4 ways small businesses are using generative AI

How small business owners are using generative AI tools to boost their business’s marketing strategy, better understand their customers and reduce admin. 

At a glance

Here’s a snapshot of the article’s insights:

  • After Story’s Sue Ryburn uses generative AI to write, transcribe and edit blog article copy for her website.
  • Specialty seeds and giftware business owner Awhina Kingi uses ChatGPT as a research tool to keep up with industry trends.
  • AI helps accountant and small business owner Mike Pirovich draft financial statements.
  • “Like any other tools, they take time to learn how to use, and the more you use them the better they get,” says Mike.

Generative AI tools can make work easier for small business owners – and there is high demand for AI-equipped products and services.

According to the International Data Corporation’s Worldwide Artificial Intelligence Spending Guide, spending on AI software and systems will reach $154 billion this year, marking a 26.9% increase in spending from 2022.

Here are four suggestions for how small business owners can use AI to boost their business’s marketing strategy, better understand their customers and reduce admin.

1. Marketing content creation

“I use ChatGPT to help me write blog articles for the website.”

Generative AI tools can assist with all stages of a business’s marketing cycle.

“I use ChatGPT to help me write blog articles,” says After Story’s Sue Ryburn. “I record what I want to say, convert that to text and get AI to edit and improve the transcript.

“I also use AI to improve the quality of the photographs I take of my products.”

Sue plans to make further use of AI tools in the future with a chatbot capability on the website.

“I want to make it possible for customers to get the answers to their questions easily,” she says.

2. Customer sentiment and trends research

“I believe AI can empower businesses to provide efficient customer service.”

For Awhina Kingi, founder of specialty seeds and giftware business Aunts Garden, anticipating the needs of her customers is paramount owing to the business’s small size.

She uses ChatGPT, which can collate and condense information available from multiple sources online, as a research tool to identify trends in the industry.

“I’ve discovered a significant increase in interest in non-GMO and organic seeds since the COVID-19 outbreak, with a focus on fruits and survival plants,” says Awhina.

“I believe AI can empower businesses to provide efficient customer service and create customised products that resonate with their target audience.”

3. Formulas and calculations

Generative AI can do more than write text and generate images, though – it can also assist with the numerical side of running a business. AI tools can generate Excel formulas and coding based on simple requests.

The best way to see how these tools can help is to test them – consider using a prompt such as “Give me a step-by-step guide to creating a loan calculator” to discover the possibilities.

4. Administrative tasks

“I’ll be using [these tools] to help write reports for financial statements.”

For Mike Pirovich of small business accountancy Bare Bones Accounting, speech-to-text tools have helped reduce admin and clarify written statements.

“Because I’m not a very good typist, I find this capability very useful,” explains Mike. “It is something I’ll be using to help write reports for financial statements which require an element of technical expertise.”

Mike knows generative AI tools require human input so the content they produce does the job.

“Like any other tools, they take time to learn how to use, and the more you use them the better they get,” he says. “It’s our job to put on the finishing touches.”

Small business owners have AI tools at their disposal and can use them to help improve existing ways of working and to try new techniques to grow.

Generative AI tools can help small business owners reduce business admin and grow. Consider a Prospa Small Business Loan as the next step in your business’s growth plans.

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