Business Coaching vs. Consulting: Which One is Right For You?

Small business owners work tirelessly to build a successful company. But it’s hard to keep up with all the demands of entrepreneurship. Nobody is born with all the skills to launch, run, manage and grow a business alone. Sometimes even the most ambitious entrepreneurs need expert advice.

That’s where business coaches and consultants come in. Both offer expertise, guidance and support – so which is right for you? The lines between business coaching and consulting are often blurry. Knowing when to hire a consultant and when to bring in a small business coach can help you grow your business and overcome challenges. The key to getting the right help to grow your business is knowing what consultants and business coaches in Perth do, and where they differ.

Bob Jones

Bob Jones, Hands-on Digital Strategy

6 December 2022

Business Advisory | Business Coaching | Perth | Brisbane | Darwin | Business Station

What do business coaches do?

Business coaches, also called advisors or mentors, build your leadership skills. They provide guidance, support, resources, and training tailored to your challenges and goals.

An effective business coach gives you the tools to overcome challenges. They won’t spoon-feed answers. Instead, they’ll empower you so you can find the solution yourself.

What do Perth’s best business coaches have in common?

An effective mentor takes a genuine interest in their clients’ long-term development. They act as a guide and sounding board, helping you build capacity at your speed.

Although there’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to business coaching in Perth, you can expect an excellent mentor to:

  • Assess your strengths and opportunities 
  • Structure a training program to suit your needs
  • Check in regularly
  • Collaborate with you
  • Provide resources, introductions, and business training
  • Build your confidence

The advantage of working with a Perth business mentor is you retain the skills and knowledge throughout your career. Hopefully, you can continue developing those new skills to take your business even further.

Business coaches can also guide your personal growth in particular areas. This is where things can get confusing, as consultants also offer subject matter expertise.

Just remember: a business coach works with you to build internal capacity, while a consultant is an external resource hired to solve a specific problem. 

What do business consultants do?

Consultants are industry specialists with a track record of technical expertise. Their role is to help companies overcome challenges or take advantage of an opportunity, usually in the most cost-effective way.

Consultants usually specialise in a particular field, for example, marketing, HR, operations or finance.

Their advice can be invaluable when facing a specific challenge, launching a new offering or product, or hiring talent. 

How do consultants solve problems?

A good consultant uses the data at their disposal – plus their experience – to diagnose problems and recommend solutions.

Business consultants are problem solvers. To provide a roadmap that leads to a beneficial outcome, a consultant will:

  • Gather data on the problem or opportunity
  • Set measurable goals
  • Create detailed plans
  • Manage and execute projects

Business consultants can recommend a course of action or manage the project on your behalf. For example, an HR consultant can re-draft your organisational chart or go a step further, recruiting talent for you.

Business consultant vs business coach: 4 key differences

Both consultants and coaches aim to build your business. But while the intention is the same, the practical steps to get there are fundamentally different.

And those differences matter.

1. Approach

With business coaching, mentoring, and training, solutions are self-generated. Small business coaches in Perth give their clients the skills to find the answers themselves.

In consulting, however, the answer is written down and packaged up, typically within a short time period.

Consultants… Coaches…
Dictate Direct
Solve problems Empower independent problem-solving
Analyse data to reach the answer Unlock your ability to find the answer
Work on a specific project Partner for long-term growth
Provide best-practice advice Build your confidence and skills
Create detailed plans Provide tailored resources


Consultants feed you a fish. Coaches teach you how to fish and guide you to the richest waters. 

Both approaches can undoubtedly add value. So before you engage a consultant or coach, consider whether you need a fish now or the skills to catch your own.

2. Focus area

Is your business facing a specific challenge? Or are you looking to grow as an individual by gaining new skills?

  • Business coaches build your capacity as an individual and a leader
  • Consultants offer solutions for the business itself

In other words, consultants serve up pre-packaged solutions, while business coaches pull the answers from you by guiding your growth. 

Of course, nothing is stopping you from bringing in both skill sets if you have the need and capital. But most entrepreneurs will choose between consulting, coaching, and training courses after prioritising their needs.

3. Skill set

A good business coach in Perth is empathetic and insightful. They know how to get the best out of you as a leader and empower your independence.

On the other hand, an effective consultant knows what’s best for your business. 

But here’s where the lines blur even more: business coaches can also be specialists. For example, you might work with a marketing coach or join a business development courses in Perth to develop your business.

The difference is that business mentoring builds your capabilities to run your own marketing. A consultant will manage your channels based on what they believe is the best approach.

4. Timing

Consultants find the shortest path to solving your problems and then work efficiently to deliver results. 

Business coaches take a longer-term view, providing guidance and resources so you can design your own solution. Small business coaching is often open-ended and tailored to the leader’s needs.

A mentor might also:

If you’re in it for the long haul and don’t have an immediate fire to extinguish, it’s worth considering the benefits of a tailored program like Business Coaching from Business Station.

The bottom line? Consultants solve your problem. Business coaching makes you a better leader.

Deciding between business coaching and consulting (or a mix of both) comes down to your needs.

If you’re facing a problem that needs solving right away, then a consultant might be the right call. But in most cases, working with a Perth business coach provides greater long-term value.

One of the main reasons small business owners choose coaching over consulting is the long-term value. Although a consultant removes the obstacle in front of you, a coach builds your confidence to overcome the next challenge and the challenges after that.

Working with the right business mentor will help you discover the skills, confidence and strategies to identify challenges, create solutions, hire talent, and grow your company.


See if our Business Coaching program is right for you and schedule a discovery call today.

Bob Jones

ABOUT THE Hands-on Digital Strategy

Bob Jones

Bob has nearly two decades of commercial online experience and has successfully started, grown, and sold businesses online.

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