28 May

Growing Businesses – Ready for take off

In such unsettling times it’s easy to take a glass half empty outlook. However, with the UK seemingly slowly climbing it’s way back up the ladder and small/medium sized businesses desperate to get back into the swing of things, now more than ever, may be the ideal time to explore some automated solutions to help you get back up to speed sooner than the competition and you never know, in a stronger position than you’ve ever been. Having explored other areas of how Artificial Intelligence can bring out the best in us, it’s now time to see how it can help you and your business. 

Let’s start with the basics; getting back into your routine, starts with an organised agenda and daily schedule. X.ai’s virtual assistant takes away all of the hassle of arranging your calendar. One of those pesky sales chasing emails finally attracts your interest and from there it’s as simple as replying to the email cc’ing Amy, telling her how long you’re happy to meet for and the rest will be taken care of. Amy will create a glossy reply with your available times, wait for a response, schedule the appointment in the relevant calendar and then even reply to confirm the appointment is booked and thanking them for reaching out. They won’t even know they’ve been conversing with a robot. 

Upon the slight easing of the lockdown laws, I was barely able to remember my routine for getting ready to leave the house, let alone prepping for a crucial sales pitch or interview. This prep has been made even easier thanks to Crystal’s data driven decision making platform. With Crystal it all starts with an inquisitive text; “What was Joe Blog’s inc sales last month?”, “What’s the best time to book a flight between London and Milan?”, or perhaps the most creepy; “What’s the best way to communicate with Stella McCartney for my sales meeting?”  
Yes, that’s right, anyone who has a LinkedIn page can be analysed and compared to Crystal’s vast data banksuggestions will then be made on what they respond best to, what your communication style should be like and much more.  Combine this with your natural business acumen and I’m sure you’ll be on the way to optimised cost cutting and converting significantly more face to face deals. 

In the current digital world, a concern at the forefront of any growing business should be cyber security. Small businesses are currently subject to up to 10,000 attacks per day and when the effects of these would be a business ending event for 66% of these, you can see why it should be a priority. Something I’ve touched on in a previous part of this series has been developing solutions with good intentions, and one of these that certainly fits that bill is Recorded Future. Thanks to a combination of machine learning, natural language processing and pattern recognition, their product indexes and understands up to 350 facts per second, the equivalent of 8,774 full time analysts. Using this, it will deliver you threat intelligence that can power your security where and when you need it – we’ve come a fair way since Norton! 

The main thing to bear in mind here is that there are a plethora of different solutions out there, with a price tag that will vary to match, so the key is to only choose solutions that suit your needs. For example, our digital marketing team at Merali Digital knew that by automating their “business as usual” tasks¸ combined with some powerful analytical tools, they would not only be able to free up more of their time to give even more support to their clients, but also take them through their online presence to a much more granular level of detail, analysing what’s working, what may not be working, what could do with some fine tuning to help further improve client results. I would recommend breaking down your business into the key areas such as day to day tasks, financial requirements i.e tax return and any nice to haves. Once you have done this, you can then establish what AI solutions would bring the most value to you; maybe your tax return is taking you a whole week, think how much more you could achieve if that was cut down to a day with a tool that analyses your receipts for you! 

Hopefully, this blog series has filled it’s purpose of changing the mindset of AI solutions being perceived as evil robots that could take over the planet, to systems that we can work in cohesion with to bring benefits to not just the developed world, but also the developing; not just multi-national businesses, but also the small businesses; however, perhaps most importantly, to you.  


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