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3 businesses on using AI tools

How using AI can help your business retain a competitive advantage, save you money and time, and boost your brand.

How using AI can help your business retain a competitive advantage, save you money and time, and boost your brand.

At a glance

Here's a snapshot of the advice from our interviewees:

  • Adopting AI opens your business up to potential improvements in productivity, scalability, customer experience, quality and data insights.
  • The longer small businesses wait, the harder it becomes to close the AI gap. Your competitors will offer better, more personalised service with less effort and cost.
  • It can be a powerful tool to increase your brand awareness, especially on social media, which could lead to increased revenue.

If you think you’re too small to worry about integrating AI tools into your business, then you could be the exact business that needs it.

Adam Hudson has run several small businesses and is now a business coach. He appreciates how tough it can be for Australian small businesses.


“Every dollar saved can make a massive difference to the bottom line,” he says. “Every minute saved equals more time with family, one of the biggest non-financial impacts that small businesses have on business owner’s lives.

“AI can assist on both of these fronts.”

Benefits of embracing AI tools

E-commerce and digital marketing expert Kelly Slessor agrees that those who embrace AI early can gain competitive advantages in productivity, scalability, customer experience and data insights.

  • She gave several reasons why small businesses can’t afford to ignore the technology:
  • They miss out on efficiency gains as manual tasks get automated by AI. This prevents small teams from freeing up time spent on administrative work to focus on high-value activities.
  • Without AI support, understaffed businesses struggle to scale operations smoothly. AI helps small teams and individuals achieve double the results with half the staff.
  • Consumer expectations evolve as AI delivers more personalised, seamless experiences. Smaller companies that don’t adapt will seem outdated compared to AI-savvy competitors.
  • Early adopters gain first-mover advantage. The longer small businesses wait, the harder it becomes to close the AI gap.
  • Data blind spots develop as small companies lack AI’s ability to identify trends and patterns. Better-informed rivals make smarter moves aided by AI analytics.

 


Kelly says recent developments make AI more accessible than ever for small businesses with limited resources.

“Small businesses don’t need dedicated IT experts to implement AI thanks to user-friendly no-code platforms. Intuitive no-code tools allow non-technical users to benefit from AI without specialised coding skills. Small teams can leverage AI without expensive technical staff.”

Better customer service for less effort

Custom Neon’s Chief Technical Officer Matt Aird says that the customer service sector that he inhabits is one of those where AI has the most potential.

“You can now respond to customer queries whenever they arise by integrating chatbots or AI-driven customer service,” he says. “By doing this, the customer experience is improved and time and resources are freed up for jobs like strategy that need greater human attention.”

He is also planning to make use of AI’s ability to search large datasets quickly.

“In the near future, for our custom neon sign ecommerce business, we should be able to use systems to analyse consumer behaviour and see which of our designs is the most popular. We can better understand our market by using data in this way, which can be leveraged as inspiration for future product development and marketing techniques.”

He adds that this analysis will also enable customers to log into their design tool and have them immediately see suggestions tailored to their specific interests, tastes, and past search and buying behaviours.

Matt also said that AI will improve their supply chain and inventory management, using past data and recent patterns to accurately determine material requirements for future trade, and he’s also thinking of using it for quality assurance.

“With computer vision, we could automate the quality control process, spotting defects or inconsistencies in real-time as each of our LED neon signs is manufactured. This ensures that each product fulfills our quality standards and improves its overall efficiency.”

Boost your visibility and brand

Content production is one of the main attractions of AI. Adam says he now uses Vidyo.ai for his social content.

“I was paying $20 per reel for social media and [producing] 40 a month,” he explains. “So that’s $800 per month and I had to manage four editors to do the work.

“Now I can produce 40 reels in one day and it costs me $200 per year. My Instagram has grown from 23,000 to nearly 36,000 in 10 weeks because I can now produce more content less expensively … I recently generated $160,000 in sales directly from Instagram with no paid ads.”

Kelly provides a few other examples of Australian businesses cashing in on AI:

  • A crystal shop has reduced their time spent on product descriptions from one day to just one hour using AI writing tools.
  • A marketing consultant has leveraged AI to instantly generate a full workshop plan in minutes that would’ve taken them hours to develop manually. They’re now able to take on more clients.
  • A corporate training company used AI systems to review and shortlist resumes for customer service roles in a fraction of the time. The AI could rapidly identify top candidates based on skills and experience.

“If you don’t embrace these changes while your competitors do, they will be able to charge less and retain their margins, making you less attractive in the marketplace,” says Adam.

“The truth is, Ai is actually already doing some of these things better than non-AI services – and way faster.”

Talk with a Prospa lending specialist about how a Prospa Small Business Loan could help you invest in AI tools.

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