Small businesses are no doubt an integral part of the global market, as they contribute significantly to the total earning. While they comprise nearly 80% of the world's business economy, they also drive economic growth and employment. Therefore, they must meet the ISO 9001 requirements for quality management and keep continually improving the quality of their products or services. It is amidst the global competition that small businesses can thrive well by adhering to quality. Adopting a strict framework for quality management will help them become a part of the global supply chain and trade processes.

While achieving ISO 9001 certification is a long journey for a business, small businesses are more troubled than big businesses owing to the lack of sufficient resources, funding, and knowledge. To assist small businesses in their ISO certification endeavour, here we have presented a quick guide.

Consultation from an Agency

At first, you need some practical advice or guidance from professional ISO experts. They will help you understand the regulatory requirements and clauses of ISO 9001 certification, including the quality management system or QMS. They will also provide suggestions on how the ISO requirements can be met and the QMS can be implemented to ensure compliance with the standard.

Implementation of the QMS

The next step to certification is discovering the QMS framework that works for your small business and its processes. You need to determine quality controls and measures under the QMS that are vital for the evaluation of the quality of your end products or services. Any business that already has a QMS in practice needs to know what improvements are needed to adhere to the ISO 9001 requirements. For implementation, a lot of paperwork and documentation needs to be done to ensure the QMS is formalized with documented information that will support the employees in implementing it into the business.

Communication and Leadership Involvement

When a documented QMS is handy, it is the leading role of top management to communicate the importance of a QMS with members of the organisation at all levels. The leaders of the small business can explain the new practices and quality check methods that will be introduced for enhanced quality management and to add more value to their products or services. Also, there could be constraints in the process of implementing a QMS, like lack of resources and low collaboration between employees. Therefore, it is only when the management is involved that the constraints or challenges can be resolved to make implementation easier.

Performing Internal Audits

You cannot properly judge whether your QMS is effectively implemented, a second opinion always matters. Appoint a professional auditor who will thoroughly examine your QMS after it is implemented, discover any possible shortcomings, and suggest ways to mend them. As a final step to get ISO certification for your small business, perform an internal audit to check whether your QMS meets all the requirements of the standard.

In Conclusion

With these useful guidelines, we hope that small and medium-sized businesses, irrespective of their industry, can properly attain all ISO 9001 requirements and derive maximum benefits from the standard. Being an international standard, ISO 9001 has become a tool for businesses to prosper in the competitive world.

Author's Bio: 

Damon Anderson is an ISO 9001 certification consultant who has been a great guide and mentor to businesses of all types and helped them get certified in lesser costs and less time. He writes insightful blogs in his free time where he talks about ways to adhere to the ISO 9001 requirements for businesses so that they can earn ISO recognition.

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