Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence can significantly improve the speed and productivity levels of businesses across different industries. While many think that only large corporations can leverage this technology, the truth is that there are various ways for small businesses to do the same. As a result, this technology can help small businesses to compete more and achieve more significant results even with their restricted budget.
Small businesses can use this technology even though they do not have the same financial capacity as the big businesses because it does not require deep tech skills or an in-house tech team. So, they can still save costs and increase productivity with minimal tech skills. In addition, the availability of specific tools and low-code platforms makes it possible for all sizes of businesses to use this tool.
To use this tool, business owners have to be careful in their planning and implementation. However, it isn’t out of their financial reach. Although they lack the funds of the big companies, here are a few tips to help small businesses leverage AI/ML affordably.
Define the problem that you need to solve
AI/ML technology can categorize and analyze data. While it is cutting-edge technology, it’s still essential that you first understand why you need it and what you will be using it for before delving into it. For example, as a small business, you must first define your business’s problems and then collect the data to understand the root issues better. After, you determine how AI can address the problem. As a result, you will be able to increase your business’s ROI by using an extremely targeted approach to implementing AI.
Use free or low-cost tools.
There are many ways for you to apply AI in your small business. If you have a team of workers or employees, brainstorm together and try to work out how and where you can use this technology to be more productive. For instance, if you are a marketing firm and have about 50 employees, you could download free AI/ML tools such as Tensor Flow, a software library. Then get a data scientist to gather all the online conversations about a product’s category. This will help you to identify the hottest customer topics and the most competitive white spaces too. There are many free tools across several industries that come in handy for small businesses.
Find ways to remove mundane tasks.
Make sure that you are implementing AI/ML into your business to combat specific problems. Then focus on those areas that can help you improve your employees’ efficiency. The best way to do this is to remove the mundane tasks they have to do and augment their talent. Next, be sure to use your AI solution with other solutions existing in the market. You can do this by running test cases. The next thing to do is to look past the market hype and look for the real ROI. Then run your test, make the adjustment, and scale up to see if you will get a positive result.
Review past performances
Hundreds of thousands of small business customers already use Artificial Intelligence in different ways. AI users can review past data and use it to predict the viability of future deals. This makes it easy to know which customers are likely to purchase a product from them and prioritize their efforts. Reviewing past interactions can help with driving future ones. The ability to review communications allows you to determine the ones that were previously engaged from customers and prospects. This will help you choose the most appropriate offer or message in the future.
Start with smaller steps
When small business owners say they can’t implement AI, one reason is that they think of it as an overhaul to their entire system. That’s why they think it is only for large businesses. In reality, you should implement AI through small applications and in ways that do not require an overhaul of your entire system. This is the most cost-effective way for small businesses to use this technology. So, you must identify the small areas where you can apply AI/ML and start to introduce them in a way that helps you save money.
Use AI/ML for customer engagement
One of the best ways to use your AI/ML technology is in customer engagement. This technology is beneficial for handling customer service, especially if your business has to take many customers regularly but does not currently lack the resources to create a working customer support department.
In addition, many customer interactions don’t require a human touch, yet they make up the number of customers requesting help. You can deploy AI to handle cases like this. This will improve your customer experience as they will have their queries dealt with earlier, and it will also reduce the workload on your employees, making them more effective.
Focus on quantifiable areas
As a small business just implementing AI/ML for the first time, you must start using it in an area that you can quantify easily. This will help you realize your success and build on it. Firstly, you must start with areas that affect your business revenue because it is easy to quantify revenue changes. Then you move to other sites that affect the cost and can also be quantified. Finally, after you’ve implemented it successfully in these areas, you start looking at those areas impacting risks. While these are harder to quantify, they are still necessary.
There’s a common misconception that large corporations can only implement artificial Intelligence. However, it is evident that it is untrue, and this article discusses several tips for small businesses to implement Artificial Intelligence and be more competitive in the market.
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