Small business owners have a lot on their hands. Hiring, training, leading, and marketing are just a few things they're responsible for. That's why finding ways to automate routine tasks and reducing the energy required to operate can really make a difference (in more ways than you might think).
Today, we are revealing the best smart devices to help small businesses run smoother and with lower energy costs. There are a lot of new and exciting technologies available even to the smallest of businesses or budgets.
Keep reading to learn more about these smart devices.
What is small business smart technology?
You might be wondering, when did all of our everyday devices become so “smart” all of a sudden? We’ve got Smart TVs, Smartphones, Smart thermostats, Smart cars, and heck I’m sure it won’t be long until we all have Smart toilets. While it’s debatable how “smart” some of these products are at times (anyone else get told by Siri to take a left when it was a right on the highway? Us too…).
What cannot be denied is this…
The explosion of the internet of things, or IoT for short, has arrived. What this means for you is that many everyday devices around the house and office are now enabled with Bluetooth to connect to our internet. For example, new smart thermostats monitor the temperature in your building and because they are connected to the internet, can be adjusted from your phone at any time. They can even be programmed to work with other internet devices in your building.
Below we cover the most popular smart energy devices available for small businesses:
One of the most famous small business energy-saving devices is the LED light bulb. Developed in the 1960s, but not popularized until the early 2000s, companies first used them as indicator lights for circuit boards. Well known for their durability and energy efficiency, they were even used to help land the first astronaut on the moon. Pretty cool, right?
LED bulbs are not only more energy efficient than traditional incandescent bulbs, but they also last much longer. This means that you’ll save money on both your energy bill and your bulb replacement costs. It's a double win!
2) Smart Thermostats And HVACs
Another great option for small businesses is a smart thermostat. They can be controlled remotely, so you can make sure that your office or store stays at the perfect temperature no matter the time of day.
You can also find out the time each day when your electricity provider rates are highest, and program your smart devices to use energy during ‘off-peak hours.’ Simply look at your utility company listed on your monthly electricity bill and go to their website. There you will find the power rates at certain hours of the day.
To save even further, make sure to get your HVAC system checked once per year and fix any energy-draining issues. Set a date each month to inspect and change HVAC filters as well. This can save you hundreds of dollars.
3) Automated Digital Assistants And Chat A.I.
Digital assistants can help automate a variety of routine tasks freeing up you and your team’s time for more productive things. They can help you schedule meetings (and get timely reminders), search emails, and quickly access important company data making your business operations more efficient overall. In addition, you can use digital assistants to create a hub for all your smart devices and control them all in one place.
Regarding sales and marketing, chat assistants can be used to respond to website visitors or company Facebook page visitors. They can be used to answer frequently asked questions or even phone calls. All in all they reduce the time and energy required to complete everyday steps.
4) Smart Locks And Security System
Smart locks allow you to control the locks on your doors remotely, so you can let employees come and go freely from your business – no matter where you are. You can also get alerts when someone enters or leaves the building, and track the volume of foot traffic even. No small business is complete without a trusty security system, and these days there are some amazing low-cost and energy efficient options available.
Other ways small businesses can save on their energy and reduce their carbon footprint:
- Start by measuring and tracking your monthly energy usage – all you have to do check out our check out our how to read your bill page to learn all about energy usage.
- Set a daily reminder or post a sign at the exit to turn off lights and equipment when not in use.
- Purchase certified energy-efficient products like ENERGY STAR qualified office equipment.
- Replace incandescent light bulbs with ENERGY STAR qualified compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) wherever appropriate.
- Install light-emitting diode (LED) exit signs.
- Control the direct sun through windows in both summer and winter to prevent or encourage heat gain.
- There are even Smart energy grants available for using certain energy sources at your business.
Are there any risks in using smart energy technology for small businesses?
Smart devices are simple devices with basic security settings. Their security system is not regularly updated like your computer’s security system. While generally safe, make sure to password secure any internet networks connected to smart devices at your small business or home. You can always contact the seller with questions.
All in all, they are a great way to increase efficiency, reduce energy expenditure and automate a lot of mundane tasks, allowing you to free up your team’s valuable time. A 2017 study from Deloitte even found that digitally engaged businesses earn two times more revenue per employee. As much as 40% of Millennials reported they chose a job because the company performed better on sustainability than other choices. It’s a win-win!
How to get started saving today?
If you’re looking for a way to save energy and money, investing in smart devices is a great place to start!
Not only will you be doing your small business a favor, but you’ll also be helping the environment.
Be sure to share this article with any friends or co-workers looking to reduce their carbon footprint and monthly bill at the same time!