Small Business Owners Embrace and Seek Guidance on Generative AI

Small business owners see the value and the significant opportunities offered by generative artificial intelligence (AI) for business growth, revealed recent survey findings from GoDaddy. However, many still remain uncertain about the most effective ways to utilize this technology.

"Small business entrepreneurs are quickly finding that generative AI is already really well-equipped to assist them with the tasks they find most difficult to tackle, either because they don't have the time or require skills outside their wheelhouse, and the better news is the AI tools are generating more effective results every day," said Gourav Pani, U.S. Independents President, GoDaddy.

The findings of GoDaddy's survey highlight the necessity for guidance in effectively leveraging the constantly advancing field of AI technology. Namely, 38% of respondents have already experimented with generative AI tools, with 27% using them for recreational purposes and 11% employing them to support their business operations.

However, a significant 62% of small businesses surveyed have yet to explore generative AI. Furthermore, more than half of the participants (57%) expressed a strong desire to learn how to use generative AI to enhance their business activities.

The potential of generative AI for small businesses  

A significant majority of small businesses think that generative AI holds the potential to streamline specific tasks, allowing them to focus on the management and operation aspects of their business.

In addition, small business owners encounter several challenges in managing their businesses. The most prominent difficulties include finding the time to attract new customers, increase revenue, strike a work-life balance, market their business effectively, and generate marketing content for social media platforms, websites, or online stores.

Among the respondents who have already utilized generative AI tools for their businesses, as many as 75% reported that the tools performed exceptionally well or at a very high level. In contrast, only a mere 4% expressed dissatisfaction with the performance of the AI tools.

Moreover, out of the small business owners who are actively utilizing AI tools, 64% are engaging in content-generation experiments. These experiments encompass a wide range of tasks, such as marketing assistance and blog drafting. Also, nearly one-third of the respondents (29%) are employing AI to enhance their customer service efforts.

Generational divide regarding AI adoption  

GoDaddy's research indicates a noticeable generational divide concerning awareness and adoption of generative AI. Among the Gen Z respondents (aged 18-24), 63% reported using generative AI for personal or business purposes. On the other hand, individuals over 55 years old, (Baby Boomers), demonstrated the lowest level of engagement with generative AI, with 83% stating that they had not yet tried it.

Interestingly, regardless of age, only 33% of all respondents expressed confidence in their ability to explain generative AI to a friend. This suggests that there is still a widespread need for improved understanding and knowledge-sharing about the concept of generative AI across different age groups.

"We're leaning into our role helping small business owners understand how to leverage generative AI today to save time and attract new customers. GoDaddy's Small Business Generative AI Prompt Library now offers more than 100 completely free, ready-made prompts entrepreneurs can start using today in tools such as OpenAI's ChatGPT and Google's Bard, and we continue to roll out new AI-powered features every week. As the technology continues to evolve, we'll be there to support small businesses every step of their journey," said Pani.