Could generative AI save small businesses $4000 in 2024? We talk to GoDaddy about its most recent survey. (2024)

Could generative AI save small businesses $4000 in 2024? We talk to GoDaddy about its most recent survey. (1)

From market forecasting, data analysis, and customer service to integration intothe best website builders, Artificial Intelligence (AI) appears to be touching all facets of the business world.

But are AI tools the reserve of business behemoths? Or can small businesses also leverage artificial intelligence to help them develop greater market share?

A recent study by GoDaddy

sought to understand the overall awareness and perception of generative AI amongst small business owners. The study follows the launch of GoDaddy’s new Airo™ tool that groups several AI technologies to deliver a range of assets ranging from business logos to fully populated website websites. This is one of the most advanced free AI tools available to small businesses and helps position GoDaddy as one of the

best AI website builders

on the market.

Eager to uncover deeper insights, we talked to Laka Sriram, V.P. of Product, U.S. Independents at GoDaddy about what the survey found, how small businesses are benefiting from generative AI, and what the future may hold.

If you are interested in using the GoDaddy website builder, you can read our full GoDaddy website builder review here.

Interview with:

Could generative AI save small businesses $4000 in 2024? We talk to GoDaddy about its most recent survey. (2)

Sriram is a V.P. of Product, U.S. independents, at GoDaddy. Within his role, he focuses on building products that leverage A.I. technology to help small businesses scale and prevent them from spending time on strenuous tasks that otherwise could have been used for strategic planning.

In the study you mention how apprehension amongst small business owners' is low when it comes to the possibility of AI taking small business owners jobs; why do you think this is?

Only 1 in 10 small business owners believe generative AI could do their job better than them.

When we surveyed small businesses in spring 2023, we found that 38% had been using generative AI, in this most recent survey, that has jumped to 73%. This is a significant increase in the number of small businesses experimenting with the technology, implying that small business owners are curious and excited about how they can use it to their benefit. If they were apprehensive or nervous about the technology, we would expect the adoption curve to be less noteworthy.

Entrepreneurs are using generative AI to support day-to-day operations and help perform tasks like drafting content for social media or their website, or even boosting sales (44%). This allows them more time to spend with customers or on other work tasks to support their business, indicating that generative AI is being used as an additive technology rather than a replacement technology.

As consumers better understand generative AI, and its abilities and limitations, fear around job loss seems to be decreasing. In fact, our survey found that only 1 in 10 small business owners believe generative AI could do their job better than them. Companies like GoDaddy, guide small businesses on how to best use the technology by providing easy-to-use tools, such as GoDaddy Airo™, to empower them to experiment with generative AI.

What about employees within these businesses? Should they be worried about AI replacing their roles?

While generative AI can certainly take on certain tasks regularly handled by employees within small businesses, there should not be fear of job loss. Our recent survey found that, on average, small business owners expect to save more than $4,000 and 300 hours of work this year using generative AI—which isn’t equivalent to an employee’s salary or workload. Rather than fear the technology, employees, whether at a small business or elsewhere, should embrace the various ways it can make their jobs easier and more efficient, learning to work with the technology instead of avoiding it.

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Which recent developments do you believe are responsible for growth in the uptake of AI within small businesses?

As with any new and groundbreaking technology, we often see a mixture of excitement and intrigue along with caution and skepticism. With generative AI in particular, there has been a lot of speculation around the technology – what it can do, its limitations, and what it will be capable of in the future.

Initially, small business owners did not have the time to properly research, test, and better understand the technology. However, as generative AI has become a more prevalent aspect of society overall, they’ve become more comfortable with the idea of adopting the technology for their use.

We’ve also seen an uptick in companies creating tools that ease small businesses into generative AI. Rather than entrepreneurs getting overwhelmed by the endless possibilities of the new technology, these simple solutions are created to make adoption easier and further educate the small business, ensuring high-quality output without the entrepreneur needing to be a generative AI expert.

What, in your opinion, is the single most interesting finding from the study?

The competitive advantage that small businesses expect generative AI to provide stood out the most, as it really highlights how entrepreneurs view the technology. While the survey found a significant uptick in small businesses using the new tool, 75% of entrepreneurs believe generative AI gives them an edge, which shows that this is not just a nice-to-have, it is a need-to-have in order to survive.

Where can small businesses make the biggest gains when applying AI?

There are five primary areas that I encourage small businesses to explore:

  • Administrative and Operational Tasks: Generative AI can help streamline data entry, generate documents, write emails catered to varying audiences, and assist with other time-consuming tasks.
  • Content Creation and Marketing: We found that small business owners struggle with creating marketing content for digital use. Generative AI can alleviate that pain point and deliver quality results. GoDaddy survey data shows that, of the small business owners that used generative AI for marketing efforts, 64% noted that the results were very good and/or excellent. Whether it's tailored blog posts, social media content, or advertising campaigns personalized to their target audiences, businesses can leverage generative AI to get the ball rolling.
  • Customer Experience Enhancements: AI-powered chatbots can offer real-time customer engagement, answer queries, and provide product information that assists with purchases. Alternatively, AI prompt libraries offer curated generative AI prompts that can be readily used to respond to customers.
  • Data Analysis: Generative AI can be used to perform predictive analysis to forecast future trends and behaviors or analyze customer data and segment it into categories like preferences and demographics.
  • Boosting Sales: Generative AI can provide personalized recommendations by analyzing data, browsing history, and purchase patterns, or examine market trends, competitor pricing, and current customer behaviors to optimize pricing strategies.

Run a small business? Check out our guide to the best small business website builders.

Do you believe applying AI to areas such as website building and content creation will lead to lower-quality outputs? If so, what can small businesses do to mitigate them?

Small businesses should avoid relying too heavily on AI, and instead lean on the technology as a support system rather than something that replaces human efforts.

As with anything created with generative AI, it is important to maintain a human touch – editing, building, and refining the product to ensure it accurately reflects the small business’ brand and style.

Certain tools, such as GoDaddy Airo™, will leverage AI to generate various options for the entrepreneur to choose between, allowing them to customize the final product throughout every step of the process. Overall, small businesses should avoid relying too heavily on AI, and instead lean on the technology as a support system rather than something that replaces human efforts.

What do you believe small business owners should be doing to prepare to leverage future developments in AI?

Having a foundational knowledge of the technology will help small businesses stay ahead of the curve and realize the competitive edge that generative AI can offer.

First and foremost, educate themselves!

Having a foundational knowledge of the technology will help small businesses stay ahead of the curve and realize the competitive edge that generative AI can offer. It’s no secret that national brands and enterprise-level companies have teams of AI experts working tirelessly to roll out the next best AI solution for customers, so staying up-to-date and understanding how these solutions can translate for small businesses is critical as they look to grow and retain customers.

What is GoDaddy doing to make AI more accessible to small business owners?

At GoDaddy, we’re working hard to make sure we’re creating easy-to-use tools that allow entrepreneurs wanting to create or grow a small business to harness the power of generative AI.

Since the beginning of 2023, we’ve released free materials such as GoDaddy’s AI prompt library, conducted free webinars to help educate small businesses, and developed generative AI-powered solutions.

Most recently, we released GoDaddy Airo™, a free tool that is the culmination of all the latest advancements in the field of generative AI combined with everything GoDaddy has learned over the past 20 years across our 21 million customers. We’ve always provided guidance and tools to help entrepreneurs and small business owners start and grow their businesses, but GoDaddy Airo™ allows us to do this like never before, using generative AI technology.

Could generative AI save small businesses $4000 in 2024? We talk to GoDaddy about its most recent survey. (3)

Owain Williams

B2B Editor, Website Builders

Previously working as a freelance content writer and editor, Owain has been writing about website builders, marketing, and a range of other business topics since 2017. During this time he has worked with industry leaders, spoken at several events, and been published on top media sites including MarketingProfs, Website Builder Expert, Digital Doughnut, and

Owain has gained hands-on experience with many leading website builders. This includes building his own ecommerce store on Shopify, creating several websites on WIX, and working with clients to grow their WordPress and Squarespace sites.

During his career, Owain has gained a breadth of marketing experience across industries ranging from complex engineering and international events to brand design and even brewing. Undertaking a 4 year apprenticeship in business, Owain has achieved a HNC, HND, and BA(Hons) in Business, Management, and Marketing alongside several professional qualifications from institutes including the Institute of Leadership and Management (ILM) and the Institute of Data and Marketing (IDM).

When he isn’t thinking, talking, and writing about website builders, Owain is a keen practitioner and competitor in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, enjoys walking his dog, and spending time with his family.

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