Small businesses are the backbone of our economy, and in today’s digital age, having a solid online presence is essential for success. ChatGPT is a powerful tool that can help small businesses become much more efficient, improve customer engagement, and ultimately increase sales. 

In this blog post, we’ll explore the benefits of ChatGPT and why it’s worth considering as part of your overall growth strategy. 

Reap the benefits of ChatGPT

By leveraging ChatGPT’s capabilities, small business owners can optimize their operations, create effective marketing content, and enhance their customer experience, ultimately contributing to business growth. 

Here are some of the most significant benefits: 

  • Efficient operations: ChatGPT can make the tasks associated with inventory management, generating business reports, and basic bookkeeping tasks much more efficient. For example, providing ChatGPT with data and insights can help you expand on those insights, create related visual charts, and deliver final reports in a PDF or Word format. It’s important to note that ChatGPT is primarily a text-based model and does not have direct access to real-time data or the ability to interact with external systems. However, AI is integrated into a growing list of workplace tools, such as Salesforce, Microsoft products, and many chatbots. Remember, responses are solely based on the information you provide to produce reports or operational insights.
  • Valuable marketing: With its language generation capabilities, ChatGPT for marketing can support small business owners in creating compelling promotional content and messages. If you don’t enjoy writing, ChatGPT may become your best friend. The tool can produce engaging social media posts, craft persuasive email newsletters, and even help write blog articles or website copy. Remember to carefully edit what it generates to catch errors, mismatched phrasing, and outright inaccuracies.
  • Enhanced customer service: Customer service often involves repetitive tasks such as providing order status updates, answering common questions, or guiding customers through buying. Customers can receive immediate help when you integrate ChatGPT into your website or marketing channels.

Will ChatGPT replace my small business team? 

While ChatGPT can automate specific tasks and assist with customer service, it is not intended to replace human employees entirely. In fact, AI lacks invaluable aspects of the small business and customer experience: emotion, problem-solving, and creativity. ChatGPT is also known to make things up and has limited knowledge of world events after 2021, and openly acknowledges it generates incorrect content.

Here are a few reasons ChatGPT is better seen as a tool to support employees rather than replace them:

    • Complex and strategic decision-making: AI models like ChatGPT excel at providing information and handling routine queries. However, they may need help with complex or unique customer situations that require human judgment or a strategic decision. Employees can navigate nuanced scenarios, exercise empathy, and make decisions based on their experience and expertise.
    • Building relationships and trust: Human interaction is crucial in building strong customer relationships and fostering trust. While ChatGPT can generate responses, it does not possess the ability to make genuine connections or understand customers’ emotional needs. Employees can provide personalized and empathetic support, going beyond scripted responses and adapting to individual customer requirements.
    • Adaptability and learning: Human employees can quickly learn new skills and adapt to changing business needs. AI models like ChatGPT require a level of training and may have limitations when faced with unfamiliar situations. 
    • Ensuring accuracy: Humans possess a keener sense to review and verify the information provided by ChatGPT, cross-reference it with real-time data, and exercise judgment to make informed decisions, all of which support maintaining a higher level of accuracy in business operations.

Rather than viewing ChatGPT as a replacement for employees, small business owners can learn how to use ChatGPT as a tool to enhance their teams and operations. By leveraging AI technologies, employees can focus on higher-value tasks, innovation, strategy, and providing exceptional customer experiences. The combination of human expertise and AI tools can lead to optimal results for small businesses.

How to use ChatGPT and create compelling prompts

A ChatGPT prompt is the first instruction you give to the model to get a response. It helps ChatGPT understand what you want and how to talk. So, carefully creating the prompt is essential to get your desired response. And one incredible feature of ChatGPT is that it will revise the generated content based on your feedback.

Here are a few considerations for creating an effective ChatGPT prompt:

  • Be clear: Start with explicit instructions or guidance. For example, you can say, “You are an assistant helping a small business owner. Give suggestions on…” or “Please answer this customer inquiry…”. This helps ChatGPT know what role to play and what kind of response to give.
  • Give context: Provide enough details in the prompt so ChatGPT understands the topic or situation. You can mention the industry, the specific problem or question, or important background information. The more context you give, the better ChatGPT can provide a relevant and accurate response.
  • Be specific and organized: Make your prompt as detailed as possible to guide ChatGPT. Ask direct questions or give simple instructions to get the information you need. 
  • Consider the tone: Think about how you want ChatGPT to respond. Decide if you want it to be formal, friendly, professional, or casual. Ensure your prompt reflects the desired tone, as this helps ChatGPT understand how to generate its response.

How can a small business owner start using ChatGPT

Integrating ChatGPT or any AI tools into your small business operations can bring significant simplification and efficiency, but we understand it can be overwhelming knowing where to begin. Here are two questions to consider upfront:

What areas of my business can be automated? 

Begin by identifying repetitive tasks or processes within your business that could benefit from automation. Evaluate the specific pain points in your operations and prioritize them based on their potential impact and feasibility for automation.

Explore AI-powered tools and software. 

Look for solutions that offer seamless integration with your existing systems and provide clear instructions for implementation. Starting with one or two AI tools that align with your priorities can help you gradually introduce AI into your operations without overwhelming yourself or your team.

Stay tuned for developments.

AI is evolving fast, so what a tool may not be able to do today, it may be able to accomplish next week or month. Stay tuned for developments, and you may discover a tool that can solve a nagging problem in your small business.  

Remember to start small, prioritize the most impactful areas, and gradually expand your use of AI as you gain confidence and experience with these emerging technologies. If you’d like more support, watch the replay of our webinar on using ChatGPT.

Ready to leverage the benefits of ChatGPT for your small business?

ChatGPT can be a valuable asset for small businesses looking to save time and money while providing superior customer service. Its easy-to-use interface, customizable features, and cost-effective pricing plans offer the perfect solution for today’s busy entrepreneurs who want to ensure their customers feel cared for without sacrificing quality or profits. If you’re considering ChatGPT for your business, we highly recommend trying it. 


The Rhode Island Small Business Development Center at the University of Rhode Island employs a dedicated, experienced, and knowledgeable staff of business counselors and administrators who can assist you in growing your business. Register now for free, confidential business advice from our advisors here—call (401) 874-7232 to schedule a counseling appointment or attend our free webinars.