Often people use the words coach and consultant interchangeably when looking for assistance in the business. However the differences between a business coach and a business consultant are actually quite substantial, and one does a completely different job to the other. As a business owner, if you are looking to find a person who can help you develop a successful business, it is important to get the right kind of assistance.

Business Consultant

A business consultant is a person who helps a business by providing a high level of expertise. That expertise could take the form of web design, marketing, or strategy planning. Usually, a business consultant will specialize in one aspect of a business strategy within which they can provide expert knowledge.

The purpose of a business consultant is to assist you to reach your business goals by improving systems within your business structure. They will offer custom guidance that will increase the company momentum for their client.

What Does a Business Consultant Work on with You?

  • Business strategy
  • Service/product offerings and pricing
  • Direction of business
  • Delegation/dealing with staff and sub-contractors
  • Lead generation
  • Closing the sale
  • Traditional marketing planning
  • Internet marketing planning
  • Project planning
  • Social Media marketing strategy
  • Systems for running your business
  • Website planning

A business consultant is there to teach you skills you don’t know, analyze your business, and create an action plan for you to implement. They will offer Actionable plans that a client can use, and often the business consultant will actually assist the client with actually implementing it, and making sure it is put into action.

Business ConsultantBusiness coach

The coaching process of a business coach is different because it is a client lead. As a coach, your job is to unlock a person’s potential to maximize their own performance.  The desired outcome for a business coach is to help the client to learn rather than teaching them. The coach’s purpose is to guide their client towards being more successful and closing the gap between where they are and where they. They are there in order to identify clear goals for the business and help their client maximise their own potential.

One of the most important jobs of a business coach is to be an outside perspective. Often when a business owner is too involved in their own business they fail to have a higher-level perspective. The coach will thus be able to point out where the business is going wrong, and then direct the client in the right direction to solve the problems.

A business coach is there to help facilitate the generation of their client’s ideas, behaviors, and systems. It’s a knowledge transfer to the client and that you need very little industry knowledge.

What Does a Business Coach Work on with You?

  • Accountability
  • Action Planning
  • Support
  • Focus
  • Follow-up
  • Implementation
  • Limiting beliefs
  • Motivation
  • Overwhelm
  • Purpose
  • Self-sabotage
  • Time management
  • Productivity

 As you can see, what a coach is focused on, is the personal development of the client. It is all about changing behavior and thinking, and seeing an actual shift in self-identity. In order to see lasting business growth, the actual changes a coach makes in the life of their client also need to be lasting.

Because of this, a business coach will focus on short term goals, as well as long term goals. They will help their client get out of their comfort zone so that they undergo lasting personal development and change.


In conclusion, the primary difference between a business coach and a business consultant is the methods they use to solve a problem. While a consultant solves the problem themselves a business coach supports the client to come up with their own solution. The lifespan of a consultant’s clients is also much shorter, as they promise a specific outcome. Once they have provided their expertise, and the outcome has been reached, they have nothing left to give. A coach on the other hand will be able to provide value to their clients for years, as you are only supporting clients come up with their own answers.

Which one do you need for your business?

A consultant is usually an expert in a specific field who provides technical and professional advice to clients. A coach, however, helps clients find their own clarity and answers and assists them to understand how to move forward in achieving their goals and grow personally.

  • Hire a consultant when: You need help with a particular aspect of your business, and you need an expert who can teach you a process or method.
  • Hire a coach when:  you want to discover yourself and work on your personal development

Should you become a coach or a consultant?

To become a consultant you will need to have extensive industry knowledge and experience. You should also be highly organized and able to implement business strategies within a wide range of different businesses. To become a successful coach you don’t need any industry experience, although some knowledge will be helpful. You need to be a supportive and caring person, who is willing to act as a soundboard and accountability partner for your clients.

Become a business consultant if you: Have substantial experience, and are able to confidently implement business plans and strategies into a business.

Become a coach if you: Want to help people better themselves and achieve their business goals, using support and different kinds of coaching techniques.

If you are interested in becoming a business coach, you might want to look into our Profit Coach Certified Partner Programme. This program will equip you with all the necessary skills and knowledge to start your own successful coaching business.

Zander Woodford-Smith

Founder Business Coach Academy, Co-Author International Best Seller "Better Business, Better Life, Better World. Coaching Tools used by over 20,000 people.

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