As with many industries, there are many people in my profession who claim to be able to offer everything. Whatever it is that you may be looking for, they can help?!? Need a coach, you got it, need a trainer they are there, need a consultant – of course they can do that too, it’s all the same thing right……No, no it isn’t!

Running a business is one of the most challenging and rewarding undertakings you will ever go through, the highs and the lows that you experience will be a real roller coaster and negotiating the journey can prove difficult, even during growth periods. So, in order to improve and grow many look to bring experts into their business to help provide specialist support….the person you choose to do this will depend on what you need and how you like to work.

This brief overview is designed to help you to figure out the kind of support you would benefit from most.

Coach: A coach will ask thought provoking questions and encourage you to work through problems to find the answer on your own steam. They are there to help you find the answers, much in the same way a life coach would support an individual. They will push you to stretch yourself, but the foundation of the idea will always come from you. 

Consultant: Business consultants will have real life experience, skills and qualifications within business. As a successful business consultant, they are likely to have gone through similar situations themselves. They can provide real life advice, practical solutions and tools to help your business move forward.

Mentor: Mentors usually have experienced similar situations to you and can act as a support network or sounding board when you have an idea. They provide help to enable you to decide on the most appropriate route or channel to take.

Trainer: A professional with a specific skill in a particular area. They will provide you with material that will help guide you through a set topic to give you confidence in the subject when the training is complete.

Non-Executive Board Member. If your company is of a considerable size, it may be prudent to take on a Non-Executive Board Member, they understand the interests of the company with clear objectivity and without conflict of other Board Members, helping to bridge the gap between management and stakeholders.

So now you know who does what, who do you need to work with to help you improve or grow your business?