There’s a pretty simple equation in business: you should be making more money than you are paying. There’s another equation that is only slightly less simple: you should be endeavouring to, wherever you can, increase your revenue while lowering your expenses. For helping you in meeting both of these aims, a Raspberry Pi can prove surprisingly useful. Here are some reasons why.

What is a Raspberry Pi?

If you have never previously heard of a Raspberry Pi, you might be surprised – certainly considering its name – that it is, in fact, a computer. Nonetheless, it is a very rudimentary one; sized like a credit card, it resembles an isolated circuit board and can be programmed and built around with the view to making something much bigger and more functional. It does not come with any keyboard, mouse or display; however, you can choose to attach these to the Pi yourself.

One major advantage of the Raspberry Pi is the large degree of customisation that it enables. Therefore, you could forge it into a key promotional tool for your business. This article will detail examples of tools of this ilk; however, you also shouldn’t overlook how delightfully affordable a Raspberry Pi is. Just look at the range of Pi models available from The Pi Hut.

At the time of writing, this specialist online retailer offers the most basic Pi model, the Raspberry Pi Zero v1.3, for just £4.80. Meanwhile, even the latest and most sophisticated model, the Raspberry Pi 3 – Model B, is only £32. It comes with Wi-Fi and Bluetooth support for more connectivity options.

Useful marketing tools that you can make with a Pi

HashHag Tub notes that a Pi can power a signage or display board if you would like to visually advertise your business through digital means. You might already have a spare monitor or TV at close hand, and it would indeed be ideal for use in spreading the word. It could easily conceal the Pi itself – though, when you want to change what’s shown on the display, you should do so via some kind of SSH or localhost server. This would prevent you having to keep taking the display down.

A good call… and a free call, too

Your business could be heavily reliant on its landline for promotional purposes. You could, for example, use that landline either to call potential customers or take calls that such people have initiated. However, paying for a landline could significantly eat into your business budget.

Thankfully, there’s a solution in the form of Google Voice on a Pi. Yes, really. This Raspberry Pi SIP PBX blog provides a tutorial for integrating that VoIP chat service with that microcomputer to allow you and your staff to actually make free calls in the office. It’s crucial to keep in mind that, with this solution, it won’t be possible to make emergency calls; so, keep your smartphone close for those particular calls, should you ever be in the unfortunate position of needing to make them.