5-AI tools every small business should be using in 2023
We’re going to share a quick story about Warby Parker, the American retailer of prescription glasses and sunglasses founded by a group of business school graduates who realized that the traditional way of buying eyeglasses was expensive, time-consuming, and often frustrating. Using technology, they created a better way to streamline the process and make it more affordable.
They developed a virtual try-on system that allowed customers to upload a photo and see how different frames would look on their face. They also offered a home try-on program, where customers could select five frames to try on at home for free before making a purchase.
Within the first year of launching, Warby Parker had sold over 100,000 pairs of glasses and had a waiting list of over 20,000 customers. Today, Warby Parker is worth over $3 billion and has disrupted the traditional eyeglasses industry.
If you’re a small business owner, you may be wondering why this story is relevant. The founders of Warby Parker were able to disrupt the traditional eyeglasses industry by adopting new technologies to create a better customer experience. Studies have shown that 76% of small businesses believe that adopting new technologies is important for their growth and survival, yet only 30% have implemented any new tools in the past year [Accenture].
As a small business owner, you don’t need to build it, you just need to look for it and take the time to implement it! Why? Because according to a survey by Deloitte, small businesses that invest in technology are two times more likely to be growing than those that don't.
It’s tough enough to succeed as a small business owner with 20% of small businesses failing in their first year, and 50% who never make it past the five-year mark, so if there are ways to increase the odds of success, why not try?
AI - the next transformative shift
Remember the time before the first iPhone? When phones had buttons, a flip or slide cover, and a cute little antenna on top? In 2007, the first iPhone changed the way we operated, consumed, and communicated with each other, and with businesses. Within 3 years, 35% of the US had a smartphone. In 2021, nearly 81% of Americans owned a smartphone. Last year, 56% of local business searches were done from them, and 67% of consumers said they'd switch to a different business that lets them text with them from those smartphones.
In retrospect, you can see all the changes, and things you might have adopted sooner, or changed more quickly to get a leg up on your competitors. Well, we’re here to tell you, AI is the next transformative shift. Like the iPhone, it is and will continue to drastically change how we do our jobs, how we find things, how we communicate, and other great innovations we can't even imagine yet.
But what does that all have to do with your small business? And how can it make you more money?
The case for small business AI
As a small business owner, you probably wear between 2 and 8 proverbial hats on any given day. You are HR, marketing, sales, customer support, you name it, you’ve probably done it. The first time one of our founders used AI, she performed a task that normally took her around 3 hours, in 12 minutes. Mind blown. It was then that she knew this had to be something we could make accessible to every small business owner out there, because as discussed, the odds are against us.
Here are the biggest ways AI can help your small business:
More Productivity: AI-powered tools can automate repetitive tasks, freeing up time for business owners and employees to focus on higher-level tasks and decision-making.
Improved Customer Service: With AI chatbots and voice assistants, businesses can provide 24/7 customer support, personalized recommendations, and quick responses to inquiries.
Increased Efficiency: AI can process huge amounts of data much faster and more accurately than humans can, which can save time and reduce errors in various tasks. Think receipts.
Better Marketing: AI can help businesses better target their marketing efforts by analyzing customer behavior and preferences, enabling more personalized and effective marketing campaigns.
Streamlined Hiring and Recruitment: AI can help small businesses find and hire the best candidates by using predictive analytics to identify top performers and by automating time-consuming tasks like resume screening and interview scheduling.
5 of the best tools in 2023
By leveraging AI-powered tools like chatbots, customer service assistants, automated sales and marketing, small businesses can streamline their operations, reduce costs, and improve their customer experience.
While there is a lot out there, here is a short list of the top 5-AI based technology companies that will start saving your small business time and money (among other things!):
Tellhop is an AI-powered small business phone system that turns missed calls into bookings and sales, even when business owners can't answer. With Tellhop, small business owners can more than double leads, keep staff focused on the customer in front of them, and have peace of mind knowing that every incoming call or text will be handled by an AI assistant that knows their business inside and out. By capturing more leads and booking more appointments, small businesses can increase their revenue and grow their customer base.
Flick is a social media management tool that uses AI to help businesses and individuals create and curate engaging content for their social media channels. With features like content scheduling, image and video editing, and hashtag suggestions, Flick aims to simplify social media marketing and improve engagement and growth for its users.
ChatGPT is an AI-powered chatbot that can help small businesses streamline their workflows, boost productivity, and increase sales. The most common use cases that are likely helpful for small businesses are asking it for content ideas for things like your social media or blog posts, marketing emails to customers, or text replies. You can also tell it to 'act as a [insert function here]' to perform helpful functions, like "act as a spreadsheet and itemize all of these receipts by category". It's a very popular tool and is one of the fastest growing applications of all time.
Grammarly is an AI-powered writing assistant that can help small business owners improve the quality of their writing. With Grammarly, small business owners can eliminate grammar and spelling errors, improve their sentence structure, and receive suggestions for better word choice. By improving the quality of their writing, small business owners can communicate more effectively with their customers and colleagues, building stronger relationships and increasing their credibility.
Salesforce Einstein is an AI-powered customer relationship management (CRM) tool that can help small businesses manage their customer interactions more efficiently. With Salesforce Einstein, small business owners can automate their sales and marketing processes, personalize their customer interactions, and gain valuable insights into their customers' behaviors and preferences. By using AI to streamline their CRM processes, small businesses can increase their sales and customer satisfaction.
Small businesses that want to thrive in 2023 and beyond must embrace technology and innovation. Whether it's investing in AI assistants like Tellhop or implementing cloud computing solutions, the right technology can help small businesses streamline their operations, improve their customer experience, and drive revenue growth. So, stay curious, keep learning, and don't be afraid to try new things. Your business (and your wallet) will thank you for it.