Many business owners, who are contemplating getting an ISO certificate, often question if the certificate can actually help in expanding their business. This doubt arises as the internet is filled with articles that mollify the benefits of ISO certificates. Some articles sing endless praises of ISO certification, and therefore, business owners often begin to doubt their validity.
In this article, we will finally satiate all your doubts and tell you how acquiring an ISO certification will help your business grow, especially if you are a small business owner.
What is an ISO certificate?
ISO certificate is a certification awarded to any organisation that successfully implements the recommendations outlined in an ISO standard. ISO standards are a set of guidelines that are developed by taking consensus of industry specific technical experts, policy makers and consumers.
As a result, these recommendations are extremely feasible, practical, relevant and innovative. These are developed by International Organization for Standardization (ISO), the parent organisation that is non-profit, independent, and highly reputed.
How can ISO standards help with business growth?
ISO standards are not mandatory, and organisations can acquire the certificate on a voluntary basis. To be granted the certificate, organisations need to undergo a rigorous certification audit. This stringent nature of the audit is what helps businesses grow, as customers, industry peers and other stakeholders understand that the organisation is putting in extra effort to achieve compliance.
Additionally, as mentioned above, ISO is extremely well-reputed, hence acquiring the certificate transfers the stature to the organisation. Think about it, if you are a new entrant in an industry, your potential customers will always be sceptical about the quality and reliability of your products/ services. ISO certificates mitigate this hesitation, as they act as a “stamp of approval,” validating the feasibility, reliability and efficiency of your products and services.
Even those customers who are unfamiliar with the history of ISO, will find comfort when they see a familiar logo in your product packaging/website. Hence, ISO certification helps businesses grow by aiding customer acquisition. With the help of a professional ISO consultant, you can get ISO certification.
Benefits of ISO certificates for small businesses
Let us now touch upon the individual benefits through which ISO certificates can help your business grow:
If your aim is to work with a government agency or acquire the tender from a large private sector organisation, you need to have ISO certificate, particularly ISO 9001. Having an ISO certificate is a prerequisite to qualify for any pre-qualification questionnaires. An ISO certificate validates your capability to deliver on time and within budget.
Highlighting business opportunities
ISO standards have a foundational cycle that helps to evaluate the processes periodically. This cycle, namely the Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA) cycle helps to identify growth opportunities as well as issues that could become an obstacle in your future growth. As business owners are able to identify both positive and negative risks, they can take appropriate actions to mitigate them, so that all risks are avoided and every opportunity is explored.
Ease of entry
ISO standards help you operate utilising internationally acclaimed best practises. Hence, when you are trying to enter international markets, you will face no issues, as you are already compliant with the necessary regulatory obligations and are operating using industry-specific best practises. Moreover, the ISO logo will help you get a strong foothold in a foreign market.
Understanding customer requirements
Ultimately, if you are creating goods or services that are a perfect fit for customers, you are guaranteed to sell them. If you are creating products that no one likes, irrespective of their quality, you will not be able to sell them. If you acquire ISO standard like ISO 9001, it will guide you to identify, categorise, prioritise and address all customer requirements, thereby helping you create products/services that your customers will love.
Better environmental performance
In today’s day and age, organisations that are not environmentally friendly are frowned upon. In fact, in this digital age of enhanced visibility, any environmentally conscious client can look at your operations to reveal how you are interacting with the environment. Acquiring ISO certificates like the ISO 14001 standard can prove to the world that you are truly committed to saving the planet, helping you attract environmentally conscious clients, investors and stakeholders.
Better managerial insight
Managers are able to guide your organisation towards acquiring your organisational aspirations, as they are backed up by evidence-based research. ISO standards urge managers to utilise key metrics instead of relying on assumptions. Better managerial insight leads to better decisions, which is better for the organisation.
Enhanced employee productivity
It is ultimately your employees that are your greatest asset. If your employees are driven, your business will expand. ISO standards help you achieve your organisational goals by teaching you how to appropriately engage with your employees, simplify your processes, showcase leadership commitment and support your employees through adequate training. As employees begin to feel like an essential part of the organisation, their organisational loyalty increases and so does their productivity.
Expand your business with the help of ISO certification
ISO standards can help your business grow by validating the efficiency of your products and services, teaching you how to better engage with your employees, understand your customer requirements, highlight business opportunities and create better managerial insight.