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Does AI scare you? Do you think of the Matrix or yearn for the world that once was? Do you mentally reject having an AI strategy for your business?

You’re not alone. So many people still loathe the idea of AI, while not realizing how much it is already in their lives. It influences how you shop, you rely on directions via your sat nav, you love Alexa or Siri. And that is just a handful.

Yet at the same time, should someone raise the issue of having an AI strategy for your business, you instantly refuse to consider it.

Too scary.

Too difficult to understand.

Too expensive.

BUT – Business magazines talk about AI strategy and investment being the key to success for businesses over the next 4-5 years.    

So where does that leave the one-man bands, or the small businesses who are not vastly knowledgeable about AI nor have money to invest?

Closing their ears.

And trust me – I am the worst. The very, very worst for mental blocks when it comes to tech and AI.

When I started researching and writing books, I still had the extremely poor habit of mentally zoning out if people talked about tech, let alone computing or AI. However, the geniuses I have had the immense privilege of learning from since I have been writing have opened my mind.

Let me give you an example.

A tech specialist who changed my thinking

Someone who changed the way I thought about Tech by simplifying it right down was an amazing entrepreneur called Ben Talin, who I spoke to when I was researching Start for Success.

Ben advises businesses and government alike, and says everyone asks the same question, “How can we get ourselves to go more digital”. Ben argues what they should be asking “How should we use our potential.”

He regularly sees companies where processes are not integrated and causing faults and he is called in to get “digital ready”.    

He told me of one particular company that was processing orders in such a massively inefficient way, still handwritten so that they were processed full of errors because no one could read them, re-photocopied in different departments, and no way of users knowing what was in stock.

All that was needed was to give the products QR codes and build in all the information on them onto an app. Massively cheaper than an entire website but more importantly solving the ways the company wasn’t working efficiently.

It is ridiculously easy for the uninitiated to fall foul of an unscrupulous salesman who will assure them their business will fail dismally if they don’t spend a fortune. But not only do you not need most of it, it won’t fix major faults that exist already.

You can buy the fanciest laptop and still write rubbish.  

Tech is just a tool – and so is AI

Where to start:

Where to start thinking about an AI strategy does not start with contacting a sales person.

No sales person is going to know what your priorities are, the instracacies of what you do or what might and might not be of value to you.

And that should be the bottom line of your AI strategy: chosing what your business would benefit by, be it by making more money, increasing quality, or saving you time and or money.

Glazing over already? Would you truly not like being more effective with far less work?

That is all we are talking about. Some different tools for your business. To make life easier.

Start your AI strategy planning by writing out a list of the tasks that drive you nuts, take up all your time, and bore you sick. Start researching the top one or two to see what is on the market that might help, (I am giving you some easy suggestions below) and get down to the nitty-gritty.

Most of the examples I have included below are free – or have a free version you can use to start.

Check out how much difference using a particular AI app would make; how it would integrate with what systems you are using, and how complex is it to use. How much time would it save you.

If it is going to cause massive disruption because it doesn’t align with the systems you have, or be useless if you added more people to your team at some point, it is not worth considering.

When you start to get excited, delve into the reviews and case studies. Check out the company’s history and reputation as well as the product.  Ongoing support may be a crucial factor. You want to be sure you can access it.

Only when you have found something that is a good fit, should you get down to thinking about costs – and depending on those, what the savings would be to repay the costs. Including training time for you and your team which could be expensive.  That isn’t what a good AI strategy should be about.

If the ROI isn’t going to be there, no amount of feeling up-to-date is going to benefit you.   

In other words, approach planning an AI strategy as you would buying any other business tool. Just because it is “AI” doesn’t mean you have to suddenly lose you’re your normal business savvy.

Plan out the investment

I say the term investment broadly when it comes to AI strategy plans, because so many of the tools available have free versions, though bear in mind there will be time to adapt and learn to use them. But there are increasing amounts of great free or low-cost assets available to us all spending huge sums is not essential before achieving a dramatic improvement.

Here are a few suggestions, some of which you may even be using without categorizing them as AI

Social Media Posts

For many small businesses, social media posting is a massive pain. It takes too much time and / or the results are poor and for most small businesses marketing is a great place to start your AI strategy.

  • Scheduling: all the big platforms have their own pre-scheduling tools which are dead easy to use and free. Spend a little money and can find one that will do multiple platforms. So you only have to have the occasional session.
  • Desiging Posts: Many of us have used Canva at one time or another, but they have updated to include their Magic Studio, which uses AI to easily make images and videos, and they also have Magic Write to help with marketing messages
  • Alternative images and art: just give a text description to Dall-E2 or CLIP.


  • Writing correctly:  Everyone should have Grammarly.  The free version corrects your spelling and grammar be it on social media, emails, or documents.    I find the paid version more of a headache than the free one as it over-corrects, both with less accuracy and drowning out your writer’s voice in the process – but many people love it. Some form of autocorrecting tool is a business AI strategy essential.
  • For blogs and marketing copy: Writing with ChatGPT has fans and naysayers but will produce blogs, marketing copy, social media content, and more. One I have heard many good things about is Writesonic. There is also Articoolo to help with product descriptions and blogs or Hyptonuse, who produces a similar list in your own personalized voice and style. It is a question of trying them to see what they can do and how they would suit you.

Information and research

  • Information at your finger tips: Imagine every layer of Google searching in one hit. Search engines will all be evolving but you can access the future with Perplexity. Free to use, it will produce a wealth of information in seconds, without having to plow through links to see if they are relevant like traditional search engines.  Game changer for your AI strategy.

Sales and Customer Support

  • Looking after the customers: ChatGPT also provides tools for customer service support, handling inquiries, and managing complaints, which could potentially save a mammoth amount of time.  MobileMonkey is also a chatbot app that is easy to use and has a ten-minute training program.
  • For sales, try ChatFuel to generate leads and upsell. Also, look at to enhance both your sales and marketing. 

Your own app and automations:

  • Apps – you may have thought an app for your company was beyond your budget. But having to learn how to code will soon be a thing of the past. Within your AI Strategy, find apps that do the coding for you. No-code solutions for automating processes and building apps are offered by companies such as Bubble and Adalo.

Fun things to try:

This group might not be part of your core business AI strategy, but they are great for getting your head round the idea that you can do amazing things – thanks to AI.

  • Original music – generating your own with Jukebox or Musenet – where you prompt the style and the artist. 
  • Your own animations: If you are a gamer and want to create your own animations, try the free individual membership of Anything World.

Please note that I haven’t tried them all yet, so these are not personal recommendations. But also, what works as part of a business’s AI strategy might not work for yours.

You must experiment with them and find what works for you.

The Simple Key to Mastering Your AI Strategy

These tools are just some examples of what you can easily find and learn to use in a matter of hours, if not minutes.  

I believe there are five key things to remember to develop the perfect AI strategy:

  1. AI business tools are not something to be frightened of; you have probably used some already.
  2. They are just tools – not solutions. If what you do, your processes, message, or anything else, is a mess, prioritize sorting that out before even thinking about AI. 
  3. Ignore what other people are doing. It is what is right for you that counts.
  4. Focus, focus, focus on the problem you want to solve, not how flash it looks.
  5. There is no need whatsoever to spend a fortune.

And one last thought, stop using the term AI Strategy: it is enough to give anyone overwhelm. Just go and get some extra help, that won’t cost you anything at all.