What’s the Difference between a Consultant and Business Coach?

The terms ‘consultant’ and ‘business coach’ often get tossed around interchangeably, but they’re not the same thing. So what exactly is the difference between a business coach and a consultant?

A business coach focuses on bringing out the best in you and your company. They help you focus on the big picture and assist you in reaching your business goals. A business coach, in this way, is much like any other coach (athletic, musical, political e.g.). They will encourage you while working alongside you to determine areas that are performing, and areas that are not. They may help with areas such as time management, motivation, follow-up, strategy, and accountability. They help you strategize and develop a plan for taking your business forward.

By comparison, a business coach provides a more specific type of assistance. They help you with a specific issue that your business is facing, such as problems in web design or marketing. A consultant is responsible for helping you to improve the systems within your business structure.

A business consultant will typically meet with you and you will outline specific goals that you are trying to attain.  They will then analyze 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 specifically outlined goals. 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.

To put it simply, a coach assesses your business as a whole and helps you to do your best in all aspects of your operation, while a business consultant identifies 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.

This introduces another key aspect of business coaching; collaboration. A relationship of collaboration exists between a coach and client. Coaches come into the business with a fresh take, and working alongside the client, develop a strategy for optimal functioning of the business and the people in it. They then help the client to implement those solutions, encouraging them to do their best at all points.

Do you have more questions? Are you looking to improve your business? Get in contact with us to discuss how we can help you and your business.

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