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How Small Businesses And Entrepreneurs Can Benefit From AI

Small businesses face a significant challenge in today's digital landscape - competing against larger, well-resourced enterprises. However, the solution may lie in embracing Artificial Intelligence, a technology that can revolutionize how small businesses function and compete.

The Small Business and Entrepreneurship Council (SBEC) reported that nearly 48% of small businesses have started using AI tools. Small business owners can significantly reduce costs and increase profitability by leveraging AI tools. Karen Kerrigan, CEO of SBEC, stated that 93% of small business owners recognize the value of AI in providing cost-effective solutions that deliver tangible results.

Despite the compelling advantages, small businesses face obstacles when integrating AI. The primary hurdle is the price of adoption, which may include hardware, software and infrastructure investments. Learning to use these tools can also be daunting, especially for small businesses under financial and staffing constraints.

Small business owners have a lot on their plate, from managing employees and finances to marketing and customer service. AI-powered automation simplifies tasks, freeing resources for strategic initiatives. It streamlines operations and enables owners to focus on delivering the best possible product or service.

Navigating the AI Expertise Gap

Small businesses that seek help implementing AI often struggle to find the right expertise, particularly in smaller markets where the demand for such knowledge exceeds the supply. This creates a challenge for small businesses to leverage AI's full potential.

Getting Started With AI

If you're a small business owner eager to embark on the AI journey, here are a few practical steps to guide you on your path:

  • Start Small: Begin with minor AI projects to identify challenges and areas for improvement before scaling up. This approach allows for a controlled and risk-averse adoption of AI technology.
  • Prioritize Wisely: Focus on automating repetitive, time-intensive, or error-prone tasks to allocate resources more effectively. Identifying these low-hanging fruit tasks can yield immediate gains and establish the foundation for further AI integration.
  • Data Preparation: Ensure you have access to relevant, high-quality data, as AI's effectiveness heavily relies on the integrity of the data it processes. Data cleansing, organization and standardization are crucial steps to maximize AI's potential.
  • Be Patient: AI improvement is a gradual process. Focus on incremental gains and celebrate small victories. Building a culture of continuous learning and experimentation is essential to embrace the ever-evolving nature of AI.
  • Seek Expert Guidance: Engage with AI consultants, online courses, workshops, or solution providers who can tailor an AI strategy aligned with your business needs and goals. Their expertise can accelerate your AI adoption journey and maximize its impact.

Empowering Small Businesses

AI-driven data analysis provides insights into customer behavior, market trends and operational inefficiencies, enabling small businesses to make informed decisions that optimize their performance. Additionally, AI personalizes customer experiences, tailoring marketing campaigns, product recommendations and customer support to individual preferences, fostering stronger customer loyalty and repeat business.

The long-term advantages of increased efficiency, productivity and customer satisfaction often outweigh the upfront investment in AI. Despite the challenges, the benefits, from enhanced efficiency to informed decision-making, are invaluable for small businesses. Proper planning, implementation and ongoing refinement of AI strategies can yield long-term rewards, catapulting small businesses to the forefront of brand awareness and innovation.

Connect with an Old National Small Business Banker for more insights to help your business grow.

This article was written by Elijah Clark from Forbes and was legally licensed through the DiveMarketplace by Industry Dive. Please direct all licensing questions to

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