Thanks to tools such as ChatGPT, small enterprises can compete with large companies. Renowned Harvard Business School professor advises smaller companies to take advantage of AI and grow their business with the help of technology.
“Machines themselves will not replace people, but people with machines will replace people who do not use machines,” noted Harvard Business School professor Karim Lakhani during a recent discussion. The specialist has been studying the impact of technology on business for 30 years and is convinced that AI can be the key to the development of small companies. How is it supposed to look like?
AI as a way to develop small businesses – ChatGPT will help break through?
Lakhani was a guest at CNBC’s Small Business Playbook event. Already at the beginning of the lecture, he encouraged entrepreneurs to use artificial intelligence tools, even for a trial. Many of them offer free or low-paid versions.
The expert particularly distinguished three systems here – ChatGPT+ with a $20 monthly subscription, free Bing Chat AI from Microsoft, and Poe – a combine that gives access to various AI tools (free version or $20/month subscription). According to the speaker, experimenting with these platforms can bring numerous benefits to companies – from business inspiration, through reducing the cost of doing business, to entering a new market.
As an example, he gave a group of family businesses from California that deal with gardening services and build fences. These enterprises are run by immigrants to the USA, and their frequent problem limiting business is the language barrier. They decided to use ChatGPT as a translator, which allowed them to gain new customers.
In a similar way, small producers or craftsmen can enter the international market. Sales offers can be automatically translated by AI into various languages. Previously, translation services had to be used, which were often quite expensive, Lakhani says.
How can AI help small entrepreneurs?
The professor argued that artificial intelligence can help companies in three fundamental aspects on which the success of any business depends. These are – scaling the business, expanding the scope of doing business and constantly improving the offer as new knowledge is acquired.
AI can help entrepreneurs, e.g. reach a new customer base, expand the offer with new types of products, diversify sales or adapt to unexpected conditions that may occur on the market.
Lakhani also emphasized that the possibilities of artificial intelligence should be accepted somewhat with the benefit of inventory. It is true that these tools may now undergo so-called hallucinations, i.e. presenting “facts” that never happened. The expert argues, however, that the potential profit is so great that the use of AI is still advisable. Even if AI is a “difficult partner”.