AI can boost efficiency within small businesses by 40%, according to a survey by The Small Business and Entrepreneurship Council (SBEC) issued on Monday (22 January). 

Data analytics, customer relationship management and task automation were all areas identified by the SBEC as holding potential benefits to small businesses using AI

The SBEC’s survey found that 41% of small business owners had used AI to automate smaller and mundane tasks in order to refocus their time management. 

Mark Bower-Easton, head of distribution at investment company Oxford Capital, explained these findings further. 

“One key aspect where AI proves instrumental is in data analytics. Small businesses often possess vast amounts of data, and AI-driven analytics can extract valuable insights, allowing for more informed and strategic decision-making,” Bower-Easton stated. 

“Customer engagement is another area where AI can revolutionise small business operations,” he continued, “Through sophisticated algorithms, AI can analyse customer behaviour and preferences, empowering businesses to tailor their marketing campaigns to individual needs.” 

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By GlobalData

AI can allow small businesses to create more personalised content at a faster pace and on a tighter budget. 

Incorporating AI can also help tackle inflationary concerns. 

“In an era marked by inflationary challenges, AI has emerged as a crucial ally for small businesses striving to maintain cost stability for consumers,” said Bower-Easton.

“By leveraging AI, small business owners can optimise various aspects of their operations, from supply chain management to resource allocation, allowing for more precise cost control,” he said.

A 2023 survey by research and analysis company GlobalData found that 46% of companies named high inflation as their biggest concern that would have a near-term impact on their business. 

According to the International Monetary Fund’s December 2023 issue of F&D, worldwide inflation reached “historic” heights in 2022 following the Russian invasion of Ukraine, with prices rising in advanced economies at their fastest pace since 1984. 

As countries continue to fight high inflation, AI adoption by small businesses could help them fight against rising consumer prices and maintain competitiveness against bigger corporations. 

GlobalData forecasts that the overall AI market will be worth over $909bn by 2030, achieving a CAGR of 35% between 2022 and 2030. 

Generative AI is expected to be the fastest growing segment of the AI market, with forecasts expecting revenue to grow from $1.8bn in 2022 to $33bn in 2027. As AI becomes mainstream, GlobalData expects more companies to explore open-sourcing AI models in private cloud infrastructure.