Using the right technology as leverage is one of the best ways to improve your business. From small businesses to entrepreneurs, companies can leverage technology to secure themselves a place in the accelerating landscape of business with a truly competitive edge.
Thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, 2020 will likely be the year that changed the trajectory of technology tools used for business such as telemedicine, e-commerce, and remote work. And as this fast-spreading virus slowly becomes a health crisis that will define this generation, governments from all over the globe are now looking to technology while they hope for a cure. You don’t need access to Artificial Intelligence to know that the tech industry was always going to be the right industry to ask.
Automate Repetitive Tasks
Many small business owners agree that the range of administrative tasks that are responsible for keeping their businesses afloat, as well as being their biggest roadblock to achieving a real balance between work and the rest of their life. Thankfully these days, Artificial Intelligence is much cheaper than it used to be, and it has no problem handling this kind of time-consuming, mundane, and repetitive administrative tasks. Ranging from computing whatever is required for the accounting package, to simple automation of a range of customer service enquiries, by putting AI to work you can spend an increased amount of your time on more strategic kinds of entrepreneurial work.
There are quite a few different practical tips for you to keep in mind if you are thinking about adding the functionality of AI to the Repetitive Task Team in your small business. Firstly, you should begin data collection as soon as possible, as this will allow you to establish a healthy-sized baseline. Consider what ROI from an AI system that you would be happy with for you to merit the cost, and then to help identify the right tools or resources to look at what AI processes you would most benefit most from.
Finally, you should continue differentiating your business from the competition by offering your customers both niche products as well as services. In an increasingly automated world, customers are always going to crave that unique personal touch which makes smaller businesses so special.
Gain better insights to make business decisions
While most entrepreneurs are continually required to make dozens of often difficult decisions per day, technology like AI can be set up and harnessed to be your unbiased online advisor. This can be done when AI methodically sorts through mounds of your business data so that it can produce deep surface insights, or expedite much more important business decisions, such as deciding whether to enter a new market or adopt a new puppy or purchase a piece of tech.
Rather than looking at a date to guess the behaviour of your customers; AI instead uses data to draw conclusions about how your business can serve customers better. You can use AI for all sorts of purposes, from data drive optimizations to improve the conversion rate on your website, to analysing the buying patterns of your customers so you can customize the shopping experience.
Information like that is a goldmine if you want to remain competitive, and using it to identify patterns so that you can make more informed decisions about how to evolve certain products or service something over time so that it precisely meets the customer needs.
Take Advantage of Working Remote
A variety of different career fields have had employed staff who worked remotely for many years, so it is far from a new concept. Whenever you are working remotely, you should consider first how you plan on accessing the internet. Places with public Wi-Fi should always be avoided as it increases exponentially the chance that your laptop can get hacked. If access to a hotspot provided by the company is not available, you will need to either use your phone connection or only work on projects which don’t need online access.
Don’t rely on inbound sales
After the introduction of social media, marketing was introduced which became almost like a digital salesperson whose only job was to increase the awareness of your brand. Whenever this is done effectively, social media marketing is more likely to cause an increase in customers at the store, more web traffic on our website, and increased engagement with customers. Unfortunately having a social media presence here without actually having an active marketing strategy for social media can pretty much be just as catastrophic as having no plan at all for your business.
A perfect example of how technology such as Virtual Reality can be utilised to create an experience that is much more personalised is being done by Crystal Bathrooms. By combining their software with a pair of VR goggles, they found a way to differentiate themselves from their competitors through the creation of a 3D version of a customer’s newly designed bathroom for their clients to walk through in Virtual Reality before they even paid the deposit.
Work with your team leader fast, efficiently, and calmly, while remembering that turning a small business into a successful one is a daily exercise in problem-solving as well as adapting to whatever new challenge lies ahead. Every day you just need to solve whatever problems arise, then adapt accordingly.