For many entrepreneurs, the Internet of Things (IoT) sounds like a jargon term that only relates to programmers or technology-focused businesses. In reality, the IoT affects all industries and can actually help entrepreneurs improve their business’s efficiency, customer relationships, and bottom line.
In the simplest of terms, the IoT is a network of objects that share and communicate information via some sort of Internet or Bluetooth connection. These objects can be toasters, sprinkler systems, or speakers. With a working connection, the number of “things” that can be automated is practically limitless. Heralded as the next Industrial Revolution, IoT technology is anticipated to bring in $6 trillion by 2020, meaning it will have a huge effect on the way entrepreneurs do business. Here are just five ways the IoT will help entrepreneurs build their startups, conduct business, and improve processes.
New Business Opportunities
A huge challenge for many startup owners is finding a market niche. Fortunately, as the IoT is expected to change the way both companies and consumers function, there’s going to be a lot more room for expansion across all industries. If you’re excited about smart technology, the coming years will provide many new business opportunities to create automated devices and apps to facilitate a wide variety of processes.
More Strategic Operations
The IoT makes it possible for you to equip your products with sensors that collect and communicate consumer data regarding usage, location, consumption, and more. This ability to extract data from your equipment, goods, and services means you can access more accurate information about how your customers interact with your products. You can then use this data to understand trends, anticipate future needs, and adjust to meet consumer demand. Pairing this insight with a strong internal smart mobile device policy — encouraging employees to engage with and analyze data over connected platforms — you can use the IoT to pave the way for more strategic business operations.
If you use IoT technology to automate and digitize more processes around the office — from making coffee to tending office plants — your employees won’t have to waste time on those more routine workplace tasks. This is particularly helpful if you’re launching a startup, as you can build your business with a smaller team and fewer costs. This can also help solve the hiring challenge so many small businesses face. While startups are notorious for requiring long hours for lower pay, automating trivial processes allows you to minimize team size, potentially offer higher pay, and emphasize the more creative elements of each position.
Stronger Organization and Productivity
Thanks to the IoT, it’s never been easier to stay organized and keep your team on top of tasks. By upgrading your standard production equipment with IoT tech, you can set up service reminders or low-supply notifications. Preemptively ensuring that all elements of the office are running smoothly will help eliminate downtime and improve efficiency. Taking things one step further, by incorporating smart lights and thermostats, you can create an optimal work environment to encourage productivity even during the slower hours of the day.
Better Self-Health Management
As an entrepreneur, a significant portion your business’s success relies on your personal achievements. And those personal achievements require a healthy mindset. The high demands of running a business can place entrepreneurs at risk for anxiety, stress, exhaustion, and other psychological and physical issues, but the IoT can help mitigate some of those problems. Devices like fitness trackers help ensure you get enough exercise. Smart water bottles can monitor your water intake and remind you to hydrate. Some smart watches can even monitor your stress levels, heart rate, and other health metrics, giving you clear indications as to when you need to take some time for yourself.
The advantages of the IoT don’t end with these five benefits. By using smart technology at home and around the office, you can create an expansive technological environment that will boost creativity and efficiency across the board.