How Small Businesses & Startups Can Utilise AI To Survive The Pandemic

Severe impacts have been witnessed when the nation-wide lockdown was announced due to the pandemic. This has led to the layoffs in organisations, business disruptions and other such. During this crisis, AI and machine learning have been playing a substantial role in various ways such as predicting the end of the epidemic, tracking the rise, researching on the cure and antidotes, among others.

This crisis has not only pushed organisations to shift through a new set of challenges but also forced them to change their business strategies. In one of our articles, we discussed how the unprecedented nature of the health crisis has ripple effects on industries and organisations across the globe.

While the world is in lockdown and organisations are struggling with their business continuity, issues such as disruption in the supply chain, remote working of employees, and the unpredictability of the crisis have created an adverse impact on the organisations regardless of their sizes. 

According to sources, “Startups and small businesses are facing issues such as lower demand for products and services, which resulted in salary cuts and reduction in expenses towards marketing, advertising and infrastructure.” 

In this crucial time, small businesses and startups have been giving more than 100 per cent to ensure that this epidemic does not hamper their businesses. Emerging technologies have the capability to solve problems and issues and help businesses in various ways, including automating work, predicting sales, detecting frauds, to name a few. 

In this article, we will discuss how small businesses and startups can utilise the techniques of artificial intelligence and machine learning to survive the pandemic.

1| Using Conversational AI Platforms

Implementing a conversational AI platform in your business will provide you with a number of benefits amid this crisis. Unlike traditional customer support methods, where human resources were used to solve issues via messaging and communicating while consuming time and cost, conversational AI is cost-effective as well as time-efficient. 

According to reports, the chatbot market size is projected to grow from $2.6 billion in 2019 to $9.4 billion by 2024 at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 29.7%. Over the years, several organisations have been adopting this technique to automate communications as well as create personalised customer experiences. If you have not used conversational AI platforms in your business yet, it is high time to deploy bots and enable automation to drive effective customer service.

2| AI In Logistics Operations 

The utilisation of AI in logistics and supply chain will result in improving the processes of logistics while reducing the costs and time. Recently, a global SaaS company, Locus has announced the launching of a free tool ‘QuickStart,’ which is a self-serve lite version of its product suite for startups and small and medium enterprises to improve their supply chain efficiency amid COVID-19 pandemic.

As companies are struggling to manage volatile demands, fleet and resource efficiency, and rise in costs due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the use of AI in logistics will eventually improve and stabilise the current situation while making it more efficient and cost-effective.  

3| AI In Business Analytics

In this current situation, the use of AI-powered business intelligence tools has the capability to transform small businesses and startups into an automated and efficient one by reducing the operational costs, gaining more insights from data, and other such. 

Investing in AI for business analytics will help in making data-driven decisions, and thus, tailoring products and services accordingly. For instance, traditional business analytics models often fail to predict where to make future investment in the market, but with the help of AI, one can predict and invest accordingly.

4| AI-Based Digital Marketing

Recommending products relevant to previous purchases and views have been trending among various organisations. Recommender systems play a crucial role in marketing in any organisation regardless of the sizes. Unlike traditional digital marketing techniques, using AI techniques and models will help to target the desired audience effectively to gain more benefits. 

For instance, utilising AI and Ml in Customer Relationship Management (CRM) will help in creating an efficient customer-centric approach to business by maximising the collection of relevant customer information.

5| AI To Hire Talents

Hiring talents is one of the challenging tasks in an organisation as it can make or break an organisation. Oftentimes, startups face hiring challenges that include lack of hiring experience, inefficient assessment tools, no human resource managers, among others. This eventually hampers the growth of business and other initiatives. 

This issue can be mitigated by utilising AI to hire talents. AI for recruiting is an application which is designed to streamline or automate some part of the recruiting workflows, especially repetitive, high-volume tasks, such as applying machine learning to resumes to auto-screen candidates, conduct sentiment analysis on job descriptions to identify the potentially biased language, among others. This technique will help a startup and small businesses to save the recruiters time by automating the high-volume tasks, and thus, improving the quality of hiring talents.

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Ambika Choudhury
A Technical Journalist who loves writing about Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence. A lover of music, writing and learning something out of the box.

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