SMBs using artificial intelligence now more than ever before, study says

using artificial intelligence

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More small- and medium-sized businesses are using artificial intelligence (AI) while they scale up, according to a new study by UpCity and Pollfish: “Insights: 46% Of SMBs Are Using AI While Growing Their Team In 2022.” Here’s what they found.

Artificial intelligence use is on the rise in small- to medium-sized businesses, according to the report.

  • 51% of small businesses have been using AI tools for the last 1-5 years.
  • 53% of B2B small businesses first started using AI tools as a result of the labor shortage.
  • 40% of B2C small businesses increased their existing use of AI tools once the shortage began.
  • 35% of small businesses, regardless of revenue, had a monthly AI tools budget of $1,001-$5,000 both pre-COVID and in 2022.
  • 21% of businesses had more than 251 employees before the labor shortage. These businesses have maintained their 251+ employee team size in 2022.

Forty-six percent of small businesses intend to use AI while increasing their number of employees. UpCity’s analysis said this indicates that AI is increasingly becoming a crucial business tool.

“As we have a custom AI solution for our business, on average we spend about $10,000 on such tools per month,” Jason Ault, real estate expert and consultant for Element Home Buyers, based in Lincoln, Nebraska, said in the study. “This budget for AI tools has changed from our budget before COVID. Before the virus, labor wasn’t a dire issue, but after the pandemic, things were lopsided, so we had to adjust accordingly. The budget also increased as we expanded our operations across the company.”

Most of the 600 businesses polled noted that the biggest benefit of AI tools has been faster turnaround times for projects, the study said. Other reasons given were that the company can rely on fewer resources, the improvement of products, helping the business grow faster and saving money.

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