AI for small business: what does it mean and how can you take advantage?

Artificial intelligence (AI) is taking the world of work by storm, not least in the fuel industry.

Until recently, it hasn’t been easy to access and analyse spending data – with supply chains spread across different regions of the globe. But with the introduction of artificial intelligence for business, it’s now possible to get an overview of all that data in one convenient place. This gives a clearer view of your spending, making it simpler to arrive at informed decisions around budgeting, even when it comes to fuel.

Furthermore, the role of AI for small business could help level the playing field when going up against bigger organisations with bigger fleets. From utilising the best AI software, to finding specifically-designed automation tools for SMBs, smart use of small business technology can bring speed, efficiency and agility to your company that larger, slower competitors may not have.

In this article – and as part of fuelGenie’s ongoing commitment to supporting businesses through innovation – we’ll go through some of the best new AI tools for small businesses and their key benefits, to give you an edge in your market.

Why use artificial intelligence and AI business applications?

Before we review some of the specific tools you could use, let’s go over some of the general benefits of using artificial intelligence for business.

The biggest and most obvious benefit is saving on costs. The speed and accuracy of AI makes it a great way to automate labour-intensive admin, freeing up your staff to put their skills to good use elsewhere. Another area where AI can save you money is in streamlining processes, spotting inefficiencies and making suggestions for improvements that can then be tailored to your business model.

A further benefit of AI for small business is the ability to analyse large amounts of data, without the need for a large team. Arming company leaders with this in-depth analysis helps them make informed, data-driven decisions that can point their business in the right direction. The trick is to find the right AI business applications that you can trust. More on that later.

A third benefit is AI’s ability to create personalised customer experiences. By analysing the data around people’s preferences, AI can predict what might appeal to your customers. You can then implement the ideas you think best hit the mark.

What AI tools for small business are out there?

Let’s take a look at some of the best tools available right now.

  • Salesforce is the number one CRM and automation tool for SMBs, helping you sell faster and better. It’s all about streamlining your admin and creating better reports, which your sales team can then use to forecast and land new business. Further to this, Salesforce Einstein is their AI platform that lets you build apps specifically to streamline your employees’ work processes and your customers’ experiences. Clever stuff.
  • Drift is an AI-powered customer chat bot – but you wouldn’t know it. Mimicking human conversation to deliver a natural experience for customers, many small businesses find that Drift resolves the majority of customer queries. The AI learns from each customer interaction and can even create a VIP experience for specific accounts.
  • Hubspot is a set of AI marketing tools that make it easy to advertise your business online, creating images and drafting what you could say ready for you to edit. There’s even a tool that can create your marketing strategy for you, so you could be attracting new customers without barely lifting a finger.
  • AI is one of those genius AI business applications you wish you’d found sooner. Quite simply, it saves you time by organising meetings for you via email. Instead of you having to bounce back and forth with someone trying to set up the perfect meeting time, you simply copy in X.AI and it’ll work it out for you. Think of it as your AI PA.

Finding the right AI tools for you

Understanding your own business needs and gaps, then looking at factors like user-friendliness, cost and ROI will help you choose the right AI tools for your company. It’s also worth keeping an eye on the new ones coming out and staying up-to-date, especially any developed specifically for the fuel sector. But most of all, as a small business owner, it’s all about embracing new technology and the many features of AI that could benefit your business.

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