The Small Business Owner’s Guide to AI
Oct 12, 2023
You keep hearing about artificial intelligence (AI) and how it’s changing business. But as a small business owner trying to manage everything, you don’t have time to decipher hype from reality.
This guide breaks down AI in simple terms along with practical tips for applying it in your business.
What is AI?
AI, or Artificial Intelligence, is a term that defines the goal of creating machines capable of intelligent behavior (not like in terminator, though). Its roots trace back to the 1950s, when the term was coined at the Dartmouth Conference. In the early days, AI was purely rule or logic-based. However, with the advent of machine learning, in which computer systems or software were able to “learn” from data given to them, AI systems have become capable of learning from vast amounts of data to improve their performance and decision making.
Some example use cases of AI include:
Recognizing specific objects in images and videos
Transcribing and understanding human speech with applications like Apple’s Siri or Amazon’s Alexa
Analyzing complex datasets to predict stock market trends
Automating mundane digital tasks such as data entry
One significant, and recent, advancement in AI is the emergence of Language Models (LMs) and large language models (LLMs), which power applications like ChatGPT. LLMs have immense amounts of parameters, or rules, and are trained on vast datasets, enabling them to generate human-like text, translate languages, answer questions, and much more.
Companies like OpenAI, Google, and Facebook are at the forefront of AI research, pushing the boundaries of what LLMs can achieve. OpenAI, for instance, has been developing models like GPT-3 and its successor, GPT-4.
These models are built with no specific purpose in mind but are instead built as Artificial General Intelligence (AGI), which allows them to know a bit about all subjects, but not a lot about a single subject. This can make those LLMs useful for doing things like creating recipes and doing your kid’s homework, but not useful when tracking certain metrics or creating company-specific content. For more specific tasks like that, companies such as Tome, FlexWurx, and Replit.
Benefits of AI for Small Business
AI tools have become essential for small businesses to improve productivity and drive growth. With the right automation, AI can handle repetitive tasks while complementing your existing or core team.
AI offers many benefits that can help your business accelerate growth and improve productivity. These include:
Automating repetitive admin work
Generating new marketing content tailored to your brand
Analyzing customer data to uncover new opportunities
Training new hires or upskilling employees
Streamlining workflows and processes to boost productivity
The key is choosing focused areas where AI can elevate human strengths. Some examples:
Social media posting and management
An AI assistant that focuses on training and onboarding
Analyzing sales pipeline data to predict revenue
Personalizing email campaigns based on customer data
Using AI allows small teams to work smarter and accomplish more. Now let’s look at how to get started.
Start Small and Target Pain Points
What is the best way to get started? Review your current processes with your team and ask them to pick 1 or 2 manual workflows or other pain points that are causing headaches. Every business is different, so focus AI on your most urgent needs or areas where there are redundant tasks and copy / past challenges.
How FlexWurx Empowers Small Teams with AI
With FlexWurx, you can create customizable AI teammates that automate tasks and provide strategic support. Our platform allows you to automate workflows, build customized AI employees for each role, and access specialized skills on-demand so you can scale output and dramatically improve productivity.
Through AI, automation and on-demand staffing, the FlexWurx platform allows small teams to accomplish more
The FlexWurx Team