December 31, 2018
Business growth – What’s right for your organization: a Business Coach or a Business Consultant?
by Maureen McCabe
You know you need outside expertise for continued business and organizational growth, but who do you hire: a business coach or a business consultant, and how do you make sure you get the right one? Both can deliver similar step-change improvements for your performance as the leader/owner of your organization. Each takes a different approach and requires a different level of contribution from you and your team. Below we outline the differences in their roles which will help you to determine if you need a coach or consultant. In our next blog, we review the six must know questions to ask to make sure you hire the right firm.
Key Difference #1: Roles
Key is to decide if YOU want to be an integral player in the development and implementation of the solution. If you want an expert to lead the thinking, propose and implement a solution, then work with a business consultant. If you want to be closely involved in developing and implementing the solution, then work with a business coach.
Key Difference #2: How they work
A business consultant will assess the situation, develop a possible solution, and implement the solution. They do the majority of the work, supported by you/your team.
A coach will help you assess the situation, work with you to develop a solution, and support you through implementation, challenging you to deliver the best result. You and your team do the majority of the work.
Also, a business consultant will be accountable to you for delivering results. A coach will hold YOU accountable for completing the work needed to get where you want to go.
Key Difference #3: Experience
An effective business consultant will bring experience both in your industry and solving the same or similar challenges.
An effective coach may not have experience in your industry, as they bring valuable perspective from other industries. They should have experience with the same or similar challenges, however, to provide perspective on the solutions you develop.
Key Difference #4: Scope of Challenge
A consultant is ideal for a specific challenge, with a defined scope and end date. A coach works well when the challenges are less clear and the timeline may be undefined. With both, as they work with you, additional opportunities for improvement may be identified that they can assist with.
To confuse the issue, many coaches will consult if requested, and many business consultants take a coach-approach to their work. It is a spectrum, not an absolute.
A business consultant advises you, a business coach guides you. The McCabe Marketing team provides both marketing consulting services and business coaching. Learn more by requesting a free no-obligation consultation.
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