The benefits of artificial intelligence (AI) are certainly not reserved for big businesses. AI is often seen as an expensive tool but in actual fact it is becoming far more affordable and accessible. Small businesses can now harness the power of AI to save time, increase productivity and boost profits. Here are six key ways in which AI can benefit your small business.

1) Cash Flow

Cash flow management is a constant struggle for many small business owners, but AI technology can really help to lighten the load. Cloud based accounting platforms such as Intuit, Quickbooks and Xero use artificial intelligence to create cash flow projections, calculate capital risk, capture receipts and even track business travel mileage. This makes it far easier for business owners to stay on top of their accounts and grow sustainably whilst ensuring that there is always enough cash in the bank to continue.

2) Productivity

Using AI to automate menial tasks frees up staff time, allowing them to concentrate on more important issues and boosting productivity. Streamlining workflows also helps to reduce stress and there’s a wealth of evidence to suggest that happier staff are more productive, too.

AI can perform tasks such as:

● Data entry

● Customer service chat bots

● Data analysis

● Scheduling social media posts 

3) Product Quality Assurance

Businesses that sell products need to keep a close eye on quality, but doing so manually is a huge drain on time and resources. AI can handle this problem for you by automating the scanning and evaluation process to detect flaws. This is a cost-effective way of stopping faulty products from reaching customers, helping you to save money without sacrificing your reputation. 

4) Marketing

AI can really help you to hit the right note with your marketing and maximise your reach. In fact, AI can inform your marketing strategy by analysing behavioural patterns that brought customers to your website. This is valuable data that can help you to increase sales and scale up.

Furthermore, you can use AI to automate the process of nurturing your leads by creating a reliable email sequence. Only around 3% of leads will buy from you straight away, so it’s important to nurture the remaining 97% to maximise sales and get the best ROI from your marketing budget.

5) Staff Scheduling

As your business grows and you take on more employees, scheduling can start to feel like a very complex puzzle and thus present a drain on your resources. Furthermore, scheduling mistakes can be costly, too. If your business is over-staffed then you’re wasting money. However, if you’re under-staffed you risk negatively affecting your productivity and customer service.

AI software can take care of this process for you by using past data to schedule the right staff at the right time. It’s also easy to scale up this process as your business grows, saving a huge headache for your management team.

6) Cyber Security

Cyber crime has been increasing for many years now and the covid-19 pandemic further accelerated this concerning trend. Businesses really cannot afford to neglect cyber security. Fortunately, AI can help with this by automating security measures and performing regular system scans and backups to keep your company data safe.

Summary

AI can really help to level the playing field between big and small businesses across all sectors and, crucially, boost profits. A study by the Harvard Business Review found that sales teams who use AI saw a 50% increase in leads. This figure is only expected to increase as software becomes more sophisticated. As well as automating time-consuming tasks and freeing up resources, AI provides businesses with actionable data that they can use to improve their practices and maximise results. If you are yet to harness the power of AI to improve your small business, now is the time to start.