- I asked the artificial intelligence tool ChatGPT to help me start a business.
- The chatbot responses were generic and lacked important details.
- But when I asked more specific questions, he kept his answers to the business type.
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If you are not familiar with the tool, imagine typing a question in the Google search bar, but instead of sending a highlighted answer followed by pages of search results, it returns to a private chat window. Use information gathered from books, articles and websites to give an answer, in complete sentences and paragraphs.
ChatGPT, which is free to use, launched in November as a research prototype. The pros used it write cover lettersand the students used it write their papers — then New York City has banned the app from the devices and networks of the public school.
ChatGPT may be able to write an essay in English, but there are some things it cannot do, such as helping you start a business.
While very smart, ChatGPT is just a chatbot; I knew I couldn’t physically start a business for myself. But I wonder if he would at least walk 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 interruptions are the 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. Their 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 generic 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 validate demand for your product or service.
- Create a business plan: Develop a detailed business plan that includes financial projections, marketing strategy, and a plan to establish your business.
- Increase the capital: Determine how much capital you 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.
- Build a team: Hire employees or contractors to help run your business, if needed.
- 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 outlines how to reach your target market and promote your business.
- Launch your business: Launch your business, and be prepared to adapt 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 in place to increase your chances of success.
ChatGPT can respond to their responses to the type of business
After asking the chatbot how to start a business, I tried more specific questions, such as “How to start a vending-machine business?” and “How to start a laundry business?”
These suggestions led to slightly more detailed answers tailored to the type of business, although they still fit into the same eight-step format. He suggested identifying potential locations for vending machines and hiring staff for the laundry.
Finally, I tested ChatGPT’s understanding of startup costs. He outlined six overhead costs such as equipment, legal fees and renovation.
In conclusion, ChatGPT is not a great source for answering your deepest business questions, but it could be a useful starting point to gather ideas, get cost estimates and outline your business plan.