While it is often viewed as a tool for larger, more established companies, ISO 9001 certification actually has an equal power to boost the performance of start-up ventures. Here’s how:
Proving experience and competence in today’s competitive marketplace can often be a struggle. With an increasing reliance on testimonials, word of mouth referrals and social proofing, how can a start-up demonstrate its ability to consistently deliver products or services in a customer-centric manner?
ISO 9001 certification shows potential buyers that the business has what it takes to consistently meet and even exceed their demands.
“Through promotion of the organisation’s ISO certification start-ups tend to grow more rapidly, because more customers are attracted to the business,” says Chris Tuffrey, Regional Manager at QMS.
“Holding the certificate answers many questions relating to how the organisation operates, and also improves credibility and image in the market place.”
One of the biggest struggles start-ups face is creating an organisational structure. While this might take a large amount of effort and energy to accomplish in the early days of the business, the rewards in efficiency together with the ability to offer accurate delivery metrics to customers can form the cornerstone of long standing business relationships.
“Implementing structured processes and procedures as part of the ISO 9001 system, right from the word go, can improve planning, administration and communication activities throughout the company,” says Tuffrey.
“This in turn can help the organisation achieve a consistent delivery of the product or service they provide to customers. Organisations identify defects in their processes and procedures earlier and ensure corrective actions are implemented as to prevent them happening again,” he adds.
Pre-qualification for tenders
“Start-up businesses who are looking to gain work through tenders or win projects from large customers may find that by having ISO 9001 their chances of winning work is increased,” Tuffrey explains.
This is because larger corporations and public organisations want you to be able to prove that you have an efficient service delivery structure in place to cope with the demands of a larger working agreement.
For many start-up business, particularly those that are providing niche services, ISO 9001 will provide you with the credentials needed to win those larger contracts.
Gear up for growth
Strangely enough, the one circumstance that many start-up companies are least prepared for is one they desire the most: success.
When the workload becomes too much to handle there are two options; turn work away or grow. ISO 9001 helps your business set realistic goals and expand by ensuring you have well-defined processes in place that will help you to identify where the pinch points will come from and take on new business, while reacting accordingly.
Whilst ISO 9001 may seem like a time-intensive process, it is always beneficial to weigh up the pros and cons before parking your project (besides, it probably doesn’t take as long as you think). If you believe your start-up is going to be successful and will expand over time, then the money and time savings that certification will give you in the future is more than worth the significantly smaller investment of your resources today.