In January 1989, Ian Farmer founded Ian Farmer Associates in Cambridge, England after having spent 4 years in the USA running two companies, one of which was a start up in Los Angeles, the second, a turnaround and trade sale just outside Washington, DC.

On his return to the UK, (the visa went with the last job in DC!) Ian joined Cambridge IT technology legend Torch Computers as Sales and Marketing Director.  Having been accustomed to the HQ (and the boss) being thousands of miles away, Ian found having the CEO 6 miles away was well, shall we say, challenging.  So in January 1989 he left to form his own consultancy firm.

Ian Farmer Associates started as an interim management consultancy offering "senior board level sales, marketing and general management expertise and help to organizations that either did not need and/or could not afford someone full time".

Early engagements were projects such as Interim Sales Director for an ISV selling software in the Local Authority market, General Manager for an organization selling back office accounting systems to futures and options traders and Interim Channel Manager for a CRM vendor.

The business quickly grew and added strategic sales consultancy to its portfolio of professional services. Projects included working with several consultancy firms on their business development, staffing, structure and go-to-market plans.  In 2003, Ian wrote Oracle UK's Education division's go-to-market strategy and worked with another organization completely restructuring the board.  For an ISV, he supported the move from a proprietary platform to an open system (from a sales and marketing perspective) by finding investors in exchange for an exclusive reseller agreement, co-funding for marketing from Oracle, and writing and executing a new marketing plan.

As Ian Farmer Associates' reputation and company grew, a name change and restructuring of our own was in order and we became IF Associates (UK) Ltd and IF Associates Inc, in the USA.  At the same time IF Associates further expanded their training portfolio partnering with industry leader Holden International and offering their world famous Power Base Selling program to our repertoire.  All through the 1990s, organizations were getting used to selling by telephone.  We took many organizations into telephone and account management into telephone sales for the first time by developing solution selling programs for professional services firms, helping their consultancies, accountants and lawyers to sell their services.