KuelLife Logo home 1000

The Future Is Now: Using AI To Take Your Small Business To The Next Level

Lori Lyons May 2023

Marketing Kuel Life Thought Leader: Lori Lyons

Unless you’ve been under a rock the past few months, you’ve probably heard about the game-changing AI tool called ChatGPT.

It’s the latest in the AI (Artificial Intelligence) game and it’s truly changing the way small businesses operate. 

“AI-powered chatbots can handle customer inquiries and provide 24/7 support..”

AI To Boost Our Efficiency:

AI has been around for several years – it’s just mainly been running in the background – scheduling social media, planning our calendar, answering our customer service questions, and even Google Analytics has AI attached to it.

Now that it’s front and center – let’s talk about how and when we can use AI to boost our efficiency, our productivity, and – oh yeah – our profitability. Let’s explore how AI can benefit us, as well as the concerns that come with using it. We will also provide examples of how AI can be integrated into your daily operations, saving you time and boosting productivity.

So let’s start by talking about what AI is and how it works. AI is like having a trusty sidekick that can learn from data, identify patterns, and make decisions without human intervention. In other words, it’s like having your very own virtual assistant that can help you with important decisions and automate processes.

So, What Are The Benefits Of Using AI? 

  • Increased efficiency and productivity: AI can automate repetitive tasks, freeing you up to focus on more important work. This leads to increased productivity and faster task completion.
  • Cost savings: By automating tasks and reducing the need for human labor, AI can help small businesses save money on labor costs.
  • Better decision-making: AI can analyze data and provide insights that can help you make more informed decisions. This can lead to better business outcomes and increased profitability.
  • Improved customer experience: AI-powered chatbots can handle customer inquiries and provide 24/7 support, leading to better customer satisfaction and retention.

Of course, AI is not without its concerns about the future for the human race! 

  • Job loss: AI can replace human labor, leading to job loss in certain industries. It’s important to consider how AI will impact your business and plan accordingly.
  • Security and privacy: AI relies heavily on data, which can be sensitive and confidential. It’s important to ensure that your business is properly securing and protecting any data that is being used for AI.
  • Reliability and accuracy: AI is only as reliable and accurate as the data it’s trained on. It’s important to ensure that the data being used is accurate and representative of the problem being solved.

“It’s also allowing my team to work on the more creative aspects of what they do.”

Using ChatGPT:

Only you can decide if this is the direction you want to go. I’ve been using ChatGPT now for several months and have found a world of difference in my content output and my client experience. 

For example – I’d been struggling for quite some time with the language on a client’s website. We just couldn’t get it right – we were both getting frustrated. Once I became familiar with Chat GPT’s prompts and how to “talk” to it, I was able to very specifically ask it to generate website content that was specific to her ideal client, identifying the problems and solutions she provided and then did it in a powerful way that highlighted the experience and expertise her company showed. The client was thrilled and so was I! This alone could have saved us both hours of aggravation! 

For me, AI and ChatGPT have allowed me to readjust what my team is working on and it’s allowing me to readjust what I do. I’m able to focus more on the profit making aspects of my business – we’ve all heard the saying “work on our business not in our business?” AI is allowing me to do just that. 

Focus On The Fun Marketing “Stuff”:

It’s also allowing my team to work on the more creative aspects of what they do. AI has taken over some of the more mundane and time-consuming of their tasks so they can really focus on the fun marketing “stuff.” They are happier and more fulfilled when 90% of their day is solely creative. 

Not only is AI  – and specifically ChatGPT being used in a ton of ways, there are other places where some form of AI can be incorporated into your day-to-day business:

  • Data analysis and management: AI can analyze large amounts of data and provide insights that can help you make better-informed decisions. For example, you can use AI to analyze your social media metrics to determine which platforms are getting the best results and which are performing poorly. You can then adjust and modify based on the analytics provided by AI. 
  • Customer service and support: AI-powered chatbots can handle customer inquiries and provide 24/7 support, leading to better customer satisfaction and retention. For example, you can use AI chatbots to handle customer inquiries on your website, social media platforms, or email. You can meet them where they are! 
  • Marketing and advertising: AI can provide personalized recommendations and advertisements, leading to better conversion rates. AI can give you the exact wording for your FB ads, your Google Adwords or your social media posts to generate engagement and interest. 

AI Can Be Complex:

But, incorporating AI into your business does have it’s challenges! 

“It’s changed the way I work and the way I use my time. It’s giving me back my family time..”

  • Cost: Implementing AI can be expensive, especially for small businesses with limited budgets. It’s important to determine your budget and plan accordingly, taking into account the costs of software, hardware, personnel, and ongoing maintenance and support. While ChatGPT has a free plan that is powerful and robust, many of the pre-existing ChatGPT platforms can be costly. 
  • Complexity: AI can be complex and difficult to implement and learn. For some of the platforms, it is just practice. Using the example of ChatGPT, it takes a while to familiarize yourself with the prompts. You need patience while you request over and over the output until you discover what works and what doesn’t work for you and your business. I’ve learned specific ways to ask for what I want, discovering that some prompts work better than others. Very simple trial and error. 
  • Resistance to change: We may be resistant to the use of AI, finding it difficult to implement. It’s important to educate yourself and allow yourself time to learn the various platforms. 
  • Reliability and accuracy: AI is only as reliable and accurate as what it’s trained on. It’s important to ensure that the data being used is accurate and representative of the problem being solved.

Time To Myself And To Still Generate Amazing Content:

Most of us remember when that internet “fad” started – with dial-up internet and the eye-opening world that was now available to us. I remember trying to wrap my head around connecting computers to computers and playing with some of the first websites – constantly amazed at how open the world now was. Of course, I was just as fascinated with fax machines in the 80’s! 

I’ve been using AI for a while, but now that I’ve played with ChatGPT (I call it George) it’s changed the way I work and the way I use my time. It’s giving me back my family time and allowing me to actually take some time to myself and to still generate amazing content and serve my clients. And… I do say “please” and “thank you” to George!

Did you enjoy this article? Become a Kuel Life Member today to support our Community. Sign-up for our Sunday newsletter and get your content delivered straight to your inbox.

 

Lori Lyons

About the Author:

Lori is America’s Midlife Marketing Maven helping GenXBoomers take the frustration and mystery out of marketing their businesses. She owns a digital marketing agency, Igniting Your Business and specializes in website design, branding and marketing strategy. She loves teaching Encore Entrepreneurs how to grow their businesses so they can concentrate on following THEIR passions and THEIR clients. Lori thinks there is nothing better than seeing someone’s eyes light up when they “get it” and then they take it and make money, easily and simply and without the stress they had before.

Lori will be launching her podcast, The Encore Entrepreneur Podcast this summer where she will be interviewing entrepreneurs and talking about how they market their businesses and the tools and techniques they use. She lives in Atlanta with her husband of almost 30 years and helps her 22-year-old entrepreneur son with his marketing. She is a sports fanatic and loves her Atlanta Braves baseball!