A Business Coach
is a professional who works with business owners, entrepreneurs or CEOs in a collaborative relationship
The business coach “done WITH you” approach.
One of the biggest weaknesses many small business owners face is that they often have a better grip on what their business does than they do on how to make their business run. This presents a particular challenge as your company scales and your focus has to move from simple execution (baking cakes, for example) to operations (hiring staff to bake cakes) to strategy (should we expand our offering and locations? should we sell cakes online?)
It’s at this point that a lot of business owners start to feel out of their depth (at least in a new way). Developing and executing a growth strategy doesn’t always require the same set of skills and experience you accrued building your business.
A Business Mentor
is someone with more entrepreneurial business experience than you who serves as a trusted confidante over time
Whether you’re the founder of a brand-new startup or an entrepreneur with a bit of business experience under your belt, you can always benefit from a mentor.
A mentor can serve as a sounding board at critical points throughout your career. They can provide guidance on career management you may not be able to get from other sources and an insider’s perspective on the business, as well as make introductions to key industry contacts.
Mentors help their mentees identify and avoid business pitfalls, and work through the challenges ahead of them.
It’s important to have mentors especially early in the early stages of your business since they can provide insight on getting ahead as well as supporting your overall goals.
A Business Consultant
is an individual with an array of skills through education and past experiences, who assist business owners with their business endeavor
The business consultant “done FOR you” approach.
While a business coach is more focused on providing guidance, a business consultant provides specific solutions to your specific challenges. Think of a consultant as a “sleeves-rolled-up” subject matter expert.
There are different consultants for different needs a business might have—sales, marketing, HR, production. If you need a specialist, you won’t have to look too far to find one for just about any facet of your business.
The core difference lies in what each practitioner is working on. A coach works on improving your knowledge of the business. The consultant works directly on specific aspects of your business.