Are you thinking of starting a small business? If so, you will need to create a website to promote your online business and connect with your customers. Building your own website can seem challenging, but it doesn’t have to be! In this post, we provide 21 tips for creating your first small business website. We’ll cover everything from choosing the best web hosting company to designing your site. Follow these tips, and you will be well on your way to having a successful online presence for your business.
1. Choose the Right Hosting Company
When it comes to hosting your small business website, you want to choose a hosting provider that is reliable and has a good reputation. You also want to make sure that the company offers good customer service to help you with any questions or problems that arise.
The best way to find out which web hosting company is right for you is by reading reviews and learning about each company’s pros and cons.
Going with Bluehost might be a good idea if you are on a budget since they offer shared hosting plans starting at $13 per month. SiteGround is another good option, and they offer shared hosting plans starting at around $5 per month. In addition, their plan includes a free domain name registration when you set up a hosting account with them.
If you are looking for a more robust hosting plan, then WP Engine might be the right hosting provider for you. Their hosting services include managed WordPress hosting plans, and WordPress users can put together a stunning, mobile-friendly website in mere minutes. This type of hosting is perfect if you want a fast, reliable and secure website.
2. Pick Your Website Address Wisely
The next step is to pick your website address, and your address URL (domain name) for your entire site will be based on it. It will speak volumes for your business too, and a good website address should be a part of website features list.
So when you pick your address, you want to make sure that it is easy to remember and includes the keywords you want to rank for in search engines. Doing so will make it easy for people to find your business online and grow your traffic.
An excellent example of this would be if you own a pizza restaurant. You might want to choose a website address like pizza-restaurant-name.com or, even better—pizza.com. If you have a hard time coming up with a good website address, there are plenty of domain name generators online that can help you develop ideas. Just make sure that the website address is available for purchase before registering it. If you really want to optimize your domain name, several fantastic tools exist for finding imaginative domain names.
3. Pick a Good Website Builder
Once you’ve determined that a website builder works for you, it’s time to choose one. If you are on a budget, then we recommend using WordPress’s free website builder. However, while a WordPress website is free to start, you can realistically expect pricing for WordPress software to fall between $11 and $40 per month after shelling out a one-off cost of around $200. There are also plenty of tutorials available online that can help walk you through the process of setting up a WordPress site.
If you are looking for other professional website builders, then Squarespace might be the one for you. They offer beautiful templates that are easy to use, and business plans start at $18/month. Plus, they offer a 14-day free trial, so you can test out the platform before committing.
Wix is another popular website builder that offers a wide range of templates and features. They also offer a free trial to try out the platform before committing to a paid plan. Wix’s unlimited plan for entrepreneurs and freelancers starts at $18/month and increases in price depending on your needs (e.g., more storage space, visitor analytics).
Other good website builders include:
If you’re a small business owner who’d like to learn about free website builders for your small business, be sure to check out Small Business Trend’s article about 20 Free Website Builders For Your Small Business.
4. Plan for Future Expansion
if you think you’ll expand your business in the future, it’s important to plan for it in advance when designing your website. Make sure that your website is easy to update and add new pages as your business grows. Additionally, choose a platform that can handle increased traffic and bandwidth needs.
A WordPress site can keep up with a small company’s expansion, but some other excellent website platforms that are flexible and powerful enough to grow with you include Wix or Squarespace. Of course, GoDaddy is fine for growth too if you want a no-frills website.
Two of the best ones that allow eCommerce and bigger stores to expand are Shopify and BigCommerce. Also, if you are tech-savvy, Joomla and Drupal are great open-source options.
5. Have a Professional Website Design
A professionally-designed website is paramount to the overall success of your business. And the best websites are easy to use, fast-loading and optimized for mobile devices.
When customers visit your site, they need to know who you are and what you sell within seconds. If they can’t figure out how to navigate through your site or find what they’re looking for, then the chances are good that they will leave your site and go somewhere else.
Additionally, when you design with a professional touch, the design for a business site should include a logo that speaks to your brand. It should also feature high-quality images and videos, clear calls to action, easy navigation, quick loading time on all pages of the site (including behind the scenes) and security features.
Website templates can help you get started with a professional website design. Still, if you don’t know where to start, it’s probably best to hire a professional web designer who understands your business and can create a site that accurately represents your brand. They will be able to help you create a website that not only looks great but also converts visitors into customers.
When you hire a professional web design agency, they will be able to help you with everything from choosing the right domain name and website builder to creating an attractive logo that speaks to your brand.
Here are some tips for finding the right web design agency:
Plus, many agencies offer affordable monthly packages, so you won’t have any upfront costs or hidden fees. You can also ask them about other services such as social media management or optimizing your website copy for search engines if you’re interested in growing your business online.
If your budget is tight, it’s typically best to start with a free website builder and spend just a few dollars per month for hosting. You can always hire an agency to help build more robust features into your site later on down the road when it makes sense for your business.
6. Get an SSL Certificate Straight Away
If you want to accept payments from customers online, it’s essential that your website has an SSL certificate. An SSL certificate stands for Secure Sockets Layer and is a security protocol used by websites to secure the connection between visitors’ web browsers and their servers. It encrypts data so hackers can’t access it without having an encryption key.
SSL certificates are important for small businesses because they help protect customer data and increase customer trust. Even if consumers aren’t aware of what an SSL is, 78% of them say they are reassured when they see the familiar padlock symbol associated with an SSL certificate in their browser.
If your website doesn’t have an SSL certificate, then you’re at risk of losing customers who might not want to take their chances with a site that doesn’t have one (especially if they’re making payments online). Plus, Google can penalize sites that don’t have SSL certificates by lowering their search engine rankings.
You can get a free SSL certificate from Let’s Encrypt or pay for it through your domain registrar or web hosting company.
7. Look at Similar Small Business Websites for Inspiration
If you’re not sure what you want your website to look like, it’s a good idea to look at similar small business sites for inspiration. That way you get an idea of the types of features and design elements you might want to include on your site.
You can find examples of some by doing a Google search for “small business websites” or by browsing through some of the top design galleries online.
Keep in mind that you don’t want to copy another business’s website—you should aim to create a site that is unique and reflects your brand. But looking at other small business sites can give you some great ideas for what you might want to include on your own site.
It’s also a good idea to check out the websites of local small businesses in your area so you can see what they’re doing and get some inspiration for what might work best for you, too.
8. Install Plugins to Boost Your Website’s Features
Plugins can help you add features for anything from a contact form to a search bar to powerful SEO tools. If you want your website to do more than just show information about your business, then it’s a good idea to install WordPress plugins to boost its functionality. However, bear in mind that there shouldn’t be too many plugins and that there are many free and paid plugins available for WordPress that are excellent.
We recommend starting with the following plugins:
9. Choose a Suitable WordPress Theme
Once you’ve installed the plugins you need, it’s time to choose a theme for your website. This theme is the design and layout of your site, and there are thousands of themes available. When choosing one, it’s important to make sure that it is responsive—meaning it will look good on all devices, from desktop computers to phones and tablets.
The following themes are great for small businesses because of their responsiveness, ease of use and mobile-friendly attributes:
XTheme by Theme.co is a multipurpose theme that has four unique designs that you can use for your website. It also includes over 40 modules and 20 widget areas which give you plenty of flexibility when creating your website.
Offering a free, flexible theme that is highly customizable, lightweight and easy to use, OceanWP is a great option for small businesses. Features that set it apart include mobile-friendly appearance, responsive design and lightning-fast loading capabilities.
BeTheme has over 650+ pre-built websites that can be quickly customized and put into production without any coding. It also includes a drag and drop builder, 20 header styles, unlimited color options and more.
Astra is a lightweight and highly customizable multipurpose theme that integrates seamlessly with popular page builders and eCommerce plugins. Its wide range of features like unlimited layouts and gorgeous appearance make it especially suitable for restaurants, niche-based sites and many other purposes.
Let’s add a word of warning here about themes that advertise themselves as “completely free.” Some experts caution against using them since some aren’t secure as the ones you buy. Still, you don’t have to make getting your theme a huge expense—even investing a small amount of money in one can help keep your site secure.
9. Simple is Better
Whether you’re working with a designer or just choosing a template, you want to keep the design elements simple on your business website and not have flashy colors (unless, of course, busy and flashy is aligned with your brand). Too much going on will only confuse and distract visitors from what you want them to do, which is buy from you.
While simplicity is the goal, you should also know how to pick colors for your business website. A good rule of thumb is to use a maximum of no more than three colors. Likewise, only use two or three different fonts and make sure they are easy to read.
10. Have a Contact Page
New customers and long-term shoppers alike need a way to get in touch with you through your business website, so it’s important to include a Contact Us page or something similar on your site. Your contact page should consist of information like your business address, phone number, email address and a form that allows customers to send you a message.
Many WordPress plugins, such as WPForms and Gravity Forms, allow you to create a contact form with ease.
Another option is to have a live chat feature that let you have a more personal and meaningful conversation with your online visitors.
11. Search Engine Optimization is Key
Search engine optimization (SEO) is the practice of improving the ranking of your website on search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing. The practice matters because it can help your website appear on the first page of search results when potential clients look for the products and services you offer.
This is often referred to as organic traffic, and it’s important because studies show that 75% of users don’t go beyond the first page of search results.
Some of the best ways to improve your website’s SEO and site performance include:
Also, the search engine results pages, or SERPS, are constantly changing, so it’s crucial to stay up-to-date on the latest techniques for improving your site’s traffic.
12. Invest in SEO Tools
To improve your website’s SEO, you need access to the right tools. Thankfully, there are many great SEO tools available that can help you with everything from keyword research to backlink analysis.
Some of the most popular SEO tools include:
While all of these tools are great for improving your website’s SEO, it’s important to remember that no one tool can guarantee success. Therefore, it’s essential to use a variety of different tools and techniques to get the best results.
13. Consider Having a Content Management System
A content management system (CMS) is a software application that allows you to create, edit and publish digital content from a central location. A CMS is important because it can help you manage your website’s content more effectively, which can improve your website’s SEO and traffic. Many don’t require deep technical knowledge to use them, either.
Some of the most popular CMSs include:
14. Optimize Your Website for Mobile
To provide a great experience for your mobile visitors, it’s important to optimize your small business website for mobile devices. You can accomplish this by using a responsive design or creating a separate mobile version of your website. Additionally, you can use tools like Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test to check how well your website performs and how user-friendly it is on mobile devices.
15. Internal and External Links are Important
Hyperlinks or simply “links” are an important part of any website, and they can be used to improve your website’s SEO and traffic. Internal links point from one page on your website to another. External links, on the other hand, are links that point to pages outside of your website.
Internal and external hyperlinks are important because they help Google and other search engines understand your website’s structure and content. Additionally, they can help you increase traffic to your website by providing more opportunities for people to click through to your pages.
16. Add Social Media Integration
Social media integration can help you improve your website’s traffic and engagement. By adding social media buttons to your website, you make it easy for visitors to share your content on their favorite social networks. Additionally, social media integration can help you track how well your content is performing on social media.
Here are a few ways to add social media integration:
17. Have an Online Store or Booking Section
If you have a product to sell, it’s vital to have an online store or booking section on your website. An eCommerce site can help you grow your small business by letting customers purchase your products from their computers, tablets and mobile phones. Additionally, many eCommerce platforms allow you to track sales and inventory so that you know how well your products are selling.
18. Use Professional Photography and Images
If you’re selling products or services, it’s important to use professional photography and images on your website. These help visitors understand what you offer and can be used to show off your products or services in action.
If you don’t have the budget for a professional photographer, there are plenty of options available online. You can purchase stock photos from sites like iStockPhoto, Shutterstock and Dreamstime.
However, resist the urge to use low-quality stock images. If you are not willing to invest in professional-looking images, it’s best just to skip it altogether. Also, from a design standpoint, images should be used sparingly and only if they support the message you’re trying to communicate.
19. Use Reviews and Testimonials
Small business owners can benefit from reviews and testimonials. So, if you have any from your happy customers, be sure to include them on your website. These can help improve your credibility and convince visitors that they should do business with you.
A few ways to incorporate reviews and testimonials into your site are:
20. Utilize Video Elements
Video is an excellent way to engage website visitors and can be used to explain your products or services in more detail. Additionally, including videos on your website can help improve your SEO results.
There are a few ways to add videos to your site:
21. Test, Test, Test!
The best way to make sure that your website is effective is to test it regularly. This method lets you learn and tweak things as you go. Make sure that you track how well each element performs so that you can make changes as needed.
Additionally, use analytics to see how visitors are interacting with your website. This information can help you decide what content to keep, change or remove.
In today’s digital age, a well-designed and strategically optimized small business website is a crucial tool for establishing your online presence and engaging with your target audience. By incorporating the strategies outlined in this guide, you can create a website that not only showcases your products or services but also effectively converts visitors into customers. From selecting the right hosting company and domain name to optimizing for mobile devices and maximizing conversion rates, each step plays a vital role in ensuring your website’s success.
Remember that your website is a dynamic entity that requires constant attention and adaptation. Regularly analyze user behavior, track key performance indicators, and make data-driven adjustments to continually improve your website’s effectiveness. Whether you’re a startup or an established small business, investing time and effort into building and maintaining a user-friendly, visually appealing, and conversion-focused website can yield significant returns in terms of brand growth, customer engagement, and overall business success.
As technology and user preferences evolve, staying up-to-date with the latest trends and best practices in website design and optimization will help you maintain a competitive edge and continue to deliver value to your audience. With a strong foundation and a commitment to continuous improvement, your small business website can become a powerful tool that supports your business goals and fosters lasting customer relationships.
Start Creating Your Small Business Website Today
Now that you have read the tips, it’s time to put them into action! Start by creating a list of the most important things you want your website to accomplish. From there, begin designing and building your site using these tips as a guide. And don’t forget to test, test, test along the way to make sure that you’re getting the results you want.
During tumultuous times, businesses must adapt quickly to survive. It's often easier said than done, but AI at our fingertips makes it more achievable than ever. This article delves into how AI can act as your stalwart companion during challenging periods.
In the ever-evolving landscape of the business world, resilience is key. The ability to weather storms, adapt to change and emerge stronger is what separates leaders from followers. However, this resilience isn't a product of sheer will alone — it requires a certain degree of foresight, strategy and an arsenal of powerful tools. One such tool that's proving to be increasingly invaluable is artificial intelligence (AI).
During periods of turbulence, AI can serve as a game-changer for businesses, equipping them with the necessary capabilities to not only withstand challenges but also to seize opportunities and forge a path towards growth.
This article will delve deep into the heart of this topic, exploring the manifold ways in which AI can act as a protector and enhancer of businesses during challenging times. We aim to provide you with insights, examples and action points — strap in for an enlightening journey into the world of AI in business resilience and growth.
Leveraging decision-making AI for proactive problem-solving and decision making
AI can be a powerful tool for detecting and resolving issues before they become full-blown crises. Through data analysis and predictive analytics, AI can alert you to real-time potential issues, from supply chain disruptions to unexpected shifts in market demand.
When the stakes are high, and decisions need to be made quickly, AI can help businesses navigate uncertainty. AI can provide detailed insights and recommendations through machine learning algorithms that enable data-driven decision-making.
AI-Powered risk management
Risk management is crucial for any business, but during challenging times, its importance magnifies. By predicting market volatility and providing insights into potential threats, AI can help you mitigate risks effectively.
Artificial intelligence (AI) is revolutionizing the way businesses anticipate market volatility. Traditionally, predicting market trends was a laborious task that required teams of analysts to sift through colossal amounts of data. Today, AI simplifies this process, offering faster and more accurate predictions.
AI leverages sophisticated algorithms and machine learning (ML) techniques to scan through huge data sets that humans would struggle with. It captures patterns, analyzes anomalies, and interprets economic indicators to give reliable predictions about market volatility.
Example: Hedge funds like Bridgewater Associates and Renaissance Technologies employ AI to evaluate complex financial markets. They use these AI systems to predict potential stock price changes based on many factors, including economic indicators, geopolitical events and even social media sentiment. With the help of AI, these firms can process and interpret information far quicker than humanly possible, gaining a competitive edge in predicting market shifts.
Spotting potential threats with AI
Security threats pose a significant risk to businesses. AI-powered systems can detect anomalies, flag potential threats and even take corrective action, ensuring your business remains secure.
The use of AI in identifying potential security threats goes beyond conventional practices. With its deep learning capabilities, AI can examine large amounts of data in real time and find patterns that might escape human detection.
For example, a financial institution could use AI to analyze millions of daily transactions. Instead of simply flagging large transactions as potentially fraudulent, AI can identify more subtle patterns that indicate illegal activity. It could look at the frequency of transactions, unusual transaction sizes for a specific customer, or even transactions at odd times. This provides more in-depth insights into the potential threats that businesses could face.
Businesses can take the following steps to leverage AI in spotting potential security threats:
Gaining a competitive edge with AI
Despite the challenges, tough times can present opportunities for businesses ready to innovate. Using AI, you can gain a competitive edge and position your business for future success.
AI for automating mundane tasks -- AI has already revolutionized several sectors by taking over repetitive and mundane tasks, thus freeing up the workforce to engage in more strategic and creative pursuits. For instance, in the retail industry, chatbots have been programmed to handle basic customer inquiries, leaving more complex queries to human representatives. This not only improves efficiency but also enhances customer experience.
AI in product development — AI is also changing the face of product development. One example can be seen in the automotive industry. Companies like Waymo, Tesla, and Uber are using AI and machine learning to develop self-driving vehicles. These cars use a combination of sensors and advanced machine-learning algorithms to navigate roads and traffic more efficiently than a human driver could.
AI in predicting customer needs — AI and machine learning can also aid businesses in better understanding and predicting customer needs. For instance, Spotify uses AI algorithms to analyze users' listening habits and suggest music that aligns with their tastes, creating a highly personalized user experience. Similarly, Amazon uses predictive analytics to recommend products to users based on their browsing and purchasing history.
Creating personalized customer experiences — Customers crave personalization in today's digital world. AI can analyze customer behavior, enabling businesses to offer tailored experiences that boost customer satisfaction and loyalty.
Artificial intelligence offers the unprecedented ability to collect and analyze vast amounts of data, including customer preferences, shopping patterns, and interaction histories. This allows businesses to create highly personalized experiences that meet and exceed customer expectations.
The Future of AI in Business
With the increasing capabilities of AI, it's clear that its role in business will continue to grow. The future of AI in business looks promising, potentially revolutionizing how we work.
The role of AI in post-pandemic recovery is not just significant but transformative. AI technology provides tools and methods to streamline operations, reduce costs, and drive growth, acting as a powerful engine for businesses to rebuild and adapt to the new normal.
The global pandemic catalyzed digital transformation, pushing businesses to rethink their operations and strategies. The digitization that was anticipated to occur in a few years got condensed into months, with AI being at the forefront.
For example, traditional brick-and-mortar retailers that were hit hard by the pandemic had to shift online. AI played a significant role in this transition, from developing intuitive and user-friendly e-commerce platforms to powering sophisticated recommendation engines that enhance the customer shopping experience.
Potential challenges and ethical considerations
The use of AI isn't without its challenges. As businesses increasingly rely on AI, issues related to data privacy, ethics and job displacement may arise, requiring thoughtful consideration and responsible AI practices.
In a world where change is the only constant, improving your business with AI is no longer a vision of the future but an essential strategy for today. The current era of technological advancement offers both challenges and opportunities, and the smart use of AI will determine who comes out on top.
AI is no longer an abstract concept but a real and tangible force in the business world, driving resilience, spurring innovation and powering growth. It's the ally that works round-the-clock, the silent partner that offers deep insights, and the game-changer that provides businesses with an undeniable competitive edge.
As businesses around the globe grapple with various challenges, from economic downturns to global pandemics, the ability to harness the power of AI becomes not just desirable but critical. Yes, the path may be riddled with hurdles, such as data privacy concerns and ethical considerations, but the benefits of integrating AI into your business strategy far outweigh the potential drawbacks.
The future of business lies in AI — those who embrace it will lead, and those who ignore it may well find themselves struggling to catch up. So, here's to a future where AI and business go hand in hand, a future where resilience is a given, and growth is a sustained trajectory!
Image Credit: Pexels.com | Photo by Tara Winstead
Back in the day, having a website was all the craze; businesses that had a website were the big players and people who could afford to pay a huge sum of money. Fast-forward 20 years or so, and a business that doesn't have a website is considered to be the odd one out.
Anybody with a laptop, an internet connection and basic technical knowledge can hop on the internet and create a very good-looking website. Jumping ahead another couple of decades, you see Steve Jobs on the stage introducing the iPhone, and people go mad. In less than a year, the app store was launched with 500 apps, and the journey began.
Apps are generally viewed as a luxurious addition to the business — a "We'd love to have one! But we have more important things to focus on right now" type of addition. But it's proving more and more essential for a business to have a mobile application. The global mobile app development market size was valued at USD $197.2 billion in 2021. It is expected to reach around USD $583.03 billion growing at a CAGR of 12.8% during the forecast period (2022–2030).
The substantial growth of the mobile app market signifies a clear trend: Mobile apps are not merely luxury additions for businesses anymore, but rather critical tools for reaching and interacting with customers. Ignoring this trend could mean missing out on potential opportunities.
So, if you want to get your fair share of this huge sum, developing a mobile application is no longer optional.
Boosting client interactions: The power of increased customer engagement through mobile apps
How often is it that you open your browser on your smartphone and go to a website as opposed to opening your smartphone and just tapping on an app? The contrast is stark.
Everybody is on their phones nowadays, specifically on various apps, and your business app could easily be one of those apps. I'm not going to ramble on about how push notifications opt-in rates on the Android OS range from 49% to 95%, with medium equal to 81% — and on the iOS side, they range from 29% to 73%, with medium equal to 51%.
But I am going to tell you how an app could easily deliver personalized content to each and every user depending on their behavior: Someone added something to a cart and left without buying it? Send them a reminder to complete the checkout. User X's birthday is today? Send them a complementary discount. Someone expressed interest on several occasions in your posts on the northern lights in Iceland? Send them a trip recommendation this September.
Elevating your brand: The impact of mobile apps on visibility and recognition
Having a mobile app is essentially free advertising. Every smartphone out there is considered a potential free spot to advertise your business. Think about it this way: Every time your client opens their smartphone, they will see your application. It's like you're psychologically stamping your business in their minds, and what is the result? In the first instance that they require a service that you provide or a product that you sell, you will be the one that they contact.
Another aspect of visibility and brand recognition is your brand's colors, designs and even tone of voice. The use of these elements within the app reinforces your brand in the client's mind.
And last but not least, if your app contains modern features, such as an easy-to-use interface, a messenger for instant customer support, the ability to personalize content and timely push notifications, your app and your business will be held in high esteem for delivering quality service and being a customer-centric company.
Today's business landscape has evolved to such an extent that having a mobile app has shifted from a luxury to a necessity. Mobile apps are essential in enhancing customer engagement. Since they are more readily accessible than websites on a smartphone, and with features like push notifications and personalization, businesses can deliver tailored content directly to their consumers, leading to increased engagement.
Having a mobile app provides a significant boost to a brand's visibility and recognition. The continual presence of the app on a user's device, combined with the consistent use of brand colors, design and voice within the app, imprints the brand in the user's mind. Incorporating modern features and a user-friendly interface into the app also positions the business as a quality service provider, elevating its standing in the minds of consumers.
In the evolving digital era, having a mobile app is not just an optional add-on but a crucial business tool that offers significant benefits in terms of customer engagement, brand visibility and market share.
Image Credit: Pexels.com | Photo by PhotoMIX Company
Savvy business leaders have been following AI developments for years, long before ChatGPT stormed onstage in 2022. AI is well on its way to changing the work landscape; Goldman Sachs’ March 2023 prediction is that AI could replace up to 300 million full-time jobs worldwide by 2030.
That’s a legitimately frightening headline for professional services workers already insecure about their economic worth. Fortunately, the details are more encouraging. Goldman Sachs predicts a new wave of technological innovation and a 7% increase in the total value of goods and services produced worldwide. In other words, a productivity boom. One driven by AI’s rapidly improving ability to inform and shape business decisions.
It’s already happening, too. Here’s how AI factors into modern business decision-making in four key areas.
1. Empowering Real Estate Investors to Make Informed Decisions
Most independent real estate investors know that the best deals fly under the radar: short sales, foreclosures, and especially unlisted properties.
Comprehensive valuation and lead-generation tools like DealMachine are showcasing the power of AI in real estate. Tools like this go beyond the MLS properties everyone else is chasing to uncover hidden opportunities. They have proprietary valuation models that help investors determine whether an opportunity actually pencils out.
AI-powered real estate tools can’t (yet) prevent investors from making the wrong decision. But by providing much more information and capability than non-AI predecessors, they take much of the guesswork and grunt work out of the process.
2. Reducing Manual Project Management Workloads
Project management solutions like Airtable and Monday.com already utilize AI and machine learning to drive workflow efficiency. Continued progress in this space will likely be iterative, with future versions automating more and more of the time-consuming legwork.
But it’ll be dramatic nonetheless. Back in 2019, Gartner predicted that AI could automate 80% of project management tasks by 2030. Today, that seems like a conservative estimate. Humans will need to be involved for the foreseeable future, but individual project managers will be able to do much more than before. They’ll make far fewer of the small business decisions inherent in the project management workflow and focus on the big, strategic ones instead.
3. Synthesizing Vast Amounts of Digital Information to Drive Evidence-Based Decisions
Search engine technology has dramatically improved in the past 20 years, but the basic model hasn’t. You type in a query, the algorithm tries to understand what you mean, and then it spits out a bunch of links that it thinks are relevant.
Often, the results are outstanding. And often, they’re not. Iterative improvements have worked well enough until now, but it’s clear that the model has fundamental flaws.
AI could change that, perhaps sooner than we think. Google’s new Search Generative Experience (SGE) offers a glimpse at a future where AI responds to your query and analyzes the vast amount of information in that response. In human terms, it clicks the links and summarizes their content without any action on your part.
It’s easy to see how SGE could streamline business decision-making and help executives and their direct reports synthesize information much more quickly. While it won’t become Google’s default search model tomorrow, it’s coming, and the implications could be profound.
4. Uncovering Hidden Patterns and Preferences in Consumer Behavior
AI chatbots have been a customer service staple for years now. Machine learning algorithms have steadily expanded their influence in digital marketing as well.
The next frontier is AI-driven behavioral analysis and predictive marketing. That is, figuring out what the customer wants before they know it themselves. You could argue that talented human marketers already do this, and you’d be correct. However, humans don’t work as quickly as algorithms and often miss opportunities hiding in plain sight.
Like other applications for AI in business decision-making, predictive marketing’s value lies in freeing up humans to focus on strategic tasks that (for now) they can still do better than algorithms. People can direct campaigns and make connections at a high level, while automation takes care of the rest.
Leveraging the Potential of AI in Business
AI tech is already indispensable for business decision-makers in industries as diverse as real estate, human resources, and healthcare. And its ability to support and improve human decision-making is advancing fast. Wherever you work and whatever your role now is the time to get comfortable leveraging its potential. Because while AI might not replace your job anytime soon, it could advance your career.
Membership is open to businesses and organizations interested in increasing visibility and brand awareness in Westchester County and surrounding areas.