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AI and Automation: What Small Businesses Need to Know 

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While it’s clear that the age of AI and automation is here, if you own a small business, you may be wondering how the new technologies can benefit your company.  

If you’re curious about whether these innovations are suited for your small team, the short answer is a resounding yes—regardless of your industry. With the help of the right solutions, AI and automation can help your small business reduce costs, improve efficiency, and increase productivity. Possibilities that might have sounded like a fairytale just a few years ago are now within your company’s reach thanks to recent leaps in the technology. 

To get started, you simply have to take the plunge. However, we know that the options available can be overwhelming. To help, we’ve compiled this guide to AI and automation solutions, featuring tips and ideas specifically for small businesses. 

What’s the difference between AI and automation? 

AI and automation are often grouped together because they share similarities in purpose and function. However, there are a few key differences that are critical to note. 

Automation describes technologies and software that can complete repetitive tasks—tasks that do not change over time. Meanwhile, Artificial intelligence (AI) refers to technologies that can perform complex tasks requiring sophisticated decision-making. These jobs could previously only be completed by human beings.  

How can AI and automation help your small business improve productivity? 

These groundbreaking technologies are not just for large companies. While AI and automation differ in their capabilities, both can help your small business in a range of ways.  

Improve hiring 

Hiring can be one of the most resource-intensive and time-consuming tasks you take on as a business owner. Fortunately, AI and automation can help at various stages of the hiring process. The key is to utilize a hiring platform that’s designed for your needs. 

Small businesses can benefit from hiring software that uses AI to save them time combing through applications and email candidates. The top hiring platforms on the market right now can automatically pull information from resumes to build candidate profiles and automate key pieces of communication with candidates throughout the hiring process. 

Read more about the features to look for when choosing staffing software. 

Automate operations 

You might be surprised by how many of your business operations can be supported by automation.  

If your business works in manufacturing, construction, or another field that employs skilled trades, you may be familiar with some of the ways in which automation can support workers by taking care of repetitive, dull, or dangerous tasks. This frees up your workers to focus on the more complex and challenging work you do, allowing everyone to get more done. Not only can automation boost productivity, but it also helps to improve health and safety in skilled work. 

Regardless of the business you’re in, automation can also give you an edge on the sales side. The technology is now sophisticated enough to streamline your sales workflows, from sending marketing emails to generating invoices and even managing some elements of customer interaction and support. Best of all, it can track all your customer details on a central database to make sure your sales information is recorded accurately. 

Enhance marketing 

Do you handle your own marketing for your small business? Let AI become your marketing department. You can leverage AI tools to generate ads, from graphics to copy and even some simple campaign strategy.  

AI can also help you with decision-making by making accurate predictions of market trends, customer behaviour, and business risks. Utilize AI marketing platforms to help you manage your resources more efficiently and get ahead of the curve. 

Tighten cybersecurity 

Cyber threats are on the rise, and every business is at risk. Fortunately, AI can help you detect and respond to security incidents, a function that is critical if you conduct business online or store customer data in the cloud.  

AI software works by monitoring your data, detecting patterns and intrusions, alerting you of abnormalities as they arise, and providing real-time protection. The benefit of AI tools for cybersecurity is that they are capable of learning about and adapting to new threats over time. 

The bottom line 

AI and automation are not just for large corporations. As the innovations get more sophisticated, there are countless opportunities for small businesses to take advantage of these technologies to boost productivity, improve the customer experience, and make their businesses run more smoothly. 

Take advantage of AI tools and automation to hire more quickly and effectively while making the experience better for candidates. Use similar technologies to improve your business operations, whether by automating your physical processes or smoothing your sales workflows. Use the latest sophisticated marketing platforms to build your brand more effectively. And stay on top of cyber threats with tools that manage risks automatically. 

As we enter the age of AI, you have the opportunity to keep your company at the forefront of technology. Don’t miss this chance to get an edge over the competition by using the innovations at your fingertips. 

Looking for a hiring platform that leverages the power of AI and automation? Designed for staffing agencies and small businesses, Labourly is a simple, intuitive solution for managing a skilled workforce. Book a demo call now to learn more. 

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