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How Do Small Businesses Use IoT? Featured

How Do Small Businesses Use IoT? person using computer keyboard near green circuit board

 Just about a decade or two ago, the internet of things (IoT)- a network of devices or sensors connected to the internet- was an alien term to many. Scholars and researchers only understood it. Fast-forward 2021, IoT is now one of the technologies that almost everyone talks about and is expected to provide businesses with money-saving opportunities and valuable information as more innovative devices link together. The world has now accepted IoT as the future of almost every industry, which will benefit many organizations and individuals. In-home IoT devices such as Alexa, Wi-Fi doorbells, smart thermostats, and smart appliances are becoming common at home. Here are ways in which small businesses can use IoT.

  • Virtual assistants

Many industry professionals will tell you that IoT has endless potential and benefits to any organization. One of these benefits is that it makes virtual assistants such as Siri available for use by individuals and teams. These virtual assistants add the aspects of productivity and efficiency needed by any small business in the workplace. Small businesses can use virtual assistants to reduce the cost of hiring staff and help save time fact-checking and scheduling meetings. They provide a way of controlling inventory by helping track items that are available and even reorder where necessary.

  • Equipment maintenance

Equipment downtime is one of the dangers that threaten the existence of any small business. The majority of small businesses lose a couple of hours, days, or even months if their most critical equipment stops or crashes in the middle of operations leading to losses of thousands of dollars per hour. Now imagine being able to know the possibility of equipment failing days or even months before it does? That is exactly what IoT sensors can do! When properly set up, IoT sensors can identify the problems and warn businesses of an impending equipment breakdown to enable the owners or managers to schedule maintenance ahead of time. This reduces the possibility of downtime happening or reduces it drastically. This saves a lot of costs and helps manage the mess that can occur in case equipment breaks down.

  • Workplace safety

Regardless of the size of an organization, safety always comes first before everything else. For the physical security of brick-and-mortar offices to be enhanced, IoT smart lock systems are becoming useful. These systems allow selective and keyless access to offices and facilities and help control and monitor entry and exit points. The measure can also consist of connected cameras to visually monitor facilities at all times. Intelligent lighting systems detect movements and deter crime.   

  • Gather business insights

The biggest advantage of connected devices is their ability to access and collect data that businesses need regarding their customers. With the right technologies and devices in place, small businesses can collect critical data about their clients, process it, and use the actionable insights to create a better customer experience. Connecting to customer IoT devices allows your business to get direct information about the customers and their personal preferences. This makes it easy to deliver personalized products or services.

In summary, small businesses can benefit from IoT devices just as large corporations. However, the difference is in the ability of small businesses to implement IoT technology in large scale large big businesses. Regardless of this, you can always start small and grow as your businesses increases in size. Furthermore, what IoT can do depends on the company’s experience, business type, and implementation cost. Regardless of the differences, small businesses too can gain a lot by implementing IoT.

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Scott Koegler

Scott Koegler is Executive Editor for PMG360. He is a technology writer and editor with 20+ years experience delivering high value content to readers and publishers. 

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