Is Your Small Business AI Ready?

Here is a Practical Guide to Determine if Your Small Business is AI Ready, with Plain English Explanations & Action Steps You Can Do Yourself


Is My Small Business AI Ready?

There’s no shortage of hype around AI tools for small business, but you’ve probably been wondering if you’re even capable of using AI tools?  Here’s a simple guide to help you navigate these early days of small business AI.

Read More:  How Can I Use AI Marketing Tools for Small Business?

Understanding How You Can Even Use AI Tools for Small Business

We’ve written previously about how you may already be using AI tools in your business and you don’t even realize it.  And from a practical standpoint, if you’re thinking about small business AI the better question to ask yourself if how digital-ready you are in the first place?

Read More:  Digital Basics – The Minimum Every Business Should be Doing On-Line

Here at Source Local Media, we believe you can’t fully explore AI tools for small business without first assessing the quality of your digital footprint.  We define digital footprint simply as the sum total of what can be found about your business on-line.

Read More:  The Digital Basics Checklist

You’ll probably end up with a “to do” list of items that should get attention before you start worrying about AI.


A Practical Guide to Getting Your Small Business AI Ready

When you’re ready to consider how AI tools for small business can help you create efficiency and growth, here is a practical guide to getting your small business AI ready:

People.  Small business AI is in its infancy.  But it’s already taking the complexity of running a small business up yet another notch.  It takes people, both internally and externally, to integrate AI tools for small business into your sales and marketing strategies (and wherever else they may be able to create benefits for you).

Q:  Who can own this responsibility INSIDE your business?

Q:  What people and expertise do you need to find OUTSIDE your business to fully understand opportunities to use AI, and build execute AI plans?

Processes.  Researching and evaluating the right technology, and thinking about how it applies to your current processes is really a skillset unto itself.  And it’s probably where you’ll need OUTSIDE help.

It’s best to start small to gain experience, and then look for ways to expand on that success.

Strategy.  This section is as much about leadership and commitment from the top as anything else.  Don’t approach AI as a fad or a “bolt on.”  IF you get to the point where you see benefits and can justify the investment in AI tools for small business, be committed.

Q:  Can you commit fully to integrating AI?

Q:  Do you believe?  Will you hold others accountable?

These are important high-level questions.  It’s really not worth building a small business AI strategy “half way.”  Even if you start small, having a road map for where you’d like to go is important.  You may not get there exactly, but having a plan increases your likelihood of measurable success greatly.

Resources.  In addition to people, it may take investments of time and money to see your small business AI strategy through.  Here are some of the most common resources required:

  • Planning Time
  • Third-Party Software Subscriptions
  • Internal & External Personnel to Teach & Manage Your AI
  • Patience

How We Help Small Businesses Build & Execute AI Strategy

As professional marketers, helping our clients utilize AI to create efficiencies and growth in sales and marketing performance started years ago.  It began in small ways, but as we and our vendors have found practical ways to have a significant impact — things are starting to balloon.

We write helpful “how to” articles we share here in our Local Marketing Blog.  These are a great way to educate yourself about how AI is helping small businesses like yours.

We invest in potential clients like you long before you invest in us.  Once of the most basic ways we do that is with our free Digital Footprint Audit.  It’s a way for us to learn about your business, and for you to meet and get comfortable with our team — without a money meter running and a bill at the end.

You can also join our Small Business Growth Marketing Boot Camp, where we guide you through a structured process to get your business back on a growth path and modernize your sales and marketing.  Let’s face it, running a small business has gotten more and more complicated in the past 3 years.  But there is a way forward.

Reach out if you have a specific need we can talk about in more detail.  We always offer a free initial consultation, and we’ll include our relevant experts to make sure it’s worth your time.

Read More:  Make Meaningful Change in Your Business

Thanks for visiting today!

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Steven Ludwig
After 3 decades as a professional marketer, serial entrepreneur and business consultant Steven Ludwig shares his best practices for small business marketing for owners, managers, and marketers with limited time, money, and expertise. Steven started his professional marketing career in broadcasting in the early ‘90s in Chicago after attending Valparaiso University. After a brief stint at an advertising agency specializing in entertainment and sports marketing where he worked with radio and television stations, movie theatre companies, record labels, musicians, and professional sports teams, he moved to Nashville to form The Marketing Group with his long-time business partner, Jim Wood. Having worked with some of the largest brands in the world, in 2010 he returned to local marketing primarily out of an interest and excitement for working with small business owners to build stronger companies. That desire comes out of early days in radio, where he worked closely with everything from car dealerships to restaurants, insurance and real estate agents, banks, home services companies, and specialty retailers of all kinds. Over the past decade, he has been on the bleeding edge of digital marketing technology, constantly seeking to understand complex strategies employed by giant corporations and then translate those capabilities into tactics small businesses can execute at a local level. Today, in addition to other business ventures with his wife and other long-time business partners, he still lives outside Nashville in Franklin, Tennessee and currently serves as Executive Chairman of EmpowerLocal, a digital marketing company building a nationwide network of digital, hyperlocal news and lifestyle publishers to provide efficient advertising opportunities for local, regional, and national brands.


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