It is a common preconception that the ISO 9001 that only large businesses can achieve ISO 9001 but this certainly isn't the case. The incorporation of the ISO 9001 standard for small businesses is achievable and viable goal for any organisation.
The ISO 9001 certification, since its publication by the International Organisation for Standardisation has proved ever more popular and is now the most widely held ISO certificate in the series. With over one million businesses certified worldwide you may be surprised that it is not just the large businesses that are getting involved but a significant number of small businesses also hold an ISO 9001 certification.
In a survey conducted by ISO in 2011 on the organisations who hold ISO 9001 certifications, 37% of the businesses included were considered to be ‘small’ with less than 50 employees and a further 39% branded as medium with between 50 and 499 employees. This leaves only 24% in the ‘large’ category, proving that ISO 9001 is most definitely for small businesses.
ISO 9001 is an internationally recognised standard for quality management and is popular due to the benefits which organisations see following certification. These benefits range from an increase in quality to better customer satisfaction and even revenue increases. Michelle Murdoch from QMS International, a certification body, has commented on how ISO 9001 can help small businesses. “Many small businesses come to QMS looking for an ISO 9001 certification, it is a common misconception that ISO certifications can only be achieved by larger organisations trading internationally but this really isn’t the case. ISO 9001 gives small businesses a stamp of quality and enables them to compete in a larger market - especially when trying to win tenders”.
QMS have recently awarded their 20,000th certification and have a number of measures in place to help small businesses achieve ISO 9001 certification, such as their monthly payment plan option and the fact that their pricing structure is based on revenue, meaning that smaller businesses aren’t priced out of the certification. “We understand what a difference an ISO 9001 certification can make to a small business”, continues Murdoch “our pricing structures make the certification accessible to all and our pioneering assessment process means that the process is hassle-free and doesn’t waste valuable business time. You can expect your ISO 9001 certification within 30 days following assessment”.
With the market growing ever more competitive, it is increasingly important to make sure that you have an edge on your competitors, ISO 9001 can help you to find that extra special attribute to stand out from the crowd.