Last week, I had the incredible opportunity to participate in a workshop that delved into the adoption of Artificial Intelligence (AI) by Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs). The workshop was a real eye-opener for someone who’s been using AI technology since 2019, revealing the practicality of the latest AI tools and how they can significantly impact business growth.
In this article, I’ll share some key takeaways from the workshop, and how SMEs can make big strides in their business growth by leveraging AI tools to solve real-world problems.
Start with the problem you’re looking to solve
First and foremost, “What’re you trying to improve or change in your business?”
This was one of the most salient questions raised during the workshop. For AI to be effective, businesses must have clear objectives. Whether it’s enhancing customer experience, streamlining operations, or analysing data for informed decision-making, identifying the goal is the first crucial step.
Reflect on the aspects of your business that need revamping and then explore how AI can be integrated into these areas.
Next, start tackling your operational bottlenecks
A recurring theme throughout the workshop was the significance of pinpointing bottlenecks in your business operations.
These are the areas where the flow of operations is inhibited, causing delays, inefficiencies, or loss of potential revenue. For example, if your customer service is inundated with queries, leaving clients waiting for responses, an AI chatbot could be the game-changer you need. It can handle frequent questions swiftly, freeing up your team to tackle more complex issues.
By identifying such bottlenecks and aligning them with AI tools, not only are you alleviating immediate issues, but you’re effectively setting your business on a path to scalability.
The digital (AI) divide
One particularly compelling notion presented in the workshop was the concept of the growing divide between businesses: those that embrace AI and those that don’t.
The world is evolving at a breakneck pace, and AI is at the forefront of this revolution. Businesses that leverage AI are likely to thrive, while those who remain aloof risk becoming obsolete.
This is not just a matter of keeping up with trends, but rather a fundamental shift in how businesses operate. Incorporating AI is no longer a luxury; it is an essential tool for survival and growth in an increasingly competitive marketplace.
AI technology is accessible to everyone
You might think that AI sounds like a complex, technical beast. Well, I can assure you, it’s not.
The beauty of the contemporary AI landscape is its accessibility. AI tools and solutions require minimal technical know-how, and many are tailored specifically for SMEs.
With cloud-based AI services and pre-built algorithms, you don’t have to be a tech whiz to reap the benefits of AI.
The future of AI in business
The integration of AI in business is not just a fleeting trend, but a monumental shift in the business ecosystem.
As SMEs, it’s imperative to start by asking the right questions, identifying what needs improvement, recognising bottlenecks, and taking steps to adopt AI tools that align with your objectives. In doing so, you position your business on the side of growth, innovation, and success.
Don’t get left behind in the wake of the AI revolution. Embrace change and propel your business into the future.