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Small Businesses: Technology Pioneers

Small businesses will be at the forefront of testing new technologies like Generative AI

A small business owner stands at a register and smiles while hugging her child

Small businesses in the US have a long history of being eager testers of new technology. By the U.S. Small Business Administration’s definition, small businesses have revenue under $40 million and less than 1,500 employees. This gives them a huge advantage over larger businesses when it comes to their agility and willingness to take risks. These small and nimble businesses are perfectly positioned to quickly adapt to new technologies and experiment with new ideas. They are also more likely to be customer-focused, which means they’ve always got an eye out for new ways to improve their products and services.

Small business facts

– There are over 30 million small businesses in the US and those small businesses create two out of every three new jobs in the country

– Small businesses are responsible for 47% of private sector employment in the US and are more likely to be minority-owned than large businesses

– Small businesses generate higher incomes for people in a community than big businesses

A brief history of small businesses as eager adopters of technology

From local flower shops to appliance repair businesses, small businesses were quick to explore the value of emerging technologies going back to the earliest days of the internet. Websites gave small businesses a way to own their presence and remove reliance on the Yellow Pages for listing information. From there it was a natural evolution to explore e-commerce for sales and social media for engagement and promotions, with 77% of small businesses reporting that they used social media back in 2018.

Small businesses are often at the forefront of developing and testing new technologies because hands-on experience in the field can easily translate into innovative ideas. Zoom started with just 40 engineers. When your company is small, you tend to have more control over operations and are willing to take risks. It also typically means that there’s less red tape and complicated technical implementations that make trying a new technology less time intensive and less risky. If something doesn’t work out, it’s easier to try something new. 

If funds are tight, there’s a strong drive to figure things out and invest in technology that will help grow your reach, improve your customer experience, and streamline your operations. Many emerging technologies in the Artificial Intelligence space can do just that.

Small business owners are more likely to be passionate about and deeply invested in their businesses.

This makes them highly motivated to experiment with new ways to improve things like customer experience and business operations. Technology that improves communication and standardizes operational flows like lead intake and scoring is a perfect fit for many small businesses.

The willingness of small businesses to embrace new technologies is essential for the continued growth and prosperity of the US economy. As new technologies like Generative AI continue to emerge, small businesses will again be at the forefront of testing, using technology to benefit their customers and their bottom line. 

Contact us to discuss how we can help any size business launch AI-powered search and chat solutions that answer customers’ questions, build trust and capture leads.

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