Generative AI for your small business

Chat AI

Starting off with ChatGPT

As small business owners, it can seem like there’s just not enough hours in the day.  One solution to that is harnessing the power of AI.

AI is here to help you do more with less. By getting the AI to do the tasks that take you the longest or the ones you don’t enjoy.  

Despite AI’s potential, many small business owners have yet to explore its applications in the day to day running of their business, simply because the overwhelm of where to start, what to use and how to use it is too much.

Learning to use some form of AI doesn’t need to be complicated or expensive. If you haven’t dabbled in ChatGPT yet, it’s easy to sign up. There is a free version (currently ChatGPT3.5) and paid plans. You can do a lot in the free version but even more with the paid ones.

Sign up or login here.

Here are some basic prompt ideas to get you started. You’ll need to refine these to adapt them to your business and industry. The more specific you can be, the better your results. Remember, don’t ask it a question, write a statement.

1. Generating a business plan: Write a [number of words] business plan for [your business name] in the [industry]. This plan should contain information under each of these headings [list headings you want]. 

Start with this prompt, check the result, then refine again.

If anything, this will provide you with an outline that you can copy and update yourself. You won’t get a result that is 100% what you are wanting so you’ll need to take this as a starting point.

Important – don’t provide confidential or sensitive information to ChatGPT or any other form of generative AI tool. There are risks associated that you need to be aware of (we’ve covered this here).

Other prompt ideas to try are:

2. Outline the key performance indicators (KPIs) for a [business/industry type] business.

3. Discuss the potential exit strategy for a [industry/business type] business.

4. Outline key milestones for an [industry/business type] business and how they can be tracked and achieved.

In addition to ChatGPT, here are some other, easy AI applications that can help your business:

  • Meeting or Task scheduling (Motion)
  • Syncing team calendars (Clockwise)
  • Customer Service (chatbots. There are so many these days, that you need to think about where you want your chatbot (website, social media etc), then look at ones specific to those platforms).
  • Social media management (nearly every social media platform and scheduling software has AI capabilities to help with generating ideas, writing a post, and scheduling it to post at the best times).
  • Research (utilise the power of generative AI to save time trawling through sites yourself) – this is another great prompt for ChatGPT!

You’ll have to be thorough when you review. Go over the results with a fine-tooth comb as it’s easy for the AI to make mistakes.

Remember, AI provides answers. Humans provide insights.

Using these free and easy to use tools will provide you with practice and confidence in using generative AI. The more you use them the better you’ll get at creating prompts to produce the results you want to see.

It’s not all about ChatGPT either

Don’t limit yourself to one type of application. Here are some great tools that can enhance your productivity and transform your work: to get automated meeting notes so you don’t have to write everything down. For generating copy for generating a stock image.

Embrace the opportunity

Embracing AI tools will ultimately help you improve efficiency and provide cost savings. It is up to you to take those answers and turn them into insights to build strategies off the back of them.

Both Microsoft and Google are working hard behind the scenes to implement more AI capabilities into their software.

If your business uses either Microsoft or Google, research the platforms you use most often to see where the developments are.

Google are working on their Google Labs feature and some countries have already seen the AI rollout in Google Docs and Google Sheets. This is not yet available in NZ but it will be soon.

AI is going to be area that will no doubt be around for the long term. Don’t leave it because it’s too hard right now. Start your journey into AI today.

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