Can a small business use AI?
One area where AI tools can help even the smallest business is in sales and marketing. Every business is marketing and selling in the online digital world. Marketing on social media is a given for every business, and can be a game-changer for a small startup. However, a lot of the tasks of marketing on social media and through your website can involve tedious, time consuming tasks. Marketing tools that use AI can help with drip email campaigns, website visitor tracking, and understanding where each customer exists in the sales funnel at any given moment. Other digital tools that increase customer engagement and drive sales are available and are an excellent introduction to AI as a marketing tool. Using these tools, you can focus your limited sales resources on other, more critical tasks such as closing a sale with a customer that is now ready to buy and not simply exploring vague options. These AI tools are readily available and your MSP can guide you in the adoption and use of them
AI and that data you collect. An MSP or MSSP can also be a resource for data protection. As you begin using such tools, you amass enormous amounts of data about prospects as well as customers. How you hold, use, transmit and store this data is subject to some data regulations, either by your state, a federal agency, or even the European Union. Regulation is growing because of the increasing concern about an individual’s online privacy. Because so much personal data is being collected about each of us, there is increasing concern about misuse of that data, protecting it from bad actors, and other privacy rights issues. While you may not be physically located in a state that has data privacy regulations, if you conduct business in a state or country that regulates data privacy, you are likely subject to their rules. An MSP or MSSP is an important resource to determine where you are subject to those laws. More importantly, if you are subject to those laws, (e.g. HIPAA, The FTC Safeguard Rules, the CA Privacy act or the General Data Protection Regulation of the EU), you may also be required to prove that you have developed protocols for the protection of data as defined under those regulations. It isn’t enough to say “everything is safe.” You may have to provide evidence you have created the specific data protection protocols specified under the regulation.
In short, AI can be a helpful tool to grow your business, but it comes with responsibilities and concerns that may not have concerned you before. An MSP is an important resource as you wade into the world of marketing, sales, and other operational areas.