A practical guide to generative AI for small business growth

By RfM Transform

22 Mar 2024

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The world is evolving at pace. Technological advancements are rapidly transforming industries, and you can’t turn for articles about ChatGPT! The emergence of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and its subset, Generative AI (GenAI), stands as a beacon for innovation. These technologies offer unprecedented opportunities for efficiency and growth, particularly for small businesses traditionally seen as outsiders to the digital revolution.

At its core, AI is the simulation of human intelligence in machines that are programmed to think like humans and mimic their actions. It spans a wide range of technologies from simple automated responses to complex problem-solving capabilities.

Generative AI, a fascinating offshoot of artificial intelligence, focuses on creating new content, from text to images, and even code, that resembles human-like quality. It learns from vast datasets to generate original outputs, solving tasks with creativity and insight previously thought exclusive only to us humans.

GenAI isn't just for tech giants though; it's a game-changer for smaller businesses looking to boost productivity and innovation. As Tony Backhouse, RfM Transform’s managing director, says: "One of our clients uses GenAI to substantially improve their productivity—answering emails, locating information efficiently, and ramping up marketing/social media posts."

This practical application of GenAI illustrates its potential to revolutionise everyday tasks, making it an invaluable asset for SMEs. Whilst AI is evolving rapidly, it is still not yet mainstream – there is time to ride the wave –there's no need to rush into it. Starting small and learning where you can effectively use GenAI in your operations is the sensible approach allowing you to adapt and grow at a pace that suits your business. So, like any technology, understanding the business case is key - something we can help with.

Echoing Boston Consulting Group's perspective, the journey with GenAI unfolds across three transformative strategies: Deploy, Reshape, and Invent. These strategies guide businesses in harnessing GenAI's potential to foster broad productivity gains, reshape operational processes, and innovate customer experiences and business models.

  • Deploy GenAI tools across your business to quickly deliver broad productivity gains of 10% to 20%. This foundational step enhances overall efficiency, revolutionising routine tasks and workflows.
  • Reshape processes and functions with GenAI, aiming for 30% to 50% gains in efficiency and effectiveness. By automating and refining workflows, SMEs can significantly boost their operational capabilities.
  • Invent new customer experiences, services, and offerings with GenAI, leveraging its power to create unique value propositions and even new business models, bringing ambitious revenue goals within reach. What new market could you create?

Integrating GenAI Practically:

  1. Identify Needs: Pinpoint business areas ripe for automation, like customer service, content creation, and operational efficiencies.
  2. Select Tools: Utilise platforms well-known platforms with a high volume of user deployments in your customer engagement, content generation, and workflow automation.
  3. Trial and Implement: Make use of free trials and demos - be sure to listen to your team’s feedback to ensure compatibility and effectiveness.
  4. Monitor and Adjust: Employ analytics to gauge impact, refining your approach to maximise GenAI benefits.

Adopting GenAI is a strategic move towards not just adapting to but leading in the digital age. It's about leveraging different technologies to enhance efficiency, foster innovation, and ensure competitiveness.

Ready to explore how implementing GenAI could transform your business? Whether aiming to streamline operations or redefine your business model, RfM Transform will guide you in making GenAI a pivotal part of your growth strategy. Get in touch for more. 

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