Five free standards to improve your small business

Blogs 18 Oct 2023

We've teamed up with the British Standards Institution (BSI) to help demystify standards for small business owners. Find out how standards can help you to solve a wide range of everyday business challenges and boost productivity.

What is a standard?

A standard is a best practice approach to doing something. Every standard is developed from a wide range of sources including industry, government, consumers, academics, environmental organisations and charities to create a guide to ‘what good looks like’. Companies can then follow this methodology to improve every aspect of their business, from manufacturing a product, to carrying out a process, to delivering a service.

What are the benefits of standards?

With so many standards to choose from, there are lots of ways a standard can give your business a competitive edge, such as:

  • Bidding for more profitable work
  • Cutting costs and increase profits
  • Boosting your reputation
  • Tendering for larger projects
  • Achieving greater business resilience
  • Improving product and service quality

Download BSI's free guide to standards for small businesses to learn more, or explore five free to access standards to get started. 

1. PAS 1948:2023 Diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workplace

PAS 1948 supports businesses to foster diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) in their workplaces. This free document provides guidance to help you implement an effective DEI framework. It also offers practical measures for improving recruitment, retention, and inclusive business practices.

Download this standard. 

2. PAS 808: Purpose-Driven Organisations

PAS 808:2022 is a principles-based guidance document that describes the worldviews, principles and behaviours of a purpose-driven organization (PDO). It is intended for business leaders who want to understand what it means to be a purpose-driven organization and align fully with a sustainable future – as such it marks a watershed moment in clarifying a consensus view of what standard sustainable business practice looks like.

Download this standard. 

3. IWA 42:2022 Net Zero guidelines

Introducing the Net Zero Guidelines, the essential tool for businesses dedicated to achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emissions. Unveiled at COP27, this free document cuts through the confusion surrounding "Net Zero" approaches. It provides a unified set of definitions, principles, and practical guidance to kickstart your business's journey toward carbon neutrality.

Download this standard. 

4. BS 30416:2023 Menstruation, menstrual health and menopause in the workplace. Guide

BS 30416 is a free standard providing guidance for businesses on how to improve support for employees experiencing menstruation and menopause at work. Beyond practical adjustments, checklists, and discussion resources, this document supports fostering a more open and inclusive workplace culture around these important topics.

Download this standard. 

5. BS EN ISO 50005:2022 Energy management systems. Guidelines for a phased implementation

The price of energy has skyrocketed and is eating into the profits of every UK business. It’s time to take control of your organization’s energy usage and reduce your energy costs - and you can get started now with BS EN ISO 50005. This document provides guidance on how to take a phased approach to establish an effective Energy Management System (EnMS).

Download this standard. 


This content was provided by BSI

BSI is the business improvement and standards company that helps organisations make excellence a habit – all over the world.

Find out more