Coaching vs. Consulting: Which is Right for Your Business?

Most businesses bring in external guidance at one point or another to help them navigate challenges and capitalize on growth opportunities. 

Signs your business might need external guidance?

  • Your business is stalled and you’re not experiencing growth
  • Prioritization feels muddled
  • Your strategy isn’t helping you hit your goals
  • Performance is down
  • You want to develop your leadership team further

Two common avenues for this guidance are business coaching and business consulting. While both approaches offer valuable insights, understanding the differences between them is important for determining which is the right fit for your business with what you need.

Key Differences Between Coaching and Consulting

1. Focus

Coaching emphasizes the process of personal and professional development while consulting focuses on delivering specific outcomes and solutions.

2. Approach

Coaching takes a collaborative approach, encouraging self-discovery and empowerment, while consulting adopts an advisory role, providing expert guidance and recommendations.

3. Engagement

Coaching engagements are typically long-term and ongoing, fostering continuous growth and development. Consulting engagements are often short-term and project-based, focusing on achieving specific objectives within a defined timeframe.

Understanding Business Coaching

Business coaching involves a collaborative partnership between a coach and a client aimed at achieving personal and professional development goals. Unlike consulting, which focuses on providing expert advice, coaching emphasizes guiding individuals and teams to discover their own solutions and strategies.

Many business coaches, like myself, have a toolkit of frameworks (like System & Soul) and assessments (like Working Genius) that can be personalized to your organization’s needs based on your specific situation. With this toolkit, business coaches aim to develop and nurture your team so that you can make real progress toward crushing your goals!

Understanding Business Consulting

In contrast, business consulting typically entails providing expert advice, analysis, and recommendations to address specific business challenges or opportunities. Consultants bring specialized knowledge and expertise to the table, offering practical solutions and strategies to improve business performance.

While coaching focuses on facilitating personal and professional growth, consulting focuses on delivering tangible results and outcomes. Consultants often work on short-term projects, providing targeted solutions to address immediate business needs.

Which Approach is Right for Your Business?

Choosing between coaching and consulting depends on various factors, including the nature of your business challenges, your leadership style, and your desired outcomes.

Choose Business Coaching If…

  • Your business has complex, long-term goals that require ongoing support and development
  • You need clarity and guidance around strategic planning
  • Your leadership team needs accountability to progress toward goals
  • You want to see both personal and professional growth for your team

As a business strategy coach specializing in small to mid-sized businesses, I prioritize empowering leaders to unlock their full potential and drive sustainable growth. With personalized coaching sessions, my clients clarify their vision, overcome obstacles, and achieve their business objectives.

Choose Business Consulting If…

  • Your business has immediate needs that require quick action and turn-around
  • You require specialized expertise for a specific function or area of your business (i.e. finance, HR, operations, etc.)
  • Your team would benefit from hands-on assistance and support for solutions, sometimes including implementation and execution
  • Your situation requires a deep analysis and diagnosis

Whether you choose coaching, consulting, or a combination of both, the key is to seek guidance and support that aligns with your vision and goals.

Try Out Business Coaching for Zero-Cost

As part of my commitment to helping small and midsized businesses thrive, I offer Strategy Sprint workshops—a no-cost opportunity for your leadership teams to explore business coaching and determine if it’s right for your organization. 

Your leadership team will leave the 60-90-minute personalized workshop with valuable insights, practical strategies, and actionable recommendations to drive growth and achieve business goals over the next 90 days.

90 minutes of work for tangible progress over the next 90 days? How’s that for a no-cost improvement?