Interesting Machine Learning Applications for Small Businesses

Machine learning

What are some interesting applications of machine learning within small businesses?

To help you find different machine learning applications within your small business, we asked tech experts and business leaders this question for their best advice. From personalized recommendations to optimizing your schedules, there are several interesting applications that may help you take on machine learning for your small business.

Applications of machine learning for small businesses

Personalized Recommendations 

The greatest opportunity for machine learning within a small business is around personalized recommendations for customers. For example, within our SEO agency we create content strategies for clients. Through machine learning we can consider client inputs and feedback on article topics to improve our outputs and strategies on an ongoing basis. This way, a content strategist can propose ideas based on historical learnings through previous interactions with customers. Machine learning has so much potential for so many businesses, and the core area where there’s the most upside is within personalized recommendations.

Brett Farmiloe, Markitors

Quality Assurance

When we talk about technology at Handwrytten, we usually talk about our industry-leading robotics. However, innovation exists in every part of our organization. We are now extremely close to releasing a new machine learning/computer vision system for our quality assurance department. While we currently do a phenomenal job of manually reviewing each and every note, this new machine learning vision system will serve as a second check of each order. It is capable of comparing a photo of the note to the vectors of what should have been written at high speed and incredible accuracy. Currently, it is capable of detecting a single missing or wrong character in a 500 character note in just over half a second. This will revolutionize our operations and build upon our competitive advantage in our space.

David Wachs, Handwrytten

Chat Bots 

One easy way to apply machine learning to an organization of any size is through your website! Simple features, such as an automated chat bot, are a great way to engage potential customers and generate new leads for your business. Before employing any kind of plugins or features of this kind, I would first perform a UX audit to determine what would best improve the customer experience. Doing so will ensure the dollars you spend on this feature generate a positive ROI.

Eli Patashnik, iFax

Customer Service 

Machine learning can be used by small businesses as an automated customer service tool, where customers could ask questions and receive responses without having to wait on hold or speak with someone live. Businesses can automate the process, so if a person wants to ask questions or make complaints about their experience with the company they don’t have to wait on hold for hours before speaking directly with someone live. Instead, this technology allows them to do it all through an automated system where customers would be able to watch videos and read articles that answer any question they might not know how to find answers for themselves.

Altay Gursel, Metriculum

Predictive Text Software

Lightkey has developed an AI-powered text prediction and real-time spelling correction software that can be utilized in a wide range of industries. Our software offers an adaptive experience that learns a user’s typing patterns from speed to common spelling errors to type of specialized content. In particular, our Lightkey Professional and Lightkey for Business software can support predictive text in well over 60 content domains. Whether you own a law office or are in academia, Lightkey can help you focus on your ideas and less on typos.

Guy Katabi, Lightkey

Social Media Marketing

There are many interesting applications of machine learning in businesses. For instance, Amazon learns when the consumer needs to rebuy a previous order because their supply is low. In my industry, social media marketing tools exist that tell me when my followers are online, so I know when to market my content. The best part: The tools like Hootsuite and Buffer are free. Other free apps with these functions are widely available as well.

Janice Wald, Mostly Blogging Academy

ID Verification

Many companies in the fintech and other heavily regulated industries benefit from machine learning solutions for identity verification. They can greatly limit their manual labor involved in that process while remaining compliant. The other benefit of that is decreased reliance on manual decisions, which tend to be prone to judgment bias.

Michael Sena, Senacea


Schedule-making used to demand a significant portion of small business managers’ time. Scheduling software makes the task quicker and easier by offering templates, automation, and self-service employee portals for shift switches and time-off requests. Machine learning improves productivity even further by adjusting shifts based on business fluctuations. For instance, algorithms can discern seasonal upticks and automatically assign more staff for peak times. These tools bypass the trial and error usually required to assess staffing needs accurately.

Michael Alexis, TeamBuilding

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