Best value from AI in a smaller organization

You may not have the historical data or size of an Enterprise company, but AI is still certainly for you

By VICTOR ANJOS

Is AI like the finer things in life? Do only the miniscule 1% of society get to have this? Is this like a mega yacht?

Well, no. The reality is that many small organizations can and should have AI projects and software implemented, created and used within their company.

Today we want to explore several ways in which a smaller company can use the power of Artificial Intelligence to bolster their operations, whether that be in sales, marketing, customer success, finance, engineering, or a myriad of other areas, you’ll quickly see how even small teams can be “future ready”.

tl;dr Give me the Goods

--> Generate sales and profits
--> Automate customer interaction [check out Apogee Suites' Mensa]
--> AI powered recruitment [coming soon from 1000ml]
--> Beat the competition
--> Smarter marketing
--> Improved online security
--> Better budgeting and Forecasts
--> Increased productivity, Focus and Flow [our partner Kunin AI is the leader]
--> Gather and analyze big data

Generating Sales & Profits

There are several ways AI can help small businesses generate sales and profits.

With AI, small businesses can:
  • Generate leads — In sales, lead generation involves capturing your audience’s attention before selling to them.
  • Send personalized content — Some studies suggest shoppers prefer products or services that offer a personalized experience. Small businesses can use AI to send personalized information to their customers.
  • Customer relationship management — Before AI, the average salesperson spent a lot of time managing data with customers. Thanks to AI, it is possible to automate customer relationship management processes. Salespersons now have more time to close deals with customers.
  • Accurate data-based sales forecast — Small businesses can make accurate sales forecasts which help them predict performance outcomes.
  • Identifying trends in consumer behaviour is one way to generate leads and increase sales.

Automate Customer Interactions

As we have chronicled in other recent articles, conversational AI is one of the easiest and lowest barriers to entry into AI for any organization. Some form of communication takes place before a B2C business sells a product to a customer. Salespeople spend hours convincing a potential customer to buy a product or service in B2B. This has resulted in enormous costs in lost time and resources for businesses.
Small businesses are in a prime position to benefit from AI technology. Big companies typically hire the best and largest customer service teams, but small businesses cannot.
Today, AI has revolutionized the way businesses interact with their customers. There are now chatbots that can start and communicate with customers 24 hours a day.
Converstational AIs are now a common feature of many businesses. And as chatbots get smarter at interacting with people, they are encroaching into areas once considered exclusive to humans. Further, these small businesses can relay the Conversational AI dialog to interactive voice response (IVR) systems to engage their customers round the clock. The IVR system ensures that no inbound call to your office goes unanswered.
You can also use AI in your payment and contract management systems. A product such as our Apogee Suite with Zenith extraction technology is perfect for this and can be your gateway to document intelligence, document AI and contract management.
”You can also use AI in your payment and contract management systems. A product such as our Apogee Suite with Zenith extraction technology is perfect for this and can be your gateway to document intelligence, document AI and contract management.

AI Powered Recruiting

A lot goes into hiring the right people to fill vacant positions in an organization. Deciding on the best candidate can be difficult. Before AI, the HR departments recruited candidates based on what they saw, heard, and felt. Relying on instincts and feelings is costly. Many business organizations have made the wrong decisions in their recruitment exercises.

Below are the ways AI can help small businesses improve the recruitment process.

Attract the best candidates — Sometimes, businesses fail to find the candidate with the right qualifications they want. In the recruitment process, you only hire from among those who applied for the job. But how do you ensure the best candidates show interest in the advertised position? One way to attract the best candidates in your recruitment process is to make the procedure easy. But AI tools can help candidates navigate the recruiting process on time.

Cut down on hiring time — For many small businesses, filling a vacant position is not a straightforward exercise. The hiring process takes time. Most times, it involves going through many applications and choosing the best candidates for the job. Using AI reduces the time needed to find the right candidates.

Reduces recruitment cost — Many business organizations will agree that the recruitment process is a costly exercise. Hiring new employees involves several stages. From advertising the positions, to screening, and interviewing the applicants. The longer the recruitment process, the more it will cost. AI can aid small businesses in identifying recruitment bottlenecks and reduce hiring costs.

Watch in the coming months as we look to help you in the recruitment world with our upcoming AI Job-Readiness Assessment Platform that should really revolutionize the space and help small businesses compete for some of the best talent in AI.

Beat the Competition

The big dream of most small businesses is to grow to become a large business. Most companies tend to remain in the small stage for a very long time unless something magical happens that allows them the escape velocity to grow.
Case in point, it took a company like the Ant Financial Services Group just five years to attract over one billion customers. That outstanding achievement was down to their use of AI to run a variety of businesses from health insurance to wealth management. Ant uses AI to set interest rates, credit card limits, and make other financial decisions based on history.
Several AI tools can give you a peek into what your competitors are doing. The purpose of keeping tabs on your competition is to learn what works and what does not.
The behaviour of customers can change for many reasons. If you do not know the changes, you will keep doing the same old things and might get left behind. For example, an unsatisfied customer is unlikely to buy from you again or recommend you to others.
With AI, small businesses can measure their customers’ satisfaction levels. Knowing how your customers feel about your products will help improve your business.
”Watch in the coming months as we look to help you in the recruitment world with our upcoming AI Job-Readiness Assessment Platform that should really revolutionize the space and help small businesses compete for some of the best talent in AI.

Smarter, more targeted Marketing

Big corporations spend enormous resources on marketing to reach potential customers. Most small businesses lack the financial base to engage in big marketing. Small businesses need marketing to stand any chance of surviving. Most small businesses go all out to tell people about their products and services.

The benefits of marketing are enormous for all enterprises. Marketing helps you build a consistent customer base to keep your business afloat.

Another area of marketing that AI has revolutionized is email marketing. Email marketing has the highest return on investment for all marketing strategies. Before AI, many marketers committed a lot of errors in their marketing campaigns. One of these errors was not knowing the right time to install a particular strategy. For example, a premature sale to a potential customer may chase the prospect away.

With AI, marketers can program their campaigns to target potential customers only when they are ready to take a step.

Less Risk, More Security, Less Fraud

One problem with online business transactions is cyber-crime. Criminals have taken advantage of the internet to attack online businesses.

Attacks occur to small businesses for many reasons;

  • fraud,
  • stealing funds,
  • or blocking a company’s network for ransom.

The threat posed by cybercriminals is on the rise. Small businesses seem to be the worst-hit of all internet users because they have the most to lose should something go wrong. Statistics show that cyber-attacks have resulted in the closing down of many small businesses that do not know how to deal with the threats.

The most common online attacks that threaten small businesses include:

  • Malware
  • Ransomware
  • Phishing
  • Weak online security

The best way small businesses can protect themselves from cyber-attacks is AI cybersecurity. AI can detect and block irregular online activities.

Many small businesses have little or no cyber-security. This is because it costs a lot of money to install one. AI is a cost-effective way to protect yourself from most cyberattacks.

AI can protect your small business from cyberattacks by alerting you of malicious emails and email trackers.

”Statistics show that cyber-attacks have resulted in the closing down of many small businesses that do not know how to deal with the threats.

Better Budgeting and Forecasts

If you think as a small business, you do not need a budget—think again. Creating a budget is one thing that will make your business thrive. A budget is the estimated financial plan over a specified period. It will help small businesses ensure they get and spend money from the right source and on the correct projects.

The sad fact is that many small businesses do not have a proper budget, resulting in poor financial decisions. Creating a budget can be challenging, especially without artificial intelligence. Many businesses have embraced AI to help them predict and manage cash flow.

With AI technology, you can:

  • Ensure you are paying the correct taxes
  • Track your income and expenses
  • Follow and generate your profit-and-loss records
  • Review past performance

As a small business, you cannot run away from budgeting. Leveraging AI will help you gain financial insights for creating a business budget.

Increased Productivity, Focus and Flow

Small enterprises account for the vast majority of businesses in most countries. Studies show that AI leads to economic growth by increasing the productivity of businesses.

For performing repetitive tasks, there is no contest between humans and AI. One can perform more tasks in a shorter time with AI.

Automation of processes and tasks with AI increases your operational efficiencies and productivity.

AI boosts productivity through:

Efficient production — Applying AI to the production process reduces errors and increases production runs.

Task automation — Artificial intelligence boosts productivity by automating repetitive and cumbersome tasks.

No supervision — Unlike humans, AI machines do not need constant monitoring to be productive.

Adaptability — AI technology can adjust and adapt to different roles in the production process.

Fast data processing — Another way AI boosts productivity is by processing a vast amount of data in record time.

Another area that AI can really help is in measuring the output of your staff. We have a partner in Kunin AI that measures staff productivity in a very non-intrusive way.

In the time of remote and hybrid working arrangements, managers are all hurting for tools that can help them understand the state of their team and until now, everything had been managed by proxy. Many managers would use Slack, email or other “dots” to manage based on availability.

With Kunin AI’s patent pending AI technology, you can set your team’s schedules, including tailored to the hybrid work, flexible schedule with least amount of interruptions, and then look to only manage to outcomes, not presence.

Gather, Analyze and Interpret your Data

In business, big data refers to any information related to the operation of a company. Generating big data helps small businesses understand and improve their operational methods. Although you may not see it immediately, big data is a tremendous asset for small businesses. It allows small businesses to make more sales by providing their customers with what they want at the right time.

Some information small businesses need to know about their business includes:

  • Website traffic
  • Customer contact information
  • Customer’s age
  • What customers like or don’t like about your product and services
  • Customer’s buying preferences
  • How customers discovered your business
The gap between data gathering and data analysis has led some financial institutions to create AI technologies to help business owners make sense of their information. While it is good to gather data, it is even more important to analyze them

In Conclusion

Finally, there’s no denying it anymore. You cannot grow your small business if you do not incorporate AI into your processes.

AI will provide you with insights into what you need to do to thrive and stay competitive in your line of business. To stop repetitive tasks, human errors, and increase productivity, embrace AI technology today.
This list is not exhaustive. There are other ways AI can boost your business. So keep learning to discover the best ways AI can help you grow your small business.

Apogee Suite of NLP and AI tools made by 1000ml has helped Small and Medium Businesses in several industries, large Enterprises and Government Ministries gain an understanding of the Intelligence that exists within their documents, contracts, and generally, any content.

Our toolset – Apogee, Zenith and Mensa work together to allow for:

  • Any document, contract and/or content ingested and understood
  • Document (Type) Classification
  • Content Summarization
  • Metadata (or text) Extraction
  • Table (and embedded text) Extraction
  • Conversational AI (chatbot)
    Search, Javascript SDK and API
Creating solutions specific to:
  • Document Intelligence
  • Intelligent Document Processing
  • ERP NLP Data Augmentation
  • Judicial Case Prediction Engine
  • Digital Navigation AI
  • No-configuration FAQ Bots
  • and many more

Check out our next webinar dates below to find out how 1000ml’s tool works with your organization’s systems to create opportunities for Robotic Process Automation (RPA) and automatic, self-learning data pipelines.