How To Harness The Power Of AI in Your Startup
9 min reading

How To Harness The Power Of AI in Your Startup

Scaling & Growth
Jan 30
/
9 min reading

Want to know how to harness AI in your startup or how other businesses did the same? Well, Starbucks will be using their AI to make brewed drinks remain in the right temperature for customers who order online by estimating how long it will take them to reach the store and what type of drink they ordered. 

Also, ChatGPT from OpenAI, offers a human-level response to a user’s question or prompt and also challenges incorrect premises and admits its mistakes. These are very brilliant ideas but they are not even the most insightful use of AI in business. So what does this tell you? Of course, it means that there are countless ways to harness the power of AI and if you’re still reading, then you’re on the right track to integrating one of such in your business. 

What exactly is AI?

AI or artificial intelligence for short, is a computer-powered technology that analyses, learns, and performs tasks similar to how a human would. AI technology has been around for a number of years now but we are only just beginning to see how much it could be integrated into our everyday lives. In the business world, AI is employed to identify existing conditions or opportunities and to also utilise them. This is achieved through business decision making or process automation. 

How to integrate AI into your business

As we’ve mentioned, AI works for both decision making and process or task automation. So, before you think of integrating AI into your business, you have to know which of these two areas it will cover. 

#1. What purpose will your AI serve?

That is, are you implementing your business AI to help with decision making or do you need it to run tasks or both? For example, to make a decision and then execute an action based on that decision. To make this clearer, we can classify AIs into two distinct categories being analytical and operational AIs. 

Analytical AIs take in data, make analysis, and present raw results which businesses would consider when making a decision. Similar to this, analytical AIs can be designed to process data and suggest the best action decision after refining the raw results of its analysis. 

#2. What degree of accuracy is required in the decisions or tasks which your AI will handle?

Imagine that company A integrates AI technology for its reception service. The AI receives clients and customers by answering their enquiries, giving them directions, and taking note of their complaints or feedback. Again, company A decides to integrate AI technology for the safety and security of its office complex. This second AI monitors and reports if an elevator ever gets stuck, if a metal object is taken into the building, if a security camera goes offline and so on. 

Both the reception and security services are important to the company. The company needs to treat its customers to a hospitable reception and at the same time, it needs to ensure the security of its staff and properties. However, if we compare the purpose of both AIs, we will realise that the second AI needs to have a higher accuracy than the first one since it reports potentially life-threatening situations. 

Analysis like this helps businesses determine the degree of accuracy of an AI. 

#3. Can your chosen AI deliver this degree of accuracy?

Let’s make use of the example above. We have already mentioned that the second AI requires a higher accuracy than the one responsible for receiving customers and clients. Now, whether the company is developing the AI in-house or not, they need to pre-determine if they will be able to create something that matches the accuracy they need. 

This factor is much more pronounced when dealing with AIs for the healthcare industry.

#4. What will it cost to acquire or develop your chosen AI?

Are you purchasing an existing AI technology or are you developing a personalised AI for your business? 

Going with the first option will mean doing your research and checking your budget to see if you can afford what you find at the store. The real task, however, comes with the second option. 

Choosing to develop a personalised AI for your startup is a huge task. It involves knowing what features your AI should possess. For example, whether speech recognition, object detection, perception, automation, natural language processing or the likes. 

#5. What is required to actually integrate AI into your business? 

All the stages from one to four talk about the design, functionality and reliability of your business AI. Once you pass those and get to this fifth stage, you become ready to consider the exact steps or processes for integration.  

Some questions that might pop up here are; what is required to actually integrate the AI on your business system, how many computers, systems or machineries will have access to the AI, where will the control point for the AI be located and how many of these control points will there be. 

Having this figured out makes it possible to assess the difficulty of each process in the actual integration and the possible limitations to the success of the task. 

#6. What will it cost to integrate AI as outlined in the preceding stage?

The final stage will involve finding out the total cost of actual AI integration as dissected in the previous stage. After successfully analysing this cost and taking note of your available budget, you will be perfectly set to implement your desired AI. 

How AI can benefit your small or big business 

Increased Customer Insight and Satisfaction:

One of the earliest applications of the AI technology has been towards improving customer service. AI can easily respond to customers for example as chatbots. They can also track customer behaviour or responses, create customer profiles, and even use both the customer profile and behaviour pattern information to deliver preference-based services. 

Reduced Cost of Business Operation:

For many businesses, AI is an economic investment. This is so because AI technology largely reduces the cost of business operations or activities. A study by Boston Consulting Group resonates the same fact. It states that AI has the potential to reduce conversion cost up to 20% for producers. 

Reduced Risk of Cyber Attack:

Advanced AI software can be deployed as a cybersecurity measure. These software monitor and enable the security of online business activities such as file sharing, data storage, and internet use. AI particularly helps to identify and prevent fraudulent activities and also improve compliance. 

Reduced Chances of Business Operational Error

Computer errors don’t happen everyday - at least not for properly functioning computers. Similarly, a stable AI will offer a business the opportunity of performing complex operations without a high risk of errors. It also means delivering high quality services that are inch-perfect and executed according to plan. 

Increased Overall Productivity of a Business:

Statistics reveals that 64% of companies utilising AI technology have seen their productivity increase and that 79% of sales and marketing leaders say AI has helped increase their revenue. There are many more statistics like these. It proves that businesses that understand the relevance of AI and apply it correctly are likely to reap the benefits. 

How to Implement AI in Your Business 

There are a few things you could do to ease the process of AI adoption in your business. For instance, you can;

Decide Whether to Develop AI or To Outsource the Project

Not every organisation or startup has the technical knowledge required for developing or maintaining AI technology. Such startups will, therefore, need to outsource their integration projects. If this is the case, staff and team members of this startup will need to undergo training. 

Promote Data Consciousness In Your Business 

At the heart of AI implementation is data consciousness. For this reason, entire teams must become aware of the presence and the quality of data before they even begin to interact with artificial intelligence components or structures. What happens when businesses fail to develop this crucial data sensitive mindset is that they interact wrongly with AI by providing inaccurate data or perhaps by misinterpreting AI outputs or results. 

Understand What It Took Other Businesses to Adopt AI

You’re probably not going to be the first business or startup that will be implementing AI in your niche. If this is so, then you must take advantage by questioning what it took these other businesses to adopt their own AI. What were their challenges, did they perform the project in-house or was it outsourced, did the company succeed with their AI integration or not. 

The answers to these questions will act as a guide. It will help you determine which approach to take. For example, whether in-house development or outsourcing. It could also specify the techniques or steps to employ. Similarly, reaching out to companies that have successfully integrated AI could provide 

Examples of AI use in Business

As a first time entrepreneur, it might be difficult to really decide where to make use of AI. Seeing some examples of AI in business might help and that’s the purpose of this section. 

Dynamic Price Optimisation: Dynamic, real-time or surge pricing involves adjusting the price of a good or service with concurrent market conditions. To do this, both the price of goods or services and the prevailing market conditions must be known at every point in time. 

The market condition is used in adjusting the price of products. For instance, price is increased when the demand for a product is high or when the product is in short supply. Dynamic pricing helps to regulate a market and AI technology is useful in implementing this. 

Voice to Text Conversions: AI can be used to perform voice to text conversions. This application helps in summarising or taking notes during business meetings. It is also used to provide in-meeting transcriptions as a way of aiding audibly impaired participants. 

Spam Filters: Spamming is a real issue where online systems are overloaded through numerous automated activities. This is a form of cyberattack and it is prevented by identifying and rejecting unauthorised or computer-generated actions on a server or system.

In summary

Artificial intelligence is all around us. From our smartphones which now come with a voice assistant, to household appliances like tv that perform natural language processing, and down to metal object detection systems in banking halls. Many entrepreneurs are adopting AI in their business operations as well. In this article, we have covered the basics on how business owners can implement AI into their businesses and the benefits they get from doing this. 

Mfonobong Uyah

I'm a Nigerian author with profound love for psychology, great communications skills, and writing experience that expands across several niches.

How To Harness The Power Of AI in Your Startup
9 min reading

How To Harness The Power Of AI in Your Startup

Scaling & Growth
Jan 30
/
9 min reading

Want to know how to harness AI in your startup or how other businesses did the same? Well, Starbucks will be using their AI to make brewed drinks remain in the right temperature for customers who order online by estimating how long it will take them to reach the store and what type of drink they ordered. 

Also, ChatGPT from OpenAI, offers a human-level response to a user’s question or prompt and also challenges incorrect premises and admits its mistakes. These are very brilliant ideas but they are not even the most insightful use of AI in business. So what does this tell you? Of course, it means that there are countless ways to harness the power of AI and if you’re still reading, then you’re on the right track to integrating one of such in your business. 

What exactly is AI?

AI or artificial intelligence for short, is a computer-powered technology that analyses, learns, and performs tasks similar to how a human would. AI technology has been around for a number of years now but we are only just beginning to see how much it could be integrated into our everyday lives. In the business world, AI is employed to identify existing conditions or opportunities and to also utilise them. This is achieved through business decision making or process automation. 

How to integrate AI into your business

As we’ve mentioned, AI works for both decision making and process or task automation. So, before you think of integrating AI into your business, you have to know which of these two areas it will cover. 

#1. What purpose will your AI serve?

That is, are you implementing your business AI to help with decision making or do you need it to run tasks or both? For example, to make a decision and then execute an action based on that decision. To make this clearer, we can classify AIs into two distinct categories being analytical and operational AIs. 

Analytical AIs take in data, make analysis, and present raw results which businesses would consider when making a decision. Similar to this, analytical AIs can be designed to process data and suggest the best action decision after refining the raw results of its analysis. 

#2. What degree of accuracy is required in the decisions or tasks which your AI will handle?

Imagine that company A integrates AI technology for its reception service. The AI receives clients and customers by answering their enquiries, giving them directions, and taking note of their complaints or feedback. Again, company A decides to integrate AI technology for the safety and security of its office complex. This second AI monitors and reports if an elevator ever gets stuck, if a metal object is taken into the building, if a security camera goes offline and so on. 

Both the reception and security services are important to the company. The company needs to treat its customers to a hospitable reception and at the same time, it needs to ensure the security of its staff and properties. However, if we compare the purpose of both AIs, we will realise that the second AI needs to have a higher accuracy than the first one since it reports potentially life-threatening situations. 

Analysis like this helps businesses determine the degree of accuracy of an AI. 

#3. Can your chosen AI deliver this degree of accuracy?

Let’s make use of the example above. We have already mentioned that the second AI requires a higher accuracy than the one responsible for receiving customers and clients. Now, whether the company is developing the AI in-house or not, they need to pre-determine if they will be able to create something that matches the accuracy they need. 

This factor is much more pronounced when dealing with AIs for the healthcare industry.

#4. What will it cost to acquire or develop your chosen AI?

Are you purchasing an existing AI technology or are you developing a personalised AI for your business? 

Going with the first option will mean doing your research and checking your budget to see if you can afford what you find at the store. The real task, however, comes with the second option. 

Choosing to develop a personalised AI for your startup is a huge task. It involves knowing what features your AI should possess. For example, whether speech recognition, object detection, perception, automation, natural language processing or the likes. 

#5. What is required to actually integrate AI into your business? 

All the stages from one to four talk about the design, functionality and reliability of your business AI. Once you pass those and get to this fifth stage, you become ready to consider the exact steps or processes for integration.  

Some questions that might pop up here are; what is required to actually integrate the AI on your business system, how many computers, systems or machineries will have access to the AI, where will the control point for the AI be located and how many of these control points will there be. 

Having this figured out makes it possible to assess the difficulty of each process in the actual integration and the possible limitations to the success of the task. 

#6. What will it cost to integrate AI as outlined in the preceding stage?

The final stage will involve finding out the total cost of actual AI integration as dissected in the previous stage. After successfully analysing this cost and taking note of your available budget, you will be perfectly set to implement your desired AI. 

How AI can benefit your small or big business 

Increased Customer Insight and Satisfaction:

One of the earliest applications of the AI technology has been towards improving customer service. AI can easily respond to customers for example as chatbots. They can also track customer behaviour or responses, create customer profiles, and even use both the customer profile and behaviour pattern information to deliver preference-based services. 

Reduced Cost of Business Operation:

For many businesses, AI is an economic investment. This is so because AI technology largely reduces the cost of business operations or activities. A study by Boston Consulting Group resonates the same fact. It states that AI has the potential to reduce conversion cost up to 20% for producers. 

Reduced Risk of Cyber Attack:

Advanced AI software can be deployed as a cybersecurity measure. These software monitor and enable the security of online business activities such as file sharing, data storage, and internet use. AI particularly helps to identify and prevent fraudulent activities and also improve compliance. 

Reduced Chances of Business Operational Error

Computer errors don’t happen everyday - at least not for properly functioning computers. Similarly, a stable AI will offer a business the opportunity of performing complex operations without a high risk of errors. It also means delivering high quality services that are inch-perfect and executed according to plan. 

Increased Overall Productivity of a Business:

Statistics reveals that 64% of companies utilising AI technology have seen their productivity increase and that 79% of sales and marketing leaders say AI has helped increase their revenue. There are many more statistics like these. It proves that businesses that understand the relevance of AI and apply it correctly are likely to reap the benefits. 

How to Implement AI in Your Business 

There are a few things you could do to ease the process of AI adoption in your business. For instance, you can;

Decide Whether to Develop AI or To Outsource the Project

Not every organisation or startup has the technical knowledge required for developing or maintaining AI technology. Such startups will, therefore, need to outsource their integration projects. If this is the case, staff and team members of this startup will need to undergo training. 

Promote Data Consciousness In Your Business 

At the heart of AI implementation is data consciousness. For this reason, entire teams must become aware of the presence and the quality of data before they even begin to interact with artificial intelligence components or structures. What happens when businesses fail to develop this crucial data sensitive mindset is that they interact wrongly with AI by providing inaccurate data or perhaps by misinterpreting AI outputs or results. 

Understand What It Took Other Businesses to Adopt AI

You’re probably not going to be the first business or startup that will be implementing AI in your niche. If this is so, then you must take advantage by questioning what it took these other businesses to adopt their own AI. What were their challenges, did they perform the project in-house or was it outsourced, did the company succeed with their AI integration or not. 

The answers to these questions will act as a guide. It will help you determine which approach to take. For example, whether in-house development or outsourcing. It could also specify the techniques or steps to employ. Similarly, reaching out to companies that have successfully integrated AI could provide 

Examples of AI use in Business

As a first time entrepreneur, it might be difficult to really decide where to make use of AI. Seeing some examples of AI in business might help and that’s the purpose of this section. 

Dynamic Price Optimisation: Dynamic, real-time or surge pricing involves adjusting the price of a good or service with concurrent market conditions. To do this, both the price of goods or services and the prevailing market conditions must be known at every point in time. 

The market condition is used in adjusting the price of products. For instance, price is increased when the demand for a product is high or when the product is in short supply. Dynamic pricing helps to regulate a market and AI technology is useful in implementing this. 

Voice to Text Conversions: AI can be used to perform voice to text conversions. This application helps in summarising or taking notes during business meetings. It is also used to provide in-meeting transcriptions as a way of aiding audibly impaired participants. 

Spam Filters: Spamming is a real issue where online systems are overloaded through numerous automated activities. This is a form of cyberattack and it is prevented by identifying and rejecting unauthorised or computer-generated actions on a server or system.

In summary

Artificial intelligence is all around us. From our smartphones which now come with a voice assistant, to household appliances like tv that perform natural language processing, and down to metal object detection systems in banking halls. Many entrepreneurs are adopting AI in their business operations as well. In this article, we have covered the basics on how business owners can implement AI into their businesses and the benefits they get from doing this. 

Mfonobong Uyah

I'm a Nigerian author with profound love for psychology, great communications skills, and writing experience that expands across several niches.