Around the world there are over 500 million small to medium business owners (SMBs). Sadly however, more than 50 million businesses fail as each and every year goes by. But how could we possibly stop so many from failing? This was the question that occupied most of my flight from London to Sydney. And with 22 hours in the air, I had a lot of time to think about it.
Before deciding to build anything new, I decided to take a look at the solutions currently on offer, as well as where they work well and where they fall short. At the top of the list was ‘Business Coaches.’ Equip a fraught business owner with the right advice and they can avoid unforeseen pitfalls. Show them the right way and they can rise to their potential. It’s a worthy profession and a much-needed approach.
However, as well-intentioned as ‘Business Coaches’ are, I couldn’t help but start to notice their limitations. This was problematic for me (because I’m one of them), but I still decided to push on. After all, this is an issue that demands our very best. So here was my list of the issues related to business coaches:
1. Expensive - When it comes to business coaches, you certainly do pay for what you get. The really good ones know they’re good and charge accordingly. Plus, when you consider the fact that half of the world’s entrepreneurs still live on less than $20 per day, they simply can’t afford the help they so greatly need.
2. Limited - If you’re lucky enough to be to afford a business coach, and they just so happen to be in an accessible location, then you are doing well if you can actually meet with them once a month. That means if you have an issue, between sessions, you will be sitting on it for a significant amount of time.
3. Ambiguous - When you get an advisor or coach, you’ll quickly realise they’re most likely a generalist. They tend to know a little bit of knowledge about lots of topics. But ask them ‘how do I run Facebook Ads?’ or ‘what POS system should I use?’ and 99% won’t have a clue.
I could go on, but you get the idea.
Next on my ‘not-currently-working-options’ list were: Books, YouTube Videos, Meet-Ups and Networking Groups. All offer something different, but again, all have drawbacks. It was time to look for a solution; one that was fit for our modern world.
I began to realise the only way you could provide unlimited, free, specific and scalable advice was if it was... not human. So I began thinking about a subject I first learned about in high school, Artificial Intelligence (AI).
First, it’s worth dropping any Hollywood-induced concepts of what AI is (think The Terminator). Simply put, AI is a computer science that is aimed at programming computers to do things that are usually done by people — in particular, things associated with people acting intelligently. As I was taught, AI will play an important role in the development of every industry. The promise is that it will reduce costs, save time and even save lives.
So I started to think about how AI might help my industry and give millions of business owners their own personal business coach. The potential got me very excited, and I decided that when I land in Sydney, I will follow this through.
That plane trip was two years ago and that’s why I’m so happy to announce that we have now launched BRiN, the world’s first-ever artificially intelligent business advisor. It’s now possible to get unlimited 24/7 advice to grow your business. But best of all we can now provide our service at scale. This means that we can now deliver human-like coaching to every entrepreneur on the planet, all at once.
You might be wondering if there’s room for other players, and will there be other niches where artificial intelligence can be applied. And the answer is yes and yes! In the future I believe there will be hundreds of AI-powered digital assistants. There will be ones for everything from customer service, booking flights, tax advice, medical diagnosis and more. However, closer to home, within just five years, many of these assistants will come in the form of coaches that can help you to do just about anything. There will be digital Career Counsellors, Weight Loss Coaches, Financial Planners, Study Tutors and Relationship Coaches.
Upon hearing this, I want you to now become aware of your gut reaction. Like with all forms of change, some people see the threat while others see opportunity. If you feel threatened in any way, let me say one thing. This is a good thing for society, because in most segments, only one to three percent of the population engage the services of a coach.
With AI at work, I suspect these numbers will stay consistent and they may even grow. Because the rest of society will now be able to try coaching services for the first time, albeit through digital means. Then once people see results and experience benefits, naturally many of them will seek to upgrade to a more personal service.
Now to the ones that see opportunity. As you know, there are a lot of people on the planet - around eight billion or so. And the vast majority have never had the means and therefore the opportunity to seek professional assistance. However, soon the internet will be beamed to another three billion people on the planet and mobile phones will soon cost less than $10 to produce. This means a huge opportunity for those brave enough to build new platforms and experiences.
Finally, I’d like to invite you to download my product called BRiN. Right now the App is free. To access, go to http://BRiN.ai and download today.
BRiN is a smart-phone app that is capable of providing personalised education and human-like support to every entrepreneur on the planet all at the same time. Founded by Dale Beaumont, the company now has 30,000 users and 18 staff.