By Blair Williams, founder of MemberPress

Business growth has changed drastically in recent years, primarily due to the way business leaders are incorporating artificial intelligence into their business models. And the artificial intelligence (AI) trend doesn't seem to be going anywhere. According to IDC, it's predicted that business spending on AI is going to grow threefold from $24 billion in 2018 to $77.6 billion in 2022.

There are plenty of ways to scale up your AI strategy regardless of whether your business is mature or you are still growing. Let's look at some of the ways adding AI to your business model can help improve your efficiency, as well as what steps you should take when you want to scale up your artificial intelligence strategy.

Start with a small problem.

When you first bring artificial intelligence into your business model, it can seem like a daunting task. There are a ton of options you must consider so that your company can run smoothly while you implement automation. The best way to start scaling up is by starting with a small problem.

Think about the different ways that you can use AI as your business stands now. Ask yourself questions such as:

  • Is there data we would like to have, but currently don't?
  • Are there repetitive processes in our business chain that AI can handle?
  • How long will it take to find out if the AI solution is working better than the traditional method (if applicable)?

Once you are able to pinpoint the problem you want to solve, wade in and start small. If you start gutting giant sections of your company and replacing them artificial intelligence solutions, odds are you're going to run into issues and conflicting processes.

Keep everyone in the loop.

One of the biggest problems when implementing artificial intelligence is the way that some business owners communicate their plans with the rest of the staff -- particularly those in higher positions.

If your endgame is to scale your business up, you have to keep everyone on the same page throughout the process. When you use the previous tip and start small, make sure you're communicating the results of the tests and your plans for scaling with staff. You don't want to jump out too far ahead and announce changes before they occur, but it is vital that the people who work closely with you know your plans.

For example, if you're looking for a way to tweak the way your company orders product, alert your staff to what product you want to test your AI ordering on. This will help keep everything running smoothly and keep everyone in the loop as you implement AI in the fabric of your company model.

Consider the impact on customers and clients.

As you slowly start to inject artificial intelligence into your business model, think about how it's going to affect your customers and clients, especially ones who have been with you before the change.

Are you making sure to keep updated guides on changes such as AI chatbots for current customers? Do they know when these changes are going to roll out and will it impact the price they are currently paying for your products? If they don't know the answer to these questions, there could be problems down the line. If you keep your customers in the loop while you're scaling, on the other hand, you are only increasing your chances of success.

Keeping your customers informed is easier than you think. You could include something in your weekly or monthly newsletter letting them know the changes. If it's something more urgent, you could send out an email to all subscribers or current customers using your email lists.

As you experiment, you'll discover that not all artificial intelligence solutions are created equal. There are some that will work well with your business model and some that won't. Starting small and scaling up is the key to success, regardless of what kind of company you operate. 

Pay attention to the data and make smart choices that benefit your customers, clients, staff and your business as a whole. There's no question that AI is the future -- the only question is how is it going to help your business in the coming years?

Blair Williams is the founder of MemberPress, an all-in-one membership website software for WordPress.

Published on: Feb 8, 2019
The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.