Benefits of ISO 9001 for Startups

There are many benefits of implementing ISO 9001 for startup businesses. In our experience with startups and small companies, it has supported them through the growth of the business for years to come.

Over the years, we have been in to certify organisations who have only just started. One brave manufacturing organisation leased a large building, purchased one very expensive 5 axis CNC (probably about £400,000 at the time), and there were just the two brave entrepreneurs and a machine operator.

When we first turned up for the initial assessment they had only been open for about four weeks, we thought they were crazy, but the owners were adamant that they wanted ISO 9001 Certification right from the start. When asked why? The two owners stated that they wanted to embed systems and procedures from the beginning, they wanted to build a solid foundation to support the business through growth.

The systems and procedures they put in place were simplistic, and they didn’t over complicate things as it was just the 3 of them, but it was robust enough to control the activities but allow for flexibility. They successfully achieved Certification, and we wished them good luck over the next year.

When we went back for the first surveillance visit after around ten months from that initial visit, they had two machines and five employees. The system had not changed much, but they had used it to ensure the smooth onboarding of new employees, and it gave a platform to learn from. New employees were required to follow the set procedures, fill in the paperwork how they wanted, ensuring quality is ingrained in the heart of the organisation.

Embed Systems from the Start

There is a famous saying, “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks”, this is basically what the owners were trying to avoid. As soon as people walked through the door, they had a system to follow, and it just became the norm. When you don’t have any systems, and you try to introduce them, it becomes more of a challenge, and people don’t like change!

The system changed as they grew, but they were just minor additions or tweaks which are easier for personnel to digest and although it is still change, the employees were used to following systems and procedures, so it was less of a struggle.

The employees also would have seen it working; the business went from strength to strength, each year the business grew, and more machines turned up. They then opened another building due to the expansion and demand for their high-quality parts and rapid turnaround.

Within about seven years, they sold the business and became very wealthy.

Will having ISO 9001 make me Rich?

Of course, implementing ISO 9001 for Startups can not claim to make you rich. The success of this startup isn’t just down to them having ISO Certification, but they benefited greatly from implementing systems right from the start. They could focus on growing and developing the business, not hunting for bits of paper or information. They didn’t need to worry about things being done right and keep monitoring everything that was going on as the system looked after itself.

There are misconceptions that ISO 9001 is cumbersome and full of bits of paper, that is a myth, you can have a system in place with very little paperwork, there is no requirement for a single documented procedure. ISO 9001 is adaptable for all businesses, large or small.

Auva recognises the importance of startups and small businesses within the economy and created a unique programme just for you. You can read about the programme on our ISO Certification for Startups page.