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Clutch Report Reveals Small Business Optimism on the Future of AI

82% of SMB leaders expect disruption as a result of generative AI but remain excited for AI efficiency gains

Clutch, the leading global marketplace of B2B service providers, today released findings from its survey of more than 500 US small business leaders to understand the sentiment around artificial intelligence and how it will impact small businesses in the coming years.

The survey results highlight the way small businesses feel about AI, how they are currently using it in their business practices and how they can expect to further integrate AI in the future. Some key findings from the survey include:

  • 82% of small business leaders believe their business will be disrupted by generative AI over the next 5 years.
  • 84% of small businesses that currently use AI tools plan to continue using them in the future.
  • Business leaders shared their top 3 feelings about the rise of generative AI are excited, optimistic, and motivated.
  • By contrast, less than 10% of small business leaders said they felt overwhelmed, frightened, or worried about generative AI technology.
  • Small businesses expect AI to increase their need for outsourced services, most immediately in these business functions: Engineering (83%), Sales and Customer Experience (78%), Marketing (77%), as they look to external experts on how to incorporate these technologies in their ongoing business operations.

“Artificial intelligence is rapidly transforming the way businesses operate across many industries, and it is motivating to see that the majority of small businesses are excited about the future of AI,” said Sonny Ganguly, CEO of Clutch. “Small businesses are already turning to service providers to help them keep pace with these new technologies, as evidenced by surging 514% YoY growth for AI services on Clutch in Q1.”

The survey also revealed the largest benefit small business leaders expect from AI is increased efficiency, and that small business leaders believe that AI is best suited for chatbot development, creating business presentations, and writing marketing materials.

“AI is going to be infused into practically every business process. It will assist in the generation of content (text, images, video, audio), intelligently automate repetitive tasks, make predictions about outcomes, personalize consumer experiences, and inform decisions, ” said Paul Roetzer, Founder & CEO of Marketing Artificial Intelligence Institute. “Every business, in every industry, will be powered by AI, or they will be obsolete. But it won’t take a decade. More like 3 – 5 years in most industries.”

The full survey results can be viewed in today’s newly published report, “Small Business Leaders Embrace AI: 82% Expect Disruption in the Next 5 Years.”

Clutch surveyed 502 small business leaders in the US with experience using AI tools in April 2023. Thirty-three percent (33%) of respondents’ businesses have 2 to 10 employees; 14% have 11 to 50 employees; 19% have 51 to 250 employees; 17% have 251 to 500 employees; 17% have more than 500 employees.