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About the Institute for Independent Business

All the independent consultancy businesses on this website are run by individuals who have been accredited by the Institute for Independent Business (IIB)

The Institute for Independent Business (IIB) is a not-for-profit research, training and accreditation organisation established in the UK in 1984.

During the 1980s, research had shown 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, as well as the contacts and resources required to maintain and grow their businesses.

In comparison with large corporations, the independent business typically operated in isolation, without the necessary network of contacts and information providers normally accessible to big business.

Furthermore, by virtue of their light management structure, independent businesses often lacked fundamental skills in key aspects of management that were required to maintain and grow a successful business.

The Institute was conceived as a single reference point for the independent business sector, where information and practical impartial advice could readily be obtained.

A monthly publication, Small Business Today, became the initial means of disseminating relevant information to independent business. Small Business Today contained a plethora of information and matter of current interest - special loan schemes, changes in legislation, etc.

In particular, management techniques often used in the large business environment were reported on and modified for use by managers in the small business sector. Articles on matters pertaining to training, finance and marketing were included.


It became clear that the independent business sector required not only information and advice in order to survive and grow but also practical assistance in the form of both 'process' and 'expert' business advice.

Moreover, in order to be effective, 'pure' business advice had to be combined with practical and structured implementation. It was evident that the major consultancy practices were unable or unwilling to fulfil this need, as their cost structures and their non implementation style were generally not suited or acceptable to the independent business sector.

The Institute therefore created the Consultancy Business Development Programme (CBDP) to provide suitable executives with a framework for developing independent Business Advisory practices directed specifically at the independent business sector.

The first CBDP took place in January 1991, and since then over 5,500 executives have completed the Residential Business School and support programme to become Accredited Associates with their own advisory practices.

The Continuing Professional Development (CPD) of Associates is catered for by the Institute through the provision of monthly training workshops/forums, a monthly internal publication, Global Update, an email facility which provides a platform for the exchange of information, problem solving and sharing expertise and an interactive website.

The Institute's ongoing research into methods of improving the delivery of information, advice and management skills to the independent business sector has led to the development of the Business Support Programme (BSP). Research showed that, to improve business performance, it was necessary to facilitate incremental improvements in all aspects of company activity, rather than concentrating on any one single aspect.


Thus, as an example, to undertake marketing business advice for an independent business without providing hands on help in such matters as finance, personnel, production, etc, was likely to cause imbalances and hinder rather than expedite improvement.

Under a BSP, a Lead Adviser is appointed who, over a period of time and using standard analytical techniques, can become fully familiar with a client's business. The Lead Adviser is then responsible for bringing in appropriate Associates from the Institute's community of Associates to provide specific expertise.

The BSP is paid for by clients on a monthly retainer basis. This allows the client to draw on an Advisor's time as and when required. The result is that, for a fixed and known cost, clients have access to the full range of skills that would normally only be available to the Board and senior management of a large company.

Through the BSP, the Institute has provided a method and structure for overcoming, in an acceptable commercial manner, the expertise gap that exists in the typical management structure. And, as the needs of independent businesses are found to be common in all countries, Associates of the Institute continue to enjoy remarkable success worldwide.

All individuals who are accredited by the Institute have to conform to a strict code of ethics whereby they have to serve their local business community by contributing time and expertise without financial reward. This means that when an SME business asks an IIB Associate for help - the first consultation is usually completely without charge.

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 all over the world.

for more information, please go to www.iib.ws

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