It is estimated that by the year 2020, more than 24 billion devices will be connected to the Internet. We can already see how these connections are having a huge impact on the way we work and live. If you are a small business owner, it is likely that your work and personal life are already intertwined, especially considering how keeping a business running can be a 24/7 job.
With help from the Internet of things or IoT, a small business owner can work more efficiently and streamline their processes. By taking advantage of those 24 billion connected devices, any business owner can learn to work smarter rather than harder.
In fact, there are five ways that any small business can leverage the IoT technology.
- By using it as a virtual assistant: any small business can take advantage of an Amazon Alexa or a Google Assistant device. You can even link your smart phone to Google Assistant. Either of these devices can control other smart devices, which is especially helpful when you need to add things to your calendar, manage your tasks, set reminders, or take notes. You can even use these assistants for social media needs. This new technology is bringing about a trend that should be here to stay.
- Reduce your multitasking: studies show that the average person does not multitask well. Using IoT technology, you can set up workflows to add everything you need into a single place, thus making the most of your time. The system can be customized to work for your needs.
- Make office maintenance automatic: if your company is small, forgetting to lock the door or leaving on your lights overnight can cost you a lot. By using IoT devices, you can automate your office routine to take off the pressure. You can make the system as basic or as complex as you need. To make your office space a smart space, you no longer need to purchase a multi-device package or a complicated system. By simply spending a couple of hundred dollars, your office can be upgraded to a set of connected light bulbs and a state-of-the-art smart lock. If you really want to get fancy, you can opt to buy a coffee maker that automatically starts brewing as soon as you walk through the door.
- Better communication with your team: don’t worry, we’re not suggesting that you replace yourself with a robot boss. But, many of the updates and routine reminders your employees need can be automated. It is always important to share information with your team when needed, and you can do so with communication tools such as Telegram, GroupMe, CiscoSpark, Skype, and Slack. You can even leave yourself automatic reminders before going into your meetings using this technology.
- Keep an eye on the competition: if you own a small business, there’s a chance you don’t make it a priority to hire a PR team to keep an eye on your competition. Doing so could give you an edge, though. Using IoT technology, you can use the keyword and search functions for services like Reddit and Twitter to receive notifications when one of your rivals posts an update. Perhaps you should consider subscribing to their newsletters as well so you can inspire and motivate your team.
As you can see, there are many ways your small business can use IoT technology. It can give you the ability to outsource many of your routine tasks so you can focus on the job at hand. And, don’t worry, it won’t steal your job, it will simply empower you to do your job better.