Business Coach vs Business Consultant

July 7th, 2010 by | Print


Meet Dave.

Dave is a Project Manager for a large IT consulting firm. While the pay and the benefits are good, Dave finds himself dreaming on the job about pursuing his passion of being a solopreneur. He’s tired of following other people’s agenda. He’s thought about a couple of different business ideas and believes he knows enough to get a business started. However, Dave still wonders if he has an idea that can generate a viable income … or at least enough for he, his wife and two kids to maintain a similar lifestyle to what they’ve become accustom to.

Does Dave need a coach or a consultant? Does he need both? Is there a difference?

While it is possible to find a person that is both a coach and a consultant, these two titles approach business from two very different perspectives.

Business Coach
A business coach will approach Dave to determine what his needs, wants, fears and passions are and help Dave determine what business idea will give him the best life / work balance. A coach will focus on helping Dave create a business that is an extension of who he is … he’s strengths, his experience, his passion, his financial needs and personal goals. His coach will work to bring the best out in Dave so he can maximize his potential.

Business Consultant
A business consultant will likely take Dave through a series of best of business practices to make sure he does his market research, creates a business plan, applies for the appropriate licenses and permits, sets up his legal structure, and so forth. A consultant focuses predominately on whether Dave’s plan adds up to financial success, and cares less about whether Dave is passionate about his idea. A consultant will bring expertise that Dave doesn’t have to the equation to help Dave turn his idea into income.

In Dave’s scenario, he likely needs both (or at least someone who is adept at providing services in both roles).

Dave needs the coach to help him define his business idea and then encourage him to get started. After Dave launches his business, he may need the coach for a period of time to make sure he can handle the stresses that come with being a solopreneur running a small business.

Dave needs the consultant to walk him through the checklist of action items to ensure he has the proper foundation for launching a successful business. He may need the consultant on an ongoing basis to help him with his marketing, product and service development, and joint venture partnerships.

So which do you need? Are you thinking about starting a new business? Did you start a new business and now you feel stuck?

If you aren’t sure whether a coach or a consultant would help you best, drop me a line.

All the Best,

Doug Dolan
The Solopreneur’s Guide
Small Biz Break


One Response to “Business Coach vs Business Consultant”

  1. Aspergers Syndromes Symptoms Says:

    What a great resource!

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