Where to start?

John Campbell, QA/Training Consultant


We have our idea for our new business, we have the funds, we have the premises, and the staff and the stock and ………………………….

What now? How do we manage the business that we have given birth to? How do we ensure that it is successful and profitable going forward?

Producing a product or service that consistently meets its customer requirements, that’s how.


How is this achieved?

1. By following a proven system that guarantees a consistent outcome.

2. All knowing what is expected of us (knowledge & training).

3. All of us doing what we are required to do (discipline).

In my opinion the International Standard ISO9001 for quality management systems fits the bill perfectly.

The standard gives us the framework for a system that addresses all of the relevant aspects for running a successful business.

What we have:

We advertise our product or service to our customer.

We accept orders from our customers.

We purchase materials.

We produce our product or service.

We invoice our customer.

And we get paid. :-)

What we may not have:

Details of what we actually do and how we do it.

A method of checking whether our system is working.

A robust method of controlling our documents.

Records of what we have done.

Reviews of the performance of our processes.

A process for what we do when things go wrong.

Objectives, what we want to achieve.

ISO 9001 can be implemented in various ways from DIY to become compliant, through to full certification by an accredited Certification Body. So for a start-up it can be as inexpensive as buying a copy for around £120 and getting stuck in.

It has been a successful management system for decades and has assisted thousands of small businesses through the difficult early stages so why not give it some consideration.

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