For small and large business alike, how you conduct business matters now more than ever. Marketing the credibility of your business by having certifications that showcase your commitment to deliver exceptional results while maintaining responsible and sustainable work standards is integral in today’s business world. Carefully chosen certifications on your product, services or business values can help build your brand and reputation while supporting your company vision.
Product / Service Certifications
There are a variety of certification bodies that can help assure suppliers, retailers, regulators and consumers that an independent organization has reviewed a product or system to comply with specific standards for safety, quality, sustainability or performance. NSF International provides certification, testing, and auditing to public health standards in all key industries and sectors world-wide. You can reference NSF before marketing the credibility of your business to search through the various certification opportunities here: https://www.nsf.org/testing
ANSI is another non-profit organization that provides various certifications across industries to help companies showcase that their products and services are meeting top international quality standards. For example, ANSI’s ISO 9001:2015 Quality Management certification specifies the requirements for a quality management system in an organization. It ensures that a company:
- consistently provides products and services that meet customer expectations
- is continuously improving their business, listening to customer feedback and monitoring regulatory requirements.
Having a product/service certification will show that your company is trustworthy. Here at CoApt Projects, we went through the process of getting ISO 9001:2015 certified. It highlights our commitment to excellence in everything we do. Having a Quality Management System in place showcases that your organization is highly organized and focused, while simultaneously seeking continuous improvement. This certification is also recognized in 170+ countries and ISO 9001-certified organizations are paid 7% more on average than non-ISO 9001 companies. How about that!
Business Values Certifications
“Purpose-driven” is a blanket term used to describe any business that uses its existence as a force for good. Nonprofits, social enterprises and many other classifications fall under the purpose-driven category. Depending on your company values, you may want to look into state regulated ‘Benefit Corporation’ opportunities, Green America certifications for social and environmental responsibility, or take it to the next level and choose to be a certified B Corporation.
Certified B-Corporations are “businesses that meet the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, public transparency, and legal accountability to balance profit and purpose.” This means that the way B-corps conduct business benefits everybody, not just shareholders. Every stakeholder has something to gain. Why does that matter? Because we live in an interconnected world and the choices we make impact others. The B-Corp certification doesn’t just look at the product or service, it evaluates the entire social and environmental impact a company has.
However, there’s more benefits to a B-Corp certification than to underline your company’s values and vision. Once certified, your company can join the B Hive, which gives you access and resources to propel your business forward. By joining the B Hive, you’ll get to
- connect with B Corp leaders worldwide
- find relevant resources to maximize the benefits of your certification
- search for B Corp products and services
- take advantage of exclusive discounts for B Corps and their employees
Having a community of like-minded individuals is important and the B Hive will connect companies that share similar values and visions. Building up your brand and executing on your vision is exponentially easier if you can rely on a network of peers to support you.
Having a vision and a will to execute on it is not enough. You need to build a brand around your vision, so consumers know why you’re out there, and marketing the credibility of your business is a great way to start. As a small business, it is important to choose certifications that underline a desire to do better, be better and produce better products and services. Certification bodies like NSF, ANSI, and BCorp offer great resources to educate you on the certification opportunities, and companies like CoApt Projects can assist with the process to elevate your brand and execute on your vision once you’re ready!