Why US small businesses will lead AI investment in 2024

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According to US Chamber of Commerce, small businesses drive the US economy. Small businesses employ nearly half of the entire American workforce and represent 43.5% of America’s GDP. They are an important part of our economic ecosystem, where large businesses and small businesses are each other’s vendors, employees, partners and customers. Here are some important US small business 2023 data:

Also: AI adoption and innovation will add trillions of dollars in economic value

  • 99.9% of businesses in the US are small businesses
  • There are 33.2 million small businesses in the United States
  • 62 million Americans (46%) are employed by small businesses
  • Over the past 20 years, small businesses have accounted for nearly 40% of US GDP, which equates to trillions of dollars in economic activity.
  • 5.5 million small business jobs were created after the pandemic recession.

Small business is an economic engine

US Chamber of Commerce

To better understand the small business outlook for 2024, Slack surveyed 2,000 small business owners — half comprised of tech or retail businesses — and found that 40% believe 2024 is a “make or break” year for their business. Here are 10 key findings from the 2024 Small Business Survey:

  1. 40% of small business owners believe 2024 will be a ‘make or break’ year for their business.
  2. 49% of small business owners report that their business performed somewhat or much better than expected in 2023.
  3. 32% of small business owners are concerned that their business will not survive until the end of 2024.
  4. Small business owners are concerned about inflation/economic conditions (47%), the need to raise prices (32%), increasing competition (24%), the need to update their technology without the budget to do so (16%), and outdated technology (16%). worried 14%).
  5. 74% of small business owners are focusing on expanding marketing efforts to acquire new customers (51%), develop an emergency fund (45%), and explore new technologies to increase productivity and efficiency (43%).
  6. By the end of 2023, 47% of small business owners will have created new customers, 30% will have made a profit, and 26% will have implemented new technology.
  7. In 2024, 60% of small business owners expect to increase their budgets.
  8. 50% of small business owners plan to allocate budget towards technology and infrastructure.
  9. When asked what these new technologies were, small business owners were most likely to implement technology for AI (50%), productivity or collaboration (41%), or communication (34%).
  10. More than a third of small business owners (35%) are excited to implement new or updated technology for their business in 2024 — and of those, 49% plan to implement new productivity and collaboration tools as well as other software tools. (53%) — reflects a clear trend toward maximum efficiency with limited resources

2024 Small Business Outlook

Salesforce Slack 2024 Research

As I’ve written before, the dust won’t settle soon; Therefore, business leaders must develop their investment thesis, focusing on improving the customer experience, providing unique value differentiation and turning to technology so that they can deliver value at the speed of need.

When it comes to technology investments, it’s no surprise that small business owners are looking to AI to improve productivity and communication. It’s also important to remember that all AI projects start as data projects. Research based on more than 10,000 analyses, insights from IT and business leaders reveals the need for a strong data foundation to fuel AI adoption and benefits.

Also: Businesses need a new operating model to compete in an AI-driven economy

AI adoption has exploded and expanded the need for a coherent IT strategy. Small businesses have an advantage because of their ability to be nimble and visionary with minimal technical debt. That said, research also reveals that 90% of IT leaders say it’s difficult to integrate AI with other systems due to poor data and legacy systems.

Small businesses fuel the economy. And today’s knowledge-sharing, hyper-connected and digital-first economy is powered by AI. The small businesses that will compete and win in 2024 and for decades to come are the ones that rely on data, AI, automation and trust to their full potential.

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