The Difference Between a Business Coach, Mentor and a Consultant

Last Updated: 

July 17, 2023

If you are someone who runs a business you may come across thousands of people referring you to business consultants and coaches. They'll be telling you that this particular coach or consultant is the right one to help you and your business.

Understanding the difference between the two is very important.

Hence why I've put together this handy little guide so you can decide for yourself which one you really need help from.

Business consulting and business coaching are completely different.

Here's why...

Key Takeaways on Mentoring vs Coaching:

  1. usiness Consulting: This involves providing expert advice and guidance to business owners and management to improve efficiency and performance. Consultants recommend strategies and work alongside the management to implement changes. They focus on all aspects of the business, from the administrative team to the CEO, offering an outside perspective to improve specific business areas. They operate under a "Done For You" approach.
  2. Business Coaching: Coaches facilitate entrepreneurs, startups, and professionals to accelerate their growth, operating on a set schedule to share feedback and growth plans. However, they do not directly implement the strategies but guide and instruct the clients, following a "Done With You" approach. Coaches understand market trends and risks, offering strategies for growth while considering the clients' resources and budget.
  3. Similarities: Both coaches and consultants are paid for their expertise, are not employees of the organisation they help, and offer an outsider’s perspective on the business.
  4. Differences: The major difference of mentoring vs coaching lies in their approach and focus. While a business coach focuses on the individual, often needed by beginners dealing with uncertainty and demotivation, a consultant focuses on teams, processes, and other business aspects, tackling specific issues to facilitate business growth.

In summary, understanding the distinct roles of a business coach and consultant can help business owners and managers determine who they need to aid their business growth and resolve challenges.

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Business Consulting

Business consulting refers to the expert help or guidance which is provided usually to the management and owners of a business to help an organisation in improving its efficiency and performance.

Right, that's the boring dictionary definition out of the way.

In short, a consultant will make recommendations and then does some of the doing alongside the management and owners of a business.

Think of it as "Done For You".

The consultant is concerned with all the aspects of the business; including anyone in the organisation who plays contributes to the success of the business. From the admin team right up to the board and the CEO. A business consultant is interested in looking at all the perspectives, viewpoints and aspects.

It is the job of someone like these business consultants Sydney to provide an outside view to you and then help to implement the recommended changes.

If you think you require temporary help from a business expert who will advise you about some specific aspects of your business then you need to go for a business consultant.

Business Coaching

Business coaching is different because it is client lead.

Business coaches facilitate entrepreneurs, startups, and professionals to grow at a faster pace. They work on a set schedule to share feedback, personalised recommendations, and growth plans with the client.

These goals might be to grow turnover, accelerate their career, or accelerate business growth.

A business coach won't do any of the doing. So it is more of a "Done With You" approach but with some clear guidance and instruction.

Business coaches study their client’s business, understand the current situation and compare against market requirements. They formulate strategies for keeping your resources and your budget in mind and give possible suggestions for business to grow and become more sustainable.

Business coaches are sometimes considered as experts or 'gurus' but quite frankly I hate the word. They know market trends and understand risks and can help you in looking at both, from an expert’s perspective.

A business coach is someone who brings out the best in you. If you think you are someone who is new to the world of business or you have started multiple times but never succeeded then you can get the help of a business coach to help you in becoming more clear and focused.

Similarities and Differences

When it comes to looking at the similarities, both consultants and coaches are:

  • paid some fees in order to get access to their expertise
  • not an employee of the organisation who hires them
  • offer an outsider’s perspective on the business.

And the differences:

  • Mainly a difference of approach and focus that the two take to help your business out.
  • A business coach focuses on the individual and is needed by someone who is starting out and facing issues of uncertainty and demotivation.
  • Whereas, a business consultant focuses on processes, teams and other aspects of the business.
  • Consultants address specific issues and matters that businesses need help with in order to get to the next level.

Hopefully that's cleared things up.

Warm regards

Your Fearless Business Coach

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Don't forget to check out our Case Studies and also how Business Coaching can help your business. If you're ready to talk further and get the full coaching experience you can book a FREE 30-Minute Coaching Session.