AI and automation are already at work in many small businesses, improving processes and taking tedious, error-prone work off human to-do lists. The best biometric fingerprint time clocks integrate seamlessly with automated payroll software, allowing different elements of your business to inform each other and ensure 100% accuracy. This is just one example of many, and as we plunge deeper into the 2020s, such integrations are becoming more common and more sophisticated.
If you’re excited to see what the future holds, keep an eye on the following five AI trends that are set to have the biggest impact on small businesses.
1. Productivity improvements
When AI tools are used effectively, they can help small business owners and their employees power through tasks more efficiently. Repetitive, tedious work can be delegated to RPA bots, freeing humans to focus on higher-level planning, client care, and decision-making.
2. More effective use of data
AI-driven data analysis tools can be used to gain valuable insights that humans may have otherwise missed. Armed with these tools, small business owners can make better use of their data in understanding trends and developing forecasts and plans for the future.
More impressive still, AI can open up a world of data small business owners previously wouldn’t have had easy access to. While chatbots like ChatGPT still have accuracy issues to iron out, even these free tools can deliver valuable market research and audience analysis for small business owners.
3. Better brainstorming sessions
If you ever feel stuck as a small business owner, you can take your problem to an AI assistant and ask for help. From developing a schedule for building your social media following to figuring out the best thank-you gift to send to a client, these chatbots can help with more than most people realize. Make good use of AI, and you never have to feel stuck again.
4. Improved job satisfaction
With every tedious task you hand over to AI, you win back more time to focus on the aspects of work that you love. If you enjoy spending time with clients, you can dedicate more time to nurturing those professional relationships. If you’re more into strategizing or developing new product lines, you’ll have the space in your schedule to dive into this deep work.
All this reclaimed time can also be funneled into ongoing study and skill development, attending networking events, hosting your own events, scaling your business, and pursuing your loftiest goals. Of course, AI isn’t a magic solution to every problem you’ll face. However, if you deploy it effectively, it can be a powerful tool.
5. Streamlined recruitment processes
From sorting through piles of resumes to managing the onboarding process, AI can help you streamline every element of recruitment. In the pre-interview stages, AI can question potential candidates on their skills and experience. Machine Learning algorithms can identify patterns in these answers and analyze them against a candidate’s resume, social media profiles, and other data sources to ensure consistency and develop a profile of their suitability for the role.
By deploying AI at every recruitment step, business owners can enhance their speed and efficiency and improve the overall experience for candidates. In doing so, they’re more likely to secure top talent and deliver a genuinely helpful onboarding process.
AI offers an abundance of opportunities for small businesses, allowing them to compete with big players in ways that were never previously possible. These new technologies certainly will be disruptive, but if you stay up-to-date with the latest AI offerings, you’ll be in a good position to benefit from them rather than being left behind.