Tag Archives: Business

Can an AI business advisor tell you how to run your business Amastra Eileen Brown

Can an AI business advisor tell you how to run your business?

There are over 500 million small to medium business owners (SMBs) on the planet. Only one percent of these owners have access to a business advisor. But that could soon change with this new AI app.

A team of young entrepreneurs and software programmers spread between New York, Cebu, and Sydney have launched the world’s first artificially intelligent (AI)business advisor.

The free app, called BRiN, is an AI chatbot that helps business owners to scale. It uses artificial intelligence to create a customized learning program for every user. It is capable of providing personalized education and human-like support to every entrepreneur on the planet, at the same time.

Early results seem impressive, with over 10,000 business owners signing up for the service within the first 3 months, according to the company.

The company interviewed hundreds of entrepreneurs, about their preferences for current learning models. It then modelled trends based on these responses.

The app has 1000 business videos over 80 topic categories in video and audio formats. There are titles such as “Should I leave corporate and become an entrepreneur?”, “How to plan out your website in 45 minutes”, and “A five minute tech byte on Mailchimp.”

The app will know the answer to more than 10,000 business questions. The founders expect that later in 2017 users will be able to connect BRiN through APIs to other business applications such as Salesforce, MailChimp, QuickBooks, and Google Analytics.

In terms of business models, the company has a goal to get 100,000 business owners using BRiN over the next 12 months, before the company introduces video ads, in-app purchases, and a monthly subscription for premium features and content.

Founder and CEO, Dale Beaumont said: “Chatbots are great at holding a conversation, asking questions and finding out what a user needs. However, when it comes to the solution, chat-style interfaces are completely inefficient when it comes to dispensing actual advice.”

When asked if their name has anything to do with Google co-founder Sergey Brin, Beaumont explains the link is pure coincidence.

“Following in the footsteps of Siri, Cortana and IBM’s Watson, we wanted a name that was personal, feminine, short and easy to remember. So quite simply we searched ‘Four Letter Girls Names’. That’s when we found BRiN and we loved it.


What women really want from their careers

Great inforgraphic from Ghirardelli showing the results of a survey on what women want. 5,300 working women across 13 countries, asked women questions about what they would need in their careers to feel like they "have it all."

Work life balance is more important now that it was 5 or 10 years ago. That might be because we feel we are far more busy than we were 5 or 10 years ago and value our time. Perhaps salary expectations have changed based on salary growth across the market place.

But it certainly is nice to know that 77 percent of us feel that our careers are successful. I know mine has been Smile

Eileen Brown is a social media strategist and consultant at Amastra, a columnist at ZDNet and author of Working The Crowd: Social Media Marketing for Business. Contact Eileen to find out how she can elevate your brand and help your business become more social.

Social collaboration with Women in business

imageIts fascinating to watch the dynamics of interaction between women business owners at the WBENC conference in Las Vegas this week.  Even business owners who compete in their areas of business try to find some areas of synergy to be able to collaborate and help each other out.  Its a different dynamic to the behaviour that I usually see in networking events. 

Everywhere I look, there are groups of women businesses sharing their challenges, trying to find synergy, offering help to each other and offering to mentor.

I’m humbled at the resilience that these women have, facing rejection day after day from corporates that prefer to work with men owned businesses. They show tenacity and courage to secure the deal.  There are women at this conference that run constructions companies, sell abrasives, manage call centres across the world as well as the more traditional types of women owned businesses selling health food, beauty products and recruitment services.  There’s a massive spread of skills, talent and ability.

In the US there’s a process for a woman owned business to work with a corporate.  US companies like to make sure that their procurement process includes diverse groups such as ethnic minorities, women owned business etc.  So certification here is a big thing.  It means that the corporate can justify to the board that they have a diverse set of suppliers. Cultural diversity in business is important to make a sustainable business and keep it agile.  Large companies like Chubb already recognise the business case for diversity.  Other companies less so…

Being certified as a women owned business circumvents all of the checks and measures that companies need to put in place to ensure that they have procurement services from all types of businesses.  It benefits both sides of the connection – and the case studies show this time and time again.  For example the company that cleans out the lions cages at the MGM grand is run by a woman who runs other janitorial services in Las Vegas.  The job wasn’t too attractive to other cleaning companies, but her company established that the lions wouldn’t be out of their cages when she was cleaning them out!  A simple question that secured her the contract..

Having a diverse workforce really benefits business. Hiring outside of your comfort zone give you a competitive edge to innovate. There are 5000 women here who would give you a competitive edge in business and innovate for you.

Spend some time getting to know them and see that they have to offer your business…

Image credit: Flickr

Eileen is a social media consultant and author of Working The Crowd: Social Media Marketing for Business.

Contact her to find out how she can help your business extend its reach.

This helps them to innovate more effectively than with a homogeneous group of suppliers, They can stay agile and focus on their core business

From Tissues to ‘ Wedgehogs’: The role of social media in innovation start-ups

Image credit: Flickr


We live in a connected world. The information superhighway brings information to our fingertips in many different ways across many different devices and form factors.

We have access to the worldwide knowledge economy.

We connect to data stored remotely on servers – who knows where?

We gather knowledge, do product research and buy goods online.

This knowledge repository and increasingly fast access speeds deliver data and information across the connected world. Anyone with an internet connection, an internet presence and time to invest in communications, can succeed in the global market.

Small companies can broadcast their message using free social media tools. The people powered social network can propagate and distribute your business idea further than you could do on your own. You can benefit from the ‘collective sum of human knowledge’ to receive innovative ideas which could take your business in a completely new direction. This community can also highlight potential deficiencies in your idea which you may not have noticed this in your desire to get to market.

You might also discover a new business opportunity appears seemingly out of nowhere.

Kleenex tissues were originally designed to be used in gas mask filters during the First World War, as cotton was needed in hospitals for dressing wounds. This tissue was then marketed as an effective tissue for removing cold cream and makeup. In the late 1920’s a researcher tried to persuade the company to market the tissue as a disposable handkerchief for colds.

This innovative new use for a product took over 10 years to evolve. How long would it take today?

Crowdsourcing – the use of outsourcing a set of tasks to an undefined number of people in a community (a ‘crowd’) would have taken much less time to suggest a new use for the facial tissue. How long would this crowd take to help you with your product design, development, marketing and advertising?

There are several forums for start-ups and Entrepreneurs that use the same principle of crowdsourcing to solicit advice on design and business ideas. These forums use the same social principle as most other social media platforms. Typically a user asks for information or advice and the community responds with solutions or signposts to other resources to use. Facebook have recently introduced ‘Questions’, an opportunity to poll the Facebook community for input. Marks and Spencer in the UK recently polled their Facebook Fans to create a new name for a hedgehog shaped doorstop. Over 2500 people responded to the poll, and the ‘Wedgehog’ was created.

Using the community for input to your product can bring great benefits to your business. The community could potentially spread your message across their communities and beyond.

Social media enables you to make strong business connections that you can use to enhance your business and strengthen your social commerce ties. And this is the medium that enables effective information flow. You need to invest the time to communicate your business idea in a compelling and innovative way to capture the imagination of the community and watch it propagate.


Eileen is a social media consultant and author of Working The Crowd: Social Media Marketing for Business.

Contact her to find out how she can help your business extend its reach.


Women who do break the glass ceiling

This is an interesting infographic from the MBA online program talking about how much women earn, how many of them have taken MBA’s and how large the salary gap still is…

<Sigh>  Still a salary gap though.. Not good at all… see the large size infographic here…