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Ten Good Things ISO Standards Do for Small Businesses

Global CEOs explain the benefits in new brochure

Published: Monday, July 18, 2011 - 13:36

(ISO: Geneva) -- In “10 Good Things for SMEs,” a new ISO brochure, managers of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in 10 countries from around the world explain how ISO standards contribute to their success.

The managers, eight of whom are senior executives or owners, are from a 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 small businesses:
1. Help you compete on a level playing field with bigger enterprises
2. Open up export markets for your products and services
3. Help you discover best business practices
4. Drive efficiency in your business operations
5. Add credibility and confidence for your customers
6. Open new business opportunities and sales
7. Give you a competitive edge
8. Make your brand name internationally recognized
9. Help your company grow
10. 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.The payoff for engaging in standards work is greater than many small business people realize,” says Per Frode, CEO of Baltic Safety Products in Sweden. “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.”

“Without standards I would have had to close down,” says Martin Denison, managing director of Scuba Schools GmbH in Austria. “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.”

Published in English and French, “10 Good Things for SMEs” is available free of charge from the ISO Central Secretariat through the ISO Store or by contacting the Marketing, Communication and 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.


About The Author

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The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) is the world’s largest developer and publisher of international standards. ISO is a network of the national standards institutes of 162 countries, one member per country, with a Central Secretariat in Geneva, Switzerland, that coordinates the system. ISO is a nongovernmental organization that forms a bridge between the public and private sectors. ISO enables a consensus to be reached on solutions that meet both the requirements of business and the broader needs of society. View the ISO Standards list.