Technology & Innovation

How AI can save you time as an entrepreneur

As an entrepreneur, you have a lot on your plate. Find out how AI can save you time and help you achieve a better work-life balance.

Every entrepreneur could use a bit of extra support, and artificial intelligence (AI) is an impactful and effective way to get it.

Despite some of the talk we’ve heard lately, AI isn’t going to be running businesses single-handedly anytime soon.

In this article, we talk about how AI can save you time as you build your business.

Here’s what we cover:

How generative AI tools can help entrepreneurs

An algorithm can’t recreate human ingenuity, creativity, and initiative—but it can help you spend less time on manual, repetitive tasks and make your life as an entrepreneur a little easier.

Generative AI tools such as ChatGPT can save you time by taking a whole range of tasks off your plate.

By harnessing the speed, breadth of knowledge, and processing power that these tools provide, you can get things done much faster.

And you don’t need to be a data scientist to tap into these benefits.

Tools such as ChatGPT, Google’s Gemini, and Microsoft’s Bing Chat use a chat-style interface, meaning you can get them to complete tasks for you by using simple, conversational language.

This ability to use natural language, combined with its massive processing capacity, makes generative AI an invaluable solution for entrepreneurs looking to be more productive and save time.

Being an entrepreneur isn’t easy. No two days are the same, and you need to be constantly ready to tackle new challenges, adapt to change, and seize opportunities.

On top of all that, you have to actually run your business.

Knowing that you have a tool in your pocket that can help you get the day-to-day admin done quickly can be a big confidence boost.

Sage Ai

Discover how you can use Sage Ai to make smarter, faster decisions, get a dynamic, real-time view of your business performance, and gain access to actionable insights.

Learn more about Sage Ai

The very human benefits of AI for entrepreneurs

Reducing the time you spend on certain tasks doesn’t only help you work more efficiently. With AI tools on hand, tasks that might previously have taken hours can be completed in seconds.

Writing product descriptions or copy for your website is no longer a days-long job.

You don’t need to have your phone in your hand all around the clock to respond to customer queries.

Analysing huge amounts of customer feedback can be done in an instant.

This is the real advantage that AI brings to the table: it handles repetitive, manual work so that humans can spend more time doing human things.

AI can take on the burden of important but arduous business tasks, giving you hours back to spend however you want.

As a busy entrepreneur, gaining some extra ‘you’ time is priceless.

Life isn’t all about work, and by using AI, you can free yourself up to do more of the things that matter to you.

That could mean spending time with family and friends, accomplishing personal goals, pursuing hobbies, or just taking some time to relax and look after yourself.

In short, AI’s ability to help you do more with less can have a big impact on your work-life balance.

With AI picking up some of the work, you can spend more time on life, enabling you to feel more energised, motivated and confident in your role as a business leader.

How to save time with AI tools

What makes AI so effective as a time-saving tool is not only its speed, but also the wide range of use cases it can be applied to.

You can use AI to accelerate all kinds of tasks—and when you add up the time saved across all these areas of your business, you can find yourself cutting hours off your working week.

Let’s take a look at some of the ways AI can help you get work done faster.

Creating content

No matter what kind of business you’re running, you’ll need content.

From website copy and product description to social media posts, newsletters, and emails, creating content is an essential part of cementing your brand, marketing your products or services, and communicating with customers.

Generating regular content that’s consistent and reflects your brand’s tone of voice can take up a lot of time. But with the right prompts, an AI tool can instantly create content for any number of scenarios.

If you’ve got a sale coming up, for example, you can ask an AI tool such as Claude or Scribe to write a series of social posts to let customers know about the event.

You can even instruct the tool to use a certain tone, add hashtags, emojis, and links, or even write jokes. Add in any relevant details that you’d like included, and you can produce a month’s worth of social content in seconds.

“Write 10 tweets promoting an upcoming 40% off sale event for a company that specialises in vegan, sustainable running shoes. Include a call to action and [LINK] in each one.”

You can also use generative AI tools to repurpose content by instructing it to summarise a long report in a series of social posts, for instance, or transcribe a meeting and turn it into a blog for a specific audience.

And if you need eye-catching images to accompany your social posts, image generation models like DALL-E can help create them.

Providing customer service

Customers today expect any issues they have to be addressed quickly, and using AI can help you get them the answers they need instantly.

AI-powered chatbots can provide quick and efficient assistance to customers through a chat interface, handling queries, offering product advice, and helping them find information about business policies.

With AI dealing with customer enquiries, many customers will find what they’re looking for without any kind of human intervention.

This can significantly reduce the amount of time you spend on taking calls, replying to emails, and answering (often the same) questions.

By integrating a generative AI model into your website or apps, you can create bespoke customer chatbots for your business.

Using a large language model like the one ChatGPT is built on, you can feed information about your business into the model so your AI customer service assistant can build its knowledge and offer relevant, accurate responses to customer questions.

Carrying out market research

A big part of staying competitive as a business is knowing what’s going on in your market.

Carrying out regular research into things that affect your business—such as product trends, customer needs, and competitor performance—helps you adapt quickly to an ever-changing landscape.

However, doing this essential research takes time.

You need to pull data from a huge number of different sources, analyse it for patterns and movements, and compile it into a coherent structure.

That’s no easy feat when you’ve got so many other pressing tasks on your to-do list.

An AI tool can pull together this information in seconds.

With their ability to scour the internet for relevant information and present it back in a digestible format, AI-powered tools can identify competitors and analyse their activity, such as product launches, marketing campaigns, pricing strategies, and customer feedback.

It can also help you develop buyer personas to help you understand your target market and guide your marketing strategies, or generate insightful strength, weakness, opportunity and threat (SWOT) reports that can help you make data-driven decisions.

Again, the key to generating useful results that save you time is to get specific and be clear with what you want the AI tool to create.

“Perform a SWOT analysis for an independent bookshop business operating in the UK.”

Some AI tools allow you to go even deeper, providing predictive analysis and forecasts based on relevant data from across your organisation.

Offering suggestions based on external market trends and your own business performance, these tools can empower you to make informed, proactive decisions, optimise your resource allocation, and get ahead of market shifts.

Arranging appointments and meetings

Have you ever spent more time arranging an appointment than actually attending the appointment itself?

When you’re always on the go, the back-and-forth required to set up meetings can be a serious time sponge.

AI can help you find the best time for meetings and get them booked quickly, without wasting time pinging emails and cross-checking calendars.

Whether you want to give customers an easy, instant way to book appointments or you need a better way of arranging meetings with suppliers, clients or other stakeholders, AI can take the effort out of managing your calendar.

An AI chatbot can be used as a booking system, providing customers with available timeslots, confirming appointments, and generating reminders.

This removes the need for you to spend time manually communicating with customers to arrange appointments, and means you don’t need to be constantly available to take bookings whenever a customer wants to make one.

Analysing business data

Your business data can provide you with incredibly useful insights, like what your most profitable products are, how your cash flow is looking, and how much stock you’ll need on hand at various times of the year.

Parsing through the massive quantities of data that your business generates every day, however, is a major undertaking—and one that needs to be carried out regularly to get the most value from it.

It’s a time-consuming task for even the most spreadsheet-savvy of entrepreneurs.

But luckily, AI can analyse huge amounts of complex business data and create accessible, actionable reports immediately.

To generate these business-specific reports, AI tools need access to relevant business data. For example, to create a financial performance report, the tool would need to be given information such as income statements, balance sheets, and expense breakdowns.

However, it’s important to be aware of the risks associated with feeding this kind of proprietary data into public tools like ChatGPT.

Using an AI tool that’s built into your business software, such as Sage Copilot or Salesforce’s Einstein, can help you do this safely and save you even more time.

These types of AI assistants are baked into the applications you use to run your business, meaning they have automatic access to data from across your business.

They’re able to use this additional context to provide in-depth analysis based on your entire business, identifying patterns and surfacing insights you might not otherwise have spotted.

Final thoughts on AI as a time-saving tool

AI is an invaluable tool for entrepreneurs.

Its ability to tackle manual, time-consuming tasks means less work and more time for business owners ready to take advantage of the benefits it offers.

There are time-saving use cases to be discovered across every area of your business, and the number of tasks AI can be used for will only grow as the technology improves.

Those who embrace AI early will put themselves in the best position to capitalise on its advantages, as the use of AI in businesses of all sizes quickly becomes the new normal.

With countless tools already available (and many for free), you can start experimenting with generative AI today and find out how it can fit into your operations.