Quality, experience and professionalism: QiS
As readers of this blog know, I am very interested in the matter of quality relating to small businesses.
I have been giving the proposed Quality is Standard (QiS) ‘Seal of Quality’ network a great deal of thought.
There seems to be something in the general public’s mind that equates quality with stringent and heavy, time consuming systems. The idea behind the proposed QiS is far from that – it is simply envisaged as a stamp of approval, audited by someone not closely involved with the micro-enterprise wanting to be a member of the cluster of quality approved enterprises.
QiS will be founded to encourage collaboration and promote communication between micro-entrepreneurs and bigger companies and the various governmental departments who are keen to point out that micros and SMEs are the backbone of business etc., but seem to lose interest once the initial funding support has been provided.
It is intended to help raise standards and professionalism in the sector, and to create visibility for a cluster of businesses working across a wide range of trades and professions. Together we can attract bigger projects and become better known.
A big step towards getting it right the first time, every time. Quality means being skilled practitioners, experts in our field. The fact of having achieved the QiS certificate will increase the self-image of the owners of the firms – greater self-respect lead to more confidence which in turn has a positive knock-on effect.
Members will share information about best practices, clients etc. leading to a well-informed network of highly competent, professional people, all independent micro-entrepreneurs.
QiS could help to place focus on the fact that it is not enough for governments to place emphasis on businesses wanting to grow in terms of number of employees – the 1000s of little micro-businesses provide a good solid income in terms of revenue, so some interest in helping us to increase turn-over, to gain bigger projects is, in my opinion, just as important as helping firms who wish to grow in size.
In other words, a signal to the rest of the world that those firms displaying the QiS logo offer a service that has been tested and found to be representative of quality, experience and professionalism; that they have built a successful enterprise by providing their customers with quality workmanship and reliable, personalized service.
It is obviously difficult to audit the standards of quality envisaged by QiS (apart from using sound common sense) as, as far as I know, nothing has been written covering all aspects. I have begun to collect references about initiatives published world-wide and plan to write a manual describing the best examples.
The manual will be published, chapter by chapter, on my KvalitetsPraksis (practical quality) homepage. I hope to have it completed within a year.