Managers of small businesses in 10 countries from around the world say how ISO standards contribute to their success in a new ISO brochure entitled, 10 good things for SMEs.

The managers, eight of whom are senior executives or owners, are from a rich variety of businesses in Canada, Sweden, Italy, Austria, Singapore, Kenya, United Kingdom, Spain, Brazil and New Zealand. They testify to how ISO standards do the following good 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 underline the benefits of participating in the development of standards:

Per Frode, CEO of Baltic Safety Products, Sweden, says: “The payoff for engaging in standards work is greater than many small business people realize. Standards are both important and interesting. 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.”

Martin Denison, Managing Director of Scuba Schools GmbH, Austria, says: “Without standards I would have had to close down…Not taking part (in standardization) would have cost me my company and my livelihood…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.”

10 good things for SMEs, published in English and French, is available free of charge from the ISO Central Secretariat through the ISO Store or by contacting the Marketing, Communication & Information department. It can also be obtained from ISO national member institutes (see the complete list with contact details). The brochure can also be downloaded as a PDF file free of charge from the ISO Website.