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How AI can benefit small business

QUESTION: Artificial Intelligence or AI is a hot topic lately. How best can small business utilize this new technology?

ANSWER: Artificial intelligence has an especially important role to play for small businesses and startups with fewer employees and limited resources.

Microsoft reported that almost half of small business owners feel “too overwhelmed managing the day-to-day aspects of their business to have the energy or means to ensure their business is reaching its full potential.” If you lack the time and energy to do your job, you’re 3.5 times more likely to have a hard time thinking strategically or innovating.

The most common AI uses desired by small business owners include automating repetitive tasks and analyzing customer data and trends. Order tracking and customer service software offer AI features that increase business efficiency while improving client experiences. It’s a win-win for small companies.

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Here’s a quick run-down of some of the benefits of using AI in your business:

• Increased efficiency: By automating repetitive tasks, AI can streamline workflows and bolster employee productivity. For example, AI-powered sales automation can analyze customer data, predict potential leads and automate outreach. This allows sales teams, especially those with limited bandwidth or capacity, to focus less on manual prospecting efforts and more on nurturing high-priority leads.

• Smarter decision-making: AI algorithms provide valuable insights for informed decision-making by analyzing large amounts of data quickly and accurately. An AI-powered analytics tool, for instance, can distill complex data about customers into a clear, actionable overview of purchasing patterns, behaviors and trends.

• Personalized customer experiences: Artificial intelligence isn’t just about making your business smarter and faster; it can also enhance the feeling of personalization for customers. An AI-driven analysis of customer preferences and behaviors can create tailored marketing campaigns, persona-specific product recommendations and personalized outreach messaging.

• Cost savings: By automating tasks and streamlining processes, AI can help small businesses save on operational costs and improve overall financial performance. Examples include AI-driven energy management systems, which analyze energy usage patterns for businesses and suggest optimizations to reduce energy costs.

• Competitive advantage: Small businesses can gain a competitive edge by leveraging AI tools to enhance their products or services. AI-powered market research tools can analyze customer behavior and competitor strategies in real time, offering insight into customer preferences and industry dynamics and ensuring that product decisions line up with market trends.

The options for AI may seem overwhelming, but the value it can add to your small business and professional development is well worth the groundwork. A good start would be to sign up for the University of Richmond online AI Bootcamp, beginning July 1, 2024.

This AI boot camp is designed to equip students with a strong foundation of skills required to stand out in a competitive industry. For more information log on to

Gray Poehler is a volunteer with the Richmond Chapter of SCORE, Counselors to America’s Small Business. To ask a question or request free and confidential business counseling, go to Learn more about SCORE’s workshops on the website or by calling (800) 634-0245.

Originally Appeared Here

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