Choosing The Right AI For Small Businesses

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Artificial intelligence is changing the face of business. While some may assume AI is only wieldable by large corporations, they could not be more wrong. Nowadays, AI is doable on a small scale. AI is applicable on many levels of small businesses. 

If anything, the scale makes AI even more effective than it would be for a large company. Still, the question remains of how do you know what AI to use? What kind of AI do you expect to use? Do you need AI in your business? Or have you been unwittingly using it already? Those questions are what we’ll be tackling today. 

What is AI for Business?

Artificial intelligence doesn’t just cover robots that talk back to you like Siri.  Artificial intelligence happens under the surface. AI uses computing to make tasks go by faster, whether it’s data mining or automation.  So picking the right AI is less about choosing a robot but more about choosing a function.  AI exists to solve an existing problem. That should be the mentality you carry while picking an AI. 

Understand Your Needs

You need to know what you want before even thinking about AI. Many people believe they know what they want. Upon confrontation with choices, however, they find themselves lost. Do you want to reach more customers through paid search and AI?  Automate a series of repetitive tasks that slow down the business? 

These are only some of the many questions you should be asking. The specifics vary depending on your industry. 

Automation is a safe bet for any business. Here’s a quick list of other AI applications. Think about which of these your company needs.

  • Data Analysis
  • Smart Assistants
  • Data Predictions
  • Smart searches
  • SEO
  • Targeted Marketing
  • Cybersecurity
  • Content Curation
  • Pattern and Image Recognition
  • Web Design

This is far from covering everything but should give you an idea of what AI is capable of. 

Prioritize The Best ROI

Now that you know what to expect from AI, you need to start thinking about your finances. There are so many AI implementations that it’s easy to get lost. To narrow your search, think of which AI gives the most immediate benefit at the lowest cost. This also has the benefit of being the “test run”. If this AI project succeeds, then you’re better equipped to pick your next AI project.

For example, accounting firms should take advantage of fintech apps. These apps would help skilled accountants do more tasks in much less time. For restaurants, they would benefit greatly from a chatbot. A chatbot could handle deliveries very efficiently. It also allows staff to focus on the restaurant tasks, instead of tedious busywork.

Be Realistic

Theory and practice are two very different things. What you want to accomplish may not reflect reality. Perhaps your budget didn’t allow for as vast an AI project as you wanted. However, starting small is to be expected.  Acknowledge from the start that you are a small business. You won’t be capable of large-scale AI projects. 

Still,  a small business doesn’t need large-scale projects at all. Take your time with any successful projects you gather. If your chatbot gave a significant increase in workflow, celebrate that. From there, start thinking of ways you can expand it on a budget. 

Integrate AI in Daily Tasks

Think about how you can implement your chosen AI in everyday tasks. The more tasks you apply it to, the better. Getting your ROI on AI is very important. AI isn’t meant as a replacement for humans. It’s a strong supplement that allows them to accomplish more tasks. The importance of media monitoring, meeting scheduling, or even simple bug reports needs to be ingrained into people. 

Daily AI tasks are a good way to root this idea in your staff. A lot of employees may bristle under this command. After all, there always exists the idea that AI makes jobs redundant. That is not always true. Realistically, some job positions are unnecessary. However, AI usually just makes their job easier and allows them to take on more responsibilities. 

Use AI Experts

Now that you have a baseline plan, it’s time to include the experts. Truth be told, there’s no way a short article will cover everything you need to know about AI. However, a good plan always needs a foundation, and the previous four steps are exactly that. AI experts need this information to give you what you need.

You have a primary goal in mind. You know the most effective way to get it. Your expectations are tempered. Lastly, you know where you want to implement it. AI experts now handle the hard work of making your project possible.

To learn more ways your business could use AI, check out our site here.

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  • Content Marketing
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