Unlocking the Potential of AI for Small Business Growth

ai for small business

At the recently concluded annual meeting of the world economic forum at Davos, Switzerland, the minister of communication and information, S Iswaran released Singapore’s model AI governance framework. In this blog. we will discuss the importance of AI for small business growth.

The document is a promising precedent for providing detailed guidance to private sector organizations to address key ethical and governance issues when deploying AI solutions and Singapore has become the first state in Asia to do this.

Today, when some people look at AI as a monster, this movement seeks to enhance the understanding of AI and its acceptance of being beneficial to users.

But Still, a Question Remains- is the Utility of AI Limited to Big Corporates Only?

Artificial Intelligence has come to be associated with large names like Google and Amazon.
This is because of the huge amounts of data these organizations house that has to be used to train the systems to perform.

This worries smaller businesses and hence the lack of eagerness to integrate AI into their processes. Just like how a few years ago, it was presumed that only large businesses should go for app development which is no longer the case. So, having AI incorporated into the workflow of your business is not as impossible a task as it may seem.

Using AI tools varies from solving business problems (like detecting patterns for predictive maintenance) to evolving competitive strategies. This wide spectrum of uses, according to McKinsey Analytics can be categorized into the following time dimensions:

1. Short term

This involves using AI solutions that have had a proven impact across the industry and have had significant use cases to take benefit of and scale them to your needs and requirements.

2. Medium Term

This is about experimenting with technologies that are still emerging and to prove their value in key business use cases before scaling.

3. Long Term

This involves capturing the first-mover advantage and is unlikely for small businesses. Typing up with academia or third party, using cutting-edge AI tech, and scaling it.

The report, however, mentions that businesses cannot leapfrog into AI-based solutions without having digitized themselves adequately.

Juniper Research discovered in a study that, in retail, global spending on AI will grow to $7.3 billion a year by 2022, up from $2 billion in 2018. This is because companies will invest heavily in AI tools that will help them differentiate and improve the services they offer customers.

4 Functions to Unlock the Potential of AI for Small Business

ai for small business

1. Intelligent Marketing

AI solutions can now guide businesses into making more accurate ad strategies by analyzing traffic, and previous performances and making real-time recommendations on valuable investments. For example, sentiment analysis algorithms that analyze customer engagement in their campaigns can help small companies significantly reduce their CPC. The budget allocation also improves through AI tools as you can automate some repetitive processes like bidding, hence reducing costs.

Marketo, Pardot, and Relay42, are some great marketing AI tools you can check out.

2. Intelligent CRM

Sales teams swear by CRM software that helps them to compile and manage their customers and prospects from the phone, email, directories, etc. in one place. But with AI this process becomes smarter. AI tools integrated with CRM allows sales personnel to judge customer sentiment by analyzing records and taking insights to customize sales pitch and automate lead routes. This improves the efficiency of the team altogether. There are some platforms like Einstein AI, Spiro, and SAP Leonardo that offer AI enable CRM.

3. Intelligent Customer Support

This is one portfolio that involves making repetitive steps and wears out the team. Having it automated or using bots to some extent reduces the response time, saving time and increasing productivity. This also ensures customer satisfaction. For example, AI solutions can suggest or automate answers and can route the tickets/messages to the right person, freeing up your team’s time for dealing with issues that require human engagement. Botsify, Clare.AI, and Smooch are some chatbot platforms you can use.

4. Business Intelligence

Today there is an availability of AI tools that are ready to use and can be integrated into the system wherever data is employed. They can deduce valuable insights into data through classification and prediction algorithms. These tools can also be used to study product reviews and create actionable reports out of the study on their own. These can allow businesses to improve decision-making and take guidance for strategy building e.g. MonkeyLearn.

Want to know what the future of AI will look like? Read our guide on the future of AI to gain in-depth insights.


The AI boom does not necessarily mean your small business needs to hire data scientists and develop cutting-edge technology. For smaller organizations, it makes more sense to integrate third-party AI apps or tools that can be plugged in easily with databases. As small enterprises struggle with the cut-throat competition in Singapore, taking an early ride onto the AI express will translate into a big advantage. In the quest to remain relevant to the data-driven space, small businesses will need to adapt AI into their systems.

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