One of the top priorities for any start-up these days has to be technological savvy. Tech developments are constantly shaping business practices, and in a general sense the world of technology is advancing more rapidly than ever before. A start-up that hopes to be competitive needs to take advantage of whatever opportunities there are to stay ahead of the curve.
One thing that comes to mind is the Internet of Things. This expansive, limitless network of connected systems and devices is being integrated in businesses of all sizes, and can assist with everything from building security to HR practices. With strategic implementation of the IoT, you can make your start-up operate more efficiently and, in all likelihood, with lower costs. Here are a few tips on how to go about it.
Adopt Smart Security
As mentioned here, small businesses can gain peace of mind from investing in smart locks and IoT security companies. And the same is true of any start-up that involves a physical location. Naturally if your business is operating exclusively online this won’t be as much of a concern. But if you have a store location or you’re preparing to open one, smart locks, connected security cameras and the like can ease your stress and save you money on more expensive and less effective security measures. Basically, you can enable yourself to have full control over who can enter your start-up location and when, and also have remote access to a constant camera feed, just in case.
Use Mobile Card Readers
The same article referenced in the previous section on smart security also mentions that companies would do well to adopt mobile card readers. This is certainly true of any start-up, be it a food truck or a large store, that hopes to establish a forward-looking technological presence. The benefit of these card readers is not just that they attach to phones and iPads and keep you from having to invest in clunky cash registers. In fact it’s that they’re connected through the IoT to programs on all of your relevant devices, and can log transactions and analyze data automatically.
Use A Vehicle Management System
This point depends on the nature of your start-up. But if you happen to be using any kind of transportation—perhaps a van or truck for deliveries, or a few different vehicles for a blossoming food truck or pop-up shop business—you may want to look into fleet management IoT systems. This article explains the level of control that you or a fleet manager can gain over vehicles simply implanting WiFi and IoT systems. Routing information can be updated on the go for drivers, vehicle diagnostics can be measured, and you can even have a full understanding of driver performance. These factors, in addition to being able to see where your vehicles are at any given point, make vehicle management systems vital for any rising start-ups that do incorporate some form of transportation.
Employ Collaboration Software Programs
This is a broad concept, but it’s the one in which the IoT has the most potential to improve start-up businesses. The idea is simply that cloud-based apps and software programs can significantly improve your ability to work and communicate remotely with any employees or even clients you may have. Some have written about the potential for programs like this to simplify the task of HR management, but really the idea of collaboration programs extends to pretty much every aspect of business management.
Consider the following:
- You can have employees log activity in a program that analyzes their performance
- You can post presentations and documents that others can view or contribute to remotely
- You can open channels of communication that are constantly available to anyone associated with the business
- You can handle payment processing and transaction logging with incredible ease
There are many other potential IoT benefits out there, depending on what kind of start-up you’re working on. But hopefully this collection of ideas conveyed the idea that the IoT can reach into just about every corner of a modern business, and can enable you to work more quickly and cost-effectively.
About the Author
Blaine Kelton is a freelance writer out of California who loves covering anything related to business and technology. Most recently, he’s had a particular interest in the IoT.