“Every company, no matter how small you are or what industry you’re in, can benefit from Quality Control,” says ChooseWhat.com Research Analyst and Quality Control (QC) master Adam Malden. The problem? Not enough small companies are utilizing QC and other strategic management concepts to help them run their businesses. But “QC is not as difficult as people think it is, and it saves you a lot of time and money later on,” says Adam. How can you begin implementing QC initiatives in your small company? Read Adam’s tips to find out.
Why You Should Care about QC
According to a recent study published in the Journal of Management and Marketing Research,
Traditionally, small organizations have been less likely to utilize strategic management models and strategic planning concepts than large organizations for many reasons: (1) Small organizations are often family-owned; (2) Small business leaders are often more focused on day-to-day operations as opposed to management models and strategic management systems; (3) Small businesses have less money to spend on training; and (4) Their competitors generally operate the way they do – without using management models and implementing improvement systems. Also, entrepreneurs who develop small businesses usually have little desire to establish routine processes and procedures.
Although not many small businesses have a strategic management model in place, ChooseWhat.com’s Adam Malden believes that even if more work needs to be done initially, small businesses owners can and should implement Quality Control standards and processes. Why? “It’s the last line of fact-checking and assurance of quality before a product, service or information about a company goes public.”
Here are Adam’s tips for implementing Quality Control easily and effectively in your small business:
Standardize QC with Processes
The easiest way to handle QC is to standardize everything from start to finish. One way to create standardization is to write a thorough process that can be distributed to employees who are responsible for QC.
Since QC is a recurring task, employees in charge of this task should check in with a project manager throughout the QC process. The manager can help improve and correct errors in the process as it’s being implemented, in order to minimize time spent troubleshooting later on.
Flexibility is key for QC. Especially for small businesses and entrepreneurs, processes and procedures will require revision and improvement. The ability to incorporate employee feedback into your QC processes is essential.
Adam says that our QC process here at ChooseWhat for small business product and service reviews follows this particular flow (simplified):
- Review each company, service or product twice.
- Compare discrepancies between reviews and right-size information.
- Check-in with project manager on status and process.
- Information goes live on our website/gets published.
- QC published content.
What about the REALLY small companies, the one-man shops?
“You can definitely implement QC even if you’re a one-man shop,” says Adam. “Once you’ve got your guidelines, processes and checkpoints in place, all you have to do is follow your own process for ensuring a quality product, service or publication.”
- Write up your processes for standardization just as you would for any employees.
- Follow these processes yourself or find someone to help you QC. You could probably even outsource this task.
- Use tools to help you achieve QC, such as firms or online tools that specialize in market research, focus groups or website usability testing. Incorporate these into your processes when appropriate.
Models for QC and Strategic Management
For more about models for QC and Strategic Management, check out “What Management and Quality Theories Are Best for Small Businesses?” in the Journal of Management and Marketing Research.
From the abstract:
This paper proposes various management models that small business leaders can use to integrate quality initiatives into the strategic management of their organizations. In so doing, they can increase the probability of their organization’s long-term survival.