6 AI Tools for Your Small Business

Brian Moran, Writer, Small Business Expert, and Podcaster

Smiling businesswoman sitting at desk with laptop computer and looking at camera.

AI tools can boost your company’s productivity, reduce costs, improve customer experiences, and offer insights into customer behavior. For an overview of how AI can help your business, read “How AI Can Transform Your Small Business.”

Types of AI Tools

AI tools are a valuable resource for you and your small business, helping you: 

  • Create marketing and product copy (ChatGPT, Copy.ai, Jasper)
  • Chat with new and existing customers via chatbots (Manychat, Tidio).
  • Generate visual assets (Beautiful.ai).

6 Small Business AI Tools

Here are some great AI tools to help you work smarter, not harder. Many of these platforms have free versions, letting you quickly try them and decide if they fit your needs. Like most new technologies, however, there are security, privacy, accuracy, and other concerns about the tools. Remember, it’s best not to “feed” or share private or confidential information with the AI tools.

1.    Beautiful.ai

    • Overview: This online design platform helps you create visually appealing, professional presentations. Equipped with templates, automated design suggestions, and customization tools, Beautiful.ai simplifies the process of creating sales proposals, marketing reports, and other engaging presentations.
    • Pros: Its user-friendly interface, pre-built templates, and AI-powered automated design capabilities save you time, allowing you to create attractive, eye-grabbing presentations without prior design experience.
    • Cons: Compared with more traditional graphics software like Prezi, Visme, and the stalwarts (Microsoft’s PowerPoint and Apple’s Keynote), Beautiful.ai may lack customization options and be less compatible with other platforms. 
    • Perfect for: Time or resource-strapped small businesses wanting to develop impressive presentations quickly and easily.
    • Pricing: The Pro plan is $12/month for a single user; a Team plan is available at $40/month per user. Enterprise plans require a quote. Ad hoc projects for single presentations are $45 each.
    • Free Trial: 14-day trials are available for Pro and Team plans.

2.   ChatGPT

    • Overview: Perhaps the best-known AI program, this chatbot lets you ask questions and request information. ChatGPT engages with you in human-like conversations and can create different types of written content, including blogs, social media posts, sales pitches, marketing materials, and emails.
    • Pros: A chat-like interface, 24/7 availability, near-instant responses, and a wide range of information make ChatGPT an efficient and intuitive approach to generating ideas and brainstorming. The chatbot can also summarize complex content.
    • Cons: ChatGPT is limited in domain expertise, contextual understanding, and personalization of responses. As of this writing (August 2023), ChatGPT answers can only access data before 2021. The chatbot has also been known to “hallucinate,” providing absurd responses to prompts, and there are serious security and privacy concerns.
    • Perfect for: Small businesses looking for general, non-critical inspiration, idea generation, or a second opinion.
    • Pricing: There is a free version. The premium version costs $20/month per user.
    • Free Trial: N/A.

3.    Copy.ai

    • Overview: True to its name, Copy.ai can help you quickly generate copy, such as sales and marketing content, blogs, social media posts, and more.
    • Pros: AI-powered features and suggestions can stimulate your creativity and help you more quickly generate written content.
    • Cons: At times, Copy.ai lacks contextual understanding. Depending on the input, the copy it produces may sound robotic or repetitive. You need to check for plagiarism and don’t expect it to produce final copy.
    • Perfect for: Small businesses wanting to generate written content more quickly.
    • Pricing: There is a free plan. The Pro is 49/month for five users. The Enterprise plan requires a quote.
    • Free Trial: Available.

4.    Jasper

    • Overview: This AI-powered copywriting and generative art tool was developed by OpenAI, the company behind ChatGPT. Emphasizing brand and brand voice, Jasper can help you create consistent, on-brand blog posts, marketing copy, and visuals efficiently through its conversational framework.
    • Pros: Jasper accelerates your creative process and helps you deliver a consistent brand message and identity.
    • Cons: Can be repetitive. It sometimes has trouble completing complex tasks and effectively personalizing content.
    • Perfect for: Small businesses wanting to accelerate their creative process and ensure consistency across their creative copy.
    • Pricing: $39/month for a single-user Creator account and $99/month for a Teams account with up to three users. Save 20% on both versions with annual billing.
    • Free Trial: 7-day free trials are available for the Creator and Teams plans.

5.    Manychat

    • Overview: This chatbot platform enables you to create interactive chat experiences on popular messaging apps such as Facebook Messenger, Instagram Direct Messages, and WhatsApp. Manychat’s tools and features enable you to build your chatbot, automate customer interactions, and deliver personalized marketing campaigns, empowering you to engage with your audience in a conversational yet efficient manner.
    • Pros: Automated chatbot interactions and multi-channel integration enable you to interact with your customers anytime across various platforms. Analytic tools provide metrics that help refine and enhance your customer experience.
    • Cons: Manychat sometimes struggles to understand natural language, which can slow it down. Advanced customization may require technical expertise or assistance.
    • Perfect for: Small businesses wanting to automate common, non-critical customer interactions, especially on multiple messaging platforms.
    • Pricing: There is a limited free plan. The Pro plan starts at $15/month based on the number of contacts. The Premium plan requires a quote.
    • Free Trial: N/A.

6.    Tidio

    • Overview: This powerful chatbot and live chat platform can help you engage with new and existing customers. Specifically, Tidio quickly delivers personalized automated responses, captures valuable customer information, and helps you streamline your operations to provide a better customer experience.
    • Pros: Live chat features, chatbot automation, and multi-channel support help you interact with customers anytime across various messaging platforms. The visitor analytics feature delivers insights to help you better understand your customers.
    • Cons: Chatbot tools such as Tidio often need help understanding natural language (a term for how people talk with each other, as opposed to computer code). The paid plan can be pricey for small businesses. Not all features are available on the mobile app. Tidio may not work with your existing systems.
    • Perfect for: Small businesses wanting to automate their customer interactions while still being able to contact customers directly in real-time.
    • Pricing: There is a free plan. The paid plans range from $25-$54/month. The Tidio+ plan requires a quote.
    • Free Trial: 7-day trials are available for all paid plans except Tidio+.

AI Tools: The Human Element

Most AI tools need human oversight. The content may be incorrect, repetitive, or seem robotic. Always fact-check and edit your results. It’s also critical not to share data you don’t want others to have, such as patent information, product plans, company strategies, and personally identifiable customer or employee information. Remember, these tools are “learning” based on data from multiple sources, including users like you.

I encourage you to test the tools that might meet your needs and, when it makes sense, incorporate them into your business.

That way, you can offload the tasks AI can handle and concentrate on making critical personal connections with your customers. 

Learn more tips for running and growing your small business by visiting the resource page at Index by Pinger.

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Brian Moran

Brian Moran is an entrepreneur, podcaster, and small business consultant. He is the creator and co-host of the podcasts “Bricks or Sticks,” and “Small Business Edge.” His career includes management positions at The Wall Street Journal, Inc. Magazine, Entrepreneur, and Success Magazine.

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