Whether you welcome new technology, fear our new robot overlords, or don’t know what to think about AI integration, there’s no denying that 2023 is fast becoming the year of artificial intelligence. The rise of programs like Grammarly© and ChatGPT© using natural language processing to provide nearly-human responses is taking the world by storm.
As a savvy entrepreneur, you’re probably asking, “What’s the best way to leverage AI to make my life easier?” We explore how AI tools can help you grow and protect your company and offer a few caveats when using AI for business.
AI Tools For Small Businesses: Where Should I Start?
–Ad-hoc or integration? AI tools can be standalone programs, others offer integration with existing software, and some (like Grammarly®) do both. If you have online payroll, chat systems, or web hosting, there’s a good chance that you’re already using a program with integrated AI. Before you plug an AI tool into your software, check the performance and options of its standalone program—and always read the reviews.
–Free vs. paid. Developers are churning out new AI tools every day, so it can take time to know which one (if any) is worth the money. An excellent way to test your options is to sign up for a free account (or free trial) of your top choices and use all of them for a week, comparing their pros and cons. If the software is well-designed, you can upgrade from the free version to a paid platform as you grow.
–Oversight. AI can do quite a bit, but it’s important to remember that the technology isn’t perfect. If you’re using AI to create content for your website or give you ideas for a sales pitch, running its suggestions by an editor or another team member is always a good idea. AI delivers its responses confidently, even if its output falls short of what you want.
-Learning curve. Implementing new strategies without fully understanding how they work is a common startup mistake. To get the most out of AI, you must know what to put into it. It would be best if you had a dedicated team member learn about AI products and capabilities that could save you time and money.
If you’re ready to jump in, here are just five things you can do with AI to strengthen your startup:
1. Check for Gaps in Your Business Plan
One of the most overlooked features of a chatbot like ChatGPT® or Bard is its ability to give users an outline for a project. For example, if you ask Bard to create an outline for a business plan, you might see:
A. Legal Structure and Ownership:
Clearly state the legal structure of your business (e.g., sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation, LLC).
Provide information about the ownership and share distribution among founders or partners.
Describe how the business will be sold, shared, or dissolved as partners come and go.
Mention any necessary licenses, permits, or registrations your business has obtained.
In this case, all structures except sole proprietorships that overlooked business succession planning can use AI to clarify the options, draft language to add to the document, or schedule an appointment with an attorney—all from a brainstorming session with a chatbot!
2. Grow Your Contact List
AI tools can prevent lucrative opportunities from falling through the cracks. Programs like HubSpot ™ or a CRM can create a database of your business contacts and potential leads, with features that go far beyond a simple spreadsheet, such as:
-Recording when and how your customers make contact and giving you invaluable marketing data.
-Allowing you to sort leads into different categories to estimate where they are in the buying process.
-Honing your email lists so your sales campaigns aren’t sent to vendors or partners.
-Tracking how long it’s been since you last contacted each client and setting reminders to follow up.
-Automating email responses to every query so your contacts know they are valued.
3. Craft a Professional Presence
Nothing is more damaging to your reputation than an unaddressed mistake. A typo on your homepage, the wrong tone in your email, or an error in your business address can all send your customers to the nearest competitor.
AI writing tools such as Grammarly® can check the spelling and grammar in your emails, web forms, content management systems, or other document software. It also monitors your writing for tone and clarity, helping you maintain relationships with clients and peers.
4. Create a Presentation
AI tools like SlidesAI.io® and Beautiful.ai® go beyond text, helping users create slides and videos to create multimedia presentations. The AI-powered suggestions can offer ideas to hone your pitch, create visual themes, and edit each slide’s content and layout. Many programs integrate with Google Slides ™ and Powerpoint™ to ensure compatibility between devices.
5. Stay on Task
Meetings should promote productivity, but they often feel like a chore. Fortunately, AI assistants like Fireflies© can help you get the most out of every session by recording and transcribing notes. The software can create summaries of video meetings, live phone calls, or even uploaded audio files.
Once the meeting summary is generated, it can be searched and organized into action items to ensure everyone is on the same page. Emailing your team a copy of the transcription eliminates the need for follow-up conversations and ensures that everyone knows which tasks they are expected to perform.
Starting a New Business? Get Legal Protection and Information as Soon as Possible
Anyone who has ever received technical assistance online has used the most common AI integration: the chat feature. Start a chat with us to see how effective AI for business can be, email Yolofsky Law or call us at (954) 237-4011 today to see how we can help protect your company now and in the future.