Coaching and consulting are two concepts that differ significantly, often confusing businesses. This misconception occurs because both work closely with business owners, aim for long-term goals, and are highly respected business operators. Coaching usually targets business owners who want to become better versions of themselves.

Consulting helps businesses with the expertise they currently lack. Therefore, knowing the basic definitions of coaching and consulting will help business owners decide which services meet the needs of the company.

What Is Business Coaching?

Business Coaching is a tool for self-development in which a coach provides service to a business owner in achieving a personal or professional goal. A business coach will help business owners identify unique challenges and be aware of their work environment to make necessary changes.

Coaching helps business owners set clear goals and meet them. Companies engage coaches to enhance time management, self-confidence, public speaking, and leadership. The business coach's ability to develop business owners' personalities and work on long-term goals is crucial.

What Does a Business Coach Do?

The experience of working with a coach can be quite similar to that of working with a trusted business partner. ‌ or building a professional relationship. For further appreciation, here's a list of a business coach's responsibilities:

Charts a path for your professional growth

A good business coach helps clients uncover the gap between a business's current situation and where it wants to be. With the help of their coach, the business owner can create a solid and strategic business plan that drives company growth.

Helps businesses discover and clarify core values and vision

New business leaders often need help defining the company's values and mapping them against a clear corporate vision. It is the responsibility of an experienced business coach to help walk a business owner through the process of aligning personal and corporate values.

Allows a safe space for vulnerability and growth

The relationship between a business owner and coach is a free space built on trust. Once trust is built, business owners can share their deepest thoughts and doubts without fear of ridicule or humiliation.

Acts as an accountability partner and motivator

A business coach can provide business owners with a high level of accountability. With more accountability, companies are more likely to take action on more significant responsibilities they might be afraid of. Coaches can be trusted resources for facilitating business growth.

Benefits of Business Coaching

business coaching

Running a business can be a lonely journey. Therefore, business owners sometimes turn to guidance from a business coach. Here are some of the benefits that a business owner gets from availing of the service of a business coach:

Increase productivity

A business coach will help the business owners define their accountability and simultaneously remove pointless activities from his day to day agenda. Also, it is the responsibility of the coach to encourage business owners to perform at their best. Through it, important and urgent tasks will be prioritised, resulting in a more productive performance.

Hone, Discover, and Develop Skills

Business people should constantly improve regardless of how long they have been navigating the business field. Business owners need to give room for improvement. The business coach identifies which areas a business owner should improve. With a business coach, business owners discover and hone untapped entrepreneurial skills that have yet to be known.

Helps Overcome Shortcomings

When faced with uncertainties and challenging adversities, businesses need the proper support to think of countermeasures to survive. Therefore, having a business coach who will look at the company differently is beneficial. It may help the business recover from financial losses, sales drops, ineffective marketing campaigns, and other uncertain circumstances.

Helps Keep Your Head in the Game

Admittedly, running a business is a challenging journey. Business owners will eventually encounter distractions here and there. Business owners hire coaches to align them with their vision and goals to stay on track. With a business coach always ready to serve, it becomes easier to implement goal-setting plans to address company concerns.  

Expand Connections

A business coach can share their network of experts for the benefit of the business. The connections will expand the company in terms of opportunities.

Empowering Your Workforce

A business coach can help in team-building activities that will cultivate a sense of teamwork among employees in a business.

Making Your Business Stand Out

A business coach would know that there is heavy competition in the business field. Therefore, they will always think a few steps ahead to ensure company performance and productivity is always at par with the rest of the competitors.

Is Business Coaching A "Must-Have"?

Despite its ambitious claims, business coaching may make or break young entrepreneurs, business owners, and corporate leaders. Even veterans appreciate a business coach's impartiality. No corporate leader can naturally handle complex industry needs, regardless of experience. Business coaches help executives grow.

Results From Business Coaching:

  • Revenue growth: Business growth and revenue growth are the key reasons business owners hire coaches. Business coaches can help owners identify and eliminate barriers while navigating financial spreadsheets. This alliance can boost the business's bottom line exponentially.
  • Resilience: Business owners are known to be resilient people, especially when adversities arise. Business owners know how to bounce back from setbacks. That's why business coaches ensure they can impart positive psychology and motivation to business owners.
  • Leadership: A lot of business coaches are not only trained to coach, but are also in some way business partners. So, they are a unique partner for business owners in terms of leadership.
  • Team-building: Business leadership teams are more art than science. First, find organisational flaws. Second, and more importantly, is developing a group that respects, challenges, and complements each other. A business coach will advise on both to help the company succeed.

What is business consulting?

Business Consulting is a tool that helps business owners improve their performance and efficiency. A business consultant will analyse businesses and create solutions to overcome challenges, increase revenue and grow.

What Does a Business Consultant Do?

A Business Consultant or Management Consultant can assist in any need that a business might have and, at the same time, guide the whole organisation toward success. Some business consultants focus on a few areas, while others try to help businesses in a wide range of ways. Even though each service is different, here are some of the most common ones. ‌

  • Identify obstacles that hinder growth or efficiency
  • Analyse data and statistics
  • Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of strategies
  • Identify necessary adjustments and assist in putting them into action. ‌
  • Provide any necessary training and resources to the whole organisation
  • Bring out-of-the-box ideas for a fresher perspective on the business
  • Assist in a strategic business planning
  • Implement new business programs

Why do Businesses Need a Consultant?

Businesses can significantly benefit from the expertise of a business consultant. Here are some significant advantages that companies can gain:

1. Starting strong: New businesses can hire consultants to complete planning and get a strong start.
2. Fresh perspective: Established businesses can benefit from a consultant's new perspective and innovative ideas.
3. Marketing campaigns: Businesses starting new campaigns can benefit from a consultant's research and expertise.
4. Strategic growth: Businesses are driven to improve and grow and can utilise a business consultant's strategic skills to develop effective growth plans.
5. Financial analysis: Businesses looking to meet their financial goals can hire a consultant to analyse their accounting and financial processes.
6. New department planning: Businesses that are adding a new department can obtain the support they need from a consultant in planning, organising, and staffing the new unit.


When Should You Hire a Consultant?

While a business coach focuses more on guiding business owners, a business consultant offers specific and strategic solutions to business challenges. Consultants may vary depending on the company's need—whether on sales, marketing, HR, or production.

Advantages of a Business Consultant

Employing the services of a business consultant can provide a firm with various advantages. To better understand the concept, here are some actual examples.

1. Fresh Perspective: Many seasoned entrepreneurs may need assistance seeing the bigger picture as they are entrenched in their business. A business consultant has a fresh viewpoint and can see things business owners may miss.

2. Broad Industry Expertise: Consultants often work across various industries and clients, providing them with invaluable insights and ideas gained from their previous engagements. This experience can particularly benefit new businesses seeking a coach's expertise.

3. Efficient Marketing Plan Development: Creating marketing plans can be challenging and time-consuming. Business consultants can help business owners develop effective strategies to implement the plan.

4. Identification of Strengths and Weaknesses: Business consultants are experts at identifying strengths and weaknesses in a business.

5. Financial Analysis: A company's financials are critical to its success. A business consultant is responsible for identifying weak areas in a business's expenses and creating solutions to address them. 

6. Customised Marketing Strategies: Engaging the services of a business consultant can help you increase your sales by devising a customised marketing plan tailored to your specific audience based on comprehensive research and analysis.

Key Skills of a Business Consultant

Here is the list of skills that a business consultant should possess:

  • Teamwork – Business consultants collaborate to solve industry problems. Since consultants generally work with teams on business operations, they should be flexible.
  • Interpersonal – business consultants spend long periods working with other business operators, meaning they must work well with others.
  • Leadership – business consultants are leaders themselves; you lead a team, especially when giving out business advice to fulfill achievable goals. 
  • Analytical–business consultants will also be exposed to the business's financials, which means they should have the necessary analytical and numerical skills. 
  • Problem-Solving – the business consultant will help devise ways to overcome challenges and potential organisational issues.
  • Commercial Awareness – Business consultants should understand their client's industries. The consultant can develop innovative ways to boost efficiency and beat the competition with this knowledge.

Next steps

Ultimately, every business owner only wants what is best for their business, which means it will only boil down to what the business needs. Suppose the company wants to improve performance based on a developing project. In that case, a business consultant is an expert to reach out to.

On the other hand, if the business seeks to improve productivity, leadership, and motivation, then a business coach is the answer. Click here to find a coach in your local area.

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Written by ActionCOACH May 21, 2023
ActionCOACH is recognised as the creator and most successful practitioner of business and executive coaching methodology that offers owners and managers a new perspective on their businesses and companies.