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AI, the game changer for small and midsized businesses (Part 2)

The technology can be an affordable solution to improve efficiency, customer experience and decision-making.

As I shared in part one of this column, it is important for you to understand the ways in which an artificial intelligence tool can contribute to your specific business needs. As a follow-up, in today’s column, I will share how small and midsized businesses (SMBs) can access some of the ever-growing variety of AI tools designed to be affordable and user-friendly and that will help your business improve efficiency, enhance customer experiences and make better decisions. 

To verify the availability and functionality of AI tools for SMBs, you can explore each tool’s official website for detailed information about features, pricing and customer reviews. Additionally, third-party reviews and business technology forums can be valuable resources for unbiased opinions and user experiences. This can help you make an informed decision about which AI tools are most suitable for your business needs. Here are some key categories and examples of AI tools your small businesses might consider:

  • Customer Relationship Management (CRM): Check out the specific AI features they offer, such as sales forecasting, lead scoring and automation workflows. Also, look at case studies and testimonials to understand how other small businesses have benefited.
  • HubSpot: Offers AI-powered insights to track customer interactions and automate sales pipelines, making it easier to nurture leads and close deals.
  • Zoho CRM: Integrates AI to help businesses predict trends, analyze customer sentiment and automate repetitive tasks.
  • Marketing Automation: These platforms often provide detailed guides and tutorials on how their AI functions work, like audience segmentation and campaign optimization. Review their resources to understand the application of AI in marketing tasks and how they can fit your needs.
  • Mailchimp: Uses AI to optimize email marketing campaigns by predicting the best times to send emails and segmenting audiences based on behavior.
  • Adobe Marketo Engage: Provides tools for AI-driven marketing automation that enhances personalization and engagement in campaigns.
  • E-Commerce and Sales: Seek platforms that have extensive support and resource centers that explain how AI can be used to manage online stores, from inventory management to customer personalization.
  • Shopify: Incorporates AI for inventory management, personalized shopping experiences and sales predictions, helping e-commerce businesses manage their online stores efficiently.
  • BigCommerce: Uses AI to analyze customer data, improve search functionalities and personalize product recommendations.
  • Financial Management: Check out the product feature sections and help centers on their websites to learn about the AI-driven tools they provide for financial management, including automated entries and predictive insights.
  • QuickBooks: Employs AI to automate bookkeeping, manage expenses and provide insights into financial health.
  • Xero: Integrates AI to streamline processes such as invoice creation, reconciliation and financial reporting.
  • Human resources: Evaluate HR platforms that provide demos or trial versions that let you explore how AI assists with HR processes, from recruiting to payroll.
  • BambooHR: Features AI tools for analyzing employee data, automating HR tasks and enhancing recruitment processes.
  • Gusto: Offers AI-driven payroll solutions that automatically calculate pay and deductions, ensuring compliance with regulations.
  • Customer support: Request demos or access trial versions to see firsthand how AI enhances customer support through automated responses and personalized customer engagement.
  • Zendesk: Leverages AI to offer customer service solutions like chatbots and automated ticket responses, improving response times and customer satisfaction.
  • Intercom: Uses machine learning to provide personalized messaging and automation in customer interactions.
  • Data Analytics and Business Intelligence: Study detailed case studies and demo videos displaying their AI capabilities in data analytics, visualization and reporting.
  • Tableau: Incorporates AI to help businesses visualize data and uncover actionable insights without needing deep technical expertise.
  • Microsoft Power BI: Offers AI capabilities to analyze data for trends, make forecasts and generate easy-to-understand reports.
  • Cybersecurity: Learn about the AI and machine learning technologies in use to protect businesses from cyberthreats.
  • Norton Small Business: Uses AI to protect against cyberthreats with automated security solutions tailored for small businesses.
  • CrowdStrike Falcon: Provides AI-driven cybersecurity solutions designed to detect and respond to threats in real time.

Author Raúl Burgos is a business executive with 30-plus years’ experience, and is president and managing partner of Global 1080 Business Solutions and G1080 Consulting. Send comments to [email protected].

These are only examples of the myriad tools available, and some offer scalable pricing models, allowing small businesses to start with basic features and expand as their needs grow. Many provide free trials or limited free versions, enabling small businesses to test the tools before committing financially. 

Adopting these tools can significantly enhance a small business’ ability to compete in the digital age by leveraging the power of AI. There is no doubt that AI will help all businesses regardless of size, from optimizing your marketing strategy to improving the efficiency of your organization. 

We are upon a new business technology dawn, and the apocalyptic pundit’s “Terminator” is not in sight. So, as I always recommend, do your initial due diligence but always engage a knowledgeable and experienced consulting firm, such as Global 1080 Business Solutions, to help you explore the benefits you can reap from your AI journey.

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This story was written by our staff based on a press release.

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