Skip to main content

9 AI tools to get your small business digital ready

Small business digital ready: restaurant owners using laptop

Key takeaways:

  • Avoid running out of content ideas by using ChatGPT as a content generator
  • Use an AI tool like Grammarly to edit your content for typos
  • Save money by using AI-generated images from Canva instead of original photography

Time is in high demand among small business owners. It’s the one thing you always need but always find in short supply.

Fortunately, artificial intelligence (AI) helps business owners work smarter, not harder. AI tools automate time-consuming tasks that were once done by employees. Now, technology can perform these often repetitive tasks, allowing you and your staff to focus on more important items—like growing your business.

Plus, many AI tools for small businesses come with free pricing plans. The result? You get more done in less time without breaking the bank. Learn how to get your small business digital ready with AI tools anyone can use.

What is artificial intelligence exactly?

In today’s digital world, artificial intelligence is often used as a big, scary phrase that seems out of reach for small business owners. Many folks might falsely believe that because they don’t have a background in machine learning or software engineering, they’ll never be able to use AI in their personal or professional lives. But the truth is, they’ve been using AI for years without realizing it.

In simplest terms, artificial intelligence collects data on past actions, thus predicting future actions. The more data a machine or software collects, the better its chances of solving future problems—just like a human being.

Long before ChatGPT began making headlines, small business owners used AI at home and at work. For example, Netflix uses AI technology to display movies and shows you’d find interesting based on your viewing history. Likewise, Pandora, Spotify, and Apple Music suggest playlists based on songs based on your listening history. And when you start typing on your iPhone or typing an email in Gmail, AI provides written suggestions on what to type next.

Today, small business owners can use AI functionality to simplify social media management, apply for a round of grants, write an expert coaching program, generate marketing images, and ultimately deliver superior customer experiences. As a result, you can save time without hurting your bottom line.

AI for small business: 9 tricks to work smarter, not harder

Want to run an AI-powered small business but don’t know where to start? Below are some of the best AI tools for small business owners (and tips on how to use them) to streamline your operations.

1. Create content ideas using ChatGPT

ChatGPT example for content ideas

As a small business owner, marketing often falls on your shoulders. If you constantly need new ideas to write email campaigns, social media content, or blog posts, let ChatGPT do the heavy lifting.

ChatGPT’s open AI platform is free, so it won’t increase your overhead. Simply type in a prompt, and sit back as the writing assistant creates ideas for your content marketing plan. For example, try typing in “social media post ideas for a car wash” or “blog post ideas for an interior design business.” From there, you can tweak the caption, hashtags, or overall concept to fit your unique business.

2. Cut down on meetings with Loom

Short video example using Loom

Most entrepreneurs will tell you that nothing drains your productivity more than too many meetings.

Rather than scheduling a one-on-one check-in for every item on your task list, consider recording short videos with Loom. With Loom, you can create free instructional videos (complete with screen recording) up to five minutes long, or longer with a paid plan.

Loom cuts out the administrative work by using artificial intelligence to summarize each video you make. Simply copy and paste the summary into an email, and send it to your clients or employees. Loom also allows viewers to navigate to the most important bits of videos, offering a time-stamp outline beneath the summary.

3. Translate your entire website with Weglot

Example of website using Weglot to translate entire site

It can be difficult to provide top-tier service if you serve a multilingual audience. Hiring translators can be expensive, and you might find yourself spending twice as long on content creation to craft a separate campaign for each language.

If you’re looking for AI-powered tools to help translate your content into multiple languages, try Weglot. This user-friendly plugin translates your entire website from English to Spanish, Arabic, Mandarin, and 100+ other languages. With Weglot, you can instantly translate your ecommerce platform, online courses, or learning modules into several languages, thereby better serving your local community. Plus, Weglot offers a free plan for up to 2,000 words.

4. Cut down on editing time with Grammarly

Imagine this scenario: You spend countless hours drafting a marketing campaign to promote a new product launch. You agonize over the copywriting process, drafting product descriptions, perfecting sales language, and finishing with the right customer incentive to attract new buyers.

But after you press “send” on your email marketing campaign, you realize you missed a typo.

Writing and editing are incredibly time-intensive, yet both are necessary for launching a digital marketing campaign. To save time, turn to the Grammarly AI assistant for writing and editing, catching spelling errors, improving word choice, and catching grammar mistakes.

Grammarly doubles as a content generation AI solution, helping to generate text through thousands of prompts. The platform also offers a forever-free plan for fixing spelling errors, improving tone and voice, and correcting punctuation mistakes.

5. Create an automated sales process through Copy.AI

Example of Copy.AI

Sales is a necessary aspect of any business plan. For years, small business owners and sales teams have used CRM tools to automate workflows and deliver superior customer support.

If you’re looking for an AI-driven solution to shorten your sales cycle, consider Copy.AI, which uses personalized tools to create sales workflows down to the individual level. For example, imagine you own a local bookstore and decide to host a peer networking event for local book clubs. Readers would sign up for the community event via an online form, thus joining your email list.

After the live event, you can use Copy.AI to send personalized promotional emails to all attendees. Copy.AI syncs to your CRM system (e.g., Hubspot or Salesforce), addressing each attendee by name. It could even scrape URLs and search headlines to suggest a number of newly-released titles for readers.

6. Create your own AI-powered content marketing team with Jasper

If you’re a startup or locally-owned business, you might not have the budget for a marketing team. Fortunately, there are plenty of artificial intelligence tools that can be a game changer for small marketing departments.

If you’re looking for affordable, AI-powered marketing tools, turn to Jasper. With Jasper, you have all the makings of a virtual assistant or marketing associate. Create a brief for a mentoring or live coaching event, run data analysis on new customers, write a social media caption, or draft proposals for small business grant opportunities—all in your unique brand voice. Plus, the generative AI platform helps you make data-driven decisions throughout each step in your campaign, helping to close more customers.

7. Generate one-of-a-kind images with Canva

Example of Canva in use

Small business owners know high-quality visuals can increase the success of virtually any marketing campaign. Unfortunately, hiring a photographer, scheduling a photo shoot, and (if necessary) hiring models can drain your time and budget.

Fortunately, with AI, you can get one-of-a-kind images without a photographer. Canva, the popular graphic design platform, doubles as an AI-powered image generator for your business. With Canva, you can generate images to help design flyers, an online curriculum, web pages, and social media posts. Moreover, Canva has AI features to transform your newly generated images into video content.

8. Create SEO-friendly content with Dashword

As a small business, staying visible on search engines is imperative to reaching new customers. Fortunately, there are plenty of optimization tools that use the power of AI to help you increase your chances of moving up the ranks in search engines.

With Dashword, you can write SEO-friendly blog posts in minutes. Dashword’s AI algorithms suggest new content ideas, helping you launch more effective marketing campaigns.

9. Answer customer inquiries with Ada

As a small business owner, you know how important it is to deliver superior customer service. If you don’t have the budget to hire new customer care specialists, you may want to invest in an AI chatbot.

Chatbots, like Ada, leverage AI to answer common questions and boost customer engagement. Rather than type generic, scripted responses, Ada can respond to unique customer data, thereby responding to pain points like a real human. With Ada, customers can learn more about your product lines, resolve shipping issues, or look up a recent order, all in real time.

Launch a small business digital ready program with AI tools

Time is a precious thing for small business owners. Fortunately, AI tools can help with numerous business processes and tasks to save you countless hours each week.

With AI, you can get your small business digital ready by generating images, drafting creative briefs, responding to customer inquiries, and optimizing existing content. Moreover, AI tools can help you complete entire marketing campaigns from start to finish, offering content ideas, writing prompts, editing your work, and creating an optimized workflow.

Discover more efficient and effective ideas on how to achieve successful small business management.

Get a free Yelp Page

Promote your business to local customers.

Verify my free listing

The information above is provided for educational and informational purposes only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice and may not be suitable for your circumstances. Unless stated otherwise, references to third-party links, services, or products do not constitute endorsement by Yelp.