Mark Bower-Easton, Head of Distribution at Oxford Capital, Comments on How Artificial Intelligence Can Benefit The Growth of Small Businesses in 2024

Business woman working with laptop and AI

1. Data analytics

One key aspect where AI proves instrumental is in data analytics. Small businesses often possess vast amounts of data, and AI-driven analytics can extract valuable insights, allowing for more informed and strategic decision-making. By leveraging predictive analytics, companies can anticipate market trends, customer behaviours, and potential risks. This strategic foresight is a game-changer for small businesses, enabling them to navigate uncertainties with confidence.

2. Automating tasks

AI’s automation capabilities can also streamline routine tasks, freeing up valuable time and resources for small business owners and their teams. A report from the Small Business and Entrepreneurship Council found that more than two-fifths of small business owners (41%) have used AI to redirect their own time and employee time to higher-value work.1 From inventory management to customer support, mundane processes can be automated, allowing employees to focus on higher-value tasks that contribute directly to business growth.

3. Customer engagement

Customer engagement is another area where AI can revolutionise small business operations. Among these tools are personalised recommendation systems, such as chatbots which offer instant support and predictive customer service models, which can contribute to an elevated customer experience. Through sophisticated algorithms, AI can analyse customer behaviour and preferences, empowering businesses to tailor their marketing campaigns to individual needs. This personalised approach significantly enhances engagement levels and boosts conversion rates, marking a pivotal shift in how small businesses interact with and retain their customer base.

4. Cost savings

AI offers small businesses a dual advantage, simultaneously reducing costs and boosting efficiency. According to a McKinsey survey, the integration of AI has the potential to amplify business efficiency by 40% and concurrently slash operational costs by up to 30%.2 The magic lies in AI’s ability to automate mundane, repetitive tasks, liberating employees to concentrate on more strategic and creative endeavours. Almost two-fifths of small business owners (37%) have strategically reinvested their AI-derived cost savings in other new technologies, fostering a culture of continuous innovation.1

5. Keep prices stable

In an era marked by inflationary challenges, AI has emerged as a crucial ally for small businesses striving to maintain cost stability for consumers. By leveraging artificial intelligence, small business owners can optimise various aspects of their operations, from supply chain management to resource allocation, allowing for more precise cost control. Over a third of small businesses have used AI to help keep prices stable for customers in this inflationary environment.2 This not only cultivates trust among consumers but also highlights the pivotal role AI plays in assisting businesses to navigate economic uncertainty.”

It is clear that incorporating AI technologies into the fabric of small businesses proves to be a game-changer, steering them toward a new era of growth and resilience. As we navigate the intricacies of the business landscape in 2024, those who embrace AI are poised to unlock untapped potential and set a course for enduring success. Collaborating with artificial intelligence empowers businesses to adapt, evolve, and carve out a robust path forward. Embracing AI isn’t just a strategic move; it’s a crucial step towards not just surviving but thriving in the ever-changing and competitive markets of the future.

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