Helping your small business survive and thrive in today’s crowded and competitive market is no easy task. As a small business owner, you already face many financial challenges. However, now more than ever, the global economy is marked by volatility and risk. That means that a business owner’s ability to streamline operations, maximize productivity and profitability, and promote competitive positioning has never been more important.
The good news, though, is that entrepreneurs have an increasing variety of affordable, accessible tools to support their small businesses. Among the most promising of these are artificial intelligence (AI) technologies. This article examines the role of AI in business and provides strategies for unleashing the power of AI in your company.
Artificial intelligence (AI) systems encompass a vast array of advanced “intelligent” technologies that can be used to automate complex and laborious processes for myriad purposes across a range of industries.
AI systems can be used, for example, in content creation, natural language processing, and natural language production. Perhaps their greatest value, however, is in the collection and analysis of massive quantities of data. AI systems can process and analyze billions of data points in mere seconds, resulting in dramatic improvements in efficiency, accuracy, and productivity.
In business, AI technologies can be used to collect and process essential data to facilitate organizational analyses and support strategic decision-making. For example, AI tools can be used to provide continuous monitoring of both internal and external data to provide a more comprehensive profile of a company’s overall performance and the environment in which it operates.
Small businesses can greatly benefit from the use of AI in data analytics because these tools enable business owners to evaluate internal data, such as department-specific productivity and efficiency metrics, and identify strengths and weaknesses within the organization. Similarly, decision makers can deploy AI to access and analyze external data, such as industry trends, to support competitive positioning.
For small business owners, the result of these AI-driven data analytics is an unprecedented capacity to make informed, expedited, and evidence-based decisions. Best of all, by using AI tools to automate these processes, business leaders avoid the tremendous drain on money, time, and resources that traditional, human-driven research processes often entail.
AI tools are also increasingly being deployed for content creation, publication, and management. Big data can help your marketing strategy and allow you to identify who your customers are and what they want from your organization. You can use that information to inform what content you create, including the kind of content and what that content is about.
Further, this also frees up employees’ bandwidth and provides them more time and energy to focus on creating engaging infographics, writing high-quality blog content, and producing useful explainer videos. This eliminates the need to hire more staff while ensuring that employers can maximize the value each employee brings to the company. While their capabilities in this domain are not yet as advanced as for data analytics, the complexity and sophistication of AI-generated content are rapidly increasing.
Small businesses generally have very limited risk tolerance. While large organizations often have resources that enable them to mitigate or absorb the damage a strategic error can inflict, small business owners rarely have this luxury. One mistake can sink the entire company.
This is one area where the value of AI technology is readily apparent. Because of the extraordinary power of AI and, in particular, of AI-driven machine learning, small business owners enjoy an exceptional capacity for risk management and mitigation.
AI technologies enable decision-makers to keep their finger on the pulse of the market, allowing them to be more future-focused, agile, and effective in both their short- and long-term strategic planning. Above all, business leaders have the peace of mind of knowing they are less likely to be caught flat-footed should a crisis come. They will have spotted the threat early, thanks to AI data analytics, equipping them to prepare well in advance to protect the company.
Artificial intelligence technologies give small business owners unprecedented power to make evidence-based decisions through the real-time collection and analysis of massive quantities of data. In addition, AI tools allow business leaders to automate processes to maximize efficiency and productivity while enabling employees to focus their efforts on essential tasks that can’t be left to technology.