The AI boom is set to spread far and wide in 2024, with a reported 77% of global businesses using the technology. However, it’s reported that only 29% of startups/small businesses have adopted the tool so far, citing lack of expertise as their main reason for not doing so.
Interestingly, a survey of 3,000 business owners and managers by AIPRM found that almost a third (31%) of US businesses have saved between $101 and $500 by replacing simple tasks with AI.
Keen to elaborate on their findings further, Christoph C. Cemper, an AI expert on behalf of AIPRM, provides his insight on how artificial intelligence can easily act as a key tool for starting your business.
Here are his five ways AI can help with your startup or small business
Marketing is a crucial element for any startup or small business, not just for building brand awareness, credibility and trust, but also for positive customer retention and long term-growth.
Using AI in your marketing strategy doesn’t have to be overly complex, and it’s usually very accessible – with free-to-use tools such as Chat GPT. With over three in five (61%) of marketers now using AI to save time and resources, it’s clear to see how AI can work as a trusty sidekick to assist your natural workflow of content creation, analysing performance and predicting improvements for better engagement.
In fact, a global study by Statista reported that 47% of marketers trust the use of AI for generating target ads, 42% use the tool for personalising content, 33% for optimising subject email lines and 32% for conducting live chat sessions with customers.
2. Understanding consumer behaviour
If you’re just starting out in business, you’ll want to understand your consumer pretty quickly. You can even use AI to develop a personalised customer avatar to target potential customers through AI-based ad tools, such as social media or Google Ads.
Although AI can assist with data-driven approaches, there still needs to be oversight from human beings, and the people maintaining these datasets have to be diverse so that the data sets are also diverse enough to reach a wider audience whilst still targeting your ideal customer.
3. Competitor analysis
AI can assist in analysing not only your own customer behaviour, but competitor trends, which can be used to adapt your own strategies accordingly. You can use AI to gain large amounts of data at the drop of a hat, and use this as a benchmark for your own strategies, and analyse how you measure against the competition.
To do this is actually relatively easy. You can use quick analytic tools such as Hootsuite or Brandwatch to generate reports on your competitors’ social media, engagement and growth, as well as their websites and any industry news sites to identify emerging patterns and trends. This can help you identify any gaps in the market, and leverage any customer feedback and satisfaction.
4. Product development
If you have a startup or small business, you also have a product it revolves around. Using AI for improving product design, development processes, prototyping and testing lands you with a good chance of a product that’s likely to perform.
You can leverage AI from day one by using market intelligence tools to analyse how similar products are performing on the market, and use this to one up your competitors. Easy to use, free tools such as Figma can also assist prototyping, which instantly converts concepts into visual product prototypes.
Reports show that small businesses and startups are THREE TIMES more likely to be targeted by cyber crime than larger companies, with threats including phishing, malware attacks, social engineering, data theft, and insider threats. 60% of SMEs that suffer cyber attacks also go out of business within six months.
Despite this,security within startups and small businesses are often overlooked. Recent reports found that 51% of small businesses don’t utilise any IT security measures – with 36% of small businesses having no concern whatsoever about cyberattacks.
So how can AI help? AI can analyse vast amounts of data in real-time to identify any suspicious patterns or anomalies associated with cyber security threats, and block any attempts to cause harm. AI can also scan your systems for any vulnerabilities and manage this accordingly. You can even utilise AI platforms for training up employees on best practices, and reducing human error that can lead to vulnerabilities in security.