How To Use AI To Start a Business

Written by Dave Lavinsky

how to use ai to start a business

First things first. Using AI tools to start or grow your business isn’t exactly “starting,” like starting a soft and sweet piano melody. It’s more like kickstarting a Harley-Davidson motorcycle. You’ll want to stand back and be ready for the roar of the response you’ll receive after using the many tools that leverage AI to start or grow your own business.

What is all the excitement about artificial intelligence (AI) technology and machine learning? If it’s “artificial,” is it only as good as fake sugar or a faded plastic plant? Good questions. The easy answer is that AI is labeled as artificial because it isn’t part of the natural world. AI isn’t a human mind. It is a digital set of tools, each holding pieces of information, neatly lined up in one toolbox. AI models have been developed by tech folks who, after polishing those tools, introduced AI to the world. The big idea of AI is that it can be used to innovate, revise, realign, and complete the tasks you don’t have time to do. And, truthfully, it can also do the tasks that you don’t want to do. No wonder AI tools have been adopted all over the world. Keep reading to find out how it can kickstart your business success.

What is AI and How Can it Benefit a Startup?

If you think about AI like a vacuum cleaner, you can understand how AI operates. It is a digital vacuum that sucks up information from every source it approaches. Much like a vacuum cleaner on your carpet, AI tools move around through the digital world, grabbing bits of information and retaining it in an inner housing until someone asks for it. Every time AI collects information from a source, it becomes more and more reliable and provides valuable insights that can be used as a source of information.

AI benefits your startup business in several ways. You can approach AI with questions about processes you need to know. For example, if you want to know how much of your customer base is interested in buying a specific product, AI can help by analyzing past purchase data and giving you valuable insights into consumer behavior. With this information, you can make informed decisions about future products and marketing strategies. Additionally, AI can automate time-consuming tasks such as data entry and organization, freeing up more time for you to focus on other important aspects of your business. AI can also help with predictive analytics, giving you insights into future trends and potential opportunities for growth. In short, incorporating AI into your startup can give you a competitive edge and help accelerate your success.

Key Applications of AI in Business Startups

What exactly do AI tools accomplish on behalf of your business? As a startup business owner, you need some answers and some practical ways to get those answers. AI solutions include all of the following, each of which is a basic essential for your startup: automated customer service, targeted marketing tools, trends and industry analyses, efficient operations and processes, product development, sales forecasting, and virtual assisting. On top of these, there are other specific applications you may need to add, depending on your business. AI will inform you if your product pricing is on target. It will tell you what people are saying about your brand and whether they show interest in your products or services over time. AI can be a powerful tool in every aspect of your business, providing insights, automating tasks, and ultimately driving success. Here are a few applications of AI that can benefit your business startup:

Automated Customer Service

AI-powered chatbots can handle basic customer inquiries and troubleshooting, providing quick responses and freeing up time for your team to focus on more complex issues.

If you’ve ever landed on a website that includes this service, you’ll see a box with a friendly face on the screen. You’ll possibly read, “Hi! I’m Alana and I’m here to answer your questions. What can I help you with today?” We hate to burst this bubble, but there is no “Alana” and she can’t answer questions.

The customer service is automated and the questions/answers are programmed. The convenience for your startup is significant because you don’t need to respond and customers are well-served by the comprehensive answers provided by the chatbot.

Targeted Marketing Tools

Marketing tools are everywhere, but if they aren’t directed to your potential customer, they aren’t going to work well. There are AI tools that take your business information to generate content ideas, create landing pages, write social media posts, and develop marketing campaigns that will attract your customer base.

AI tools can also “read” the wants and needs of your customers, resulting in the ability of your business to better meet those needs. This is especially important for a startup; you want to keep going and growing at every step.

Trends and Industry Analyses

Reading and understanding trends and industry shifts are critical for startups. You’ll always need to stay on top of these reports. Study changing trends and watch for industry shifts using an AI tool so your business will be prepared to change with them. Stay ahead of the game by requesting specific AI reports and analyses of past years or recent trends. This is especially crucial in retail and wholesale businesses, where customers can be fickle and move on quickly from a particular trend.

Effective Operations and Processes

Startups and small businesses need to be efficient, but more importantly, they need to be effective. AI-backed information can help direct how products move through your business and how they are inventoried, delivered, sold, and returned. Each bit of information counts for your startup. Effective operations and the processes in them will also predict what is coming in your industry in the months ahead. This is vital for your startup, as well.

Product Development

A strong business will never stop developing products. Revisions, refinements, and new product lines need to be introduced into the market on an ongoing basis and AI can assist in every step. AI also assists in analyzing customer comments and confirming any areas of development that aren’t working well.

Sales Forecasting

It’s nice to know where and when your next major contract or sale is going to happen. AI uses predictive analytics to forecast sales; however, these forecasts are only as complete as the information AI receives and holds. AI builds a sense of what could happen or might happen, however, be aware that nothing is certain until you kickstart that Harley yourself.

Virtual Admin Assistant

Admittedly, a virtual admin assistant cannot run out to get coffee for everyone. You’re on your own for that. A virtual admin can, however, produce a daily task list and organize schedules, as well as prepare for and organize meetings. A virtual assistant can also be held accountable for tasks and as an amazing reminder of items that usually slip through the cracks. AI technology is so advanced that it can mimic human conversation and even learn from previous interactions to improve its responses over time. This makes virtual assistants a valuable asset for any startup looking to streamline their administrative tasks and increase productivity.

How To Implement AI In Your Startup

The word, “implement” means “to put into practice.” This is exactly what you’ll want to do with each key application in your startup. How can you easily put all these applications together to make sense of the scope and sequence of AI? First, take one application at a time, decide how critical each is for your own startup, and make a list of top-priority applications. Move down the list to any that have importance. Think about and sketch out action steps for your startup based on the essential applications, much like the following:

Action Step 1: Use AI to assist in developing the product line.

Examine the essential applications listed above and, based on where you are on the timeline for product development, or the remaining essentials, write down your first action step.

Action Step 2: Use AI to determine industry trends.

After Action Step 1, use AI to follow the path that has been started. For example, if your first Action Step is product development, your second might be using AI to determine trends and collect industry analyses. AI will be an especially effective partner in analyzing and preparing forecasts.

Action Step 3: Use AI to study marketing tools to prepare campaigns.

At this point, consider ramping up your operations and processes for the manufacturing of products. Start studying marketing tools and use AI to support your proposed marketing campaigns.

Action Step 4: Use AI to create automated customer service options.

This action will free up your time to concentrate on the critical aspects of your business. AI automation will engage customers and answer questions efficiently while you continue growing the business.

Action Step 5: Use AI to refine operations and processes within the startup.

Your startup will constantly examine and re-examine operations and you can fully utilize AI to assist in the processes. Draw on the applications you recognize as most helpful for your business.

Action Step 6: Use AI to ensure you know enough about all aspects of your business. If you need information or informal training in any area, look to your virtual admin assistant to find options for you. In particular, you may want further development of your technical skills in bookkeeping, human resources, safety and fraud protection, and other key applications. The applications you choose will depend on the startup you own and how you choose to develop it further.

I Have A Potential Investor. Can AI Build My Business Plan?

We thought you’d never ask. You can simply use the AI-powered Business Plan Generator at to quickly and easily create a business plan worthy of any potential investor or lender. Make no mistake: the business plan you produce will be completely professional. The result of your 12-to-15-minute investment of time in will create a polished business plan that will bring investors to your door. This AI-powered business plan turns your basic business information and returns a professionally polished, investor-ready business plan that outlines every important detail of your business. If you’ve never put together a business plan or even thought you could successfully try, is the AI-powered Business Plan Generator that will exceed expectations in kickstarting your business.