As more devices become interconnected, the Internet of Things is guaranteed to revolutionize the way human beings live and work
Technology transforms the way companies conduct business on a daily basis. One phenomenon that is poised to take those changes even further is the Internet of Things. The Internet of Things (IoT) refers to the interconnection of computing devices via the Internet, allowing them to send and receive different data. Everything from smartphones to washing machines to earbuds to wearable technology can be part of the IoT. It’s a gigantic network of “things” around the world that are connected. According a report by analyst firm Gartner, the year 2020 will see the number of connected devices in the world rise to a whopping 26 billion.
For small businesses that choose to embrace the increasing connectedness of the world and jump on the IoT bandwagon, there are many ways IoT can improve entrepreneurs’ bottom line. In fact, Business Insider Intelligence expects that between 2015, and 2020, “business investments in the IoT will grow from $215 billion to $832 billion.”
The Internet of Things can dramatically affect your small business.
- Improve Efficiency
Two college students founded Bigbelly back in 2003 with the goal of manufacturing solar-powered trash cans that send notifications to the right officials when the cans are full. This business model improved trash-collecting efficiency in New York City, as collectors could adjust their routes according to which cans did and did not need to be emptied. New York reduced its frequency of trash collecting in certain locations from a few times a day to just twice.
- Enhance Security
With so much data, equipment, and inventory on the premises of your small business, security can be a constant worry for many entrepreneurs. The Internet of Things has made it possible for small business owners to install smart locks, set up security cameras, and gain some peace of mind. Even when you’re not on site, you can monitor your offices in real time to ensure things are running smoothly.
- Track Your Shipments
Many businesses, especially e-commerce sites, offer customers the option of having products shipped to them in the mail. You can keep track of your shipments by using smart fleet trackers. This allows you and your customers to track the packages, reducing customer frustration and potentially saving your business time and money as well.
- Cheaper Production
With Internet of Things, you can expect production costs to go down as the machines and other equipment you use in the factory get simpler and more efficient. Maintenance may also become less of a headache, with equipment that works better and communicates with other machines more effectively.
- Securing Small Business Funding
Following the Great Recession and the ensuing “credit crunch,” entrepreneurs searching for small business loans turned to the internet in much the same way that shoppers turned to Amazon for retail spending.
The process of collecting loan data and assessing risk has also become more efficient. Financial Technology (FinTech) Lenders now collect data from operational devices within the supply chain and distribution process to monitor the up-to-the-minute operational health of a company.
The result has been dramatic. FinTech Lenders now can reduce loan default rates and at the same time grant loans to companies with weaker credit profiles than required by traditional lenders.
The Internet of Things is here, and it will change the way small businesses operate. These are just some of the ways that you can expect IoT to change your entrepreneurial style.