Your time and attention are some of your most valuable resources as a business owner.

Artificial Intelligence, or AI in short, can help you protect these resources, boosting productivity and saving time by automating routine tasks.

According to a survey done by Forbes Advisor, more than half of all business owners are already using Artificial Intelligence or are planning to implement AI in the next year. 

There are multiple ways in which AI can assist small business owners, from scheduling to accounting and content creation.

We have compiled a list of potential ways AI can support your business and make your workday a little easier:

1. Chatting With PDF Files 

While it might sound strange at first, there are specific AI programs designed to let chat with PDF documents.

Business proposals, customer inquiries or page-long contracts, it doesn’t matter – after uploading the file, you can ask the program questions concerning the content and let it provide you with a quick summary.

This way, you’re saving time while still ensuring that you have sufficient knowledge of the content matter and fast answers when questions arise. 

Chatting With PDF Files

2. Cyber Security

Protecting company and consumer data is a mayor part of running a business. Every day new safety risks are discovered by security companies.

Even if your business is more on the low-tech side of things, your business partners may inadvertently expose you to digital threats.

Major retailers, credit-reporting agencies and banks have accidently compromised costumer data in the past. 

AI-powered cybersecurity programs are able to provide maximum protection because of their adaptive nature.

Instead of dealing with security risks after the damage is already done, AI programs are able to scan your servers for threats and immediately raise alarms or stop the attack.

The AI can check systems like accounting or inventory for signs of unusual activity while also learning to better identify security risks from past threats. 

3. Interactive Customer Service 

Many companies also implement AI programs as a way to streamline customer interactions and customer service. Some ways AI can support customers are: 

  • offering support after working hours
  • answering common questions quickly and accurately 
  • responding to customers’ questions over the phone using AI voices 
  • chatting with customers using a chatbot program 
  • offering advise even before the customer support is contacted (i.e. if a customer is looking at troubleshooting pages, AI can offer to direct them to more helpful context)
  • deciding if the customer needs human help and if so redirecting them 

4. CRM Software 

Another example of how AI can be a helpful tool for both customer and business owner is CRM software.

The AI service is programmed to analyze customer data to help you understand more about how your customers interact with your business and what they need.  

For example, if you run a company for plumbing supply and learn that one of your customers orders a certain number of pipes every three months, the CRM software will use that knowledge to automatically send the customer information on appropriate products or coupons for their next purchase every two and a half months.

By anticipating your customers’ needs and making them feel valued, CRM can help you establish strong customer relationships with barely any effort on your part.

5. Creating Content

If you run a website, blog, or social media channel for your business, you need to regularly create engaging content.

Todays’ AI has come far in being able to generate high quality articles, pictures or even videos that are barely distinguishable from content created by an actual human.

AI can also improve your own work by suggesting a certain tone that will be most effective for your content or automatically editing your writing.

This means that there are dozens of AI tools that can support you when it comes to creating social media or blog posts, product descriptions or FAQ’s.  

Automate Newsletters

6. Automate Newsletters

Another way you can use AI’s content creating and analytical abilities is by letting it generate an auto-newsletter you might send to customers, prospects or business partners.

Some AI applications can actually scour different online sources to create or choose fitting content to include in your newsletter.

Advanced programs are actually able to study the recipients’ preferences and customize the newsletter with content they are more likely to open and read.  

7. Help With Accounting

Last but certainly not least, Artificial Intelligence can help you with your business accounting.

There are tools will automatically analyze your data for you, sparing you from having to dig through spreadsheet after spreadsheet.

Thanks to the adaptive nature of AI, some tools will actually learn how to best organize and mark your accounting data for you, automating a laborious manual task most business owners are more than willing to surrender.

How Do I Start Implementing AI?

Now that we have established that there is a massive amount of AI resources you can use to improve your business, you might feel a little overwhelmed.

If you are wondering where to start with implementing AI into your business, here are a few steps you can take that will help you quickly find fitting AI applications to use:

  • Start with making a list of every business-related task you have to do on a regular basis. Write down every big or small task you’re responsible for and note if they are to be done daily, weekly, monthly etc.  
  • The next step is to assign a time estimate to every task. Don’t overthink this step – just make your best guess on how long every task takes and write it down next to it.
  • Now rank the list by sorting the tasks in a descending order, from the tasks that have to be done the most often and take up a lot of time, to those that take less effort.  

The top three tasks are the ones you should prioritize when starting to use AI, as these are the ones that have the biggest potential of saving you a lot of time.