How to Use Microsoft Copilot: A Guide for SMBs

Microsoft Copilot AI Companion Logo

If you’re steering a small or medium-sized business (SMB) and looking for ways to simplify your daily tasks, then Microsoft Copilot is a powerful tool you’ll certainly want to consider integrating into your workflows.

What is Microsoft Copilot?

Microsoft Copilot is an artificial intelligence (AI) powered tool designed to boost productivity and simplify tasks within the Microsoft 365 suite.

It acts as an intelligent assistant that understands natural language, which makes it easier for users to get the most out of their Microsoft apps.

Microsoft Copilot can integrate with almost any Microsoft 365 app you can think of.

Logos of Microsoft 365 apps that Microsoft Copilot can integrate with
The various Microsoft 365 apps Copilot can integrate with

It uses large language models (LLMs), similar to the advanced language models that OpenAI employs in their generative pre-trained transformer models (GPT). LLMs use natural language understanding and machine learning techniques.

Microsoft Copilot lets you carry out complex tasks like analysing financial data and managing email communications through simple commands or prompts in a chat pane.

Key Features of Microsoft Copilot for SMBs

Microsoft Copilot has powerful features designed to improve your business processes, making your workday more efficient and helping you stay ahead of your competitors.

1. Automated Content Creation

Microsoft Copilot lets you automatically generate content across various Microsoft 365 apps using AI. It can create high-quality content based on minimal input, like creating reports in Word or drafting emails in Outlook. Moreover, Microsoft Copilot understands context, follows instructions, and points out improvements you can make to existing content.

As a result, this feature drastically reduces the time and effort needed to produce documents, emails, and lengthy presentations. Additionally, this feature will ensure consistency in your communication and let employees focus on more creative, high-value tasks by automating routine writing tasks.

Creating content in Word with Microsoft Copilot
An example of content generation using Microsoft Copilot in Word

2: Data Analysis and Visualisation

In Excel, Microsoft Copilot can analyse complex datasets without any additional effort on your part. This helps identify patterns, trends, and insights. It can also suggest the most appropriate type of visualisation based on the kind of data you have and then create it afterwards.

Microsoft Copilot can then explain the AI-generated insights in simple language, making data analysis accessible to all users, including technical and non-technical team members.

This benefits your SMB by providing deeper insights into your operations, customer behaviour, and market trends. It lets decision-makers at all levels make informed decisions quickly due to the accessible nature of the analysis.

3: Real-time Collaboration and Meeting Assistance

Within Teams, Copilot can provide real-time assistance during meetings through transcriptions, summarisation, and action item tracking. Even if a team member can’t make it to the meeting, Microsoft Copilot will ensure they’re on the same page by providing concise summaries.

Microsoft Copilot providing support in Teams
How Microsoft Copilot can provide additional support in Teams.

Consequently, this feature helps meetings become more productive and efficient by ensuring that discussions are focused and actionable. It reduces the need for follow-up meetings, improves collaboration among teams, and documents any key decisions or tasks.

4: Email and Calendar Management

Microsoft Copilot can manage and prioritise email and calendar events, helping users stay on top of their schedules.

Additionally, it summarises email threads, provides contextual suggestions, and automatically schedules meetings based on the availability of the participants. This makes inbox management and scheduling a lot easier.

You’ll experience less email overload and improved time management, which leads to improved productivity and lower stress. Automating your scheduling and email sending allows for more efficient communication.

Microsoft Copilot providing email suggestions
Microsoft Copilot provides accurate suggestions on improving an email before sending it in Outlook.

5: Security and Compliance

Since Microsoft Copilot is built with Microsoft’s robust security framework, it ensures that all data processed and generated comply with the highest standards of data protection and privacy.

In addition, Microsoft Copilot adheres to regulatory requirements and company policies, helping you safeguard sensitive information and maintain user trust.

This lets your business use AI capabilities without compromising security or safety. It provides peace of mind knowing that your data is protected against unauthorised access and that copilot operations fully comply with legal standards. This lowers the number of data breaches and compliance violations.

How Microsoft Copilot Can Boost Your Business Operations

Microsoft Copilot has various benefits for SMBs, ranging from versatility to improved creative processes.

1: Enhanced Creative Processes

Microsoft Copilot provides AI-based suggestions for content, design, and layout in Microsoft 365 applications. This is great for helping your business explore different approaches to presentations, documents, and overall communications.

You’ll be able to produce more engaging and visually appealing content that captures your audience’s attention. Not only does this improve the quality of your external communications, but it also encourages your team to think outside the box, leading to more innovative ideas and solutions.

2: Improved Accuracy and Lower Chance of Human Errors

Since Microsoft Copilot uses advanced AI algorithms, you can perform tasks like data entry, content creation, and data analysis more accurately.

It’s easy for a human to make a mistake when carrying out these tasks for reasons like fatigue, but that isn’t the case with AI. Microsoft Copilot will ensure you maintain high accuracy when carrying out these tasks and decrease the number of overall errors.

This lets you produce higher-quality documents like reports and better data analyses like market trend analysis. As a result, you’ll improve your decision-making processes in your business and reduce the risk of making costly mistakes.

Having this reliability will strengthen your business’s reputation for professionalism and precision.

3: Scalability and Growth

Your goals and needs will become more complicated and demanding as your business grows.

Microsoft Copilot is designed to scale alongside your business by:

Adapting to handle larger volumes of data
Dealing with more complex tasks
Handling a growing number of users without a drop in performance and efficiency

Your business can continue to leverage Microsoft Copilot’s capabilities as it expands, supporting growth by automating new tasks and integrating with an expanding suite of Microsoft 365 applications.

4: Ease of Use

One of the biggest benefits Microsoft Copilot brings to the table is its user-friendly interface, which lets you interact with it using natural language. As a result, performing advanced tasks becomes accessible to all employees.

The intuitive nature of Microsoft Copilot reduces training time and enables employees to start benefiting from its capabilities immediately. It also ensures all team members can get the most out of AI by improving their productivity and further contributing to your business’s success.

5: Versatility

The versatility of Microsoft Copilot can be seen in its wide range of applications, from generating written content and analysing data to managing emails and collaboration.

Its integration across the Microsoft 365 suite improves the functionality of apps you’ll likely be familiar with (like Word and Excel), making it a valuable asset for various aspects of your business operations.

This lets your business use Copilot in different departments and projects, so you can maximise your investment in Microsoft 365. Microsoft Copilot adapts to the unique needs of each domain, letting you get the most out of the tool.

Here are some areas where you can implement Microsoft Copilot:

  • Marketing
  • Human resources (HR)
  • Finance
  • Sales
  • Customer service
  • Product development
Microsoft Copilot infographic
Using Microsoft Copilot brings various benefits to your business.

Steps to Implement Microsoft Copilot in Your Business

Now that you know what benefits Microsoft Copilot can bring to your business, here’s a step-by-step guide on how to implement it into your workflows.

Step 1: Assess Your Needs

First, you’ll need to pinpoint specific business functions or processes that could benefit from automation and improved efficiency. Common areas include marketing, finance, and customer service.

Then, you’ll need to determine what you want to achieve with Microsoft Copilot. These might be goals like reducing time spent on common tasks, improving decision-making with data-driven insights, or improving customer engagement.

Step 2: Get Microsoft 365

If your business doesn’t have Microsoft 365 already, you’ll want to purchase a subscription, as Copilot integrates with many 365 applications.

Afterwards, familiarise yourself with Microsoft Copilot’s capabilities and how they align with your identified needs from step 1.

Step 3: Plan Your Integration

Based on your needs assessment, decide which Microsoft 365 applications and Microsoft Copilot features to roll out first. Prioritise based on the impact on your business goals.

Develop an action plan for how Copilot will be integrated with your existing workflows. You might consider starting with a pilot program in one department or for a specific task. This lets you carry out real-world testing of Microsoft Copilot’s capabilities. You’ll also gain a lot of insights into the best method of expanding its use across your business.

Step 4: Train Your Team

Organise training courses for your employees on using Copilot, primarily focusing on the features and applications relevant to their roles.

You should also provide access to tutorials, guides, and Microsoft support resources to help your team familiarise themselves with Copilot.

Here are some resources that can help with this:

Step 5: Implement and Customise

Next, you can implement Microsoft Copilot according to your integration plan, starting with the prioritised areas.

You’ll want to use Copilot’s customisation options to tailor it to your specific business processes and data, which will make sure that it meets your unique business needs. You may need to train Copilot on your specific business terminology and document formats to do so.

Step 6: Monitor and Adjust

Lastly, collect feedback from your team on Copilot’s performance, usability, and impact on their workflows.

You can then use this feedback to make necessary adjustments, optimising Copilot’s integration into your business processes for maximum benefit. This might include:

  • Further customising Microsoft Copilot
  • Additional training for certain teams in your business
  • Expanding Microsoft Copilot’s use to new areas based on initial successes

Next Steps

Automating repetitive tasks and letting your team focus on more demanding tasks can make your business processes significantly more efficient. It also helps you save time and reduce errors while helping your team collaborate more efficiently.

If you’ve decided that Microsoft Copilot will be beneficial for improving your business operations, or if you’re still on the fence about its suitability for your business in particular, reach out to us if you have any questions about its AI-powered features or the implementation process.


Is Microsoft Copilot worth it?

We believe that Copilot is absolutely worth it for SMBs since it has a lot of practical usage. It’s able to automate a lot of routine tasks, boost productivity, and provide data-driven insights quickly. 70% of Microsoft Copilot users said they were more productive after using it.

Customising and scaling its features also helps since Microsoft Copilot can adjust to your business’s evolving needs.

What is the difference between Microsoft Copilot and GitHub Copilot?

Although both use AI to boost productivity, they’re designed for different purposes.

Microsoft Copilot is an AI-powered tool integrated within Microsoft 365 to improve business operations across apps like Word, Excel, and Teams. It targets a broad range of business functions.

On the other hand, GitHub Copilot is focused on software development. It acts like an AI pair programmer by providing code suggestions in real time within a coding environment. GitHub Copilot learns from the huge amount of code available on GitHub, so developers can speed up the coding process and make fewer mistakes.

Is Microsoft Copilot GDPR compliant?

Yes, Microsoft Copilot is designed to be general data protection regulation (GDPR) compliant. Microsoft is committed to ensuring all of its products and services comply with GDPR and other privacy laws.

However, your business should still conduct its own GDPR compliance assessments in relation to how you use Microsoft Copilot and any data processed through it.