Artificial intelligence and automation are the latest big things that play a role in everything from hiring a suitable candidate for carrying out administrative or accounting tasks in the office.
Small businesses are becoming increasingly optimistic with regards to the role AI could play in business growth – and in monitoring cash flows in particular – to ensure payments are made on time.
The report commissioned by recruitment agency Adecco found that larger companies employing more than 5,000 staff are almost twice as skeptical about the business impact that AI can have compared with smaller companies employing 250 people or fewer. Additionally, 9% of the former believe AI’s impact won’t be significant, compared with just 5% of SMBs.
Fast insights, deeper relationships
There are three key benefits that SMBs can gain from AI and automation:
1. The potential for a low-cost, accessible way to get insight from data faster, enabling businesses to make better decisions.
2. In retail markets, predictive algorithms are being used to anticipate what a customer may buy next.
3. AI provides ways to improve and deepen relationships with customers through greater personalization without having to employ large numbers of staff to provide a personal touch.
Automation for Accounting
Alex Boothman is founder and CEO of MyLegalAdviser, an online legal marketplace helping consumers and businesses to find a lawyer. Alex uses cloud-based accounting software to help with the cash flow of his small business.
He says: “We use automation to do almost all of our accounting – our platform is directly hooked into a cloud-based accounting software service, so there’s actually very little accounting for us to do. Lots of businesses probably don’t realize they could streamline this part of their accounts process by using some good accounting software and hooking it up to their other apps.”
Integrating AI and automation into your small business seems to be a win-win situation.
How can AI help your business?
AI can help your businesses with a variety of basic accounting tasks, such as preparing invoices for clients and receiving them. By doing this, cash flow within your business can be improved.
AI can also assist you with a variety of basic administrative and marketing tasks, such as updating your customer records or sending out targeted promotions to existing and potential customers.
Incorporating a super responsive chatbot within your business can improve or build upon customer relations. A chatbot can be on hand 24 hours a day answering simple queries or providing reassurance or information to your customers.
AI can play a role in hiring potential candidates for a job by opening up the candidate search far wider than a human can. It could be used to screen a potential candidate’s personality by analyzing keywords in their social media posts. However, it is debatable whether AI could replace the manual – and human – need to interview a candidate face-to-face.
In the future, why not invest in an AI-powered personal assistant? It can help you arrange meetings quickly and efficiently, stay on top of deadlines and arrange your business travel.
Similar to a chatbot, a product can scan the content of your emails and suggest suitable replies – without you spending hours thinking of a long-winded answer that takes a lot of time. However, there could be a downside – if your business is a client-facing one, you might feel the need to personalize your email responses to retain business.
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