Machine Learning for Small Businesses: Unearthing the Revolutionary Potential

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Click to learn more about author Atman Rathod.

Like any new technology, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) remained largely available for the top brass of every industry at the initial stage. But like we have seen with many new technologies and innovations in the past, they are slowly going to be available for others in the long run. Already signs are ripe that AI and ML are going to play a major role in offering a level playing field to the small and medium-sized businesses of the future.

That said, it is important for small businesses to avoid the temptation of running for the AI- and ML-based solutions just to get duped by the hype. Instead, they should actually consider the specific ways such solutions can add value to their business process.

Here, we are going to explain the various benefits of incorporating AI into the business process for small brands and enterprises across all niches.

The Multitude of Positive Effects Machine Learning Can Bring 

While we all know the gigantic and almost era-defining role of AI and Machine Learning for businesses irrespective of their size and respective niches, a business needs to have serious planning and contemplation about the specific ways these new technologies can benefit their business processes.

In this respect, we need to take a closer look at the available business tools equipped with these technologies. Google offers TensorFlow Machine Learning tools and IBM offers well-known Watson AI tools. WorkFusion is a well-known company that facilitates automation through robotic bots. While there is no dearth of sophisticated AI and ML tools for business processes, you need to understand why and for what purposes you need such tools.

Now let us explain the benefits of utilizing Machine Learning in the context of different business processes.

  • Sales:A Machine Learning tool can look at all the data corresponding to customer interactions, previous purchases, digital behavior of the customers, types of transactions, and other facets of data to deliver the most effective insights for targeting customers as per their preferences and constraints. This will not only boost customer relationship but will also help to push business conversion for the brands.
  • Customer Service: There are tools like Natural Language API that are capable of drawing a personality in all vividness, along with the individual sentiment and leanings. Such useful insights and customer information can help businesses personalize customer services through digital maneuvers.
  • Product Recommendations: Across e-commerce stores, providing precise and customer-specific recommendations is of huge importance to business conversion. As the ML-based tool continues to learn about typical customer leanings, choices, and past purchases, it can always recommend products that are best suited for individual customers.
  • Automating Business Processes: The biggest advantage of ML- and AI-based tools for many small businesses is the scope of automating business processes. This can help small businesses dealing with a shortage of resources and manpower. By gathering insights about the typical customer choices and preferred interactions, Machine Learning technology can actually help to autocomplete various form fields and on-screen tasks. Undoubtedly, automation will help in ensuring faster business processes. 
  • Improved Security: As Machine Learning technology is capable of tracking patterns of users and various data patterns in the business processes, it can help security algorithms in identifying risk-prone areas and potential threats. Machine Learning can actively help business processes in monitoring financial transactions and track down irregularities as well as other security vulnerabilities.
  • SEO: As the leading search engine, Google started using Machine Learning–based algorithms to deliver more informed search results to its users. Now, SEO tools that cater to driving better search engine rankings can also utilize Machine Learning technology to ensure more favorable and better search results. 
  • Accounting:Even cloud-based accounting software is using Machine Learning these days to help businesses dealing with accounting tasks. We now have a cloud accounting software platform called Xero that helps to make and process invoices for small enterprises. This tool helps to create invoices for customers based on their specific invoicing needs and past behavior while creating invoices. Such a tool can offer a lot of ease and flexibility for the accounting needs of small enterprises. 

3 Crucial Areas Where Machine Learning Can Benefit Small Businesses

Among all the benefits and typical value additions that Machine Learning and AI-based tools offer to small businesses, three particular areas stand out as the biggest beneficiaries of these technologies. Let’s explain them briefly here.

  • Machine Learning–Based Automation

Automation helps businesses dealing with a scarcity of resources and manpower. This is more applicable to small enterprises that always operate with limited means and human capital. Machine Learning tools being embedded into software products can help businesses gather the most relevant insights to serve their customers appropriately. For instance, insurance companies can implement Machine Learning technology to suggest products to customers based on customer insights.

  • Efficient and Real-Time Decision Making

As the volumes and variety of user data continue to grow at a rapid speed, Machine Learning–based algorithms and tools now have better scope to gain customer insights by learning from this data. This in turn helps businesses make faster and often real-time decisions concerning their business operations and customer services. Machine Learning technology can easily facilitate connecting a business with streams of business data and thereby can help more precision-driven as well as fast-paced decision making.

  • Creating Real Business Value

Machine Learning technology continues to create business value for enterprises of all sizes and niches. In this respect, we need to understand how this technology can actually help customers and users with substantial business value that couldn’t be possible before the technology was adopted by businesses. Simply put, the pace of decision making, adhering to the business rules, and addressing customer needs with precision have all become possible thanks to sophisticated Machine Learning–based tools.

Below are some of the key ways Machine Learning can help businesses:

  • Processes information of a wide variety of demands from different use cases through an advanced analytics platform.
  • Decreases analytics runtime thanks to real-time decision making.
  • Offers a customer service apparatus that can handle millions of requests every day.
  • Increases lead generation through proactive and customer-centric measures.

Conclusion

As the scope and opportunities of AI and Machine Learning technology continue to unfold, small businesses – like their big counterparts – are increasingly adopting these tools for greater business results. Thanks to these two technologies, a level playing field between small and big enterprises seems to hold the key for many industries.

Image used under license from Shutterstock.com

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