The Internet of Things (IoT) can make a huge impact on small businesses, no matter the industry. There are many reasons why companies need to start thinking about implementing smart technology in their strategies. Here are 5 ways in which your SMB can capitalize on IoT.
What Is IoT?
IoT refers to a systematic way of physical objects connecting to sensors that can collect and transfer data through a wireless network. "Things" can refer to many different devices.
One example is a refrigerator that can connect to your smartphone and make grocery lists when you're low on stock. Other devices can include TVs, cars, thermostats, and more.
However, there are several ways it can benefit businesses as well. Many small companies are working toward growth with technology. Research has shown that 19% of SMBs have a defined business strategy with digital technology, and 24% are working on initiatives.
IoT can enhance the way businesses operate, especially when it comes to productivity and better customer service.
1. Reduces Costs
IoT makes things more accessible and affordable for small businesses with increased protection and security measures. Security cameras have significantly changed over the years, and you can view footage remotely with a mobile phone or a smart device.
SMB's can also implement other technologies such as wireless alarms and motion detectors to increase security.
IoT can save small businesses a fortune through energy efficiency. For example, companies can reduce their monthly expenses by installing a smart thermostat. These devices monitor energy use and manage HVAC systems to maintain an ideal temperature at all times.
2. Boosts Inventory Efficiency
Many businesses must manage and maintain their inventory effectively. Poor management can lead to inefficiencies, including overstock, customer complaints and inaccurate forecasts.
Small businesses can use IoT to organize their inventory structure more efficiently. Studies show that 46% of companies that implement IoT technology experienced efficiency gains. IoT can help warehouse managers keep track of stock levels by using sensors.
This technology gives businesses the power to keep everything in order while also meeting customer demands.
3. Ensures Customer Satisfaction
IoT is enhancing the customer experience with personalization. This system creates a customer-centric approach by analyzing behavior. This technology can help small businesses focus on what someone truly wants. And it can enable prompt, responsive communication (e.g., using chatbots).
IoT devices can also analyze data by tracking someone’s purchase history, feedback, and reviews. Your business can pay attention to features that matter and produce quality products by focusing on feedback.
IoT can also make checkout more seamless. Brick-and-mortar stores allow customers to grab products and walk out without any interaction with a cashier. Sensors provide more convenience by automatically detecting items in their hands. They then scan and charge a customer's bank account accordingly.
4. Promotes Remote Work
IoT is making remote work even more possible. Businesses can boost productivity levels by allowing home-based employees to connect their tech devices to other tools in the office.
Workers can have access to printers, inventory sensors, and security cameras from any location. This accessibility lets them stay connected and monitor every aspect of business, creating more efficient work production.
5. Fills the Labor Gap
Most small businesses are experiencing difficulty staffing. IoT can ameliorate the problem by providing some technology solutions. For example, in the construction industry, IoT devices may be helpful in providing remote access to worksites and help with paperwork and inspections.
Getting Smart About Small Business IoT
Small businesses have the power to thrive with the IoT. The benefit of technology will only make companies more competitive and profitable in several ways. Leveraging the advantages of technology enables looking forward to more operational enhancements and customer satisfaction.