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High-level Consulting for SMEs

Original by: Strategy Magazine
Individual Advantages makes C-Suite expertise available to firms that aren’t quite big enough to hire chairmen or executive level professionals full time. IA consultants leverage their experience to build high-performance teams and steer organizational change.

It’s no secret that big businesses tend to have the budgets to hire highly experienced executives, but that’s not always the case with small to mid-sized firms. When it comes to integrating people, process, and technology, many companies don’t know where to start.

Enter IA Business Advisors, also known around the world as Individual Advantages, who put best-in-class chairman level consulting in the hands of agile organizations. Its consultants play the part of a fractional C-level employee such as the COO, CFO, CMO, and more that provide expertise on a personalized basis.

IA Business Advisors’ mission is to be that company “in your back pocket or on your shoulder,” ready to play devil’s advocate for crucial business propositions or driving positive change.

Helping the Little Guys

Small to mid-sized firms face many challenges in marketing, human resources, operations, cashflow, and other operations-based issues, as well as planning for mergers and acquisitions, succession planning, and strategic initiatives. That’s why IA consultants specialize in marketing, human resources, operations, and finance. In the years since its founding in 1996, the IA team has won numerous awards around the world, including Business of the Year in multiple jurisdictions. More importantly, its clients have earned recognition from the likes of JD Power & Associates and INC500 in part due to its services.

“Individual Advantages began as and remains a company devoted to the development and refinement of the advantages created by the individuals managing companies. Our belief that an individual’s influence is their single greatest responsibility remains the one tenet embedded in our personal goals and the goals of those that trust our support and advice.” – Dr. Brian Smith, Senior Managing Partner and Founder

IA leads with what it calls “BizVision,” a proprietary analytical approach that enables a full assessment of company strengths, weaknesses, and needs. Then, the IA team, along with their clients, adjust or manage the people, process, and technology to ensure that their solutions integrate seamlessly throughout the organization. If challenges arise, the IA team partners with internal leaders to modify the appropriate area and deliver positive resolution and growth for the entire team.

Change at IA

In 2019, IA expanded within the Midwest region of the United States, with a special focus on the Chicago area. In fact, the company plans on doubling the number of advisors available in the region. In support of their underlying mission, they have introduced “The I in Team Series” to the business world – a deeper discussion and look at how influence can be managed throughout organizations.

“Influence is biggest responsibility we have as humans and organizations, so understanding our influence is vital when facilitating change,” says Brian Smith, founder, senior managing partner, and author of The I in Team Series. Maximizing positive influence is the bottom line for IA.

Whether it’s through validating decisions or challenging the status quo, the IA team believes that their influence is their single greatest responsibility, and they have made it their mission to empower clients to leave a positive influence in the markets they serve.