A small business owner smiles as she uses artificial intelligence on her tablet.
Small Business Data

AI Survey: Small businesses are embracing artificial intelligence

Small businesses say AI could help them cut costs and compete with larger competitors according to a new survey commissioned by Intuit QuickBooks.

Among the 2,000 respondents to the August 2023 survey, more than eight out of ten (83%) already use AI at work and almost two-thirds (65%) want to make more use of it, but concerns about the technology are discouraging some from doing so.

Key findings

  • 83% already use AI at work; 36% every day
  • 65% want to make more use of AI at work
  • Small businesses want AI to boost productivity and cut costs
  • 70% say AI could help their business compete with larger companies
  • 80% with concerns about AI say this discourages them from using it more

Small businesses are hungry for AI: almost two-thirds want to make more use of it

Small businesses want AI to cut costs and boost productivity

Many small businesses believe AI could help them take on larger competitors

More than two-thirds of small businesses believe AI could help them succeed

AI isn’t new to small businesses: it’s already widely used

Small businesses are most likely to use AI for data analysis

Despite the enthusiasm for AI, more than 9 out of 10 small businesses have at least one concern

Concerns about AI may discourage small businesses from using it more widely

Despite widespread use, only 2 in 5 small businesses feel familiar with AI

How to help small businesses make more use of AI

Sample and methodology

Intuit QuickBooks commissioned a 13-question online survey, completed in August 2023, of 2,000 small business owners and decision-makers throughout the US, all of whom were over the age of 18. The respondents either worked for or owned small businesses with 0-100 employees. Overall, a quarter of respondents were business owners (25%) while the remainder (75%) were decision-makers within small businesses, including CFOs and CTOs.

Just over half of respondents were women (53%) while the remainder (47%) were men. By generation, the largest age-group were Millennials (age 27-42).

The survey over-sampled among Hispanic & Latino respondents — with a 50:50 split between them (n=1000) and other respondents (n=1000) — but as reported here did not, in general, reveal significant differences in responses between the two cohorts. The data shown above has not been adjusted to rebalance the sample against the overall population.

Before the respondents completed the survey, they were given a short list of examples of common AI applications (such as ChatGPT, Grammarly, translation services, video editing software, and data analytics tools), which likely explains why the reported usage rates are higher (above 80%) than in other recent surveys commissioned by Intuit QuickBooks, , which only briefly touch on this topic and do not provide the additional context.

Percentages have been rounded to the nearest decimal place so values shown in charts and graphics may not add up to 100%. Responses were collected using Pollfish audience pools and partner networks with double opt-ins, random device engagement sampling, and post-stratification based on census data to ensure accurate targeting and results. Respondents received remuneration.

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