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Small Business Owner’s Manual

Avoid Pit Stops—Add a Check Engine Light™ to Your Small Business

Congratulations on your new business!

This Small Business Owner’s Manual takes entrepreneurs beyond business basics to discover how remote monitoring and wireless sensors help ensure years of trouble-free operation.

  • This manual is organized into four sections. Each describes issues that typically affect small business and provides tips on preventing these with Monnit Wireless Sensors.

Note: Monnit’s 70+ Wireless Sensors monitor what matters most—from cooler temps to water leaks. You place the sensors and set their thresholds via an easy-to-use dashboard. If something exceeds you’re a threshold, you (or on-site staff), get an alert via text, email, or call. 

Section 1: Checking Your Surroundings

Before merging into the fast lane, check for blind spots in your facility or operations. Equipment and environmental issues could sideswipe sales and wreck your reputation before you ever hit high gear. Common hazards on the road to success include:

  • Temperature
  • Food safety
  • Machine health
  • Standing water or leaks
Section 2: Avoiding Cold Starts & Overheating

Both cold starts and overheating degrade business performance and longevity. Commercial HVAC repair and replacement costs are 1.6 to 2 times higher than residential HVAC repair costs. It can cost at least $3,040 (plus applicable emergency fees) just to replace a condenser coil.

Avoidable failures include:

  • An overnight furnace failure leads to burst pipes, spoiled inventory, and damaged equipment. An unpleasant start on a cold morning!
  • HVAC equipment quits on a summer afternoon, driving customers away.

Thankfully, with remote monitoring and wireless sensors, many HVAC issues can be fixed before failure. Integrate a turnkey Monnit Cellular HVAC and Boiler Monitoring Starter Bundle, which includes three HVAC sensors, and a gateway (for sensor communication).

  • Tip: The kit’s drop-in sensors monitor air velocity for performance, power draw for machine health, and duct temperatures for proper output. Get an alert as performance diminishes, or a machine draws more power. These variables often point to imminent failure or overdue maintenance.
Section 3: Adding Safety Equipment

Are you a restaurateur? Are you ready to absorb $18,000+ in lost inventory and revenue if a cooler fails overnight? Defend against accidents and unforeseen failures by adding a Check Engine Light for Foodservice. Even when you’re not there, oversee:

  • Spoilage—Door Open/Closed Sensors ensure hurried staff (or harried entrepreneurs) properly close walk-ins.
  • Food safety—Temperature Sensors track cooler and freezer performance.
  • Machine health—AC Current Meters provide power readings for vital equipment.
    • Tip: If you get an alert that your machinery has increased power consumption, call a tech to fix before failure. Scheduled maintenance beats unexpected outages.
  • Equipment vibration—Excessive vibration often points to failing bearings or a loose mount.
Compliance

Health inspections protect customers, staff, and ultimately, your business. The CDC found that annually, 48 million people get sick from a foodborne illness, 128,000 are hospitalized, and 3,000 die. Among the culprits: improperly chilled food, which breeds bacteria like Clostridium perfringens and Salmonella.

Note: Ready for the FDA Food Modernization Act, Monnit Temperature Sensors automate HACCP-compliant temperature logging. To ease ERES compliance, our sensors also meet CFR21 part 11 requirements.

  • Tip: Automating temperature data logging frees your staff to focus on service, protects data from human error, and streamlines inspections.
Getting Food to Market

You landed a large order—easy. Now, the challenge is ensuring food safety and product integrity while on the way to the distributor or market.

If your product arrives spoiled, who’s at fault? Who bears the cost? Whose reputation suffers?

And what about all the wasted resources that went into the spoiled product?

Per the USDA’s Economic Research Service, some 30–40% of America’s food supply is wasted or spoiled each year. Nearly 31% of this loss occurs at the retail and consumer levels—roughly 133 billion pounds and $161 billion worth of food in 2010 alone!

  • Tip: Temperature monitoring during transit ensures product integrity and helps prevent spoilage, lost orders, and lost faith in your business.
Section 4: Avoiding Standing Water

While humid high-traffic riverfront and lakeside locations are ideal for many businesses, they pose a high risk for slip-and-fall accidents. Even without these, food prep areas, kitchens, malfunctioning machinery, or leaky restroom plumbing can also be liabilities.

Among 1,000 small business owners surveyed by a Chicago fintech and insurance platform, 13% experienced customer slip-and-fall or employee injury claims in 2016. Fall-related bills averaged $20,000; water and freezing-related damages averaged $17,000.

  • Tip: Water Detection Sensors help mitigate risk. Able to detect any non-combustible liquid, they are ideal for both front-of-house and back-of-house walkways. Concerned about pipes near vital machinery or a leaky ice machine? Know the minute a leak starts, grab a mop, and protect customers and staff.
Enjoy the Ride!

When it comes to protecting your dream, knowing beats stressing and guessing. Pop the hood of your new business, see how a Check Engine Light can help. Be in good company—join the 23,000+ owners and operators trusting Monnit to help them protect their people, places, and things.

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