By way of introduction, I will presume if I may, that as you have actively searched for and are reading this article you are in business and are looking for support to make your business great.
To that I say congratulations – you have just taken the first step towards achieving that goal.
Next you must decide which type of support you need; a Business Consultant or a Business Coach? The best way to do this is to understand the similarities and differences between them.
The Business Consultant
A Business Consultant is a specialist in an industry or area of business who has experience in facing and overcoming problems specific to that industry or area.
They will get to know your business inside out by meeting with management and employees, attending business meetings, touring facilities and/or offices and thoroughly analysing your business.
Once they understand how your business works, they evaluate where change is required to maximise opportunities for growth, improve performance, profits and efficiency, resolve current problems and avoid future problems.
They then begin consulting you (the business owner) on how to implement their plan and achieve the goals they have identified.
One of the main differences between a consultant and a coach lies herein – the Business Consultant is now an integral part of your business. Consider him/her as an extra member of staff. Someone who becomes indispensable in the achievement of your business goals.
To an extent, they do the work for you, become part of your team and dictate how your business achieves its potential.
If this type of support ticks your boxes, then a Business Consultant is most likely for you.
The Business Coach
On the contrary, a Business Coach’s goal is to become dispensable.
They do not dictate how your business achieves its potential; they coach you on how to make the decisions yourself.
They do not become a member of staff; they are an external sounding board and companion for you in your business journey.
They do not do the work for you; they hold you accountable for doing the work yourself.
They understand that you are the expert and the decision maker in your business; they do not to tell you how to run your business. Instead, they offer you their wealth of knowledge and expertise in the ‘art of business’.
They get to know your business by getting to know you. They identify your learning style and your business style, then coach you in a ‘language’ that resonates with both.
A Business Coach will ask you questions (lots of questions!) which help you identify the challenges faced by you and your business so that you can find your own solutions. They guide you towards great outcomes, encourage you to take responsibility and hold you accountable for the business’ success.
While their approach differs from a Business Consultant, a Business Coach is skilled in ensuring your business grows, performs better, increases profits, increases efficiency and avoids or overcomes problems. Ultimately, their goal is to teach you how to get the most out of your business so that one day you no longer need them.
I like to think of a Business Coach as a person who teaches you how to fish so you can eat for a lifetime.