You’ve probably heard the term Internet of Things (IoT), but do you know what it is or how it can impact small businesses? Let’s look at the IoT and discuss five ways it can benefit your business.

What Is IoT, and How Does it Work?

Image via Flickr by Guido van Nispen

The IoT is a network of physical devices that exchange information via software, sensors, and other technologies to eliminate the need for human-to-human or human-to-computer interactions. The thing can include automobile sensors for your tire pressure or oil life or even a heart monitor implant. IoT devices share the data collected via an IoT gateway or other device that analyzes and utilizes the information. Humans usually only need to provide the devices with instructions on how to access and use the data collected, and then they go to work on their own.

The Benefits from Implementing IoT


The IoT eliminates labor costs by automating many processes, allowing companies to improve service delivery while reducing waste. Ultimately, these automated processes decrease the cost of manufacturing and delivering goods and services. The IoT enables businesses to receive actionable information in real-time, helping them save money and generate more revenue. This data includes information on how to market their products and services as well as to learn what customers want from their products and services.

Increased Customer Service

The IoT is also changing the way customer service works, thanks to the ability to bypass the human-to-human component in many cases. Today, if you have an issue with an appliance, you may utilize tech support via online chat instead of calling a service provider. This online chat might be with a text bot that narrows down the problem through automated questions and ultimately helps you resolve the issue independently.

Also, many smart devices have the capability to anticipate a problem and make arrangements to fix it before you even notice it. For example, your smart refrigerator may notify you when it’s time to change filters.

Streamline the Work Process

With the ability of sensors and diagnostic equipment to provide monitoring around the clock, a company can easily track metrics and performance to ensure optimum operation. In addition, an IoT system can notify requisite personnel immediately when an issue is discovered or even handle the issue automatically. All of this works to streamline the entire process, increasing productivity while decreasing downtime.

Help With Data and Analytics

IoT is based entirely on analyzing the data received from software and sensors as devices communicate. The analysis of this data can help increase potential earnings, optimize or improve products, and allow the company to make effective and informed decisions. Businesses, particularly small businesses, can use this information to implement IoT into their business and marketing strategy, thus reaping the benefits of the data collected.

Operational Safety

The sensors and diagnostic equipment aggregate data that can be used to detect and mitigate potential issues and downtime proactively. For example, your IoT system can detect power loss, flooding, temperature fluctuations, etc., and alert you or make system modifications to deal with the issue. Also, IoT systems can utilize door, window, and other detection sensors to notify you of unauthorized entry.

As a small business owner, it is time to see what the IoT can do for you.