Vistage Releases Report on Small Businesses and Artificial Intelligence
More than 70% of small business CEOs plan to invest in technology in the coming year

SAN DIEGO, September 25, 2018 – Small and mid-sized companies are beginning to turn to Artificial Intelligence (AI) technologies to stay competitive. According to a recent survey by Vistage, 57.6% of small-midsized business CEOs believe advanced technologies will impact their businesses in the next year, with 29.5% of those indicating that AI will be one of the technologies that has the most impact. Similarly to larger enterprises, small companies are exploring how AI can help predict customer behavior, automate rote tasks, personalize customer experiences, improve go-to-market strategies, manage supply chains and more.

Specifically, Vistage’s survey of SMB CEOs found:

  • 73.2% plan to invest in business software or apps in the next year.
  • 57.6% believe advanced technologies will impact their business in the next year.
    • 29.5% of those believe AI will have a great impact on their businesses in the next year.
  • 13.6% say they’re currently using some form of AI in their businesses, primarily for business operations and customer engagement.

A new report from Vistage, Artificial intelligence for small and midsize businesses, recommends small businesses take the following steps to reap the benefits of AI:

  1. Consider strategy first. Instead of looking for ways to bring AI into their business, SMBs can look for ways to use AI to execute on business strategy. What tasks could be automated? What key questions could be answered?
  2. Clean up data management. Treat data as your most valuable resource, and establish a system that effectively collects the data that will inform decision making.
  3. Use applications to identify trends and opportunities. Where does AI fit in, and how would it integrate with other apps? What are the financial implications and technical risks?
  4. Look for repetitive tasks that can be automated. Think about whether an application could take the time and aggravation out of completing tasks by performing them automatically.

“Artificial intelligence is already all around us. While the future of AI is vast and unlimited, the practical applications are just beginning to emerge,” said Joe Galvin, Chief Research Officer at Vistage Worldwide. “Early adopters are beginning to realize the benefits of automation and the deep insights harvested from big data. There is no need to become a data scientist or even to hire one. Small business owners can strategically identify and select business applications that have AI embedded in them and look for opportunities to automate the routine that will free their people for more creative work.”

Read the full report, Artificial intelligence for small and midsize businesses, to learn more about practical applications of AI for small business owners.

About Vistage Worldwide, Inc.
Vistage is the world’s largest CEO coaching and peer advisory organization for small and midsize businesses. For more than 65 years, we’ve been helping CEOs, business owners and key executives solve their greatest challenges through confidential peer groups and one-to-one executive coaching sessions. Today, more than 45,000 members in 35 countries rely on Vistage to help make better decisions for their companies, families and communities. The results prove it: Vistage CEO members grew their annual revenue on average by 4.6% in 2020, while nonmembers with comparable small and midsize businesses saw revenue decrease by 4.7%, according to a study of Dun & Bradstreet data. Learn more at

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