In today’s rundown: the top ranked city for female entrepreneurs and the hesitation of small businesses to adopt AI in the workplace.
Welcome to the Small Business Run Down. Every day, we bring you stories and trends that impact small business owners and their workforce.
Today it’s all about the lists: the list of best (and worst) places to start a business, a list of worries plaguing SBOs and an AI expert who wants you to make a list of pros and cons before adopting AI technology for your business.
Florida cities earn top marks for new business locations
Life’s a beach, at least for entrepreneurs who choose to start their business in Florida. A new report by WalletHub ranks four cities in the Sunshine State in the top fifteen places in the US to start a business. Small cities offer many advantages over larger metropolitan areas, including lower overhead costs and the potential to form strong community relationships. The number one small city for starting a small business is Holland, Michigan. Meanwhile, St. Louis, Missouri was named the top city in the country for female entrepreneurs.
The Number: 1,261. The report compares 1,261 small cities across the country, looking at eighteen different metrics across three key dimensions, including business environment, access to resources, and business costs.
The Quote: “The smaller cities also tend to have more small business friendly environments and offer specific benefits for startups in need of low cost options, more relaxed regulations and lower barriers to entry due to less heated competition.”
SBOs spend equivalent of 17 days a year worrying about their business
GoDaddy released a different kind of top ten list–the top ten issues keeping SBOs awake at night. Making enough money and attracting customers ranked at the top of the list of worries, while more than 51% of small business heads admitted having a hard time “switching off” after business hours. Maybe it’s time to consider a move to Florida?
The Number: 22%. One out of every five–or 22%–of the SBOs surveyed report that they are currently experiencing more business-related stress than ever before.
The Quote: “Owning a business and trying to enjoy life outside work can be an especially tough balancing act.”
Small businesses cautioned to proceed slowly when adopting AI solutions
Chatbots and messaging applications may be the new norm for customer service and help desk solutions, but one AI expert is urging SBOs to proceed with caution…or at least only after careful consideration. The complexity and expense of artificial intelligence may currently outweigh the immediate ROI and warrants a thorough investigation before being adopted by small businesses.
The Number: 99.9%. According to one AI expert, 99.9% of small businesses don’t need AI technology to be profitable and SBOs are better served waiting until the technology is tailored more to SMB needs.
The Quote: “There are a very limited number of people with the requisite high-level skills to build an AI application that drives business value. It is hard science and takes a lot of time—more time than most enterprises can bear, never mind small businesses.”
Hiring an independent contractor doesn’t have to be a headache
The tight labor market and less-than-rosy economic forecast make hiring independent contractors an attractive choice for small businesses that could use some help with their workflow. If you’ve considered this short-term solution but don’t know how to proceed, check out this helpful list of FAQs about hiring contract workers.