For any business to grow, it must provide its customers with a consistent and reliable service or product. It’s also vital to remember that retaining existing customers is as important as winning new business.

ISO 9001Many small organisations may experience difficulty growing their business. More often than not, they operate within the confines of a certain area and have a limited capacity to serve beyond those boundaries. As such, business growth tends to be very slow. Potential customers can often be sceptical about putting their higher value contracts in the hands of small, seemingly unprepared and inexperienced organisations. One way, however, to encourage confidence among new and existing customers is by achieving ISO 9001 certification.

ISO 9001 is the international standard that defines the requirements for a Quality Management System (QMS). Businesses use the standard to demonstrate their ability to consistently provide products and services that meet customer and regulatory requirements. Being certified demonstrates that an organisation is capable of delivering on its customer promise.

To be certified, a recognised, independent body has to assess your business against the requirements of the standard and verify that your organisation meets those requirements. With an ISO 9001 certification, your business will have newly acquired credentials that give your clients confidence in your ability to deliver.

Here are five ways to grow your business with ISO 9001 certification:

Improve your performance

ISO 9001 certification offers the ideal way to grow confidence among your customers. It demonstrates your ability to consistently deliver on your stated customer promises. Organisations with ISO 9001 often experience vastly improved internal processes. Certification leads to the implementation of well-defined and documented procedures. Inefficient processes are eradicated and procedures are put in place to deal with problems. Over time, fewer mistakes are made and consistency is greatly improved. Furthermore, successful implementation provides continuous assessment and improvement.

Boost repeat business

An integral element of ISO 9001 is customer satisfaction. Rather than focusing solely on boosting the bottom line, the standard is also largely concerned with the customer -feedback, and its analysis, is encouraged. In this way, the standard helps businesses to improve the quality of service they provide. Over time, your organisation will incur fewer complaints and generate greater customer satisfaction. ISO 9001 can grow your business by boosting customer loyalty and thereby, generating repeat business and recommendations.

Sell yourself

ISO 9001 certification sends out an important message to both existing and potential customers. An independent verification of your internal QMS demonstrates a commitment to quality, customer service and continuous improvement. ISO 9001 is an internationally recognised standard that speaks the language that businesses understand. It gives stakeholders confidence in your business’ ability to deliver.

As such, acquired certification should be at the heart of any organisation’s sales and marketing strategy. It is essential that everyone in both your supply chain and client database is made aware that your business boasts ISO 9001 certification.

Enhance your competitive edge

With ISO 9001 certification, your business can confidently compete for both public and private contracts. As an internationally recognised standard, accredited certification means organisations meet a high level of quality.

ISO 9001 certification can often be a stipulation for public contracts. By asking for ISO 9001 from contractors, the public sector can prove it is spending tax payers’ money wisely. Public sector bodies can rest assured that they won’t have to waste time checking an organisation’s credentials. Rather, they are able to let the certificate do the talking. The standard allows an organisation to prove its quality credentials, which is why ISO 9001 is requested in so many public and private sector tender situations.

ISO 9001 can often be a requirement in the private sector too. If applying to become part of a large supply chain, where the main contractor has ISO 9001 in place, then certification can be particularly pertinent. The credibility of ISO 9001 gives a clear competitive advantage to companies throughout the business world.

Increase your market share

ISO 9001 can help your company to realise growth, by becoming an integral part of the bigger picture. The ethos behind the quality standard is to help you deliver a better service to your existing client base. The standard is respected as a mark of trust and quality.

While it may not be as immediate as winning a new client, greater efficiency saves money. Savings that go straight to the bottom line. Tweaking processes and eradicating unnecessary duplication means your staff can spend more time engaged in tasks that add value to your business.

Using ISO 9001 as a continuous opportunity to review processes is inevitably going to be good news for your clients. Satisfied clients not only spend more, they also recommend and refer more. While it was not initially developed to help organisations win new business, increasing your market share has often been a welcome consequence of certification.

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