Can ChatGPT Actually Help Your Small Business?

ChatGPT has captured the imagination of its users with many grand claims about its capabilities.

The question is how much of it is hype and how much of it is real.

If you are a business looking to capitalize on the opportunities this technology provides, ChatGPT delivers on many fronts. This is especially the case for a small business or solopreneur with limited resources.

Learn How to Use the ChatGPT Prompt Effectively Below

Let’s learn something about ChatGPT and see how if it can advance your small business.

what is chatgpt

What is ChatGPT in the Plainest Terms Possible?

The short answer: ChatGPT is a language model developed by OpenAI to hold human-like conversations with users. Saying it is a smart chatbot doesn’t quite cover it.

The longer answer: ChatGPT is a variant of the GPT-3.5 language-generation software. The GPT in ChatGPT is Generative Pre-training Transformer, which is how it processes language. And this language comes from a powerful language model with 175 billion parameters. This allows ChatGPT to process billions of words in one second.

If you think that is a large number of parameters, GPT-4 is slated to have 100 trillion or more parameters and it is due to be released sometime in 2023.

Here is an infographic about how ChatGPT works.

image: OpenAI
These parameters were trained using reinforcement learning from human feedback (RLHF), and this is what makes it so human-like. It has the ability to carry a conversation while understanding the context and intent of the conversation. This means you can continue to elaborate on your query until you get the answer you want without having to introduce the original question each time.

For example:

And this applies to any query you have. It is essentially like talking to a person that has encyclopedic knowledge about every subject.

How Do You Use ChatGPT?

You get on the chat.openai website and register to create an account, this will include an email and phone number. After you confirm your account, you can start using ChatGPT by writing your queries in the prompt.

If you want to use ChatGPT effectively you need to learn how to communicate with the prompt (THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT PART OF THE USER END OF THIS TOOL). This means phrasing your query in such a way it makes ChatGPT deliver the best answer.

Once you enter your prompt all you have to do is wait for the answer. However, because of the number of users, you might have to wait sometime or try again. This is a temporary issue OpenAI is dealing with until it scales its infrastructure.

Is ChatGPT Free?

Yes, the basic version is free to use, for now. There is also a new premium version called ChatGPT Professional that currently has a waiting list.  According to Greg Brockman, President and Co-Founder of OpenAI it will have higher limits and faster performance.

Is ChatGPT Accurate?

First, ChatGPT can’t answer queries after 2021, this is because it was trained on data before that. Second, and this comes from OpenAI, “ChatGPT is not connected to the internet, and it can occasionally produce incorrect answers.” It goes on to say, “ChatGPT will occasionally make up facts or “hallucinate” outputs.”

It is important to note, in its current version this is a free research preview tool, meaning everyone that uses it is a beta tester providing invaluable data for OpenAI. When and if a real-world version is released, it will have worked out most if not all the bugs and it will probably be trained with GPT4. And regular updates of new data will likely be part of its framework to ensure its accuracy and relevance.

What Businesses Might Use ChatGPT?

Any business can use ChatGPT. After all, it is information that is more readily available, but it can do so much more. This is the same as asking what businesses might use Google.

Any small business that needs an assistant, content writer, marketing, customer service, generating emails and reports, research, translating languages, and much more can make use of ChatGPT.

What do Business Get with ChatGPT?

Simply put, a business gets an expert and quick access to a massive amount of information on any subject. A small business gets an invaluable tool capable of producing processes that were previously only available to large organizations. From market research to sentiment analysis, technical support, multiple automation processes and much more, a small business or solopreneur can now have the same, similar, or even better resources as a large company at their fingertips.

As a business, you can use it to:

Automate Customer Service – You can train ChatGPT on the FAQs of your business and customer service scripts so it can handle the most common customer inquiries and requests. You can also integrate it into a chatbot system so you can start providing 24/7 customer service to your customers.

Even with a one-person operation, you will be able to provide:

  • Product or service information
  • Order Status
  • Returns and exchanges
  • Technical support
  • Frequently asked questions

Process Automation – You can automate tasks that are repetitive to make your business more efficient and eliminate human error as well as other processes.

Some of the processes that can be automated are:

  • Workflow Automation
  • Chatbot
  • Email Automation
  • Data analysis
  • CRM Automation
  • Supply Chain Automation

Market Research – Analyze data from multiple sources so you can gain insights into the behavior and preferences of customers. With this information, you can make a more informed decision with your marketing strategy.

Market research examples include:

  • Social media analysis
  • Text classification
  • Sentiment analysis
  • Content analysis
  • Data visualization

Internal Communication – Improve the internal communications of your business using ChatGPT to generate emails, reports, and other business documents as well as for natural language search. This will make it much easier to find information within large sets of data.

Examples of internal communication use:

  • Employee onboarding
  • Knowledge Management
  • Company Announcements
  • Employee Surveys
  • HR Assistance
  • Training and Development

This is but a minuscule sample of what ChatGPT can do. You can create a menu for your restaurant, develop an exercise routine for your clients, write music, songs, code, and more, the list is almost endless.

What are the Pros of ChatGPT?

It is free, very easy to use, and has incredible potential across the board in the daily lives of people and operations of businesses of all sizes. One of the biggest pros is you can quickly gain a solid understanding of any field. ChatGPT can answer questions with key information in a few paragraphs and often with bullet points. With Google, you have to surf page after page and create your own synopsis.

Another benefit is ChatGPT is a pre-trained model. What this means is you can fine-tune it for specific use cases of your business.

ChatGPT is also a quick research tool, a good way to get you started on any topic as well as come up with new ideas. But most of all, ChatGPT will save you a lot of time, a huge amount of time when used properly.

What are the Cons?

ChatGPT can’t answer questions after 2021 (for now) and it can give a wrong answer. Beyond that, it is a question of morality as to how it is used. Whether it is students using it to write essays or hackers accelerating malware development (but it can also be used for automating security incident analysis) it can be used just as much with bad intentions.

There will always be people who will use new innovations in bad ways, but that shouldn’t deter the rest of us from using them or discourage their further development.

Mastering the ChatGPT Prompt

If you want to master how to use ChatGPT, you have to learn how to communicate with the prompt, and this applies to all other AI models. A prompt engineer is now a skill set and a job that is growing in demand.

As AI entrepreneur Colin Treseler, co-founder of Supernormal, told the Financial Times, “You have to find ways to talk to the model to get the correct output.”

When Congressman Ted Lieu began to write the legislation on ChatGPT this is how he started the prompt:

“You are Congressman Ted Lieu. Write a comprehensive congressional resolution generally expressing support for Congress to focus on AI.”

You notice he said you are Congressman Ted Lieu, and that is the most important point to remember. When you address ChatGPT by saying ‘you are’ or ‘act as a’ it produces answers from the perspective of that person. And when you consider the parameters it was trained on that person is essentially a world-class expert on the subject matter. And this point should not be lost on anyone, “It is a world-class expert.” This means you have a world-class expert at your disposal for free “as of now” and even if you pay a monthly subscription, it will be worth every penny.

Here is how you can quickly do better than most people right away when using ChatGPT.

Prompt Examples for a Small Business

Say you have a business-related question beyond your expertise, start by typing: “You are a” followed by whatever expert you need, such as business consultant, accountant, tax specialist, HR specialist, etc. and then your command or question. This could be creating a business plan, marketing strategy or anything else you need for your business or potential business you are looking to start.

Example: “You are a top-rated business consultant create a comprehensive business plan for a toy store.”

Similarly, you can also type: Act as a…followed by the expert you want to get the knowledge from.

Example: “Act as a marketing expert and generate a comprehensive social media marketing plan for my toy store.”

Notice how clear and concise the prompts are, there are no filler words. This is critically important when using ChatGPT and again all AI models with their prompts. Don’t use words that are not necessary, because you are talking to a machine.

These two prompts will dramatically improve your interaction with ChatGPT, but there is more.

The key to effective communication with ChatGPT is to use some of the 7 principles of communication and other communication guidelines so you can interact effectively with AI prompts. For ChatGPT you can start with these:

  1. Be Clear – Even though ChatGPT might respond like a person, it is not. So, you must be very, very clear with your language. The more clarity your language has, the easier it will be for it to understand you. This means no colloquialisms, slang, jargon, or obscure words that will prolong your interaction with ChatGPT. After all one of the best use cases of ChatGPT is to save you time, a lot of time.
  2. Be Concise – To a certain extent being clear will make you concise, but not all the way. Make more of an effort to eliminate unnecessary phrases and redundancies. At the same time use more clear and forward language, shorten wordy phrases and again eliminate filler words.
  3. Be Relevant – As you continue your communication with ChatGPT, make sure to stay the course and on topic. If you started with a marketing question or command continue with the subject. Introducing different topics can lead it to focus on something else. If you have another question not related to marketing, write the question down and ask it again later with a new prompt. Granted you can continue with the original prompt, but it will lead you on another path and waste your valuable time.

The goal of using ChatGPT effectively is to get as clear, concise, and relevant answers as possible and this will require equally clear, concise, and relevant queries and commands. Remember these three principles when you communicate with ChatGPT and you will get more out of it.

Last but definitely not least, you have to keep using ChatGPT to get better. The more you use it the more you will learn how ChatGPT responds to the different commands and requests you give it. This will show you what works and doesn’t.


What is ChatGPT?

ChatGPT is a language model that was developed by OpenAI.

What can ChatGPT be used for?

You can use ChatGPT for a number of NLP tasks such as conversation, text generation, answering questions, sentiment analysis, classifying text, generating code, and more.

Is ChatGPT open source?

No, ChatGPT is not open source.

Can ChatGPT understand context?

Yes, ChatGPT can understand context because of its large amount of training data.

Can ChatGPT generate text?

Yes, ChatGPT can generate text based on your input.

Can ChatGPT be fine-tuned for specific tasks?

Yes, ChatGPT can be fine-tuned to improve its performance for specific tasks with additional data.

Is ChatGPT capable of generating images or videos?

No, ChatGPT is only capable of generating text.

Can ChatGPT be integrated into applications?

Yes, ChatGPT can be integrated into applications using its API.

Is ChatGPT always correct in its responses?

No, it can give the wrong answers.

Michael Guta Michael Guta is the Assistant Editor at Small Business Trends and has been with the team for 9 years. He currently manages its East African editorial team. Michael brings with him many years of content experience in the digital ecosystem covering a wide range of industries. He holds a B.S. in Information Communication Technology, with an emphasis in Technology Management.