Since the launch of ChatGPT last year, talk about machines and AI taking over has dominated water-cooler and coffee-break conversations. Will my job go away, or our company become redundant? What do we do next?
But it’s not all gloom and doom. AI can handle more of the daily workload while it leaves you and your team to tackle higher-value tasks. Using AI tools can make a small business more efficient and increase revenue.
Letting AI tools handle some of your business’s more rote tasks can also be fun. The best way to learn to use them is to start playing with them and learning how they work. Learn about them on each company’s website to learn about more advanced features. Many tools are free, while others are free with a paid tier.
Many small businesses can benefit from AI, especially for their customer service. AI is one more available tool for businesses worth investigating, whether you automate just one part of your business or more.
AI’s benefits can get or keep you up and running from a startup to an established small business.
- Need a company name? A business name generator can help. Namelix is a free business tool that lets you input your business description and information into its query forms. Namelix’s AI quickly gives you options without a signup or login. You can also search for domain names, which takes a little longer.
- Get a logo. Once you’ve selected a name, let AI generate a free logo with Brandmark. Whether you need a new logo or want to update your current one, you can quickly generate one here. For an optional one-time fee, you can have lifetime access to multiple branding tools and the complete copyright to all your designs.
Once you’ve got your company’s branding, it’s time to start advertising your small business to your markets.
Marketing And SEO
Let customers know you’re here. Otherwise, they’re going to your competitors. Once you have your company’s name, a logo is next to begin branding your company. You can hire someone, which could take time and be costly. To get a logo immediately, consider the following:
- Jasper another AI writing tool but with a range of marketing tools, including a chatbot, translator, template library, and more. It has a free seven-day trial with options for monthly and yearly subscriptions. Jasper also learns your brand voice to keep your content consistent. Add in your brand name and/or product to begin generating content. This function is especially useful for e-commerce businesses to generate product descriptions.
- Flick is a social media marketing assistant powered by AI. It handles your hashtag research, post scheduling, Instagram tracking, copywriting, and the analytics you need to see what works and what doesn’t. Following the seven-day free trial, plans start at less than $20 monthly for monthly billing and less than $15 monthly when billed yearly. You can cancel anytime.
- Phrasee generates content based on your brand’s voice and tailored to your audience, accurately predicting what will resonate the most with them. This tool automates A/B testing and integrates with a variety of tools, including Facebook, Instagram, and Salesforce.
You don’t need to be a graphic designer with tools like:
- Canva’s Magic Design, an AI-powered design tool that takes any media and converts it into custom templates for nearly anything, including presentations,
- Images.AI can take a description and turn it into a custom image based on input criteria.
AI lets you quickly draft and design images you need when you need them.
It’s every business owner’s hangup: “I don’t know what to write!” Alternately, “I don’t have time to write anything!” In both scenarios, AI can come to your rescue and help remove writer’s block. Besides the much-lauded ChatGPT (free and paid tiers), other writing-based AI tools can help generate content for your brand.
- Copy.ai also includes a chat functionality. Sign up with a free account for 2,000 words per month, or get unlimited words for five users for under $450 a year. The free service includes 90 copywriting tools, a blog tool, and unlimited projects. The paid version includes more than 29 languages and priority email support.
- Notion.ai is another tool that helps with writing by offering information as prompts. Because it’s currently, Notion.ai requires a waitlist to join while it’s in the current free alpha version. The tool is available for PCs, Macs, and smartphones.
- MarketMuse is an AI-powered tool that analyzes your website and gives you personalized data and insights to help you better plan your content marketing and other campaigns. Free and paid tiers are available.
- Canva Magic Write is a copywriting tool included in your Canva account. Free accounts are limited to 25 lifetime uses, while paid accounts can generate up to 250 projects monthly.
- Do you or your team spend too much time writing emails? Warmest.AI focuses on emails and learns how you write them. Warmest has a free 7-day trial. (NOTE: Currently, Warmest is only compatible with Gmail and GSuite, and requires a waitlist to begin.)
- Grammarly uses AI to proofread everything before it’s published. It also offers suggestions to improve the content and check for plagiarism. With both a free and paid tier, Grammarly also has plugins and apps for browsers, smartphones, MS Word, Google Docs, and Windows and Mac.
These are just some available AI tools you can use to create strong content to market and support your brand.
The Back-Office—Number Crunching And Other Tasks
This is where AI can show its worth.
- Zenefits takes care of payroll, PTO, benefits, onboarding, and other standard HR functions.
- If your team uses plenty of spreadsheets, there’s no need to re-write and recreate formulas. FormulaBot can quickly and easily generate formulas on demand. The free version allows just five formulas per month, while the two inexpensive paid versions allow unlimited formula generation.
- Textio can help when you’re recruiting some new teammates for your team. This AI tool lets you optimize your job postings for inclusion and remove gender and other biases from your job listings. It also works for internal and external postings, from emails to social media posts.
- Fireflies is a recording and transcription tool that lets you automate meeting minutes, transcribe them, search them, and even analyze voice conversations. This tool integrates with Zoom, fireflies.aiGoogle Meet, Webex, and MS Teams. Just invite Fireflies to meetings on your calendar. The AI-powered search lets you quickly review meetings. There are free and paid tiers available.
- TimeHero is an AI-powered project management tool that integrates with Gmail. This tool tracks availability for different tasks before the due date and reallocates the workflow to ensure task completion is on time without missing meetings or other obligations.
- ZohoZia is the AI-powered assistant for your entire team. From drafting letters and other documents to analyzing data, ZohoZia makes it faster and easier. This tool can also gather information, generate reports, detect anomalies, delegate efficiently, and use its prediction capabilities to help owners and managers plan better.
- AI also makes accounting easier for small businesses. Tools like Zeni, Vic.AI, and Xero bring the power of AI into accounting to make everything faster and easier. Features like automatic bank feeds, bill paying, payroll, invoicing, incoming revenue, and account reconciliation can all be accessed through a dashboard that automates everything.
Nearly anything you need to automate can be given to AI. Once you begin using AI capabilities in your small business, you and your team will be better able to serve your customers.
AI Tool Caveats
AI tools for business do come with limitations. The key is understanding what AI can and can’t do and using it accordingly.
For instance, ChatGPT comes with a warning that it has “limited knowledge of world and events after 2021.” ChatGPT also warns that it “May occasionally generate incorrect information” and “May occasionally produce harmful instructions or biased content.” AI uses the data given, so some wrong answers are inevitable. In the case of generated images, AI programs may violate copyrighted work.
Customer service AI can mimic human behavior, but only to a point. A chatbot doesn’t understand human emotions, so it may give a rude or insensitive answer to a customer’s query, leading to an angry customer—and possibly a lost one.
For articles or instructions in a video, social media or blog post, or other content that people will depend on, it’s vital to check and verify anything from AI before publishing.
Why Use AI?
Once harnessed, AI is faster, easier, and works at the touch of a button while you do something else. This technology can crunch numbers in the time it takes to get a cup of coffee. AI can become a powerful tool for your business to grow and succeed. With AI, customer behavior analysis, market and data analysis, and other analytics are faster. Automating workflows and “busywork” tasks means more time for you and your team to serve customers and earn more revenue. Using AI can help reduce errors while making your company more competitive.
Since AI and machine learning technology have become more widespread, it’s also more affordable. Small businesses can use the advantages of AI without a significant investment in AI technology. AI can also give small businesses a competitive edge. Technologies like chatbots, virtual assistants, or predictive analytics can improve and provide new services, enhancing customer engagement and satisfaction. AI tools can also scale up or down as needed.
Before beginning any free trial or paying for any tools, consider your business’ needs, resources, and budget. One tool may not break the budget, but paying for multiples can, especially if the ROI isn’t large. The tools must also be easy to use. Otherwise, your team will spend more time learning to use the tools, negating the time and cost savings they were supposed to bring.
Is your small business ready to make the switch to VoIP? Press8 Telecom offers VoIP phone service ideal for small and medium-sized businesses. Our plans include a wide range of free features and affordable add-ons for your company’s needs. Contact us today for a free quote.