If you are just starting out in business your main focus will be finding new customers and growing your pipeline. The last thing on your mind will be developing procedures and policies, and gaining ISO9001 certification. This is a mistake – it is something you should consider as early as possible.
There are some business sectors where your clients will not be able to trade with you unless you can prove that you are maintaining certain standards or qualifications. Compliance-led sectors include construction, catering and manufacturing, but there are many more.
Accreditation takes time and effort
Gaining ISO9001 accreditation can be a lengthy and costly experience depending upon the complexity of your business. Unless your clients insist on it, then you may want to consider embracing the intention of the standard rather than necessarily achieving the badge.
ISO9001 is designed to make you think about your processes, procedures and working practices, then to prove that they are repeatable and you can provide evidence that you always do the same thing in the same way. It is actually easier to develop procedures at the same time as you are setting up processes. Get started early, and you will save time and effort in the long run.
Demonstrate your intentions
Thinking about what your procedures and polices are, and creating an electronic index of them is a great start. When your customers ask you about documentation, you can show them that you have thought about the issue of compliance. You can at least demonstrate that you are actively working towards standardisation.
A software package can be a great help
A software package will help you to get organised. Make sure it’s easy to use and understand. Once you get started, you’ll find yourself looking to invest in that ISO certification after all.
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