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6 Best AI Tools to Boost Productivity in Small and Medium Businesses
Small businesses need to use AI wisely to boost productivity. Here are some tools that can help them do just that.
In the fast-paced world of business, staying competitive means leveraging the latest technologies to boost productivity and efficiency. Artificial Intelligence (AI) is rapidly transforming the way small and medium businesses (SMBs) operate, offering innovative solutions to streamline processes, analyze data, and improve decision-making.
However, building sophisticated and powerful end-to-end AI features internally can cost a lot of money for businesses. Be it AI image generation video editing using an AI-powered smart editor or even text generation, it can quickly get super expensive. When you’re trying to cut costs as a startup, finding cheaper yet just-as-efficient alternatives is super important.
In this article, we'll delve into six cutting-edge AI tools that can empower small businesses to thrive in today's dynamic market. These AI tools all serve different purposes and depending on what your business needs, you can subscribe to some or all of these. The best part is that they’re considerably affordable, with many offering free versions too.
This post is sponsored by Multimodal, an NYC-based startup setting out to make organizations more productive, effective, and competitive using generative AI.
Multimodal builds custom large language models for enterprises, enabling them to process documents instantly, automate manual workflows, and develop breakthrough products and services.
Visit their website for more information about transformative business AI.
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1. Fireflies AI
Fireflies AI is an advanced AI-powered meeting assistant designed to make your meetings more productive and efficient. It leverages NLP and speech recognition to transcribe, summarize, and analyze conversations, ensuring that important information and action items are never missed.
Fireflies AI's transcription accuracy is truly remarkable. It can convert spoken words into text in real time, capturing every nuance of the conversation. This feature is particularly valuable for SMBs that need AI tools to maintain accurate records of their meetings for compliance or reference purposes.
One of the standout features of Fireflies AI is its ability to highlight key points and action items during meetings. It can automatically detect phrases like "action item" or "follow-up," making it easier for participants to track what needs to be done after the meeting. This can significantly improve accountability and ensure that important tasks are completed promptly.
Additionally, Fireflies AI offers integration with popular collaboration and productivity tools, such as Slack, Zoom, and Google Workspace. This allows for seamless synchronization of meeting data and action items, making it easier for teams to stay organized and on track.
Security is a top priority for Fireflies AI, and the platform employs robust encryption and access controls to protect sensitive meeting data. It also provides comprehensive documentation and support, making it accessible to SMBs of all sizes.
2. Salesforce Einstein
Salesforce Einstein is another one of the AI tools that every small business can benefit from. It is an AI-powered customer relationship management (CRM) tool that brings advanced analytics and predictive capabilities to SMBs. It is built on the trusted Salesforce platform and leverages AI to help businesses make data-driven decisions and enhance customer relationships.
Einstein's AI engine can automatically analyze vast amounts of customer data, such as sales history, customer interactions, and social media activity, to generate insights and predictions. These insights can help SMBs identify trends, prioritize leads, and optimize their sales strategies.
One of the standout features of Salesforce Einstein is its natural language processing capabilities. It can analyze the sentiment of customer interactions, allowing businesses to gauge customer satisfaction and identify potential issues in real-time. This proactive approach to customer service can significantly improve overall customer experience.
Additionally, Einstein offers robust integration capabilities, allowing businesses to connect their CRM data with other AI-powered tools and services. This opens up opportunities for automation, personalized marketing campaigns, and more.
3. Custom GPT
Custom GPT is a great AI writing assistant/text generator for businesses that rely a lot on content/email/social media marketing. This generative AI-based writing tool allows you to generate text in the right style and voice for your business in just a few clicks. How is it different from a generic chatbot or text generator? The difference lies in the personalization.
Let’s say your business frequently writes memos for internal communication. This time-taking task can be easily done with Custom GPT. The kind of personalization and brand voice that’s required for marketing campaigns can also easily be achieved with Custom GPT. The makers fine-tune the model and train it on your data to make it more suitable to generate text in your business’s language and style.
This tool is available at various price points and stands out for its efficiency when compared to other AI copywriting tools, particularly due to the business-customized option. A free version is also available, with certain limitations to it. It reduces both the time and the cost of generating blog posts and marketing campaigns from scratch.
While not a pure AI tool, Zapier is a powerful automation platform that can be enhanced with AI integration. It connects various apps and services, allowing SMBs to create custom workflows and automate repetitive tasks.
Zapier's AI integrations, such as with Google Cloud AI and Microsoft Azure, enable businesses to incorporate machine learning models into their automation processes.
For example, you can set up AI workflows to categorize and prioritize incoming emails, extract information from documents, or perform sentiment analysis on social media posts.
The real technical beauty of Zapier lies in its simplicity. You don't need extensive coding skills to create automation workflows. The platform offers a user-friendly interface where you can design workflows through a drag-and-drop process. Additionally, Zapier provides a library of pre-built integrations, known as "Zaps," that cover a wide range of use cases.
Zapier's versatility and ease of use make it an indispensable tool for small business owners looking to streamline operations and save time. With AI integrations, it can elevate automation to the next level, helping businesses make smarter decisions and improve productivity.
5. IBM Watson Studio
IBM Watson Studio is an AI and machine learning platform tailored for businesses. It offers a comprehensive suite of tools and capabilities for data scientists and developers to build, train, and deploy AI models.
The technical prowess of Watson Studio is evident in its robust model training and deployment features. Data scientists can access a variety of algorithms and libraries, and they can collaborate within the platform to develop and fine-tune machine learning models.
One of the standout features is Watson Studio's AutoAI, which automates many aspects of the model development process. It automatically selects the best algorithms, preprocesses data, and tunes hyperparameters, significantly reducing the time and expertise required to build AI models.
Watson Studio's deployment capabilities are equally impressive. It supports various deployment options, including on-premises and cloud-based, and provides robust monitoring and governance features to ensure AI models perform reliably and securely in production environments.
This AI tool is especially suited for GenAI-focused startups and can provide the right resources to businesses with fewer resources than OpenAI, Meta, and Google.
6. QuickBooks Assistant
QuickBooks Assistant is an AI-powered virtual assistant designed to help SMBs manage their finances more efficiently. It's integrated into the QuickBooks platform, offering a conversational interface for tasks like expense tracking, invoice generation, and financial reporting.
The technical prowess of QuickBooks Assistant lies in its ability to understand and process financial data accurately. It can categorize expenses, generate financial reports, and provide real-time insights into a business's financial health.
One noteworthy feature is its natural language understanding, which allows users to interact with the assistant in plain language. For instance, you can ask questions like, "What were my top expenses last month?" and receive detailed responses based on your financial data.
Furthermore, QuickBooks Assistant learns from user interactions, becoming more proficient over time. It can adapt to specific business needs and offer personalized recommendations to improve financial management.
These six AI tools offer a wealth of technical capabilities to enhance productivity in SMBs. From advanced meeting assistants like Fireflies AI to data-driven CRM with Salesforce Einstein, automation with Zapier, robust machine learning with IBM Watson Studio, customized writing assistants like Custom GPT, and streamlined financial management with QuickBooks Assistant, AI is revolutionizing the way small and medium businesses operate.
Apart from those listed above, there are other AI tools like Synthesys (AI video generator), Murf (text-to-speech generator), etc. By harnessing these tools, startups and small businesses can stay ahead in the competitive landscape and drive growth in an increasingly digital world.