Use AI to Leverage Your Small Business

Techie Mamma is reader supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn a small commission at no additional cost to you. As an Amazon Affiliate I earn from qualifying purchases. I only recommend products and services that I think will help you on your Mompreneur journey and all opinions expressed here are our own. You can read my full disclaimer here.

Share or save for later

[ivory-search id="126528" title="AJAX Search Form"]

AI is everywhere these days. There is no ignoring it so better learn how to use it for your Mompreneur Life.

In This Post

Dispel any notions of robots or hoodie-clad tech geniuses — AI isn’t just for software giants. There’s a place for artificial intelligence in your business, whether you’re a high-tech programmer or are selling candles. Here’s how to use it to your advantage so your company can operate at full capacity. 

How AI Helps Businesses 

AI has recently become available to small-business owners, although it’s been helping larger companies for years. Across all industries, 20% of companies use AI in their marketing and sales departments. 

The software is getting smarter every year. However, an AI service’s complexity has little to do with its overall success. For example, Bank of America’s Erica chatbot has an 82%-83% customer satisfaction rate. All it does is talk to customers, but it saves significant time and money that the bank would otherwise spend defusing tense customer interactions. 

Artificial intelligence can help your business in many ways, including: 

  • Lowering costs: Artificial intelligence often reduces costs in the long run by increasing efficiency.
  • Improving customer service: AI’s advanced metrics can help you understand your customers and their needs. That will help you improve your overall user experience.
  • Bolstering cybersecurity: You can use AI to detect suspicious online activity. 
  • Tackling mundane tasks: AI can give you more time to focus on important tasks instead of repetitive clerical work.

What to Look for in an AI Service

Every business has unique challenges, so what works for one person may not work for another. However, business owners should look for a few key features in an AI service. 

First, look for software that’s easy to use. An AI program that requires weeks of training may cost more money than it’s worth. On the other hand, it’s also important to find a service with plenty of features — don’t sacrifice usefulness for simplicity’s sake. 

Find AI software that will grow alongside your business. Ask yourself how much you expect the company to expand and whether the AI will scale accordingly. Look for an AI company that offers strong customer support in case you have questions or need to do some troubleshooting. Lastly, look for a solution that will keep up with industry developments and continuously improve.

Finding the right AI software for your business may take time, but it’s important to use one that meets all these criteria.

Tips for Using AI to Grow Your Business

Here is how you can employ AI to find success in your company. You will find that it increases productivity, helps operations run smoother, and improves communications with customers and partners.

Understand Where AI Comes From

It’s helpful to understand how AI software works to get the most benefits. AI learns from consumer or individual trends, past behaviors, customer interactions and buying patterns. Software developers train it on this data and let it continue learning on its own. 

AI software works by recognizing patterns and noticing anomalies that stand out from the norm. For example, some schools use artificial intelligence to analyze student performance by looking at grades, attendance levels and course withdrawals, correctly predicting with up to 88% certainty whether a student will fail the class without intervention. 

Start viewing problems through an AI lens and determine if data is segmented, classified, interpreted or extracted. View your business processes and information through this frame of reference. 

Start Small

AI software can be complicated. Instead of jumping into the deep end, it’s a good idea to test your new service with a small, initial pilot experiment to see how it performs. Doing so will help you learn the ropes and give you the best chance of seeing a positive return on your investment. 

Use Chatbots

One of the best ways to incorporate AI into your business is to use chatbots. This type of AI software uses existing resources — like frequently asked questions — to deliver scripted responses. Chatbots aren’t always perfect, but they pick up on common keywords and understand synonyms like “price,” “cost” and “how much” to answer customers’ questions. 

They’re especially helpful for engaging with customers in other time zones, answering questions during busy days and saving on employee costs. They can also sort clients into high- and low-priority categories depending on the phrases people use, allowing you to quickly help people having an issue. Some individuals may not need to speak to a customer service representative at all. 

Let AI Help With Hiring

How much time do you spend reading resumes? AI software can take on some of the recruitment, hiring and interviewing processes. It can automate communication with applicants and gather data from references. 

For example, automated tests can screen applicants that don’t meet company requirements before they have a chance to contact you. AI software can scan resumes to look for certain degrees or years of experience in particular areas. 

Earlier in the recruitment process, you can also use AI to target job listings at particular demographics based on location, interests or online behavior. 

Build a Better Marketing Campaign

Do you know what your customers really want? Customer relationship management (CRM) software can gather and analyze data from social media, email newsletters and other channels to form a clearer picture of your target audience. It looks at customer response patterns to help you develop marketing strategies that will better resonate with clients. 

For example, what’s your click-through rate? How many customers leave after just a few seconds on your website? Which pages get the most hits, and where do people let their mouse pointer stay the longest?

Use these metrics to understand where your customers are coming from and make better business decisions. That will lead to an improved client experience overall. It also means spending less money and time generating marketing campaigns that don’t work. 

Rely on Open-Source Software

Open-source AI is publicly available for commercial and personal use. Many AI services are open source and require a bit of training to drive results. Most are free, so use them if they fit your business model. 

Invest in Practicality

Find an AI solution that’s geared specifically toward small businesses. It may not be as flashy or interesting as other types of software, but sometimes you need practicality over high tech.

For example, a free autocorrect AI might be enough for you if you’re trying to improve your writing speed. Ask yourself if it’s really worth paying for a content-generating service that writes entire blog posts for your website. Test different software types to find out which ones work best for you. Sometimes, combining several simple AI services is more practical than paying for advanced programs.

Leverage the AI Used on You

Whether you realize it or not, artificial intelligence already plays a huge role in your online activity. The ads and sponsored content you see are directly related to your search history, including which links you clicked on, how long you engaged with the content and whether you came back for more. It’s one of the most effective forms of marketing. 

Consider what your customers are looking for. What keywords are they using? How does your website rank on search engines compared to your competitors’ pages? Does your business show up at all? Thinking like a customer will help you improve your marketing skills. 

Sign up for Free Trials

Many artificial intelligence services offer free trial periods. Use them to decide if the software is a good fit for your business. Additionally, some AI companies provide cheaper alternatives for small and medium-sized enterprises. Don’t be afraid to ask if that’s an option. 

Consider Leasing an AI Service

You don’t necessarily need to hire a programmer or be skilled in big data to leverage AI for your business. Instead, look for self-sufficient, steady AI. There are numerous services available that you can lease, and the software often comes with strong customer service. 

Bolster Your Cybersecurity

One of AI’s biggest benefits is protecting your business against cybercrime. In fact, 51% of enterprises rely mainly on AI for threat prediction and detection. That’s because many cyberattacks stem from AI software.

Cybersecurity AI tracks behavior patterns in software, stored data and apps. It uses digital tools to interpret what employees and clients normally do and recognize when something unusual happens. 

For example, if somebody makes a purchase from the United States at 3 a.m., it might label that behavior as suspicious. It could also flag emails coming from outside the organization, make note of any risky links or double-check with customers who make very large transactions. These notifications will allow you to quickly take action during a cybersecurity breach. 

Using Artificial Intelligence to Your Advantage

AI services were once relegated to large tech companies, but now numerous options are available for small businesses. No matter what type of company you’re starting, AI can help you with everything from customer metrics to cybersecurity. 

Look for user-friendly software that comes with strong customer support services, keeps up with industry developments and can scale with your business. Above all, remember that AI is a tool anyone can use to their advantage.