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5 Ways AI Can Help Small Business Owners in 2024

Stick around and learn 5 extremely unique and useful ways to take advantage of completely free artificial intelligence tools to help any small business owner instantly complete tasks they'll normally have to try to take on themselves.


An AI generated photograph of an experienced carpenter working together with a futuristic life-like robot to complete his project.
An experienced carpenter works together with a futuristic life-like robot to complete his project. Generated by AI.


 

1. Introduction

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Running a small business is somewhat of a superpower. You get started with your knowledge and expertise in a specific field then you find yourself having to dabble in a variety of fields performing tasks you aren’t quite a professional in. You may be the world’s greatest carpenter but if you want your business to succeed, you’ll also need to be good at using computers, marketing, accounting, record keeping, public relations, and many other skills that have their own full-time professions associated with them. Lucky for you Super-Carpenter, if you have internet access, you have a FREE business sidekick. It should go without saying, these concepts won’t just apply to carpenters!


It could be argued that 2022 will be recognized as the year of the “AI Revolution” that sparked AI innovation at astronomical rates and integrated AI with the average person’s daily life. A feat which should be attributed to Sam Altman and OpenAI’s introduction of ChatGPT to the world. While many technology leaders of the world have acknowledged that this is just the tip of the iceberg in terms of AI development, ChatGPT was at its release an undeniably phenomenal tool for all industries.


Since its release, Microsoft has acquired and infused ChatGPT with it’s Bing web browser to equip the AI chatbot's usefulness with access to the internet’s endless and ever-growing content.


In this article, I’ll discuss five ways for you to utilize Bing Chat as a small business owner to help you and your business succeed.


 

2. Getting Started


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Firstly, go to Bing AI - Search where you’ll be able to switch back and forth between the default search style and the chat feature that has the AI of ChatGPT built in. Once you do that, I recommend (for these scenarios at least) utilizing the “More Creative” option before you begin prompting.



 

3. Responding Positively to Negativity


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I do a great job making websites. You don’t like your website? WELL THEN YOU KNOW WHAT? Thank you!


This can be really hard to do as a passionate business owner. You know you provide a great product or service, that’s why you started your business. So, when someone says they aren’t happy with their experience it’s easy to take personally. It isn’t personal. Don’t get defensive and don’t engage in a fight. You always need to have the ability to reflect in a realistic manner. It may have been an accident that made their experience bad, you may actually have room for improvement (that’s an optimistic way of agreeing the bad reviewer could be right), or the reviewer may not have a full understanding of just how good the product or service you provided really was.


No matter what, it will benefit you and your business to swiftly respond to these negative reviews and comments for a few reasons – but do it in a way that doesn’t make you look like the bad guy.


Political correctness, professionalism, and empathy should be radiating from your response. For that reason, I’ll use that exact phrase to have my AI sidekick craft a clever response. At the time of writing this article I haven’t received any bad reviews to use a real one as a reference (#blessed) so I will make one up.


My prompt:

I received the following review: "Ai1 is a bad company. My website came out bad and it was overpriced." Please help me generate a response to this that considers political correctness, professionalism, and empathy for their negative experience."

Screenshot of Microsoft Bing Chat's Response to responding to negative feedback.

The Bing Chat response:

Here is a possible response: “Thank you for your feedback. We are sorry to hear that you are not satisfied with our service. We strive to deliver high-quality websites that meet our clients’ needs and expectations. We would like to know more about what went wrong and how we can improve. Please contact us at support@ai1.com and we will be happy to assist you. We value your business and hope to resolve this issue as soon as possible.”

See how nice? This response also lets you handle the discussion in a private interaction. If the reviewer feels that strongly, they can reach out. If not, you look interactive, empathetic, and willing to solve a problem is someone should have one. Breathe and don’t throw your computer across the room when you read a bad review. Let the AI response help you respond in a timely manner. Then, move on.


 

4. Creating Mock Personas


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Creating mock user/client/customer personas is as useful as it is entertaining. I honestly have a great time reading these results and it’s probably the most fun of the prompts we’re going to talk about.


Understanding your potential users/clients/customers, what they want, what they need, and how they think is extremely important to growing your business. Creating personas is typically something done by medium to large businesses and it’s a task tackled by a professional. Now you can kind of start to do this for your small business by yourself.


The process typically involves coming up with example profiles of your ideal customers to understand their backgrounds, desires, and struggles. They’re based on real data and insights from existing or potential customers and can benefit your business in quite a few ways. The primary of which would be to conceptualize and visualize the person you are trying to appeal for a strategy you are trying to implement. It’s much easier to me as a web designer to focus on John the landscaper down the block than it is to focus on the anyone-who-wants-a-website mentality. I can start thinking about the ways I could help John or someone real in a similar situation.


For this task I wanted the AI to gain an understanding of my business, the services that I offer, who my target market is, and more. All that content is already conveniently located on my company’s website. So, if the AI crawled my website, it would learn all of this. To do this I simply asked it to in my prompt before requesting the prompt create a persona for me. This is repeatable, helpful, and in my opinion really fun.


My prompt:

Please crawl my entire website for my business at “https://www.ai1.dev/” to gain a better understanding of my business, my tone when interacting with potential clients, my target market, my preferred type of client. As a web professional that specializes in web design and development, please create a client persona for me.

Screenshot of Microsoft Bing Chat's Response to creative mock personas.

The Bing Chat response:

Hello, this is Bing. I have crawled your website and learned more about your business, your tone, your target market, and your preferred type of client. Based on the information I gathered, I have created a client persona for you. Here it is: Name: John Smith Age: 35 Location: Long Island, NY Occupation: Owner of a local landscaping company Goals: To increase his online visibility and attract more customers Challenges: To stand out from his competitors and showcase his work Needs: A professional, modern, and responsive website that showcases his services, portfolio, and testimonials Motivations: To grow his business and reputation in the local area Frustrations: To deal with unreliable or inexperienced web designers who charge too much or deliver poor results Preferred communication channels: Phone, email, or social media I hope this client persona helps you understand your ideal customer better and tailor your web design and development services to their needs and preference 😊

Cool, right? John isn’t real but he could be! Or someone just like him. The AI crawled through all the information on all of the pages of my entire website in seconds, determined the type of person that could benefit from the services and skills I am good at, then created a fake person and scenario for me to appeal to. I’ve done this so many times already and it doesn’t get old. You can ask the AI to elaborate, be more detailed, and even use it as a starting point to build on the complexity yourself.


 

5. Getting Inspiration for Social Media


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Social Media has become almost mandatory if you have an business. It adds to your company’s credibility. It isn’t official until it’s Facebook official. Or is that relationships? Businesses are like relationships. I’m getting sidetracked. You need to be on social media though!


Even if your business doesn’t necessarily apply to the internet or social media, your clients are on there and it can help engage your potential clients. From a web professional’s standpoint, it’s great for Search Engine Optimization (SEO) or the algorithm in which search engines like Google and Bing choose which websites to display first for specific search queries. From the consumer standpoint I’d think that a business was kind of shady if I couldn’t find them on Facebook or Instagram and I may even question their validity. That’s just the reality of existing in 2023.


The truth is you don’t need to snap every time a customer walks into your store or tweet every sale you make but you should try to post on social media at your leisure just to let your presence be known. If you don’t deal directly with social media or you’re not familiar with using it, you may run out of ideas for content. AI can help with this.


This is another prompt where we are going to want the AI to know about our business, so I’ll preface it with the request to crawl my website again, then ask it to help with content ideas.


My prompt:

Please crawl my entire website for my business at “https://www.ai1.dev/” to gain a better understanding of my business, my tone when interacting with potential clients, my target market, my preferred type of client. Create content for 5 social media posts that will appeal to my followers and target market and allow for positive user engagement. Please include details regarding the images and the text to accompany the images as well as appropriate hashtags I could use. Keep the text short and simple.

Screenshot of Microsoft Bing Chat's Response to generating social media posts.

The Bing Chat response:

I have crawled your website and learned about your business. You are a web design agency located in Long Island, NY, that offers a variety of services including high performance websites, creation and optimization of professional online business listings, creation and optimization of social media accounts, and custom email solutions through Google. You have a simple and professional web design style that reflects the unique character and values of your business. Your target market is small businesses and organizations in the Port Washington area and beyond. Your preferred type of client is someone who wants a professionally designed website but doesn’t have the budget for all the fancy bells and whistles. Here are some possible social media posts that you can use to appeal to your followers and target market and allow for positive user engagement: Post 1: Image: A screenshot of your website homepage with a caption that says “Welcome to Ai1 Development Web Design”. Text: Hi there! We are Ai1 Development, a web design agency located in Long Island, NY. We help small businesses and organizations grow online with our simple and professional web design services. Whether you need a new website, a redesign, or a maintenance plan, we are here to help you succeed. Check out our website to learn more about us and our work. Link in bio. Hashtags: #ai1dev #webdesign #longisland #smallbusiness Post 2: Image: A collage of some of your previous web design projects with a caption that says “Our Portfolio”. Text: We are proud to showcase some of our recent web design projects for our amazing clients. We work with a variety of business types and industries, from restaurants to nonprofits, and create stunning websites that reflect their unique brand identity and values. Swipe to see some of our work and visit our website to see more. Link in bio. Hashtags: #ai1dev #webdesign #longisland #portfolio Post 3: Image: A graphic that says “Did you know?” with a statistic or a fact about web design or online marketing. Text: Did you know that 75% of consumers admit to making judgments on a company’s credibility based on the company’s website design? That’s why having a professional and user-friendly website is crucial for your online success. At Ai1 Development, we create websites that not only look good, but also perform well on search engines and across all devices. Contact us today for a free consultation and let us help you boost your online presence. Link in bio. Hashtags: #ai1dev #webdesign #longisland #didyouknow Post 4: Image: A testimonial from one of your satisfied clients with their name and business name. Text: Nothing makes us happier than hearing from our happy clients. Here’s what one of them had to say about working with us: (insert testimonial). Thank you for choosing Ai1 Development for your web design needs. We appreciate your trust and support. If you’re looking for a web design agency that delivers quality work and excellent customer service, look no further than Ai1 Development. Link in bio. Hashtags: #ai1dev #webdesign #longisland #testimonial Post 5: Image: A photo of yourself or your team with a caption that says “Meet the Team”. Text: Hi everyone! We are the team behind Ai1 Development, a web design agency located in Long Island, NY. We are passionate about helping small businesses and organizations grow online with our simple and professional web design services. We love what we do and we enjoy working with our clients to create websites that suit their needs and goals. Here’s a little bit about us: (insert brief introduction of yourself or your team members). We’d love to hear from you and learn more about your business. Drop us a line or visit our website to get in touch. Link in bio. Hashtags: #ai1dev #webdesign #longisland #meettheteam

In my opinion, the text for these ideas is a bit long, especially for image-based platforms but the ideas behind the content are spot-on. Don’t judge me if you see these ideas on my Instagram. They’re safe bets to post and I have to admit I tend to neglect social media a bit.


 

6. Generating Product or Service Descriptions


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One of the ways AI shines is generating content. Provide it with a few small details and let the magic happen. Bing Chat can generate small chunks of text for different sections of a promotional flyer or perhaps a section of your website. It can craft a sales pitch for a product you’re selling. It can even help you generate the description of a service you offer with only a little bit of encouragement.


If you’re selling a product of service, you’ll likely need different variations of descriptions for each of the products or services you offer. On websites, for example, a general services page or a store page is going to probably have an image and a short description for each product or service. On the actual product or service page, you’d have an elaborate description with details and specifications. Each of your products and services are going to require this type of content creation. This is a lot of content and can be very time consuming. If you have a great product or service but don’t quite have a way with words, it may be beneficial to have AI do it for you.


If you want the AI to use a similar tone to what you have already been using for your brand, have it crawl your website again like we did before. Hopefully your website does a good job at reflecting your style and tone. Otherwise, the general tone of the content Bing Chat creates tends to be more than professional enough to just start putting it right to work.


My prompt:

Please crawl my entire website for my business at “https://www.ai1.dev/” to gain a better understanding of my business, my tone when interacting with potential clients, my target market, my preferred type of client. Please write a paragraph for the section of my website specifically about my Professional Business Listings Service. Describe it's importance for a small business owner.

Screenshot of Microsoft Bing Chat's Response to generating product or service descriptions.

The Bing Chat response:

Here is a possible paragraph for the section of your website about your Professional Business Listings Service: Professional Business Listings Service As a small business owner, you know how important it is to get found by potential customers online. But with so many competing websites and directories, how can you stand out and rank higher on search engines? That’s where our Professional Business Listings Service comes in. We can help you create and optimize your online business listings on over 70 platforms, including Google My Business, Bing Places, Yelp, Facebook, and more. By having consistent and accurate information across all these platforms, you can boost your online visibility, reputation, and traffic. Our service also includes regular updates and monitoring of your listings, ensuring that they are always up-to-date and compliant with the latest best practices. Whether you need to create new listings or improve existing ones, we can help you reach more customers and grow your business online. Contact us today for a free consultation and quote.

It appears to have grown a mind of its own (something the AI world refers to as "hallucinating") and added some things my business doesn’t really offer. We don’t offer listings on over 70 platforms, but the other content sounds pretty good. Feel free to reply to it asking for a couple more variations and tweak it to your liking. This one has potential to be a real time-saver depending on how many products/services you have.


 

7. Performing A SWOT Analysis


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I saved what I believe to be the best for last. That’s completely subjective. These aren’t in any kind of order. I share all of these to get the ideas flowing but maybe some things will be more beneficial than others. This one, though, definitely calls upon the full potential of the conversational back-and-forth premise of Bing Chat AI.


A SWOT analysis has been a thing utilized by businesses and organizations for a long time. It stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Strengths. These things should constantly be assessed. It allows you to gain a better understanding of your business which may have to constantly adjust based on a variety of external factors.


This is another situation where I want to take advantage of my great website that has everything showcased about my business and how it speaks in a tone that reflects my voice. I utilize the same prompt we’ve already used to have it crawl through all of the pages on my website then request it performs a SWOT analysis of my business.


Be sure you are open to constructive criticism. The analysis performed by the AI may incorporate a number of things, a lot of which are likely technical. Independent research is important, and I would highly suggest you take full advantage of the back-and-forth conversational aspect of this AI by asking follow up questions.


My prompt:

Please crawl my entire website for my business at “https://www.ai1.dev/” to gain a better understanding of my business, the services I offer, my tone when interacting with clients, and my general business model. Please also gauge my online presense. Then, perform a general SWOT analysis of my Web Design Business.

Screenshot of Microsoft Bing Chat's Response to generating a SWOT analysis for small business.

The Bing Chat response was:

I have crawled your website and learned about your business, services, tone and model. I have also gauged your online presence by looking at your social media account and other web sources. Here is a general SWOT analysis of your web design business: Strengths: - You offer a variety of web-related services that can help small businesses and organizations grow online, such as web design and development, business listings, social media and email solutions. - You have a unique, modern and simple package for those who want a professionally designed website but don't have the budget for bigger web design projects. - You are located in Long Island, NY and focus on helping other local small businesses and organizations in the area. - You have a professional and friendly tone when interacting with clients and potential customers. Weaknesses: - You are a relatively new company, founded in January 2022 2, and may not have established a strong reputation or brand recognition yet. - You have a limited online presence, with only one social media account on Facebook 3 and no reviews or testimonials on your website or other platforms. - You may face competition from other web design agencies or freelancers who offer similar or lower prices, faster delivery or more features. Opportunities: - You can expand your market by reaching out to more potential customers in Long Island and beyond, using online marketing strategies such as SEO, PPC, email marketing or social media marketing. - You can increase your customer loyalty and retention by offering ongoing support, maintenance and updates for your web design projects, as well as referrals or discounts for repeat customers or referrals. - You can diversify your services by adding more features or options to your web design packages, such as e-commerce, blogging, analytics or security. Threats: - You may face challenges from changing customer preferences, expectations or needs, such as demand for more responsive, interactive or accessible web designs. - You may encounter difficulties from external factors such economic downturns, legal regulations or technological changes that affect your web design business or industry. - You may lose customers or revenue to competitors who offer better quality, value or service than you. I hope this SWOT analysis helps you understand your web design business better and identify areas for improvement or growth.

Pretty good! I noticed another hallucination where it mentioned I only had a Facebook but actually Instagram is my primary social media platform, and it didn't pick up on that. That's fine. Proofreading will weed that out and the other stuff is fairly good insight.


After I submitted my first prompt, the AI suggested some follow-up questions for me to ask next. They all revolved around bettering my company, which is neat. For example, the first of the suggestions was “how can I emphasize these strengths” which I submitted with one mouse click and the AI gave me a few suggestions.


Utilize the chat interface to go back and forth and ask as many questions as you wish about each section of your SWOT analysis.

 

8. Conclusion


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As you can see, artificial intelligence (AI) like Bing Chat can help small business owners in 2023 in many unique ways. Whether you want to understand your local area challenges, create mock personas, get inspiration for social media, generate product or service descriptions, or perform a SWOT analysis, AI can assist you with these tasks and more. AI is not only a powerful tool, but also a creative partner that can inspire you and help you grow your business.


We hope you enjoyed this article and learned something new. If you have any questions, comments, or feedback, please feel free to share them with us. If you use AI for your small business and have anything to help other small business owners comment below! We would love to hear from you and learn from your experience. Thank you for reading and stay tuned for more articles.


My conclusion was written almost entirely by a single AI prompt!


 

TRY IT YOURSELF: www.wix.com


PROFESSIONAL SMALL BUSINESS WEB DESIGN: www.ai1.dev


 


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