ISO standards linked with SME success

Small business managers from 10 countries around the world have testified how ISO standards are contributing to the success of their businesses, in a new ISO study entitled ‘10 good things for SMEs’.

The managers, eight of whom are senior executives or owners, are from a wide variety of businesses in Canada, Sweden, Italy, Austria, Singapore, Kenya, the UK, Spain, Brazil and New Zealand.

In the study, they testify to how ISO standards mean the following positive things for SMEs:

  1. Standards help you compete on a level playing field with bigger enterprises
  2. Standards open up export markets for your products and services
  3. Standards help you discover best business practices
  4. Standards drive efficiency in your business operations
  5. Standards add credibility and confidence for your customers
  6. Standards open new business opportunities and sales
  7. Standards give you the competitive edge
  8. Standards make your brand name internationally recognized
  9. Standards help your company grow
  10. Standards enable a common “language” to be used across an industry sector

Two of the contributors, Sweden’s Baltic Safety Products CEO Per Frode and Austrian Scuba Schools Managing Director Martin Denison, explore the benefits of participating in the development of standards:

“The payoff for engaging in standards work is greater than many small business people realize … For a company like Baltic Safety, it’s essential to get involved with the working groups so we can get started early with our planning for future designs and production methods. Globalization means that ISO standards are key for any company that hopes to succeed in export markets,” Frode said,

According to Denison, not partaking in standardisation would have meant he’d have gone out of business.

“What does it cost me if I do not get involved and others define rules that are out of line with my needs, interests and experiences, but which I have to comply with because they are laid down in a standard? Hence, it is best to join in right at the start,” he said.

‘10 good things for SMEs,’ published in English and French, is available for free through the ISO Store

Related Stories