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5 Ways to Automate Your Small Business

Any business wants to run more efficiently and smoothly. There are many ways to make sure we are serving a quality product or service to our customers while making a profit. Many of these things require a lot of time and hard work. However there are a few exceptions. Ways that you can run more efficiently, safely and profitably without putting in more time and effort.

This is what automation can bring to your business. It can save you time and effort dealing with many mundane routine tasks and preventive measures so that you can focus on more important aspects of your operations. Smart technology can give you more time to improve other aspects of your business that can bring back repeat customers, manage your staff more efficiently, prevent property damage and keep you competitive.

In this article we are going to look at five ways that not only save time but also make your operation more energy efficient and safe. These five ways are: smart lighting control, climate control, access control, smart flood detectors and water valves and of course smart security cameras.

Smart Lighting Control

Lighting control systems make it easy to create a more energy-efficient premises. One touch of a wall panel button or adjusting settings on a smart phone app can set all lights to the correct levels for overnight closing. Someone forget to turn the lights out? Check the lighting levels on your phone remotely or receive an alert. With occupancy sensors you can turn off unnecessary lights in hotel rooms for example, saving energy, money and the environment.

It can also ensure that the lighting settings are optimal for operations at various times of the day. Customer areas can have just the right mood and ambiance, whether you are running a restaurant or a retail storefront. In a hotel you can set a welcoming ambiance for guests with custom lighting control. Preprogramed scenes are extremely useful to help automatically set lighting to preset levels that are optimal for various events, operations and times of day.

Smart Climate Control

Smart climate controls can help to bring about efficiency benefits and create a more comfortable ambiance and environment. An automation system can easily let you adjust climate controls based on occupancy levels, for example in a facility like a conference center. You could even automate it based on times of the day or even weather forecasts.

Climate control automation yields efficiencies for almost any type of business or premises. Keeping offices cooler during the weekend or evening when unoccupied - especially during cold Canadian winters. Occupancy sensors can turn off lights and set the climate control to more economical settings in spaces not in use such as hotel rooms. A gym's temperature can be configured to be cooler for the prime hours when customers are exercising, and to a different setting when it's lightly occupied.

Access Control Systems

Many problems face the small business owner when it comes to access control. Employees can misplace keys or duplicated them. If the worker tasked with opening shop for the day can't get inside then it is left to a manager or even the owner to go to the location itself to open up at great inconvenience and potential loss of business. Providing a simple and easy way for your employees and visitors to enter your place of business, while also holding them accountable, is an important consideration.

Now even the smallest business can avoid these pitfalls with cost effective access control systems that will allow planned and monitored access to their places of business and operation. With even one smart lock installed at a key access point, now any business owner can remotely open the door for a trusted service contractor or assign access codes to key employees.

When a worker who had access to a key leaves your employment, you no longer need to change your locks. With smart access codes just deactivate their pin or change the main code to prevent them from gaining unauthorized entry. Or, for example, if a trusted HVAC contractor needs to gain access to your facility outside hours of operation, just have them give you a call to tell you that they have arrived and "buzz them in" with your security app from the comfort of your home. By adding a smart lock to different parts of your business you can control and monitor who enters important areas such as the office or storage.

Smart Flood Sensors and Water Valves and Meters

You may think your smart security system is primarily used for intrusion detection but you are just as likely to experience an environmental problem that can have disastrous consequences. A water leak caused by a frozen pipe or old hot water tank will lead to big problems, expensive repairs and loss of income if not properly insured. A fixture or appliance with a slow leak, if undetected, can end up costing hundreds of dollars on your next utility bill.

Consider the outcome of loss of heat in the winter when you are away, a leaking water heater, a broken machine supply hose, a leaking basement or a sewer back-up flood. This is every business owner's nightmare and unfortunately something that all too many have experienced to some extent.

Flood monitoring and water control can make all the difference. A smart flood detection device can be installed in vulnerable areas close to potential sources of water leakage. Meer seconds after the flood detector comes into contact with water it sends a signal to your alarm panel which then relays the information to your smart phone and monitoring station. This gives you valuable time to stop the leak by automatically closing your water main or local valve, to move water vulnerable items out of the way and contain the damage.

A smart water valve installed on your water main or line can be immediately signaled to close and essentially stop the flow of water to the leak. A smart meter will help you detect persistent leaks or running toilets that cause water bills to skyrocket over time. It can alert you to excessive water consumption at work or at a rental property. It can even alert you to low water temperatures if your pipes are at risk of freezing in winter.

Smart Video Surveillance

When it comes to video surveillance, smart monitoring is essential to any business location. The information you can gain by having eyes on the scene at all times is key to preventing property loss or damage from break-ins, ensuring customers are receiving ideal treatment and even preventing fraud. As a small business owner you need all the help you can get to run your business as efficiently and profitably as possible. Surveillance cameras can give you 24/7 peace of mind knowing that, in a way, someone always has an eye on things for you.

Security cameras motivate employees to be efficient with the constant reminder that they are part of a larger business structure where there is accountability. You can monitor customer transactions to prevent mistakes, fraud and disputes with employees. Your business profitability can even increase and incidents of theft or misuse of resources will decrease.

Video surveillance is also an important way to verify insurance claims that might be difficult to establish or disprove otherwise. It's a terrible situation when someone makes a claim of personal injury, harassment or other legal issue and there is no way to determine for sure what actually happened. If the incident was recorded you can preempt costly legal expenses and refute bogus claims immediately.

Smart cameras can also help you be "on site" even when you are at home or out of town. If an employ or manager needs you to assess a situation at work visually, access to cameras on your smart phone is an invaluable asset. You can visually verify work completion or other eyes-on monitoring from home or while away, even identifying areas of need that employees should address.

Smart cameras can even provide you with customer analytics. Some systems can let you know what your busiest time of day is, if your customers are male or female and even if they are running a fever or temperature. These types of insights are important for planning and projecting as well as keeping your employees and other customers safe.

These five smart devices and systems can help your small business become more efficient and profitable. The burden of management can be eased with their aid and efficiency increased. Lighting and climate control can help control utility costs. Access control gives employees and contractors the ability to independently gain entry with permission and video surveillance monitors and verifies without you ever needing to physically be present. And finally smart flood detectors and water valves can prevent devastating property damage and loss of life.

If you are interested in getting started with any of these devices and systems contact Smart Space today for more information and a free quote.


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