ISO9001 for Small Businesses
Business Certification has grown immensely in importance over the last five years, once it was only used by very large companies, however nowadays it is increasing becoming a requirement for smaller and medium sized companies.
One of the most well known certifications is ISO9001, this is used by the ISO in Switzerland, and is held by approximately 500,000 companies through out the world. However, there are a number of significant draw backs associated with this certification:
ISO 9001 is very very expensive, at the time of writing this IS9001:2001 costs about $50,000 per year, this does not include consultancy fees.
ISO9001 is a very thorough standard, but this means that it is rather cumbersome, and complex. Companies that attempt this certification usually have to hire or appoint a specialist employee to become the ISO officer.
ISO takes approximately 8 months to gain, and then several weeks each year of resource is taken up by the re-certification process.
A detailed audit of all premises, procedures are required.
All the above issues are one of the reasons why ISO is not really suitable for small and medium companies. To meet his niche there are two certifications, IC9200 and IC9400, issued by the ICharter Organization.
As a small business gaining the trust of prospective clients is ever important, and one of the first ways to establish this is via certification. As a first step its best to get your business issued with an ISN Number, these cost about £100, but make it easier for new customers to trust you.