Most start their own businesses because they are passionate about what they do. The idea of having control of your own destiny is another major plus, especially if it means escaping the shackles of a previous job at a large firm.
So, on the face of it, adopting ISO standards would seem like a backwards step. Why would a budding entrepreneur want to be told what to do? Why bog yourself down with corporate red tape and passion-free processes?
The reality is actually quite different. Let’s take a look:
They don’t define how you run your business
Whilst there are requirements to create an effective management system, not one of ISO’s management standards tells you how to run your business. In fact, because they are deliberately generic, it is you who defines what you do and how you do it. The standards are there to instil accountability and drive continuous improvement.
They’re not meant for big businesses
They’re meant for any business! Any industry, any size – ISO standards are a framework for every kind of organisation. Not only does this give smaller businesses an opportunity to go toe-to-toe with larger competitors, small businesses actually have the advantage. Why? Because they are putting in solid foundations from the start. Larger firms can struggle because they have to overcome a culture change and battle for buy-in.
THE PROCESS: 10 Steps to ISO Certification
They don’t require months to implement
Are you against delivering good service? Enjoy wasting money? Fancy putting your reputation at risk? ISO standards aren’t rocket science; they exist to help make running a business easier. They are intended to help you operate effectively, efficiently and more profitably as a result. These aren’t just certificates to hang on the wall; they should be integral to how you run your company. Implementing an ISO standard shouldn’t be a burden, it’s an opportunity to stand back and ask yourself – “could we do this better?”
READ MORE: Dispelling the myths of ISO 9001
ISO standards ultimately allow organisations to grow quicker, because it sets the right structure to facilitate growth.
Smaller businesses tend to suffer growing pains as they reach a size where more direction is needed, more delegation required, and greater monitoring. ISO standards are a tool to help you plan for the challenges ahead.