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Small and Medium-sized Enterprises

How can ISO certification help your SME?

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.

Which ISO standards are best for my SME?

ISO 9001

ISO 9001


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.

ISO 14001

ISO 14001


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.

ISO 50001


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.

What are the benefits of certification?

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:

  • Build customer confidence – being certified to an ISO standard is proof that you do what you say you do in this regard
  • Reduce costs and expand income – whether it’s through increased process efficiency, fewer wasted resources, or happier customers from better trained staff, you can see higher profits across all aspects of your business through cost savings and more sales
  • Gain market access across the world – ISO standards are internationally recognised which means other businesses know what you are capable of and are more likely to want to work with you

Don’t just take our word for it – read these customer testimonials

    ISO 27001 and GDPR Assessment - the best thing ever that happened to us!

    I think QMS has been the best thing that happened to us especially as a startup company. Not only are they absolutely helpful, but communicable, friendly, and tailor to your need if possible. We are at the same time getting ISO 27001 with QMS as well as GDPR assessment. Can see a massive difference how things can improve with the right level of expert guidance that you can get.
    Saqib Choudhary, CEO. NextGen Health Solutions Limited

    Originally posted on

    Small Business

    Excellent service

    I had a visit in my house with [the Consultant]. It was a pleasure to meet [her]. She explained to me everything and helped me to understand everything that needed to be done. Thanks to her efforts now I know where I am and what needs to be done to improve my skills at the same time as my business.
    Miroslav Ziga, Director. Mega Teamclean Services Ltd

    Originally posted on

    Small Business

    Internal Audit at my house !

    Considering we are just a small company the thought of hosting an audit at my house was a bit worrying. [The Consultant] put my mind at rest as soon as he entered my house and made the audit a pleasant experience
    Nigel Brown. Shoc Consultancy Ltd

    Originally posted on

    Small Business

    Excellent service, 5 stars

    We were very nervous with the whole process but [the Consultant] put our minds at rest. She has a very organised but friendly approach, from the initial getting to know each other to the final steps of gaining the certification. We, felt as a business ( and small one at that), we were very well catered for and nurtured. I would not hesitate to put [the Consultant] and QMS forward to clients or suppliers trying to gain the same accreditation.
    Michelle Grierson, Director . Portcullis Site Services Ltd

    Originally posted on

    Small Business

How do we become ISO certified?

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.

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