Artificial Intelligence (AI) has become an inseparable part of our lives, impacting businesses and daily routines. We have reached the point when AI can do many things for your business.
Moreover, many products and services we use daily rely on implementing AI solutions. Next time you turn on Netflix, remember they also use machine learning.
Although it may seem like AI is still far away in the future, many small businesses and startups have already started integrating AI into their operation. The truth is you do not need to understand how AI models work. However, you need to know how they can serve your business in the best way.
In this article, I collected the best practices for using AI in your business. Discover nine ways how AI can revolutionize your operations and unlock new opportunities for your business.
Is Artificial Intelligence relevant to every business?
In short, yes. The longer version, as always, starts with the good old “it depends on.” The approach to how to and to what extent implementing AI varies depending on the industry and the specific nature of the business itself.
There is no one-size-fits-all AI solution, as each company requires a tailored strategy to leverage AI’s power effectively.
Factors impacting AI implementation
To illustrate this point, let’s consider the difference between a startup and a local shop.
While a startup might have more opportunities to implement AI technologies across various aspects of its operations, a local shop may have more limited options. It sounds intuitive that a tech-focused startup company has more opportunities to implement AI into their operations, but let’s dig into the reasons behind it.
The fact that a local shop has more limited options is due to the nature of the business and the development stage of AI. The current AI projects focus on more significant, valuable markets, like ads optimization or web searching. These AI initiatives are more suitable for a startup than a local manufacturing shop.
Furthermore, the integration of AI can vary significantly between Startup A and Startup B, based on factors such as industry and the stage of their startup journey.
While the relevance of customer support might be high for Startup A in a B2C market, Startup B might not reach the point when AI implementation makes a big difference or just operating in an industry where customer support is not an essential part of business.
But now, you can ask how can AI help my business. So, let’s dive into AI technology and its business benefits.
Businesses have various ways to utilize generative AI throughout the customer journey. A typical customer journey is a long process starting from marketing to providing customer support.
During this journey, there are various touch points with the customers when a generative AI platform can help to solve business problems.
Generative AI solutions use text input to create text, pictures, videos, or music. These AI systems generate content or data based on previous patterns and examples.
Related post: Top 27 Promising Generative AI Companies
Using AI for customer communications can be an excellent way to improve efficiency, responsiveness, and overall customer satisfaction. It also helps lower your cost when you start your own business, which generally requires a massive customer support team.
It might sound theoretical, so dig in more to see how to empower customer experience with AI in your business.
It is not a secret that many tech companies already use generative AI in their business processes to provide more personalized services.
Netflix deployed generative AI to suggest movies and TV shows tailored to each user’s preference. Netflix’s AI solution uses factors like viewing history, ratings, and reviews to make the best recommendation and increase engagement.
Amazon also uses generative AI solutions to provide tailored product recommendations to its customers. Their AI model takes into account purchases, browsing history, and search terms.
Although both Netflix and Amazon had a huge database when implementing their AI solutions, there are AI-based solutions that do not require a massive database to work effectively.
Analyze customer data and predict leaving
AI will be a powerful tool for predicting customer churn, which refers to customers leaving a business. This problem is challenging because it involves analyzing vast amounts of data and interactions over time.
It cannot be easy to understand how different customer behaviors interact with one another. But this is precisely a problem that fits an AI model due to the massive amount of data and patterns.
Customer support with machine learning
Chatbots can create more efficient customer interactions using machine learning and natural language processing. It can reduce both first-response and handling times for human customer support employees.
When you are starting your own business, these chatbots do not just save time, but they can save a ton of money.
At some point, you will need someone handling the more complex client queries, but having a chatbot on your side gives you extra time to prepare financially for adding a new team member. This strategic approach ensures a smoother transition and allows you to allocate resources more effectively.
Depending on the industry, you can add AI capabilities to customer support for text messages, phone calls, and emails.
Believe me, creating content is a time-consuming process. Unsurprisingly, most businesses invest between 2 and 5 hours to craft a single blog post.
And when it comes to Instagram, the average time spent on creating a post ranges from 30 to 85 minutes.
Understanding the time investment in social media
Let’s do a quick math and calculate how long it takes to create one blog post and daily social media post weekly. It can add up to 4.5 to 12 hours per week, not to mention the brainstorming phase of content creation.
You see, content creation demands a significant chunk of time, effort, and specific human capabilities.
However, you can significantly shorten the content creation process by using AI algorithms. For making a blog post, you can use tools like Jasper to be more effective, which reduces 80% of your time spent on first drafts.
There is a huge emphasis on the fact that most AI implementations will help you to be more effective. Nevertheless, it will not save you from adding real value.
AI-based solutions can be implemented for video content creation, editing, and image generation tasks. The goal is to outsource the most repetitive task to AI when creating content to allow you to focus on business objectives.
Does AI really increase costs?
The two main benefits of using AI are cost-effectiveness and it can save a lot of time. You might initially think that subscribing to or implementing AI increases costs.
And you are maybe right.
It is worth calculating your costs before AI implementations to see how much money would save, or it would just simply add to your expenses. There is an excellent way to decide this.
To calculate this, consider how much it would cost to hire a freelancer or agency to handle your content creation. Ideally, you should know their hourly rates and the number of hours they spend on content creation per month.
Once you know hourly rates and spent hours, you can simply compare them to the cost and time requirement of AI implementation. If you have employees, you can also compare their hourly rates to see which option proves more financially viable.
If you are bootstrapping and doing your business on your own, you can do the same practice and compare your hourly rates to the subscription fee.
Implementing AI solutions to improve internal processes
Adopting AI in day-to-day workflows can be a massive boost for your businesses. It is worth it to take one step back and think through what are the repetitive tasks that you are doing on a daily basis. It can be coding, report-making, and many other activities.
You can first use just free AI tools or try some trials and see how it impacts your time spent on these repetitive tasks. If you are getting more comfortable with AI platforms, you can try more advanced tools for money.
But remember, if you are just starting your business with a limited budget, delegating as much work to AI tools can be key to saving time for your core product.
Cybersecurity and fraud management
Startups developing AI-powered cybersecurity solutions gained a lot of traction in the past couple of years. Many financial institutions have already completed a successful AI implementation and use them to prevent cybersecurity and fraudulent activities.
AI learns faster by using machine learning and deep learning techniques so it can be a good answer to cybersecurity attacks.
However, AI-powered cybersecurity systems have just started their journey, and there are many risks and challenges that it needs to overcome.
Gaurav Keerthi, Deputy Chief Executive Officer at Cyber Security Agency of Singapore, says
Using emerging technologies has always been a risk, but it also can give you a competitive advantage. If you have reached the point when security becomes a huge issue for you, it is also worth looking at AI-based solutions.
More effective data analysis
We are living in a data-driven culture, and AI already has a substantial impact on data analysis. Its ability to analyze a vast amount of data, find patterns, and identify opportunities or pain points can improve the effectiveness of data analysis.
Although generative AI solutions have gained some significant traction recently, predictive AI tools would also deserve credit. Predictive AI platforms utilize data mining, statistics, machine learning, and mathematics to create forecasts based on historical data.
What would it be like in real life?
Imagine a restaurant that uses a demand forecasting system to order meal ingredients. Instead of making intuitive decisions, it can have a data-driven approach based on clear facts and high-quality data.
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Optimizing supply chain operations
According to Gartner, over 80% of new technologies used in supply chain management will involve AI and data science by 2025. Implementing AI can help in inventory management, tracking, and warehouse automation.
Based on Mckinsey’s research, AI-powered supply-chain systems helped early adopters to improve logistics costs by 15%, inventory levels by 35%, and service levels by 65%.
AI automation can be especially crucial for small businesses where tracking and inventory management are fulfilled manually. AI can minimize errors and increase efficiency in supply chain operations.
AI-enabled quality control and quality assurance
Not every business can profit from AI development in the same way. AI-enabled quality control and assurance is great for a manufacturing company, but it is not relevant for a software company.
A quality control AI program uses computer vision, machine learning, and data analytics to identify defects and anomalies in real-time. It can fully automate the quality control processes and reduce the number of defective products and related costs.
AI personal assistants
A personal AI assistant refers to a software program that utilizes technologies like natural language processing (NLP) to understand and respond to voice and text commands. These assistants are designed to perform tasks similar to human assistants, including reading text, transcribing dictation, making phone calls, and performing numerous other functions.
Build a more intelligent product
Many examples exist when businesses integrated AI into a “classic” product.
Recently, Urtopia revealed its Fusion e-bike. This is the first bike that integrates ChatGPT and built-in speakers into the bicycle. These features work as a personal tour guide for riders.
Imagine pedaling through a city while having an AI companion to provide you with information on nearby attractions, local landmarks, and the captivating history behind each site.
Even though implementing AI into a product is a massive challenge, thinking out of the box with AI technologies can unlock a new world of possibilities.