Why We’re Adding AI Features to LivePlan

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Female entrepreneur working on her business plan using LivePlan's new AI-powered features.

It seems like virtually every online product, website, and service is building AI-powered tools. Some of these make perfect sense. Others may seem like a cash grab or companies jumping on the latest trend to stay relevant. 

As you may have noticed, we’ve been testing and adding AI features to LivePlan. And we want to be sure you know why.

How AI fits within the LivePlan mission

Whenever we pursue new features or make updates to LivePlan, it’s with the goal of making business success available to everyone. And as we began to experiment with the capabilities of generative AI to run our own business we realized that it could be a game changer for small business owners. 

Now, that doesn’t mean we’re trying to invent a plan-writing “easy button”. We believe that part of becoming a successful business owner is understanding the planning process so that you can review, iterate, and grow. An automatic plan writer doesn’t help you do that. 

So, any AI-powered LivePlan features we release will do a few key things: 

Help you become a better business owner

AI can be a powerful tool for business owners to become more successful. However, if you use AI to complete tasks for your business without fully understanding why it’s important or how it affects your business—you’ll set yourself up for failure. That’s why LivePlan AI features will be designed to work alongside users. 

Yes, it will help you create a more compelling business plan, but you’ll still have to participate in the process and provide key pieces of information for it to work. This collaborative approach will ultimately lead to you writing a much better plan while improving your ability to manage and grow your business.

Help you think critically about your business

We won’t create a tool that simply spits out generic information. Instead, we want to prompt you to think more deeply about your business and goals. To do this, we’ll provide educational resources and tutorials to help you understand the underlying principles and concepts behind AI-generated content as well as our own tools. 

We’ll also encourage you to seek out advice from real experts to complement your use of AI. This will ensure that you are making informed decisions and are learning how to better run your business.

Not embarrass or mislead you

We don’t expect you to be a business expert and understand that you may rely on us to provide you with accurate and reliable information. Unfortunately, out-of-the-box generative AI isn’t perfect and can present fictitious or inaccurate results without proper guidance. 

To avoid this, as we introduce AI-powered features, we will work to build in safeguards and checks that eliminate errors, biases, or other unpleasant surprises. We will also be transparent and educate you about any limitations or assumptions. That way you can be confident in results generated within LivePlan and know how to validate everything yourself. 

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Never pretend to be a real person

While the LivePlan Assistant is meant to reflect our expertise it’s not a replacement for a real human advisor. To that end, we’ll avoid giving our AI tools a personality or identity. We want to provide you with useful and effective assistance to help achieve your business goals, not apply human expectations to a fundamentally non-human piece of technology.

Be safe and responsible

We have always taken the privacy and confidentiality of our users’ company information seriously. As we develop AI features, we will continue to be transparent about how user data is being used and implement safeguards to protect against unauthorized access, misuse, or disclosure of user data. 

We will also give you control over your data by allowing you to choose what is shared with us and how it is used. By adhering to industry best practices and standards for data security and privacy, we are committed to providing peace of mind that any confidential information is in good hands.

Always be optional

We understand that some of you may have concerns about the potential risks and consequences of using AI technologies. You may worry about the broader impact on society or simply value the act of creating content from scratch. 

To address these concerns, we are committed to making our AI features entirely optional. We believe that you should have the freedom to choose how you use our product, and we want to make it easy to opt-in or out of using AI-generated content.

To help you make informed decisions about whether to use these features, we will be transparent about their benefits and limitations. We’ll provide clear explanations of how the AI algorithms work and what types of content can be generated. We’ll also explain the situations in which human-generated content may be more appropriate, and make it easy for users to switch between the two as needed. 

By providing the information necessary to make informed decisions, we hope you will feel confident and in control of the business planning process.

Continuing to support you and your business

We hope you can see that our approach to AI features within LivePlan is thoughtful and thorough. We will never add anything, AI or not, that isn’t designed to help you better understand your business. We’re dedicated to helping you succeed and will continue to provide tools, guidance, and resources to help you plan for growth.

Want to know more about LivePlan’s AI Assistant? See how it helps you rewrite sections of your plan, and if you’re a LivePlan member you can log in and try it out right now!

As always, if you have any questions about the AI Assistant or other LivePlan features, reach out to our Customer Advocacy Team for assistance.

For more guidance on using AI to improve your business, check out these articles on using ChatGPT to write a business plan, create a financial forecast, and conduct more advanced financial analyses.

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Kody Wirth
Kody Wirth
Kody currently works as the Inbound and Content Marketing Specialist at Palo Alto Software and runs editorial for both LivePlan and Bplans, working with various freelance specialists and in-house writers. A graduate of the University of Oregon, he specializes in SEO research, content writing, and branding.
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