The Institute for Independent Business (IIB) is a not-for-profit research, training and accreditation organization. Since 1984 the Institute has been providing invaluable information and access to assistance to meet the needs of independent businesses.
Research shows that most owners/managers of small to medium sized businesses are concerned that they lack the skills, experience and time to be effective in various key aspects of management, a well as the contacts and resources required to maintain and grow their businesses.
To address these fundamental needs, the Institute provides access to highly skilled and highly experienced business people, who have been trained and accredited in advising and helping small to medium sized businesses.
Now the leading global organization, the IIB has provided independent businesses with access to over 5,000 Executive Associates throughout the world, an incredible and exclusive network of talent, resources and contacts providing valuable support and practical advice that works.
Businesses can benefit from the exact support needed that’s right for them, based on a well-proven model that has helped many thousands of independent businesses. To find out more about how the Institute works, its Executive Associates, and the Business Support Programme, please select the IIB website for your country.
The Institute for Independent Business (IIB) is the largest organization of its type with over 5,000 highly skilled Executive Associates having been accredited, working with many thousands of businesses mostly within the Small to Medium size Enterprise (SME) sector.
Unlike large organizations and corporations, SMEs generally lack the resources to build a management team of professionals experienced across a range of business critical disciplines. In fact, the burden of maintaining and growing a successful independent business is generally limited to a very small number of owner directors / partners. Sometimes this falls on just one person. With so much to do and with limited resources, many feel frustrated at the ever-increasing demands being placed upon them.
The Institute was formed in 1984, initially as the Institute for Independent British Businesses. Since formation the Institute has evolved and developed in line with the needs of small to medium sized businesses around the world.
The Institute has provided the growing base of accredited Executive Associates and independent business owners with access to a wealth of information normally beyond their reach. In addition to this it produced publications such as Small Business Today – replaced more recently by Independent Business Today. This brings the independent business owner not only current topical information but also jargon-free academic research, information on new business techniques, and practical articles on training and personal development.
From research into the needs of the independent business sector carried out by the Institute, as well as by several academic institutions during the 1980’s it became clear that small to medium sized businesses required not just information and articles, but also practical assistance in the form of hands-on help.
Typical Needs and Problem Areas
According to some statistics in the last few years, 99.5% of all businesses in most western economies employ fewer than 200 people, 98% employ fewer than 50 people and 96.4% employ fewer than 20 people. These figures clearly illustrate the importance of independent businesses in the economy, but equally many such businesses fail within the first three years of starting – in fact only 15% actually make it beyond this point.
Ongoing feedback from thousands of independent businesses reveals that the greatest problems recognized by their managing directors/owners are:
- · Funding
- · Keeping up to date with information
- · Lack of exit strategy
- · Lack of time
- · Lack of up-to-date information
- · Legislation (e.g. Employment, Health & Safety)
- · Loneliness
- · Loss of original vision for the business
- · Marketing
- · Profitability
- · Sales
The Management ‘Gap’
Feedback also shows that managing directors / owners of small to medium sized businesses generally have to:
- · know everything
- · keep up with everything, and
- · do nearly everything themselves.
But business people cannot be expected to ‘know what they don’t know’. Importantly, it’s not just the lack o knowledge or experience that can be a limiting factor, but also the available time to be effective in doing what needs to be done. More often than not, the need is for practical hands-on assistance.
Practical advice that works
From research gained from face to face meetings with owners/managers of independent businesses, it is understood that there simply aren’t enough hours in the day to focus on non-profitable activities. The day to day needs of the business must be taken care of, whilst the right solution is implemented.
A no-obligation meeting with an Executive Associate is the ideal way to discuss the challenges faced on a confidential basis, and to discover if the business qualifies for help under the Business Support Programme delivering practical advice that works. A meeting with an IIB Executive Associate can be one of the most important meetings ever.