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Artificial intelligence (AI) for small business: 8 ways to use artificial intelligence as a business owner

As a small business owner, your time and attention are two of your most precious resources. Artificial intelligence, commonly abbreviated as AI, can help small businesses save time and boost productivity by automating repetitive and routine tasks. AI systems can assist with business and accounting, scheduling, email filtering, social media posts, and more. 

Below, you’ll find several ways every small business can leverage AI to its advantage. Let’s dive into eight ways you can start using AI in your small business today:

Discover 8 ways small businesses can use AI.

1. Communicating with customers

One of the AI use cases that nearly all small businesses can implement is client relationship management. Client communication AI can include anything from finding new customers to assisting current clients. When finding new customers, AI can help draft emails for prospecting. Intuit MailChimp, owned by QuickBooks’ parent company, is one such option. 

You can generate personalized emails by providing info, like:

  • Topic ideas
  • Issues the customer might face
  • A desired call to action

Small business AI tools can also help you manage customer service. For example, AI chatbots can answer questions and provide product or service info.


Using AI to prospect and address customer questions frees up your time for other business tasks.

2. Automating your accounting processes

Small business accounting is now quicker and easier with AI accounting. Accounting with AI can easily manage cash flow. You can end manual and common processes such as identifying tax deductions, running payroll, or filing taxes

QuickBooks AI-powered financial assistant Intuit Assist can help business owners automate tasks and workflows, like invoicing and building action plans. Intuit Assist in QuickBooks can help:

  • Show you insights about your business
  • Automate tasks like drafting invoice reminders 
  • Create an action plan 
  • Answer questions and provide customized support

3. Personalizing your products and services

A great use of artificial intelligence for small businesses is personalization. You can personalize your products and services to each customer by creating a brand experience that fits their needs.


Offering personalized recommendations can help build strong customer relationships and boost the customer experience.

4. Finding customers 

AI could also help small businesses identify customers based on your products or services. Say you’re looking for a new sales channel or market segment; AI can help you brainstorm new places to sell your product or customers interested in buying your products.

5. Brainstorming ideas for marketing 

Once you’ve found a group of new customers to target—AI tools could help you develop marketing ideas and improve your small business website. AI can help you figure out what resonates with your target market and find a message or avenue that appeals to your customers. 

AI for small businesses can improve how often you show up on search engines by helping with: 

  • Finding highly searched keywords and content recommendations
  • Improving link building
  • Building content calendars 

  • You can even take that a step further by having AI help create marketing content for you, like a draft blog or social media posts. Be sure to proofread, fact-check, and run it through a plagiarism check before proceeding.

6. Posting on social media 

AI tools may help you expand and improve your social media posts. These AI tools for small businesses can help create various content tailored to different social media platforms, each of which may have distinct audiences with unique needs and interests.

You can provide detailed instructions and guidelines to AI tools to generate social media posts based on:

  • Desired tone: Informative, casual, humorous
  • Target length: Under 150 words, 500-1000 words 
  • Content type: Tips, how-to's, industry news
  • Relevant hashtags: #smallbusiness, #shopsmall

The AI tool will analyze your instructions and the types of content that have resonated with your followers in the past to produce a set of options for your next social media posts.

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7. Creating presentations 

AI tools for small businesses could significantly help streamline the process of creating polished presentations, such as your pitch or investor presentation. With just a few entries about the key messages, topics, and themes you want to convey, artificial intelligence systems can automatically generate high-quality presentations on your behalf. 

After that, you can focus on the content rather than spending excessive time on design elements like layout, formatting, color schemes, and slide transitions.

8. Managing meetings 

Business owners who pour countless hours into meetings can now salvage that time for other types of work. AI tools tailored for meetings can promptly summarize transcripts—allowing those unable to attend to catch up quickly. 

AI meeting assistants analyze discussions in real-time and identify: 

  • Key topics and action items
  • Themes
  • Decisions

They can then produce a brief summary of the meeting, including important action items and next steps. With this summary in hand, those unable to attend the meeting can quickly understand what they missed and how it impacts their responsibilities. 

For business owners, this technology helps reclaim hours otherwise lost to meetings.

What are the benefits of AI for small businesses? 

AI could help small businesses improve various processes, from simplifying operations to improving customer service. There are three benefits that many small businesses will get from implementing AI:

Benefits of AI for small businesses.

Cuts costs

AI tech can help business owners streamline processes and optimize operations to reduce operating costs. By leveraging machine learning and automation, AI takes over routine, repetitive tasks, helping: 

  • Improve efficiency
  • Increase productivity
  • Free up human resources 

And there are many AI tools available that are either free or low-cost. 


Once AI solutions are in place, they can continue operating 24/7 and help reduce potential mistakes.

Improves customer experience 

Gaining a deeper and more comprehensive understanding of customers and their diverse needs through the use of AI helps small businesses proactively enhance and improve their products and services. 

AI can analyze large volumes of customer data to gain key insights into:

  • Buying patterns
  • Customer preferences
  • Pain points customers frequently encounter

You can then use that info to tailor your offerings, operations, marketing initiatives, and brand messaging to better align with customers. This may lead to more meaningful, loyal, and profitable customer relationships. 

Boosts productivity

In addition to reducing costs, AI for small businesses can help eliminate the time owners and employees spend on routine tasks like:

  • Filing paperwork
  • Entering data
  • Answering frequent customer questions

Automating these and other accounting AI tasks frees up time for staff to focus on high-value work, boosting productivity. This improved efficiency and productivity can give small businesses a significant competitive advantage. It can also help employees bring more value to their companies by increasing productivity. 


With AI’s help on more routine tasks, you can concentrate on creative work, complex problem-solving, and building closer customer relationships.

How to determine where to use AI for small businesses

When it comes time to put AI to use in your small business, here are some places to look to find ways to improve your processes and productivity:

Steps on ways to use AI.

1. Make a list of everything you do 

The first step is to write down every task, responsibility, and obligation you have in a given day, week, month, or quarter. Include all tasks, big and small, that you are relied upon to accomplish as part of your work or personal responsibilities. The more tasks you can include on your list, the more helpful this exercise will be.


Even listing your major tasks and responsibilities will provide useful insight into how you spend your time.

2. Give each task a time estimate 

Next to each task, write down how long you think it takes on average to complete that task. Don't spend too much time overanalyzing this—just provide your best estimate of the required time. 

This estimate should represent the typical amount of time the task takes over a given period. For example, if you're listing daily tasks, estimate how much time each task takes on average per day. 

The goal here is to get a rough sense of how you allocate your time and which types of tasks tend to occupy more or less of your time. Don't worry about being perfectly precise in your time estimates. 

3. Rank the list 

Sort your list of tasks in descending order of time estimates from the task that you anticipate will take the longest amount of time to complete down to the task that you estimate will take the shortest amount of time to finish. 

Arranging your to-do list in this manner, with the most time-consuming tasks first and the quickest tasks last, will give you a starting point. You can even use a tool like ChatGPT to organize this list for you.


A list sorted by descending time estimates gives you an at-a-glance overview of how you spend most of your time.

4. Prioritize the top tasks 

The top tasks are your starting AI use cases—now look for artificial intelligence to automate and optimize these tasks. Find ways that AI can make them more efficient and effective, saving you the most time possible and improving your results.

Finding AI tools that work for you will take an initial investment of time and possibly money. That’s why it’s worth tackling your most time-consuming tasks. 

For example, if you spend most of your time ‌trying to collect payment for invoices, consider having AI generate reminder or collection emails for you. Finding automated accounting or AI accounting software could further streamline this for you. 

5. Pick your AI tools 

Once you narrow down where AI can help you, it’s time to pick the tools that can help you best.

Run your business with confidence

AI for small businesses is changing how many business owners operate and spend their precious time. This trend will only accelerate through the next few years. Owners can build a stronger brand and stand out in a crowded market by leveraging small business AI and other tech, such as the Internet of Things (IoT)

Simplifying your accounting with AI is an easy place to start. QuickBooks with built-in Intuit Assist* is an accounting software that uses AI to automate certain accounting tasks and provide value to your business, including forecasting future cash flow.**

This content is for information purposes only and the information provided should not be considered legal, accounting, or tax advice or a substitute for obtaining such advice specific to your business. Additional information and exceptions may apply. Applicable laws may vary by state or locality. No assurance is given that the information is comprehensive in its coverage or that it is suitable for dealing with a customer’s particular situation. Intuit Inc. does it have any responsibility for updating or revising any information presented herein. Accordingly, the information provided should not be relied upon as a substitute for independent research. Intuit Inc. cannot warrant that the material contained herein will continue to be accurate, nor that it is completely free of errors when published. Readers should verify statements before relying on them.

* Intuit Assist is currently in a limited beta and is only available to a small number of users through invitation only.

**Cash flow planning is provided as a courtesy for informational purposes only. Actual results may vary. Available in QuickBooks Online only.

QuickBooks Online Payroll & Contractor Payments: Money movement services are provided by Intuit Payments Inc., licensed as a Money Transmitter by the New York State Department of Financial Services, subject to eligibility criteria, credit, and application approval. For more information about Intuit Payments Inc.’s money transmission licenses, please visit

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