Artificial Intelligence is buzzing our ears for more than five decades now. However, the field started to bring value to businesses at the start of the 21st century. With time, small businesses also began to leverage from the power of AI. Unfortunately, many SMEs still carry the perception that AI for Small Business is unrealistic.
Busting Some Old-school AI Myths
Two decades of significant development makes AI as powerful for small businesses as for larger ones. Business owners and managers not incorporating AI usually present one of the following reasons.
AI is reserved for Large-scale enterprises
One can perform more activities with AI then a transistor in a modern computer. Unlike this transistor metaphor, the results are not bad at all. Small businesses can address challenges and equally leverage the AI benefits as large ones.
Deep learning, an approach to AI, is limited to companies with massive volume of data at their disposal. However, one does not necessarily have to perform expert data analysis to use AI.
Both SMEs and large enterprises can use machine learning. Besides, they can also use automation tools to spend resources of time and money in more effective domains.
AI is complicated to learn
Some small business owners carry the perception that AI software is complicated for them to learn. This notion was correct until some five years back.
However, AI has seen a drastic development since then. The communities of volunteer programmers and companies are performing a tremendous job for mainstreaming of AI.
Now, SMEs can acquire AI tools and pre-coded templates for achieving a number of tasks. Moreover, a user does not have to care about the backend functionality. Instead, they can use a nicely-built interface to accomplish a range of operations.
AI has nothing to offer to my business
If your company has a website or mobile app, the AI can help big time irrespective of the scale. In essence, it will cut down the costs being spent on ineffective marketing and excessive workforce.
Small enterprises do not need to employ AI experts for fancy salaries. Instead, they need to find out the appropriate tools which can assist in automation of their businesses.
Following chart demonstrates the response of survey participants upon asking about their expectations from AI. High interest of businesses toward saving time and money and acquiring useful information push researchers to work in these areas. Consequently, the AI tools help businesses of each scale.
How can AI Help Small Businesses?
There are multiple ways in which AI assists small businesses in smooth running of operations and to increase profits. Following three are the most effective and widely used ones.
1. Boosting Customer Service Management
The web allows companies to run their businesses remotely from anywhere. Although this ability enables them to expand global outreach, yet intensely varying time-zones are existential threat.
A customer seeking services at daytime in the US is unlikely to get a response from a company located in Asia or Eastern Europe. Absence of response will prompt the customer acquire services from another company.
There are two exceptions where a company can engage customers during off hours. First is to keep a sales team which works odd night shifts. Second and the most appropriate solution is to engage the visitors with chatbots.
Chatbots are intelligent software systems integrated into web and mobile-based apps and AI Applications for Small Business. They can answer advanced as well as basic queries. Chatbots are particularly helpful to engage customers while a human attendant is away.
Over time, the development in AI enables the chatbots to improve their performance incredibly. The current degree of intelligence allows bots to chat as good as their human counterparts.
Moreover, the trust in chatbots is increasing over the time. Only 30% of respondents of a survey reported apprehension that a bot would give wrong answers. Just a few years back, this number was significantly higher.
2. Marketing in predetermined Dimension
Marketing is one of the principal areas where AI Tools for Small Business are making their mark. It is enabling the business owners to cut down marketing costs remarkably by running targeted campaigns.
A decade back, marketers had to run hit and trial methods to attract potential leads. Since their advertisement was not a directed one, most of the people seeing the ads were irrelevant.
Today, Facebook, Twitter, and Google apart from other social networks and search engines enable marketers to reach relevant audience. Although these companies advise the advertisers to enter details about targeted demographics, yet their AI algorithms make impressive effort too.
The objective of these algorithms is to find similarities between demographics. Facebook calls these similar groups of users as “Lookalike Audience.” Thus, small companies can climb above their competitors by leverage of integrated AI algorithms.
Besides advertising, the AI for small business marketing reflects in tools including Marketo, HubSpot, and MailChimp which perform the tasks of days in minutes.
3. User Modeling and Predictive Analytics
It is highly assistive for companies to be able to find the path which brings customers to choose their services. Regardless of the volume of business, owners can align their efforts toward effective directions.
Whether you are an e-commerce store owner run a small food delivery business, AI brings remarkable efficiency to your business.
In either of the above examples or another online business, predictive analytics assists your customers in decision making. The machine learning algorithms make predictions about customers’ choice and suggest them accordingly.
For instance, a delivery business recommends food outlets and kinds of food based on customers’ previous searches. Moreover, delivery agents can find the shortest route to destination since machine learning enables them to determine distance and traffic volume on various roads.
The companies can collect legitimate data of customers and run simple queries on data with pre-developed and pre-configured tools. These tools, for instance, Microsoft Azure ML, Google Cloud AutoML, and a bunch of others do not require technical expertise. Users with basic AI knowledge can use these tools too.
Do you also want to integrate AI in your business to perpetuate growth and profits? Contact us today to allow our experts suggest you the most effective AI utilization tailored to your business needs.