Can Artificial Intelligence Help My Small Business?

When we hear the phrase “artificial intelligence,” many of us still think of futuristic robots, virtual assistants, and predictive technology a la Blade Runner or Stark Industries. But the future is now, as more businesses are discovering that AI can help them streamline their projects and generate more sales. 

AI is now available in a wide variety of applications, and it’s not as expensive as you might imagine. The question is: Can artificial intelligence help your small business grow?

What Can AI Do For My Business? 

Although sci-fi movies love to show AIs designing gadgets and having complex conversations with superheroes, artificial intelligence is a bit more practical in real life. AI’s primary benefit for businesses is that it can do the boring, repetitive tasks that take up your valuable time. It can also process data more quickly and accurately. In short, it saves you time — which means it saves you money.

4 Ways AI Can Power Up Your Business

1. Marketing and Sales

Customer-relationship management (CRM) systems organize your customers’ information so that your sales and marketing teams can do their jobs. The problem is, CRMs can be difficult and time-consuming to manage, especially if you have lots of customers. 

With the power of AI, CRM platforms can automatically analyze customer data and create the best response. For example, if someone visits your business website and gives their email address, an AI-powered CRM can track their activity and generate a customized email sequence that encourages them to buy. This means better, easier sales without your team having to lift a finger.

One of the most popular forms of marketing AI is a chatbot. You’ve probably encountered these on websites you’ve visited. They’re those message bubbles that pop up to ask you questions. Chatbots are great because they can pull triple duty: marketing, sales, and customer service. They can give customers basic information, allow them to check on their order status, and recommend products to buy. Imagine how much time this 24/7 powerhouse could save your team!

Plus, there are now AI-powered content analysis tools that swiftly analyze your competitors’ websites, videos, social media, and more — then send the results to you. If you’ve ever wanted to gain a competitive edge and beat the trending topics, you need one of these tools. 

2. Human Resources and Team Management

You’re probably familiar with the time-consuming frustration of the candidate search. From sifting through applications to organizing interviews to onboarding new hires, bringing someone on board can suck up weeks of your time. 

What if software could do the heavy lifting for you, so you can focus on finding the best person for the team? With AI-powered HR platforms, that’s now a possibility. 

This technology can sift through hundreds of job applications, schedule the entire interview/onboarding process, and answer basic questions for new employees. You don’t need to spend your valuable time scanning resumés or giving lengthy orientations. AI shows you the best candidates and lets you focus on getting to know them.

AI can also help your existing employees “work smarter, not harder.” Did you know that many employees spend 28 percent of their workday just answering email? Imagine if your team could instantly generate messages to each other when they complete their tasks, or if a program could automatically coordinate their schedules. 

AI-powered project management and collaboration platforms are helping small businesses avoid unnecessary meetings, endless email chains, and all those other time-wasting annoyances. 

3. Budget Management and Financial Planning

All business owners know the headache that comes with financial matters. A single spreadsheet error can throw off your predictions or lead to costly miscalculations. The more transactions you conduct, the greater the likelihood of error. Plus, you have to rely on past performance to assess the risk of acquiring new capital or hiring new people. 

With most financial tools, there’s no easy way to incorporate current market insights, daily sales volume, and other key factors. If only there was a way to turn massive amounts of data into a clear plan of action!

Once again, AI is here to save the day. It uses machine learning to analyze your cash flow, income predictions, sales trends, available credit, and all the factors that go into your business’ financial health. Imagine having customized reports that show you exactly when and where you can invest in your business. 

You’ll also get more accurate predictions of future income. Even better, these reports can help lenders decide to grant your loan request by giving them a detailed assessment of your business’s growth potential. With AI, there’s less risk for everyone involved.

4. Cybersecurity

For small businesses busy delivering the best products and solutions and offering top-notch service to their customers, security for your network, systems, and devices can easily fall by the wayside. Fortunately, AI can deliver big when it comes to keeping your business safe from online threats.

IT security used to require manual monitoring by a person to keep watch for system anomalies and potential breaches. Now, using AI, a business can do all that 24/7 in proactive ways, analyzing data, reading signals, and making data-driven decisions to prevent the issues your IT guy could never see coming.

A strong security platform deploys artificial intelligence in the cloud, on the network, at the endpoint, and within the server for deep visibility and control over the unknown. From triggering automatic responses to detected security events to data encryption, phishing detection and more, AI can help defend your business from cybersecurity threats to give you peace of mind.

AI-powered business services are rapidly becoming more affordable, and because they reduce your costs and boost your sales, they eventually pay for themselves. You don’t need to implement AI everywhere to get results. Look for areas where you see bloated costs or time sinks — those are perfect opportunities for AI solutions. Your business’s growth is in your hands: embrace the future now and get ahead of the competition! 

If you have questions about AI, Bluheeler is happy to provide insights. Our development specialists are experienced with a variety of platforms and can help ensure their successful integration into your system. Find out how we can help today.

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