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Business Coach or Consultant?

Great coaching is what can take an athlete from being the star of his hometown team to becoming an Olympic medalist and player on the world stage. The same is true for businesses.

When I first started thinking about my next career move considering my business experience and personal background, I thought I would make a great business consultant. After further investigation into the career of consulting I learned there is a difference between a business consultant and a business coach. If you've ever considered becoming a business coach or consultant, it's vital that you understand how they're different.

Consider some of the greatest sports personalities in history: Michael Jordan, Muhammad Ali, Wayne Gretzky, Lionel Messi. Do you know what all these people had in common? Although they each competed in different sports and excelled at them in different ways, they were all similar in another. None of them achieved what they had on their own. They each had an amazing, top-notch coach!

Great coaching is what can take an athlete from being the star of his hometown team to becoming an Olympic medalist and player on the world stage. The same is true for businesses. Raw talent and drive can take an entrepreneur far, but taking your venture to the next level requires a business coach.

That's why you are so important!

To do this though, you must act like a coach, not a consultant (at least not all the time. More on this below). Thus understanding the difference comes into play.

Let's discuss some of the differences:

  • A coach is the leader and manager of the business growth strategy. A consultant is an employee.

  • A coach can be used to guide clients through many different situations. Many different consultants may be used and will change from situation to situation.

  • A coach shares and expands the vision for the company, helping it achieve long-term goals. A consultant works for the company in limited ways, or on very specific challenges related to their expertise.

  • A consultant gives advice and then leaves. A coach is on a long-haul journey and sticks around to make sure the necessary change happens.

  • Coaches help you discover what you need to do. Consultants tell you what you need to do.

  • Coaches help explore possibilities. Consultants provide possibilities.

  • Coaches ask questions so the client can find the answer. Consultants ask questions to give their clients the answer.

  • Coaches will talk less and listen more. Consultants will likely talk more and listen less.

  • Coaches provide guidance. Consultants provide specific solutions.

  • Coaching is done with you. Consulting is done for you.

And to be clear, we at the PBCA are not PURE coaches. Meaning we do put on the consulting hat, the mentor hat, the advisor hat, from time to time. One of the reasons we joined our great association, the PBCA, is because we have access to a myriad of business support tools and resources that we provide our clients on many different areas and topics of business. But the "coach hat" will typically be on most of the time!

So, how does one become a great business coach?

Being part of the PBCA gives you the training, tools, and community to be a great business coach. We are trained on a proven method to find, help, and onboard new clients with a library full of tools to help our business clients. When you get stuck or don’t know what to do, there is the PBCA community there to help you with regular gatherings to share new ideas and best practices in all aspects of your coaching business. If you are already a business coach, or a retiring business owner looking to give back to your business community, or have always been “That Guy” helping your fellow business owners, you should consider becoming a PBCA member!

Becoming a great business coach can be one of the most rewarding career choices, but only if you remember that you are first a coach, not a consultant. Michael Jordan couldn't have been a basketball hero without Phil Jackson. And Phil Jackson never jumped in to play the game for Michael Jordan. Together they work to take their team to the top.

You can do the same for your business coaching clients.


Trevor Bruintjes, CPBC, Entrepreneur

Professionally, Trevor has spent time in financial services, as a trainer, sales and sales management, blue collar service industry and manufacturing. Trevor started, owned, operated, and scaled many different styles of businesses. Some of the companies he has helped have grown 400% over 8 months of work. As a Certified Professional Business Coach (CPBC), Trevor is committed to helping business owners, leaders and individuals extends to businesses of all types. In everything he does, Trevor believes in creating. He helps business owners by guiding and providing expertise with people and systems to create easier work environments and creating more profit.

Contact Trevor or connect with him on social:


Are you thinking of becoming a business coach? Do you want to be part of a larger community of highly experienced and trained professional business coaches? If you want more info on becoming a PBCA Certified Professional Business Coach, contact us here and get started!


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