- I asked the AI tool ChatGPT to help me get started.
- Chatbot responses were generic and missing important details.
- But when I asked more specific questions, it responded with its answers to the type of work.
- For more stories, go to www.BusinessInsider.co.za.
Everyone is looking to ChatGPT to do something for them — which is no surprise, since artificial intelligence is expected to change the business game in 2023.
If you’re unfamiliar with the tool, imagine typing a question into Google’s search bar, but instead of sending you to a featured answer followed by pages of search results, it answers you in a private chat window. It uses stored information from books, articles and websites to give you the answer, in complete sentences and paragraphs.
ChatGPT, which is free to use, launched in November as a research prototype. Professionals used it to write cover letters, and students used it to write their papers — then New York City banned the app from public school devices and networks.
ChatGPT may be able to write an English essay, but there are some things it cannot do, such as helping you start a business.
Although very smart, ChatGPT is just a chatbot; I knew it couldn’t physically start a business for me. But I wondered if it would at least get me through the initial steps.
So I asked this AI program a series of questions about starting a business.
Here’s how it went.
8 generic steps to start a business
When I initially visited the site, ChatGPT served me a 404 page — the regular outages are a side effect of its sudden popularity. I refreshed the page a few hours later and was finally able to log in.
ChatGPT doesn’t do much heavy lifting. His answers tend to be formulaic and broad, lack inspiration, and leave out a lot of useful information.
When I asked ChatGPT how to start a business, he gave me the following eight general steps:
Starting a business can be a challenging but rewarding process. Here are some steps to help you get started:
- Develop a business idea: Identify a problem or need in the market that your business can solve. Conduct market research to confirm demand for your product or service.
- Create a business plan: Develop a detailed business plan that includes financial projections, a marketing strategy, and a plan for setting up your business.
- Capital raising: Determine how much capital you will need to start your business and secure financing through investors, loans or personal savings.
- Register your business: Register your business with the appropriate government agencies and obtain all necessary licenses and permits.
- Create a team: Hire employees or contractors to help you run your business, if necessary.
- Set up your business operations: Establish the legal structure of your business, obtain any necessary business insurance and set up your accounting and financial systems.
- Develop a marketing plan: Develop a marketing plan that describes how you will reach your target market and promote your business.
- Start your business: Launch your business and be ready to adjust your business plan as you learn more about the market and your customers.
Starting a business requires hard work, dedication and the ability to adapt to change. It also requires a good understanding of the market, competition and legal requirements. It is important to have a solid plan, a clear vision and the right team to increase your chances of success.
ChatGPT can provide answers to the type of business
After asking the chatbot how to start a business, I tried asking more specific questions, like “How do I start a vending machine business?” and “How do I start a laundromat business?”
These instructions lead to slightly more detailed answers tailored to the type of work, although they still fit into the same eight-step format. It was proposed to identify potential locations for vending machines and hire laundry staff.
Finally, I tested ChatGPT’s knowledge of startup costs. It listed six overheads such as equipment, legal fees and renovations.
In conclusion, ChatGPT is not a great source for answers to your deepest business questions, but it can be a useful starting point for gathering ideas, estimating costs, and sketching out your business plan.