Artificial Intelligence (AI) has been adopted by industries all over the globe and is continually changing the way businesses operate. The International Data Corporation estimates that global spending on AI will reach a staggering $57.6 billion by 2021, as more business leaders embrace the transformative technology.
With AI’s invaluable insights and cost-cutting automation, it has become a necessary investment for most big corporations. However, small and medium enterprises (SMEs) can benefit from AI as well, and maybe even more so. After all, SMEs are in a unique position to utilize AI to steer their budding place in the market. When used properly, AI can dramatically boost business growth and make operations more manageable and efficient.
Thankfully, the modern SME owner can easily access the right tools to equip their business with AI-driven processes. There’s no need to spend excessive amounts on outsourcing when there is a myriad of courses online that can help you and your team learn the essentials. Case in point, the most popular courses that cover the subject on Udemy include ‘Learn How to Build an AI’ and ‘AI for Business’, both receiving above 4.3 ratings from over 12,000 past students — with more than 100,000 currently enrolled. These courses are ideal for beginners who want a crash course on building chatbots or optimizing operational processes for every kind of business using AI technology. The latter is especially beneficial for SME owners who need all the help they can get from cost-effective automation. A bit of effort spent on knowing these basics can go a long way in improving your business, as some of the most significant advantages of AI make clear.
Make Changes Based on Business Intelligence:
Our correspondent details how business intelligence enables companies to change direction based on data points gathered through descriptive analytics. AI-powered data gathering tools are the best source of business intelligence, as they can dispense accurate reports with actionable points that business owners can take into consideration. SMEs will find this particularly useful when deciding which next steps should be taken to grow the company or which processes have to be cut down or revised.
Understand Competition with Analytics:
In a similar fashion, AI-powered descriptive and predictive analytics can be used to scope out the competition. For instance, companies like Crayon are helping businesses be more aware of their competitors’ social media activity, market value, and advertisements. This can be a game-changer for SMEs that heavily rely on staying ahead of the competition to survive the early stages of business.
Take Advantage of Targeted Ads:
Chances are that a significant chunk of your budget is spent on marketing and advertisement, as steady sales numbers are especially vital for SMEs. In this regard, AI-driven programmatic advertising can help you reach the right audience instead of having to cast a wide net. This saves you time and money by targeting viewers most likely to engage with your business, and not wasting resources on weak leads.
Improve Customer Service with a Chatbot:
Chatbots usually appear in the form of a bubble in the corner of a webpage with a cordial “How can I help you today?” This simple remark has far-reaching implications about how AI is changing customer service, with more businesses recognizing the importance of a reliable chatbot. In fact, Business Insider reports that 8 out of 10 business leaders want to have their own chatbots by 2020. For SMEs that rely on a few employees, it’s not always easy to respond to customers online. Creating a chatbot for your business can help you generate leads even while you sleep, saving you money in the long run.
Free Up Time and Resources with Automation:
Small business owners know how crucial time management is, especially when working with limited manpower and resources. Investing in AI is the best way to efficiently manage time, given all the cost-effective benefits of automation. You and your employees can focus on the more important things, while AI handles simple administrative duties and repetitive tasks.
All in all, AI can help small and medium business owners reach their goals and grow their company through analytics and automation. For the modern SME, there is no question that AI has become a necessity for staying ahead of the curve and ahead of your competition.