The Internet of Things (IoT) for Small Businesses
The Internet of Things (IoT) is creating new opportunities for technology advancements nearly every day. IoT can help with everyday tasks and improve the functions and processes at home and in large scale businesses. But the impact of IoT on smaller scale businesses can be astronomical and has the power to really help these smaller businesses get their feet in the ground and become competitive.
IoT of course covers any non- human thing connected to the internet. What was once a rather niche concept created to allow humans to interact with humans (think email etc.) has now expanded to include a mass of everyday items you might not even think of connected to the internet.
There are numerous ways in which IoT can provide new opportunities and chance for success for small businesses. Below are just four of the many significant opportunities IoT can provide small businesses:
Communication needs to be effective in the workplace for it to be an efficient and successful business. IoT allows for routine reminders and updates shared with employees to be automated and easily delivered. Using these information providing systems like GroupMe or CiscoSpark ensures the correct information is being delivered when it needs to be and to the correct recipient.
IoT lets all members of staff know where they need to be and what they need to be doing at all times.You can use these technologies for organising meetings, figuring out who is in and out of the office on any given day and to track what work is being completed and by who.
Automate Maintenance and Improve Office
When you’re running or working in a small business, mistakes that may seem small can have big effects. To prevent mistakes like leaving lights on or doors unlocked, you can again use IoT. Smart locks and connected light bulbs prevent these very common mistakes from happening, improving the overall function and preventing frequent maintenance being needed. these devices can be automated for your convenience and can even assist in the opening of your store for you to, again, improve efficiency.
Have Access to an Unpaid Virtual Assistant
The world is currently obsessed with virtual assistants. From Amazon’s Alexa and Google Home to Siri and Google on your smartphone, people love the ability to voice commands and have them completed instantly with little to no interruption to what they are doing. Using these IoT devices in business takes away the need for an actual assistant. This can be especially helpful in small businesses when you simply do not have the space or complete need for an assistant.
These IoT devices create schedules, timers and reminders. They can tell you basically anything you want to know with a simple question and (if all connected) can even control lights, TVs and the indoor temperature. They help make the day easier for businessmen and can work especially well in smaller businesses.
Monitor Competitors with Ease
Understanding your competitors and how they are going compared to you is really important in business, especially at the start. While this is a priority, taking the time or spending the money to monitor all your competitors sometimes is just not logical or a high priority in terms of where to put your energy and time when you’re a smaller business. IoT can help to monitor your competitors for you. Helping you to understand where they are in the competition compared to you without you having to put too much physical energy into researching this.
Small businesses have the opportunity to take advantage of IoT and should do so. It can greatly assist in building their business and in maintaining centralised focus and communication within the business between employees and devices.
If you are looking for IT solutions, get in touch today!