Confusion often surrounds the decision to engage a Business Consultant or a Business Coach because of a lack of understanding the unique roles each plays. And what causes even further confusion is that often both roles are needed to ensure a successful engagement that achieves business goals while allowing team members the opportunity to grow personally and professionally. So what is the right mix of consulting and coaching for your company?

Business Consulting

Business consulting is the art and science of offering expert advice in areas that the entrepreneur, small business owner or professional has limited or no knowledge.

Some business consultants are engaged to answer specific questions. Such as; What type of follow up marketing system should we purchase"? A marketing consultant would analyze the company's requirements, evaluate competitive vendors solutions, review the ROI of each solution and make a recommendation.

Other business consultants are engaged to provide a service. For example a sales consultant could be asked to develop a new sales force organization and compensation plan that would increase sales by 25%.

Often business consultants are brought in to teach organizations new skills. If you wanted to bring your advertising activity in house to reduce costs, you would hire an advertising consultant with experience in creating new advertising in house organizations.

The unique advantage of engaging a business consultant is threefold:
You cut the learning curve significantly.
You get state of the art knowledge.
You increase your speed to market.

Business Coaching

Business coaching generally involves working with senior level employees in an effort to develop behavior modifications that will increase personal effectiveness and success. We all have an inner voice telling us we should or should not be doing whatever. Coaching is the art and science of managing that inner voice to move us in positive directions with a smile on our face and the wind at our back.

Coaches don't talk a lot, they listen a lot. Coaches don't have a lot of answers, they have a lot of questions. Coaches are like sculptors, they see the finished eagle in the block of granite.

The business coach's role is not to teach new skills but to assist in developing your peak potential. The business coaches role is to push you find the answers yourself as opposed to giving you the answers.

Business coaches provide accountability, encouragement and focus. The coach evaluates performance, challenges goals and provides structure to maintain motivation. A great coach delivers liberal doses of Vince Lombardi, Dr. Phil and Mom as required.

Does Your Company Need a Consultant or Coach?

If you are dealing with a major change in process or technology, you'll generally use consultants but need to be keenly aware that major changes affect employees differently and often you'll need coaches to get employees reoriented and focused on the new changes. If you have peak performers experiencing performance issues, lack of motivation or conflicts you need a business coach.

Working with a Business Coach and Sales Expert will provide you with resource that focus on ensuring that employees are performing at maximum levels both personally and technically. Most consulting engagements require some coaching while coaching engagements generally do not need consultants.

Author's Bio: 

As a writer, I am involved in the creation and development of works of fiction and non-fiction. I write for fiction and non-fiction article in a newspaper, magazine, or website.