We often talk about IoT (Internet of Things) technology in the context of homeowners, but it can just as easily be used by businesses.
Whether you’re looking to cut down on your energy costs or improve your security system, investing in smart devices for your business could be a great option.
Not sure where to start? Here are three top tips for how to use IoT for your business.
Tip #1: Invest in a Smart Security System for Your Business
Theft and burglary can be a big headache for business owners — and they happen more often than you might think. In fact, according to an Insureon survey in 2018, 22% of small businesses in the United States suffered a burglary or theft.
You might be surprised to learn that smart technology can be of great help when it comes to protecting your business from theft and other security problems.
First things first, you should consider investing in a business security setup that includes a smart doorbell camera and a smart lock.
Smart doorbells allow you to see who’s at your property door even when you aren’t there. When the doorbell detects motion, you’ll receive notifications on your phone, tablet, or PC. You can then see, hear, and speak to visitors in real-time — whether you’re in the back office or halfway around the world.
Once installed, you can use the August app to control your door to lock or unlock, grant guest access, see who came and went, and let anyone in from anywhere. All you have to do is install the Smart Lock Pro to your existing deadbolt on the inside of your door while the outside lock stays the same — you keep the existing keys.
Notion’s multifunctional smart sensors are also great for keeping track of opening and closing doors in your business. Simply install the sensors on your exterior and interior doors, garages, or windows for smart self-monitoring protection. If any of these get opened, you’ll be notified on your smartphone right away.
Tip #2: Lower Your Energy Costs With Smart Lighting & Thermostats
As a business owner, you’re busy managing inventory, scheduling shifts, dealing with finances, and much more. Keeping a keen eye on your monthly energy consumption probably isn’t at the top of your to-do list.
Luckily, there are plenty of ways to lower your energy costs without spending a lot of time or money. Many of the best smart home tools work well for businesses.
As a first step, we recommend conducting an energy audit. This will help you pinpoint your biggest energy inefficiencies and highlight opportunities for energy-efficient equipment, such as smart lighting that turns on and off automatically or a smart thermostat that tracks your habits and makes automatic adjustments.
It’s hard to overstate how big of a difference energy-efficient, IoT for business upgrades can make for your business’s energy consumption. According to Energy Star, small businesses that invest strategically can cut their utility costs by as much as 10% to 30% each year. That’s a huge amount of savings — especially when you consider that small businesses in the U.S. spend more than $60 billion a year on energy.
Here are a few common IoT devices for your business that can help you cut down your energy bill:
- Smart thermostats like Sensi, Nest, and Ecobee
- Smart light bulbs like Philips Hue
- Smart plugs like Wemo and ConnectSense
- Smart appliances
- Smart sprinkler systems like Rachio
Tip #3: Stay on Top of Water Damage and Other Hazards
Whether you own or lease your business space, it’s important to mitigate any property-related problems, such as water damage and poor insulation, before they turn into large-scale issues that require insurance claims.
Luckily, this is another area where IoT technology can have a big impact on your business.
In fact, with Notion’s suite of smart self-monitoring devices, business owners can help protect their property by monitoring doors, water leaks, smoke and carbon monoxide, temperature changes, and more.
If you’ve ever worried about water leaks and flooding, you can take some comfort in knowing that, with the right tools, you canreduce costly water damage claims by around 93%. It’s simply a matter of looking out for plumbing problems, leaks, and other water-related issues.
This is, of course, easier said than done.
One of the biggest problems with water leaks is that they're often difficult to detect — especially if the source of the problem is hidden behind a wall or below a floor. As such, it’s important to keep an eye out for any signs of water damage, such as moisture, mildew, stain patches, and foundation cracks.
If a water leak is detected, you’ll immediately receive a notification on your smartphone so you can quickly address issues before they become a problem. This can help you save a ton of time and money while preventing long-term damage to your property.
Fire, Smoke & Carbon Monoxide
As a business owner, you’re responsible for the safety of your employees, clients, and property, and a big part of this is keeping up to date with fire safety protocols and equipment. For this, you may want to check out our business owner’s guide to fire safety, which covers how to create a fire safety plan and the most important fire safety equipment to keep in your place of work.
But if you’re looking for a way to get “smarter” with your fire, smoke, and carbon monoxide (CO) protection, you may want to consider investing in IoT technology for your business, such as smart smoke detectors or smart plugs and outlets. These are great for preventing or detecting fires earlier.
Take smart smoke detectors. Unlike normal smoke detectors, smart detectors can send alarm notifications to your smartphone and they can also be wired into your business’s security system so that your fire department gets alerted when the alarm goes off.
Another option is to install Notion Sensors next to your existing smoke and carbon monoxide alarms, saving yourself from the time and expense of rehauling your smoke alarm system. As with our water leak detection, Notion will send an alert to your smartphone as soon as the wireless sensors detect that your smoke alarm or carbon monoxide detector is going off.And that’s it! We hope this article provided you with all the tips you need to create a “smart” business./span>