One of the biggest stories of 2023 – certainly in the business world – was AI. The focus of most Artificial Intelligence discourse so far is how dangerous it could be. However, there are several ways businesses, particularly small businesses, can utilise AI to their advantage. This article explores 5 ways your small business should use AI in 2024. Let’s get started.
1. Create content for your website
A standout feature of AI tools such as ChatGPT and Google Bard is the ability to provide content upon request. All you need to do is provide a simple prompt, and you’ll swiftly be presented with copy on your chosen topic in your chosen style.
This can be remarkably useful to you, as a small business owner, if you don’t have the talent or time to create content for your website. General website copy, product and service descriptions, frequently asked questions, blogs – the framework for all of these, and more, can be generated within a matter of minutes.
All you then need to do is review and amend the content accordingly, to ensure it’s correct, doesn’t read like a bot has written it, and aligns with your business’s tone of voice.
Knowing when to delegate work, and being able to manage your time efficiently, are key traits for a successful entrepreneur. When it comes to creating content, AI can help you do this.
2. Assist with your social media activity
Have you ever sat idle in front of the screen, not knowing what to post on your business’s Instagram or X account? AI can be the perfect source of inspiration whenever you’re at a loss for words. Pop a prompt into one of the aforementioned tools and you’ll instantly be given a potential post. Don’t like what you’ve been given? Just generate another.
And it doesn’t end there. AI has many uses when it comes to social media. You can…
- Create your own unique images to use on social media, using tools such as Shutterstock, Hotpot, and Deep Dream Generator
- Gain insight into your social media activity with Hootsuite’s Iris
- Repurpose your existing content for specific social media channels with Buffer’s AI Assistant
- Determine how effective a post will be using Phrasee
- Ascertain the best times for you to post using Sprout Social
All of these tools use AI functionality to ensure your social media activity never suffers – even during the busiest, most stressful, and inspiration-free periods.
3. Fill gaps
As a business owner, there will be areas in which you excel and struggle. Typically, the fix for problematic jobs would be to hire an expert, but this isn’t always feasible in a business with budgetary constraints. However, AI can often provide a solution.
Earlier in the year, when AI first captured our imagination, there was a wave of articles, forum posts, and videos about how ChatGPT could assist in building a website by creating code. So, site building is one avenue where AI could fill a skills gap in your business – but where else?
We’ve looked at how AI can help with website and social copy, but the content opportunities don’t stop there. You can also use AI to provide a steer on all your marketing communications; including welcome emails for new customers, nurture emails for existing customers, and sales emails for potential customers.
If chatbot technology like ChatGPT and Google Bard can’t provide you with an instant solution, there’s a wealth of innovative companies out there developing AI tools that can help you. Here are just a few.
- Employment Hero is an HR assistant with an AI slant that can help you write job descriptions, draft performance reviews, and tackle all the other tasks associated with HR
- Lumen5 can repurpose your existing blogs into video content through AI
- Lavender is an AI email service that helps you write emails matching the tone of the person you are corresponding with
- Otter provides AI meeting help by recording audio, taking notes, and generating summaries
- Plus, there are various AI accounting tools available if you haven’t got a head for numbers
Whatever you and your business need help with, there’s likely to be an AI solution.
4. Automate skilless tasks
According to Smartsheet, 40% of workers spend a quarter of their time on repetitive jobs. Regardless of the product or service that your business provides, there is likely to be a series of monotonous, manual tasks that take up too much of your day – distracting you from doing more effective work.
AI provides the opportunity to automate a number of these tasks and free up your time. Plus it removes the potential for human error.
Consider all the non-creative tasks that you perform throughout the day. Data entry, account management, payment processing, analysis, and so on. With the right AI-powered tools in place, you can automate the processes in your company that are eating up your time.
Make a start by identifying the problems in your business that you want to solve or streamline. Then, contact AI developers to explain your needs and get the ball rolling on an AI solution.
5. Improve your customer services
Don’t let the thought of AI help for your customers fill you with dread. If implemented correctly, an AI chatbot on your website can improve the user journey for your customers and make life easier for you.
A chatbot will enable you to deal with the most common requests that you receive, instantly. This then frees you up to deal with more complex issues that require a human touch.
What’s more, a chatbot’s sole purpose shouldn’t be to answer frequently asked questions 24/7. An effective chatbot can also:
- Help customers in their native language, by translating conversations
- Make recommendations to customers based on previous discussions
- Offer discounts to customers who have previously abandoned their basket
- Walk customers through potentially trickier pages of your site, such as the checkout
- Provide insight to you, such as the customer’s previous interactions on your site (if human intervention is needed)
So there you have it
That’s 5 ways your small business should use AI in 2024. We hope this article has demonstrated how Artificial Intelligence, whilst certainly problematic in some instances, can help business owners such as you.
Thanks for reading. Please leave a comment if you have any questions.