it comes to talent acquisition. It seems large businesses always seem to have the upper hand with their prestigious name, vast networks and ample resources to throw at job-seekers. Not only that, they also have dedicated, highly capable HR departments that are well-versed in the ways of moving the candidates from one round to the other and through to onboarding without a break. Do small businesses really have a chance against such talent-acquiring behemoths?
AI gets in on the act here in the hiring battle as well. Whereas recruiters have to rummage through an impossible number of resumes and keep their fingers crossed in search of finding the right candidate, AI has made simplified this process a great deal.
For instance, machines learning algorithms can easily determine what part hiring practices had the greatest success such as what all different channels you used to look for candidates and how you made contact with them. Other than that there are AI applications that are capable of learning the most suitable form
Some other AI applications are so smart they can tell what sort of communication would appeal to a given candidate and come across solid leads in unexpected fashions. They can also inform the recruits about the candidate’s work history, and how suitable is he/she for a certain role. These are definitely exciting ways that will allow small businesses to keep up the competition with large businesses in the hiring operations.
3. Backend Organization Made Efficient With AI
Everyone at some point must have come across a conversation about how AI is taking over jobs and is a threat to humanity etc. Well, we should really change our perspective there and look at AI as a technology that takes our monotonous tasks. A bunch of such tasks are on the backend-logistics operations viz accounting, scheduling and various daily organization. When we consider that fact that small businesses have a limited staff, it makes more sense to adopt AI in order to manage the time-consuming tasks that it’s known to handle and derive the best results from the human-capital
Moreover, most employees are sure to welcome technology if it can help eliminate monotonous tasks, giving time to focus on the more meaningful work. AI definitely helps them do just that.
4. Build AI Driven Marketing Platform
There is near unanimity among marketing researchers on the subject of AI’s potential to create opportunities in their industry. From cutting out the need for employees to perform mechanical tasks viz. Data preparation to advanced data analysis(tipped to be the topmost future AI application), AI is going to change marketing as we know it now.
This holds true for small businesses as it does for the larger organizations across the world. When in the past small businesses were limited in their capacity to afford ads in the local markets, they are now well equipped to target a greater audience. By leveraging AI based advertising platforms from Google and Facebook, small businesses can target any selected consumer of their choice. They can also collect and analyze customer data from a whole host of different channels. They can do all that without requiring an army of marketers.
Well, there doesn’t seem to be any arguments that AI isn’t meant for small businesses. AI’s increasing adoption rate and the small business’ contribution to the economy are clearly paving the way a more balanced future. Let us know in the comment’s section below if you are a small business owner and if you’ve had a chance to test out AI with your business thus far?