Creancer: Noun - Mentor



Research carried out by the Institute for Independent Business amongst thousands of businesses employing between 5 and 250 people shows that the greatest perceived problems of Managing Director/Owner (MDOs) are:

  • Cashflow
  • Funding
  • Profitability
  • Marketing
  • Legislation
  • Loneliness
  • Lack of time
  • Lack of personal exit strategy
  • Loss of original vision for the business
  • Lack of up to date information

Practical Advice that Works

Experience had shown that however confident an MDO is, there are always those moments when he/she wished that another mature and experienced business person was available to provide that vital second opinion – including alternative ideas. Perhaps this is just someone with experience to ‘bounce ideas off’!

One of the biggest problems for anyone who runs a busy business is that ‘they don’t know what they don’t know’! A Managing Director of a large company has a professional board of directors, each being proven experts in their own fields with a long track record of success and each being available for the Managing Director to call upon whenever he needs answers or actions implemented. The MDO of an SME has no such luxury. Nor is it a realistic option as one new professional executive director can easily cost a business at least £60,000 per year. So what is the realistic and affordable option?

The IIB Business Support Programme

The Institute for Independent Business (IIB) offers its Business Support Programme to help SME employing between 5 and 250 employees.

The IIB assigns to the applying host company one of its Accredited Business Executives as a Programme coordinator or mentor for up to 12 months and to support and assist the company in any and every way possible whilst being a ‘business friend’ to the MDO.

With the IIB Executive accreditation being only afforded to top business professionals who meet the Institute’s exacting standards, this is acknowledged as a privileged position. With a combination of the Executive being constantly available to the MDO of the SME and all the other ‘hands-on’ support being given to the supported company, the incredible value of the whole facility cannot be overstated. Under the Programme:

  • The Executive is available at all reasonable times on a local ‘hotline’ number – just to talk through whatever is on your mind.
  • The Executive, by drawing upon the virtually unlimited business resources of the Institute, will arrange the answer of nearly any business query the company may have.
  • The Executive will sit in on the company’s monthly board or strategy planning meeting to ensure that the company is adequately supported and progressing to plan.
  • The Executive will plan and coordinate with the MDO the use of the company’s allocated 24 days of ‘hands on’ practical assistance from the Institute’s professionals.

With over 1800 mature specialist professionals in every imaginable discipline available, the supported company can decide to use the hours available through the scheme for a very wide range of requirements indeed, for example:

  • Finance or re-financing the business
  • Strategic Business Review and preparation of a new business plan
  • Applying for and obtaining grants and soft loans
  • Sales or Marketing systems, plans and campaigns
  • Health and Safety audit and compliance
  • ISO 9001-2000 or ISO 14000 implementation
  • Staff and management development or training
  • Export strategy, plan and implementation
  • Company sale, planned exit strategy or succession planning
  • Increasing profitability
  • Company expansion
  • Information Technology and e-commerce
  • Administrative systems to be streamlined, simplified of planned from the start.

Throughout the 12 months of support, the Executive will look at many areas of the company’s business and identify cost savings and opportunities, which can result in tens of thousands of pounds of incremental profit for the company. Unlike directly employing directors, there are no NI contributions, no sick or holiday pay, car, pension, insurance or other indirect costs. The full cost is typically an allowable tax-deductible expense for the company. In return, the MDO gets a ‘virtual board’ of some of the country’s top professional directors being available to both advise the MDO on any subject and to be called in to undertake the required projects in a hands-on capacity.

The way forward

An exploratory, no-obligation meeting to discuss how the IIB Business Support Programme can help you and your business can easily be arranged. For more information, please complete the online enquiry form or contact GRAHAM ASHLEY at Creancer.

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