We asked ChatGPT about a hypothetical business scenario to see if we could get specific, curated advice for NOVA businesses struggling with challenging economic conditions. We first asked ChatGPT to review the following mid-Atlantic economic conditions report items we crafted specifically for this exercise. We also asked it to summarize an overall perspective of the conditions in a paragraph from the perspective of a services company operating in this region.
Economic Conditions Report
The economic conditions report items were as follows – collected from the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond’s Fifth-District Survey of Service Sector Activity :
- Non-manufacturing activity deteriorated in April
- Revenues index and demand decreased
- Spending indexes for capital expenditures, equipment and software, and services also declined
- Firms were becoming more pessimistic about local business conditions as the index began decreasing
- The employment index continued to decline, although firms indicated plans to increase employment in the next 6 months
- The wage index was steady in the 30s
- Fewer firms reported trouble finding workers with the right skills
- The CPI will elevate in the next 12 months, impacting firms’ pricing strategies
- Firms plan to increase employment and survey participants expect inflation to be closer to the target rate of 2% in the next 5 years
ChatGPT took in this information with a lens on mid-Atlantic economic conditions, and came up with these solutions:
- Focus on cost control
- Diversify revenue streams
- Leverage technology
- Develop strong customer relationships stay agile and flexible
We were agreeable with these answers but wanted more of a NOVA perspective. So, we asked ChatGPT to update these solutions to be specifically with Northern Virginia in mind. It responded with these solutions (we’ve added our quick take):
- Leverage proximity to the federal government (this has always been true, particularly from a BD/sales and networking perspective, more important than ever now around the Beltway)
- Invest in cybersecurity (not sure where ChatGPT was heading with this, but good advice both from a resilience or risk management perspective and from a growth or investment perspective if an IT or related services company)
- Focus on telework capabilities (this is very true, particularly in our workforce 2.0 context, with expectations of telework and limited or flexible commute by most)
- Develop partnerships with universities and research institutions (this is very good advice, not only from a product/service development perspective, but in hiring, for co-publishing, for business events, and many other reasons, with so many in our area)
- Promote diversity and inclusion (this is always good practice, attuned to workforce change and expectations, and in consideration of all human and community characteristics and values)
However, we wanted more details. The information and advice still felt too generic and not useful enough to give us the results needed to help NOVA businesses continue positive growth patterns. We asked ChatGPT to be more specific regarding tactics to take in the next 3 months and finally, with some prompting, got the answers and targeted detail we really could use.
ChatGPT’s Advice for NOVA Business
ChatGPT responded with this when asked “What are some specific tactics a NOVA business can take in the next 3 months to address the economic conditions outlined in the mid-Atlantic economic conditions report”:
- Develop a cost-reduction plan: Given the decline in revenues and demand, it’s important to focus on cost control. Companies should review their expenses carefully and identify areas where they can cut costs without compromising the quality of their services. This could include reducing non-essential expenses such as travel and entertainment, renegotiating contracts with suppliers, or downsizing office space.
- Increase focus on digital marketing: With more people working from home, there has been an increase in online activity. Companies should increase their focus on digital marketing to reach potential customers where they are spending more time. This could include increasing their social media presence, investing in paid advertising, or improving their website and search engine optimization (SEO) strategies.
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- Develop new services or products: Companies should explore opportunities to develop new services or products to meet the changing needs of customers in the current environment. For example, a technology services company could offer remote IT (WXDC: or cybersecurity) support services to businesses that are adjusting to a remote work environment.
- Leverage government stimulus programs: The federal government (WXDC: and Virginia) has implemented several stimulus programs to support businesses during the pandemic. Companies should explore these programs to determine if they are eligible and take advantage of them to reduce financial pressures. This could include applying for SBA loans or taking advantage of tax credits and deferral programs.
- Expand, continue remote or hybrid work capabilities: Northern Virginia has a high concentration of commuters, and with traffic congestion being a significant challenge, companies can differentiate themselves by offering – or continue to offer, update, and enhance – remote work options to employees. Companies should invest in technology and infrastructure to support remote work and establish policies and procedures to ensure employees can work effectively from home. This could improve employee satisfaction and reduce commuting costs while also reducing future risks or concerns of disease transmission in the workplace.
Following AI-Generated Advice Moving Forward
NOVA businesses can take these steps and heed this new, AI-generated advice to promote growth within their company and gain positive feedback from employees, partners, and their customers!