Your small business is important. In fact, it's essential for continued economic prosperity. Over 90% of the world's businesses are SMEs and they are innovating, generating growth and providing jobs. But with an EU estimate calculating that as many as 50% of SMEs will fail within the first 5 years, how can you make your SME more resilient?
You can start by getting on an equal footing with your larger competitors. Being small and agile is great, but if you’re competing for tenders or trying to attract more customers, you may need an extra boost.
This is where ISO standards come in. They're not just for large organisations, they can provide just as many benefits for smaller businesses - such as helping to improve customer satisfaction, save money and increase turnover.
As a small business, it can be easy to focus on just getting things done, with the quality of the result being less important. However, imagine if you could do both? Through the ISO 9001 standard you can implement a Quality Management System that will help you to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of your processes, in turn bringing cost savings and improved customer satisfaction.
The ISO 9001 framework is entirely flexible, allowing you to develop a management system that is relevant to your company, no matter what your size. To find out more, read our guide to ISO 9001 for small businesses.
With environmental issues becoming more of a concern with modern consumers, make sure you are demonstrating your environmental friendliness with an ISO 14001 certified management system. Quantify, monitor and control the ongoing environmental impact of your operations, improving your corporate image and identifying opportunities for cost savings.
If you're not ready to implement the full standard immediately, the ISO have released a phased approach to implementation through their ISO 14005 guidelines. This six stage approach is designed specifically to help SMEs become certified to ISO 14001 at their own pace.
If your business does not have a direct environmental impact – perhaps you just work out of a room in rented office space – you can still demonstrate your green credentials with the energy management standard ISO 50001. ISO 50001 provides you with a framework for making better decisions about your energy usage, by helping you to understand where and why you consume energy.
Managing your energy usage means that the greenhouse gas emissions associated with your business are less, and so too is your impact on the environment. In turn, you save money on your energy costs – so it’s a win-win.
View the ISO's guide to ISO 50001 for small businesses for more information.
From efficient processes and lower costs to continual improvement in your services, the ISO standards can give your SME a distinct competitive advantage. Other benefits include:
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QMS has developed a simple and cost-effective 3-stage certification process. This means you could achieve certification in less than 45 days. Our consultants have extensive business experience, enabling them to support you through the entire certification process. They can even write your Documented Management System for you.