What is the Difference between a Consultant and a Business Coach?
Many businesses today work with both consultants and business coaches. What exactly is the difference between the two and which option can most benefit your business?
A business coach focuses on bringing out the best in you and your company. In many cases, a business coach can help you to focus on the big picture and assist you in reaching your business goals.
Toward this end, a business coach is not unlike an athletic coach. He or she will both support and encourage you while also working with you to determine areas that may not be working as well as they could be working. Business coaches can work with you on a variety of issues, including:
- Time management
- Action planning
Ultimately, a business coach will work with you strategize and develop a plan for moving your business forward.
By comparison, a business consultant provides a higher level of expertise. That expertise could take the form of web design, marketing, or strategy planning. The purpose of a business consultant is to assist you in improving systems within your business structure.
A business consultant will typically meet with you to determine your goals and then analyse what you are doing currently to determine areas of improvement. From that point, he or she will work with you to devise a plan of action that will help you move forward so that you can reach your goals.
Among the primary differences between a coach and a consultant is that a coach will encourage you to do your best while a business consultant will identify the tasks that need to be performed in order for you to accomplish your goals. A consultant may also actually complete projects for you based on his or her own expertise.
Accountability is one of the largest differences that exist between consulting and coaching. A coach will hold a client completely accountable for the actions that need to be taken. This is not usually the case with consulting. A consultant may deliver a report that details what needs to be done but does not hold you accountable for actually accomplishing those tasks. Collaboration is yet another difference between the two relationships. A collaborative nature usually exists between a coach and client. Additionally, while a coach may well have his or her own specialization, but typically acts as a generalist. This is not the case with consultants, who are hired to make recommendations based on a specific area of expertise.
After understanding the differences between consultants and coaches, you may still be curious about which option is best for your business. In determining which choice will help you to meet your business goals, it is important to carefully consider your values as well as your needs. In addition, it is a good idea to evaluate your time constraints.
Many business owners find that they are able to benefit from the help of both a business coach and a business consultant.