AI Tools: A Beginner’s Guide to Streamlining Your Small Business Operations
As a small business owner, you understand the importance of saving time and money. With thousands of AI tools available, it can be overwhelming to figure out which ones to use and how to use them. However, AI adoption among small businesses remains fairly low, especially amongst very small businesses. According to a recent Bredin SMB Pulse survey, only 27% of small businesses actively use AI, and 19% are piloting it, with even lower numbers for very small businesses.
If you want to keep up and ensure the success of your business, finding the right AI tools is crucial. To help you get started, here are some AI tools that entrepreneurs are using to save time in their businesses.
AI Tools for Small Business Owners
Using AI to Streamline Content Distribution, Customer Service, and Design
Kym Tolson, founder of Clinical AI Club and Thetravelingtherapist.com, has found AI tools instrumental in freeing up hours, allowing her to concentrate on growth and client engagement. One such tool is Canva, a graphic design platform that uses AI enhancements to help streamline the graphic design process, reducing what used to take hours into mere minutes. Repurpose.io is another tool that Tolson uses to automate content distribution, saving her time and reaching a wider audience effortlessly. Pickaxe, a customer support tool, has allowed Tolson to create AI-powered bots within her membership communities, reducing the time spent responding to member inquiries.
Using AI for Creative Help
Bethany Bayless, a graphic artist and founder of Wildwind Lane, uses AI tools to speed up her creative process. Midjourney, an AI image generator, helps Bayless generate images to be used as assets in her design work, saving her hours of manual work. Adobe Firefly allows her to generate alternative color palettes, enhancing her creative output.
Adopting AI for Content Writing
Shelley Hunter, founder of GiftCardReform.com, initially resisted using AI for content writing but eventually found a way to incorporate the technology into her process. By combining ChatGPT and Grammarly, Hunter was able to streamline her content creation, reducing the time and frustration typically associated with writing blog posts and articles.
Creating Chatbots with AI
Vix Meldrew, an online learning expert at VixMeldrew.com, used Pickaxe to create a “curriculum bot” for her courses and programs, saving her time on community management and answering common questions from her students.
Using AI for Meeting Notetaking
Karen Carey, founder and lead systems strategist at Structure Over Chaos LLC, utilizes Fireflies.ai, a virtual notetaker that attends all her virtual meetings, helping her take detailed notes, categorize content, and identify notable quotes automatically.
Repurposing Content with AI
Dianne Shelton, a business coach and offer strategist at Passion Breakthrough, uses WritePanda for content repurposing, converting long-form video content into multiple types of short-form content with ease. She also uses Cheat Layer, a no-code automation tool, to automate time-consuming tasks and create AI-generated reels with customizable captions.
Video Repurposing with AI
Katie Goebel, CEO of Katie Goebel LLC, recommends OpusClip for repurposing long video clips into short ones across multiple platforms, saving her time on tedious editing and allowing her clients to create high-quality video content with ease.
Scheduling with AI
Kelsey Silver, founder and operations strategist at The Neurospicy CEO, uses Motion to sync all her calendars, replace booking links, and schedule tasks based on her preferred meeting times, streamlining her scheduling process.
In conclusion, AI tools have the potential to help small businesses save valuable time. By identifying high-value activities and streamlining less valuable ones, businesses can use AI tools to optimize their operations and maximize efficiency. Embracing AI may be the key to unlocking new levels of productivity and success for your small business. With the right AI tools, you can position your business for sustainable growth and prosperity in the ever-evolving digital landscape.