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How Small Businesses Are Using AI to Get Ahead

How Small Businesses Are Using AI to Get Ahead

With rising concerns of a deeper recession, a bubbling housing market, and ongoing layoffs, many are looking at alternative ways to transition from consumers to producers.

This reality couldn’t be any truer for small businesses and entrepreneurs. As these groups continue to navigate a volatile market, many are searching for innovative solutions, like artificial intelligence (AI), to drive growth and stay afloat during this period of economic hardship.

As explained by TechTarget, “Artificial intelligence is the simulation of human intelligence processes by machines, especially computer systems. Specific applications of AI include expert systems, natural language processing, speech recognition, and machine vision.”

It is important to note that the field of AI isn’t exactly a new concept, but it is evolving — rapidly.

In case you missed it, AI software like ChatGPT is becoming increasingly popular, and it has set forth a new AI arms race as tech giants (e.g., Google, Microsoft) dive into leading the next big thing in tech automation. 

Now, here’s a GIF of Bill Gates dabbing for AI! Jkjkjk, he’s just dabbing…kinda? Not really.

Bill Gates Swag GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

It’s also leveraging the playing field when it comes to growth strategy. Take marketing, for example. Marketing is a critical component of any business’s growth strategy, but it can be challenging to identify the most effective marketing channels. Fortunately, AI-powered tools can help businesses optimize their marketing efforts by analyzing customer data and providing insights into customer behavior.

For example, an AI-powered tool can analyze customer data to identify patterns in customer behavior and preferences. As a result, this can help small businesses identify which products or services are most popular among their customers, as well as which marketing channels are most effective at driving sales.

Therefore, one can only imagine how eager big corporations are to use AI in aiding their global expansion, but what about the little guys?

How do small businesses and entrepreneurs feel about AI? After all, the pandemic forever altered the ways in which we work, communicate, and engage. Therefore, it is plausible — in fact, indisputable — that AI will impact the future of work as well.

Yet, the bigger question remains: Will this emerging industry pose more of a challenge or an opportunity for small businesses?

We recently caught up with Rebecca St. Aime, founder of Rele m ‘bèl, to learn how AI has impacted her natural luxury skincare business day to day. Check out the interview below.

When you first caught wind of all the buzz about the recent developments in artificial intelligence, what initially came to mind? 

Honestly, I’m always looking forward to new innovation and new ways to support my life and businesses. As a sole proprietor, I am the team, so I was initially curious. I became more excited the more I learned about AI.

What made you decide to utilize AI for your business, and what do you use it for currently? 

At heart, I am creative. I typically have several ideas and businesses that I’m working on scaling at a time. While I love bringing all my ideas to fruition, the truth is entrepreneurship is tiring, especially when you don’t have a full team and are responsible for all the things: marketing, creation, branding, packaging, etc. I’ve primarily been utilizing AI as my assistant for content planning on different platforms. However, I’m looking forward to utilizing it for automation as well. 

Would you say that AI has improved or regressed the state of your day-to-day business? 

I’d definitely say that it has improved the state of my day-to-day operations. I think regardless of what industry your business is in or the industry you work in, AI is here to stay and will only evolve. I suggest more people find a way to adapt it into their work and make it work for them. I say that with the consideration that the future of AI will likely displace several blue-collar work positions (mine included); therefore, I’m utilizing it to optimize the work I’m doing in my 9-to-5 as well as to assist me in scaling my business. 

Happy Artificial Intelligence GIF by Digital Pratik - Find & Share on GIPHY

Are there any concerns that you have about AI right now or in the future?

My biggest concern is that the writing is on the wall and a large population won’t read it or have the foresight to consider the impact AI will have on us. If you are in a field that could probably be done by a robot — quicker, more efficiently, and at a lower cost — you should be planning for what’s to come. 

Would you recommend that other small businesses and entrepreneurs incorporate AI in their business strategy? Which businesses could benefit the most from AI? 

I 100% suggest small businesses and entrepreneurs find a way to incorporate AI into their business strategies. Make a list of all the things you do for a business and filter through the tasks that you could probably have an assistant do, and look for AI tools that could assist you and fill in that gap. It’ll alleviate the pressure of having to do everything along with giving business owners and entrepreneurs the space to be more creative and focus on the work they love.

You read it here first! Overall, AI can enable small businesses to become more efficient, effective, and competitive in today’s digital economy. From streamlining operations to optimizing marketing, it looks like artificial intelligence not only is here to stay but will continue to become more advanced in its capabilities. 

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