Small Business Help? Use Smart Home tool Echo Show

echo show helps entrepreneurs

Echo Show can help entrepreneurs !

I am usually working in the depth of accounting issues.  Clients come to me for help with their accounting problems.  Sure, we can have fun conversations about their business, but many times it’s serious conversations.

But today I am setting aside accounting issues to talk about something fun and techy.

There are many things the Echo Show (or Echo Dot or Echo) can do, so today let’s look at a few ways the Echo Show  can help us in our small businesses.

What is the Echo Show?

To begin, the Echo Show is a voice-controlled “smart” speaker.  We talk to the speaker “Alexa” … and she talks back.

Basically:  Alexa is our personal assistant !

1st things 1st: How much time and cost

Installation Time

The installation is great.  It works quickly – it took me less than 30 minutes to install.

When things work, I am always surprised.  Throughout the year, I review software and techy tools — I need to be efficient for my clients. But, learning new software and tools sometimes is anything but efficient.  I can’t tell you the number of times that I was exhausted because things just did not work the first time (or 5th time) and I was forced to go online with a chat session, email, or call.  So, when something works . . . it is amazing to me!

Things to Buy

  • Echo Show.  As of 6/8/2020  it is 69.99 on Amazon
    • There are larger versions for more money
    • $49.99 on Amazon for the Echo Dot with no visual display
  • Amazon Echo app on a smart phone – no additional cost
    • It does mean we need to sign up for an Amazon account – no additional cost
  • Internet and WiFi – one of the first things we do is connect the Echo app to the internet
  • Different items we want Alexa to control like a smart light-bulb
    • There are many items to choose from and also many different brands
    • As a note: this is a smart speaker, but if you love music and want to use “smart” Alexa and still want a better speaker, you can connect this to an external speaker

What does the Echo Show do?

Alexa answers questions or does requests

You may think Echo is more of a toy with cute features.  But for us entrepreneurs, who are working too many hours and juggling too many tasks . . .  it can actually help us throughout the day.  Here’s some questions or requests we can ask:

  • “Set a timer for 30 minutes”
  • “Set an alarm for 5:00 pm”
  • “What’s the temperature?”
  • “What’s the temperature like later today?”
  • “What time is it?”

Alexa works with other devices

We can talk to Alexa and have her communicate to other devices:

  • “Turn on the lights”
  • And what I love:  “Dim the lights”
  • “Turn off the lights”

We can even have the Echo Show sync with our heating system or a door lock:

  • “Turn the heat to 70”
  • “Lock the door”

More Echo Show Ideas

Amazon states that Alexa has over 50,000 skills.  Here’s a few more ideas for small businesses:

Help throughout the day

  • Set a reminder so we don’t forget to make an important phone call.
  • Set an alarm at night to get up early for a meeting.

This is Great

If we use Google Calendar, we can link to our Google calendar.

  • Then we can use commands to ask what appointments we have for the day . . . or for tomorrow . . . etc.

How?  Settings / Email & Calendar / Add Account.

Music

Here’s some info for all you music lovers.

  • We can listen to the radio.
  • If we subscribe to music services, we can ask the Echo Show to play a certain song or play a song by a certain artist.
    • For example, if we have Amazon Prime, there are additional benefits and one is accessing Amazon Music through the Show.
  • If we subscribe to a service like Audible, we can ask Echo to play an Audible selection.

Note it may not be a tool to use at the office if you don’t have privacy because this is a speaker and not earbuds, but if you have a private office, this could be great. 

Few more thoughts

Wake word

I keep learning more and more about the Echo Show.

Problem. We have two Echo Shows in different rooms, but Alexa can have really good hearing.  This sometimes caused a problem because, at times, both echos would respond.

Solution.  Change the “wake word” on one of the Echo Shows.

  • As we give a command, we start by saying “Alexa”, which is the “wake word”.  If we want to change it, we simply say: “Alexa, change the wake word”. This starts the process to allow us to set up another word to use instead of “Alexa”.

Subscription cost

Monthly cost.  Nothing.  We just buy the Echo Show.

Other Product Costs.  But, if we want to have the Echo Show help us with lights or locks, etc. then we need to purchase compatible devices like a smart light-bulb.  And for extra music, we need to purchase a music subscription (available from a variety of places).

Disclaimer: The information on this post and on the Barb Brady CPA website are for general information purposes only; it is not intended to be accounting, financial, tax, or legal advice. For further information, see Terms of Service.