IoT is the buzzword today. By 2020, we’ll be having over 24mn connected devices. The impulse of this connection is already making an impact the world over, and has drastically transformed the way we live, work, and communicate.
Beyond doubt, for every small business, work and life and closely intertwined as more and more businesses are now active 24x7. Fortunately, the internet of things (IoT) may well help small businesses in streamlining their operations and work in a more efficient manner.
You must consider those 24bn connected devices and services as a massive opportunity for working smarter, and not harder.
Let’s walk through the top 5 ways in which small business owners can leverage the power of IoT and connected devices:
- Invest in an assistant
Consider investing in an Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant device.
You can also make the most of Google Assistant with your mobile devices.
Smartphones can easily be used for controlling other smart devices; however, the assist truly comes into picture when you connect it to task management, reminder and note-taking systems, your social media profiles and even calendars.
More than 98% of IFTTT users surveyed recently believe that they will be using their voice assistants in the next 5 years, and it’s surely a trend that is here to go the distance.
2. Cut down on multitasking
How many windows, tabs and applications you have open at any given time? Studies reveal that almost all of us are simply inefficient at multitasking.
Consider making the most of available time by setting up planned workflows that integrate most of the things you require at one spot.
This can relate to Trello, OneNote, Slack, Evernote, Google Drive, and even your calendar or email inbox - you can easily customize the system in a manner that works the best for you, and then include all important notifications, leads and sales data, news, or campaign stats.
3. Office maintenance automation
At a small business, forgetting to lock the doors once you step out, leaving the lights turned on overnight and several other small things can lead to massive consequences.
Automating the office routine can certainly take the pressure off you and various IoT devices can help you achieve automation efficiently in a controlled cost. It does not, however, needs to be an immense outlay: a smart office premises no longer needs installation of complex systems or buying some expensive multi-device package.
For just a few hundred dollars, small businesses can easily bring in a state-of-the-art smart lock along with some connected light bulbs.
You can, thus, turn on automation at your office location that will automatically open up and shut down the office for you. You can also have money left over to get a coffee machine that will start making wholesome coffee when you walk in to the premises.
How much money it can save you on Starbucks?
4. Communicate and collaborate effectively with your team
IoT hasn’t evolved to a stat where some robot boss is ready to take up your job. However, there’s every likelihood that some of your routine updates and reminders to be shared with your team can sure be automated.
If you are using a communication tool such as CiscoSpark, GroupMe, Telegram, Slack, or Skype, you can easily ensure that the right information is shared with your employees, in the right manner and at the right time. For instance, you can set auto reminders for yourself ahead of important meetings or for sharing important messages and news to a group.
5. Monitoring your competitors
For most small business owners, hiring a separate PR team for getting the scoop on their close competitors and the industry is perhaps very low on priority checklist. However, keeping a close eye on these aspects can certainly provide you a great edge.
Try using the keyword and search functions for services like Reddit and Twitter, or conventional news media, for getting notified whenever there is an update regarding one of your competitors. You can even subscribe to your competitor’s newsletters and funnel them to Slack or automatically forward them for sharing inspiration with your team.
IoT is surely the wave of the future. You can associate with an experienced IoT application development company to get a custom application developed in line with your unique business needs, and rest assured, there’s much to gain.