Artificial intelligence brings to mind human-like robots and vehicles that can drive or fly themselves to their owners’ destinations independently; and if real life were a Hollywood sci-fi movie, we’d be running from a robot invasion. But AI is not just robots and self-driving cars, nor is it an imaginary robot uprising. Artificial intelligence, in the real world, is a tool that nearly everyone uses to make our lives easier.
You can find it in nearly every industry. Most commonly, you find the use of artificial intelligence in transportation (computer systems that help drive all kinds of vehicles; from the smallest Prius to the largest ships) and in medicine (non-invasive surgeries using robotics). You can even find them in our schools. And AI is most commonly used by programs that we run in our smartphones.
The incorporation of AI in certain industries includes its rampant use in the world of business. Certain applications and programs take some brunt of running a business from the shoulders of the business owners. Businesses can run smoother when you include AI in the equation.
Tips on how to manage your business (with the help of AI)
Keep on top of your books
Perhaps one of the more tedious aspects of running a business is crunching numbers. There is a lot of room for error. Unfortunately, errors in this area have very daunting financial, and possibly legal, consequences.
It is important to keep your books clean and accurate.
- Always document everything. Documentation prevents anything getting lost in translation or forgotten. This is especially important in money matters when running a business.
- Maintain an up-to-date record and ensure that this is error-free. Errors mean audits and audits are not something that anyone looks forward to.
- Look into accounting automation. Manually doing repetitive tasks can be an error-filled endeavor. Automation helps keep everything accurate.
- Set a regular meeting for accounting check-ins. You can take this time to review your budget and check on cash flow, impending expenses, and the overall financial health of your business.
Hire the right people
The employees make the company. Without your people, you will have no business to speak of. That’s why it is very important to hire the right people for your business.
Hiring is more than just snapping up the most tenured or most talented of applicants.
- Hire for attitude as much as you would hire for experience. Experience is earned, expertise can be taught. Attitude is what makes a person either a good employee or a bad one.
- Do proper vetting. Yes, the hiring process is a very long undertaking; but properly vetting your candidate will give you a clearer picture of how or if they will fit into your company.
- Always set honest and clear expectations. You don’t want to hire an amazing candidate only for them to quit after a few months because the job is not what was discussed during the hiring process. Be as transparent and clear as possible about the job.
- Use apps and online tools that can help you in the hiring process. Find the right system that works for you and your budget. Getting AI help goes a long way in shortening the process.
Maintain accurate timekeeping
Accurate time-tracking is essential. This allows payroll to calculate employee salaries, exemptions, taxes without having to worry about inaccuracies and messing up the budget.
- Automate. Perhaps the best way to maintain accurate time keeping is to invest in AI automation. It keeps things efficient.
- Determine your payroll calendar. How often are you going to pay your employees? Every two weeks? Monthly? Weekly? Daily? Getting your payroll schedule settled will give you insight into how much you need to pay your employees every month.
- Standardize your payroll process. Make it so that new hires into your payroll team have a documented process to follow. This ensures that the process is the same across the teams in the entire payroll department.
- Keep up to date with the laws and rules that govern employee pay and compensation. Keeping abreast of any changes to these rules and regulations ensures that your business will not be penalized for missteps due to the ignorance of new mandates.
Employees and customers alike have started switching to more sustainable choices. Job seekers are looking for companies that have sustainability or eco-friendly programs. And consumers are now leaning towards products that do the least harm to our environment. Because of this, companies have started designing their own carbon management systems.
Going green can actually help your business cut on cost. And it will also make you part of the worldwide movement that aims to mitigate the irreversible harm done to our planet because of climate change.
- Go green on supplies. This means using recycled paper in your office. Nix the use of paper cups, disposable utensils, and single-use plastics. Instead, encourage your employees to bring their own tumblers, utensils, and dishware. This will cut down on the waste your business produces and help you lower your carbon footprint.
- Conserve energy and water. This can be as simple as turning the lights off in a room when it is not in use. Or switching to LED lights instead of incandescent bulbs. It means asking employees to be mindful of how they use water when washing their hands or cleaning their cups and plates.
- Have a sustainability program. It does not have to be big to start with. You can start off by asking for volunteers for a cleanup drive, or maybe starting a company-wide carpool program, or participating in NGO-driven initiatives for the environment.
There are many ways to help lighten the load of running a business. It is undeniable that many of the processes that are repetitive, error-prone, and tedious could be done faster and more efficiently by AI tools and applications.