Article | August 10, 2021
So many aspects of running a small business have been affected by the coronavirus pandemic. And one of the areas that have been most impacted was employee recruitment. It was, after all, quite challenging to find potential new hires when you couldn’t meet and interview them face-to-face.
According to a survey by LiveCareer, many businesses turned to social media as a recruitment tool. The company says the social platforms like LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook allow businesses to learn “a lot about a candidate’s personality.” In addition, for their survey LiveCareer defined social media as “any digital tool that allows users to create and share content with the public.”
Article | July 9, 2021
The effect of COVID-19, the pandemic nationwide, was inevitable and became a catalyst for every business's digital transformation, irrespective of a large, small, or medium-sized business. 2020 saw a boom in digital transformation and escalated demand for artificial intelligence (AI). A few years back, artificial intelligence for small businesses was just a buzzword for owners, and today it is a new reality of our day-to-day life. Many companies have recognized the extensive benefits of AI. As the growing power of AI for small business owners has been considered, they have integrated them to achieve their goals.
Artificial intelligence, also called machine learning, offers small businesses the opportunity to become profitable, efficient, and effective. With time and evolution in technology, AI delivers results and has become affordable for small businesses. The unprecedented nature of the pandemic crisis brought in a set of new challenges and forced small companies to change and improvise their business strategies. This crisis led AI and machine learning to play a substantial role in various aspects of businesses.
According to statistics, the artificial intelligence industry will be worth $190 billion by 2025, with global spending on AI systems already reaching $57 billion by 2021. The machine learning and deep learning segment accounted for nearly 65% of the market in 2019.
According to ReportCrux Market Research, the global demand for artificial intelligence in the IoT market estimated to be around $ 2.64 billion in 2019, revenues are expected to be around $ 15.72 billion by the end of 2027, representing a 25.0% CAGR from 2020 to 2027.
Moving forward, before you hit the core topic of this blog, here are few additional aspects you need to know about AI and small businesses.
AI and small businesses
Today AI is the new headline of every business news and has become a prevalent technology adapted by almost every industry. However, before delving into the implications of machine learning and artificial intelligence for small businesses, let me throw some light on what artificial intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) are.
AI is creating computer systems capable of performing tasks that generally require human intelligence, such as visual perception, speech recognition, decision-making, and language translation.
Machine learning is defined as “an artificial intelligence application that allows systems to learn and improve based on experience without being programmed automatically.”
AI and machine learning have become a mainstay of the new business world. Yet, as per the common misconception, this technology is still considered for bigger businesses with big budget to spend. However, as technology advances, artificial intelligence for small businesses has become more affordable, making it an industry reality for them as well.
According to the 2018 Vistage survey on the role of AI for small businesses, 13.6% of small-to-medium companies (SMBs) are currently using AI technologies to improve business operations and customer engagement. In addition, according to another survey of CEOs from small and medium-sized businesses, 29.5% of CEOs support AI technology.
Artificial intelligence has gained trust from few big names such as Bill Gates and Elon Musk.
AI and deep machine learning can be implemented through AI tools and AI software across different parts of business operations. AI tools help streamline all the processes of the business, thus transform the industry. AI tools for small companies benefit in various ways, including helping to improve sales and marketing efforts, improving recruitment and HR activities, and automating customer service and communications.
Here is how artificial intelligence (AI) can help your small businesses improve your performance efficiency.
Top 5 artificial intelligence recommendations for small businesses in 2021
Since the digital approach towards business operations, machine learning and artificial intelligence for small business operations are changing. However, it necessitates a well-planned marketing strategy for small businesses to maintain a personal touch in their approach. As a result, customer-relationship management (CRM) systems play an essential role in gathering customer data across various omni-channels such as email, social media platforms, and phone. This customer data aids in the improvement and automation of the sales process.
HubSpot CRM and Salesforce have incorporated AI into their technology; these AI-infused CRM for small businesses can help their owners in analyzing customer feedback. As a result, marketing and lead generation activities will be adjusted based on that information.
AI-infused CRMs not only improve lead generation results, but they have also begun to demonstrate how AI can be used to acquire marketing and sales-relevant insights, as well as to improve the customer acquisition process.
Effortless data-driven predictions and decision-making
Data plays a key role for businesses in the decision-making process. The data-driven approach helps to improve decisions, but for this, the companies need to recognize and adapt artificial intelligence (AI) into their workflow. Data holds the insight that enables better decisions, integration of AI and machine learning in workflow validates effortless data-driven predictions and more robust decision making for further actions.
The question is, how does AI help in the decision-making process based on data? Here is the solution; firstly, AI examines massive amounts of data and then provides insights to business owners, who make decisions based on this information. Then, do you see how artificial intelligence for small businesses in workflow simplifies decision-making and makes data-driven predictions with ease.
Application of artificial intelligence (AI) in human resource
The human resource was the most unexpected department into which artificial intelligence (AI) crept. Effective implementation of AI tools in human resources helps to streamline the hiring and onboarding process. Furthermore, it is beneficial to obtain employee feedback on how HR can improve the hiring process.
AI tools for small businesses offer their marketing teams to handle repetitive and tedious tasks like data entry, cleaning up extensive data, and testing sales campaigns' efficiency. In addition, artificial intelligence for small businesses empowers them to optimize their staff output.
AI-powered customer service
The big players in online retail are no longer the only ones. Small and medium-sized businesses are also gradually becoming a significant part of selling their products or services on an online portal. In the form of conversational platforms such as chatbots, IVRs, and visual bots, AI can enable proactive customer self-service. First, however, it is necessary to develop personalized customer service for their satisfaction. This can be done with the help of integration of the most used AI-powered chatbots.
Many small business owners are investing in this process to provide customer communication and service. Chatbots use natural language (NLP) processing technology of the machine learning tool.
Since the introduction of deep learning in AI, it has become a need of an hour to deliver better results to customers, as approximately 30% of all online retail transactions are made on a mobile phone. Most small businesses are utilizing AI to provide customers with first-hand product experience.
According to Gartner, “46% of SMBs (surveyed) are currently using or plan to use a chatbot within the next two years.” Another 21% of the small and medium-sized businesses polled were evaluating chatbots for use, according to the study. Chatbots is like a sales and customer rep working 24/7 for you.
Among the many artificial intelligence for small businesses available, this relieves stress and allows you to devote your time to more critical tasks. For example, with AI-powered customer service, you can simplify many tasks, facilitate customer communication and customer experience.
Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, most businesses turned online, giving rise to online data storage by companies both big and small. Thus, exposing them to new cyber threats to business and consumer data, which are called cyber-attacks. One of the most talked-about cyber-attacks in 2019 is ‘Ransomware,’ a form of malicious software that is often deployed via social engineering tactics.
According to the survey, ransomware attacks increased 350% globally in 2018, and ransomware attacks are expected to cost $6 trillion per year by 2021.
For small businesses with a minimal budget to spend on cybersecurity or sudden ransom, such attacks can be devastating. According to recent reports, 60% of small businesses that suffer a cyberattack go out of business within six months. But luckily, cybersecurity powered by AI may provide some relief from these attacks. AI-powered cybersecurity programs look for unusual activity or cyber threats detected and can stop the attacks or raise alerts earlier.
You can revitalize and empower your small business by employing artificial intelligence for small businesses to meticulously maintain an account database, stay in touch with customers, or protect your company from hackers.
AI is the future of businesses
In the future, AI can transform how businesses interact with customers, compete with one another, and grow in the market. On the other hand, the pandemic served as a catalyst for businesses to embrace the business benefits of artificial intelligence (AI). As a result, what would typically take years to implement on a large scale was completed in a matter of weeks and months. According to survey by Salesforce research, 51% of customers say their expectations of companies are now being influenced by AI.
According to a report, the global artificial intelligence (AI) market was worth 28.42 billion USD in 2019. According to the same report, the AI market will be worth 99.98 billion USD by 2023, with a compound annual growth rate of 34.86%.
Machine learning and artificial intelligence for small businesses help their owners reduce manual work and increase productivity with little effort and in a short period.
Can small businesses use AI?
Yes, small businesses can use AI and need an hour to implement it in their process. Small business owners can use artificial intelligence (AI) to provide the first-hand experience of their products or services to their customers. AI helps small businesses to handle repetitive and tedious tasks with great ease.
How can small businesses benefit from AI?
Implementation of AI in a small business can help to improve sales and marketing, streamline HR tasks, automate customer communication, provide cybersecurity from unpredictable threats, etc. Thus, artificial intelligence for small businesses can completely transform their position in the market.
How is AI implemented in small businesses?
AI technology can be implemented in small businesses using various AI-based tools, applications, or software.
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Article | July 15, 2021
Last year was challenging for marketers as well as all business owners due to the global pandemic. As a result, it gave rise to every organization's digitalization, and recognized the extensive benefits of cloud computing technology. Any sized organization can take advantage of the effectiveness of cloud computing, and in the case of small businesses, it can be overwhelming. Henceforth, business owners acknowledge the comprehensive and extensive benefits of cloud computing for small businesses to drive tremendous business growth. Integrating cloud computing technology is a new norm of today’s digital world and is not just a catchphrase anymore.
The market for cloud computing is vast. In 2020, the global cloud computing market valued at $371.4 billion, and estimates stated that by 2025 it would rise to a staggering $832.1 billion. According to Statista, Amazon Web Services has a 32% market share in cloud computing.
This blog will elaborate on the benefits of cloud computing for small businesses. But, before we cover up the core aspect of this blog, let us know what exactly cloud computing is and why it is ideal for small businesses.
What is cloud computing?
Cloud computing has been around us for two decades, and we have been using it in day-to-day activities without our knowledge but has gained popularity in just over the past five years. The popularity is basically due to the increased reliance on handling and storing big data.
What exactly is cloud computing? Cloud computing provides end-users (or business owners) to access their data, programs, and applications stored on a remote server anywhere, at any time, on any mobile device via the internet.
There are three different ways to deploy cloud services: on a public cloud, private cloud, or hybrid cloud. In addition, cloud computing provides various cloud services such as cloud storage, cloud backup, and cloud hosting.
Cloud computing services classified into four types:
Infrastructure as a service (IaaS): It is the most basic cloud computing service. You can rent IT infrastructure servers and virtual machines (VMs), networks, storage, and operating systems from a cloud provider on a pay-as-you-go basis using IaaS.
Platform as a service (PaaS): It provides an environment for developing, testing, delivering, and managing software applications on demand.
Serverless computing: Serverless computing, which overlaps with PaaS, focuses on developing app functionality without constantly managing the servers and infrastructure required to do so.
Software as a service (SaaS): Software as a service (SaaS) delivers software applications over the Internet on demand and typically through a subscription. Cloud providers host and manage the software application and underlying infrastructure and any maintenance in the case of SaaS.
Why is cloud computing ideal for small businesses?
Cloud computing has made doing business much easier for all businesses, especially for small businesses. As a business owner, you can gain tremendously by incorporating cloud-based computing into your workflow. The popularity and importance of cloud computing applications for small companies is very clear. It enables increased efficiency, cost-effectiveness, reduces operational costs, access anywhere, reduced risk during the crisis, and improved cash flow helps solve many business challenges.
Cloud technology makes mobile access to data easy for small businesses, thus aids them to be more competitive on a global scale. Companies can reduce IT costs by utilizing innovative products that provide storage, software, and infrastructure via the cloud. Furthermore, cloud service providers' monthly or yearly billing rates can help you avoid unexpected costs such as emergency server repairs.
Cloud computing application has a few setbacks to be considered as well.
Drawbacks of cloud computing are:
• For starters, implementing any new technology necessitates personal training and a practical troubleshooting system both before and after the launch.
• Another issue to consider is security. In general, no business is immune to cyberattacks. The trick is to find a reliable cloud service provider, understand its backup plans in the event of a security breach, and take your security precautions.
Now let us know the distinctive benefits of cloud computing for small businesses in precise.
Benefits of cloud computing for small businesses
More flexibility and scalability
The most significant benefits of cloud computing for small businesses are increased flexibility and scalability in the workplace. Companies with on-premises systems used to and have to purchase server and workstation upgrades to accommodate new users. The importance of cloud computing stems from the fact that it allows you to work from any location and at any time. In addition, employees have more flexibility in and out of the workplace, thanks to cloud computing. Because data is stored in the cloud and web-based applications, you can run your business in the cloud and give your employees access to it at any time and from any location.
Cloud computing applications can be scaled up and down quickly and cheaply. Everything from bandwidth to processing power can be scaled in the cloud. When peak demand has passed, you can reduce your service plan to save money.
Easy data recovery
Data loss can be devastating to any business, especially a small business. Data loss results in wasted money, loss of time, and lost productivity; besides, downtime is never good for business. According to CloudRadar, network downtime costs more than $10,000 per hour.
In-house data backup system setup is out of reach for most small businesses, but cloud computing makes backups and disaster recovery simple for SMBs. The scale and expertise of cloud-based services make data recovery quick and even remotely extracting data from a lost laptop possible. Easy backups are one of the most significant benefits of cloud computing for small businesses.
Improved data security
When a cloud solution is integrated into a business, data is maintained in a centralized location, making it far more convenient to secure centralized data from cyber-attacks than stored on various devices. In the wake of COVID-19, cybersecurity threats have increased phenomenally. Therefore, data security with cloud computing is highly beneficial for small businesses.
Another advantage of cloud computing for data protection is that even if a single device is lost, the data will be safe from unauthorized access. Cloud computing can be used for data protection in authentication and identity, access control, encryption, secure deletion, integrity checking, and data masking. Therefore, it is exceptionally advantageous to rely on cloud computing for data protection for small businesses.
The cost of cloud computing varies greatly depending on the type of cloud service you choose. Cloud computing for small businesses, on the other hand, is highly recommended because it requires far less maintenance. You will not need any other physical IT resources, software, in-house computer equipment, or anything else, which means you will save a lot of money. One of the most significant benefits of cloud computing for small businesses is reducing IT operational costs.
Since cloud-based services are significantly less expensive to use, small and medium-sized businesses recognize the benefits of cloud computing applications appropriate for their limited budget. If small business owners are interested in the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of cloud computing, they must incorporate it into their business workflow.
One of the primary benefits of cloud computing is easy remote access, which can be seen clearly in the pandemic. The most basic example of cloud computing is your email account, which can be accessed from any computer using only your login credentials and an internet connection.
Cloud-based services are now available on mobile apps, so you are no longer limited to devices. Cost efficiency of cloud computing is essential for small businesses, and cloud-based applications can result in cost savings. The benefits of cloud computing for small businesses are endless, but remote access has an edge.
Frequently Asked Question:
How do small businesses use cloud computing?
Small businesses use cloud computing services via broadband internet and smart mobile technology. Cloud computing enables small business owners to store and back up their expanded company data. In addition, this technology is used by small businesses for accessible operations and applications.
What is the best cloud computing solution for a small business?
Popular cloud computing solutions for a small business include Microsoft Azure, IDrive, Microsoft365, Google Drive, Dropbox, Shopify, Mailchimp, and SpiderOak.
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"text": "Small businesses use cloud computing services via broadband internet and smart mobile technology. Cloud computing enables small business owners to store and back up their expanded company data. In addition, this technology is used by small businesses for accessible operations and applications."
"name": "What is the best cloud computing solution for a small business?",
"text": "Popular cloud computing solutions for a small business include Microsoft Azure, IDrive, Microsoft365, Google Drive, Dropbox, Shopify, Mailchimp, and SpiderOak."
Article | April 15, 2020
Whether you are the boss of one or many, each employee is important to your small business. Would you rather work on retention, or retraining? According to statistics, more than 3 million people quit their jobs every month, with one-third of those quitting during the first month of employment. Millennials, Generation X, Baby Boomer – they all cite the same reasons for leaving a job. What’s the main reason? If you guessed money, you’d be right, but only partly right. “Money can’t buy happiness,” is an often-used quote, but it’s not the actual quote. It was “Money can buy material things, but real happiness must be truly earned,” which appeared in the William & Mary College quarterly publication in 1792.