Recently, there has been a significant discussion on the Internet of Things (IoT), especially as intelligent technologies evolve. The Internet of Things is simply the process of connecting devices (from wearable smartwatches to thermostats, smart locks, and security cameras) to the internet using sensors. As a day-to-day part of our business, smartphones and devices are becoming increasingly popular and IoT benefits small businesses.
Technologically literate consumers know how the Internet of Things is expected to affect their lives, but what does this upcoming trend mean for businesses? Companies that remain apathetic to this area will be unable to compete effectively with their competitors as the region continues to grow and expand.
While IoT is used daily, business owners do not always realize the benefits and ramifications of an ultra-connected world. According to a recent study, many small-business owners aren’t familiar with the term “Internet of Things.” Whether or not owners are prepared for the shift, IoT will only continue to increase its impact on small businesses – and here are a few of the ways in which this will happen.
How Can IoT Benefit Small Businesses’ Growth?
Owning a small business can encompass significant challenges and responsibilities, and nothing can be more liberating than knowing a large portion of it can be automated for efficiency. This is the sole role of IoT and how IoT benefits small businesses.
Using GPS, small business owners like plumbers or cab companies can reduce transportation costs. Programming the devices to track electricity and fuel consumption can indicate the oversights and help owners reduce them.
Business Process Improvement
For example, using refrigerators connected to the internet equipped with the ability to detect all packages with expiration dates can be highly beneficial in the case of a restaurant. It is also possible to automatically program these devices to order items that are low on storage shelves. Thus, the buyer can plan purchases and check the storage status with a click.
It is also possible for IoT companies to program robots to store and ship goods, thus enabling retailers to streamline their processes and monitor the top and bottom-selling products in real time.
Employee Productivity Improvement
The use of virtual assistants for tasks such as scheduling meetings and conducting research can help employees refocus their energies on higher-priority assignments. Devices that can maintain the workflow, detect potential problems and take appropriate action are a great time saver.
Using IoT means receiving and processing a lot of data that can be implemented in the business. This way, companies can extend their knowledge of the consumer’s needs and receive valuable feedback that can drastically affect the direction they might take.
Data centers, production systems, sensors, and Internet of Things systems generate large amounts of data. This information assists companies in providing opportunities for innovation and growth and cooperation with similar branches.
Every owner is determined to keep their business safe. Hiring a person to look after the goods or store valuable written data with a fire extinguisher is a thing of the past. With alarms, cameras, movement sensors, warmth detectors, warehouses, and clouds, it is much easier to prevent and document loss.
The increasing role of IoT on small businesses’ growth is quantifiable – and it’s significant. In a survey conducted by Forbes, entrepreneurs say using IoT boosted their profits up to 5%, increased productivity up to 25%, reduced costs up to 25% and prevented anticipated errors up to 70%.
At this point, implementing IoT may seem challenging, given the costs involved. Since more than half of global employment comes from small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs), upscaling SMEs with IoT could have a significant impact on cost reductions, global economic growth, and environmental sustainability in the future.