Coach, mentor, advisor or consultant – who do I need?

The above terms are often interchanged which makes it unclear how these roles differ and who you should turn to as a business owner for support.

So let’s take a look and see if we can clarify:

Coach – fundamentally what a coach does is supports you with your business goals by questioning, listening and challenging; leaving the ultimate decision on the actions you take down to you. They will not be telling you what to do and, as such, may let you make mistakes for the learning experience.

Mentor – essentially a mentor has been there, done it and got the t-shirt! They are the “how to” manual to be successful in a specific industry sector or skill set and will tell you what you should be doing to move your business forward based on their experience and knowledge.

Advisor – if you’re looking for more of a generalist that can help across a number of areas within your business, then this is what an advisor does. They will have experience running their own businesses or a track record of improving a business’s performance.

Consultant – the role of a consultant is to be a specialist in a specific field; tending to focus on one particular aspect of your business. They would be brought in to focus on a particular problem such as sales, marketing, finance or operations.

You may also experience a blend of these “hats” when working with any of these “labels” as their advice/support/guidance may not just fit strictly into the way they have been described above.

Paul Green
The Business Bulletin

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Coach, mentor, advisor or consultant – who do I need?

by Paul Green Time to read: 1 min