Explaning the Differences: Business Consultant, Strategist, Coach, and Advisor.

Finding clarity over what type of help to grow your business can be daunting and overwhelming. Sometimes running a business can feel like finding your way out of the woods without having any tools. 

And depending on what stages of your business, read here for six business stages. Sometimes it is a good investment to enlist the help of an experienced business consultant, strategist, or coach who can make all the difference in reaching your goals.

But what do these professionals do? From creating custom strategies for success to providing actionable advice related to decision-making and problem-solving, it can be hard to know what kind of professional best suits your needs. Let’s look at exactly what each role can do for your business today!

But first, let’s address the mindset first and foremost

The Mindsets

When you find yourself struggling with a challenging business problem, it’s essential to recognise that the issue may not be UNsolvable. Instead, it could be that you’ve become trapped in a Silo mentality, limiting your ability to think creatively and see the problem outside the box.

A Silo mentality can be due to a lack of know-how (strategies) or having the wrong model: process, systems, and business frameworks. Without proficiency in both of these areas, you may be held back from business success and find yourself repeating the same mistakes repeatedly.

Business Consultant Strategist or Coach, Explaning the Differences: Business Consultant, Strategist, Coach, and Advisor.

The key to business success is to look into your business affairs and identify the gaps, opportunities, and areas impeding your business growth.

But how do you find what you cannot see?

That is where a business specialist comes into the equation, and the question is – What type of business expert should you seek for advice, strategy, and solutions?

There are four types of business specialists:

  • A business Strategist
  • Business Coach
  • Business Consultant
  • Business Advisor

And amongst them, there are often common confusion about their expertise, roles, and level of involvement in your business.

Let’s take a look at each expert and find out what differentiates each one of them.

A Business Strategist

If we referenced Napoleon Bonaparte, a French military leader and Emperor in the 17th Century, he was the epitome of a war Strategist. He was the mastermind who planned and orchestrated his campaigns, leading him to 61 Wins and nine losses on the battlefields.

In this context, a business strategist applies the art of War to the business landscape to overcome their competitors, conquer market share, and help you dominate your industry.

Business strategists have far-sighted abilities and possess a multi-dimensional perspective when problem-solving your challenges to help you to reach your goals.

If you engage the service of a business strategist, he will act as your right-hand mastermind, and all he needs is to comprehend your high-level goals, mission, and purpose and will help you execute the strategies to win the business war.

For example, suppose you want to scale your business to the next level and dominate your top #1 competitor – a business strategist might review and assess your operation, systems, marketing, people, and customer bases. And once he understands your business landscape, he will work with you to develop execution plans and implement your strategies.

They might also ask tough questions to evaluate your existing system and gaps and explore opportunities to uncover areas for improvement.

A business strategist can also help you identify your brand’s true purpose and the intended audience and competitors. They are exceptionally skilled at mapping out crucial success factors for a business through research, strategic planning, and analysis. 

Business Consultant Strategist or Coach, Explaning the Differences: Business Consultant, Strategist, Coach, and Advisor.

Business Coach

There are many definitions of business coaching that you can find online. Let’s take a look at the common ones (excerpt from Google.com):-

  • Business coaching is a process in which a professional coach guides a businessperson in pursuing their work goals.
  • A business coach will assist and guide the business owner in running a business by helping them clarify the vision of their business and how it fits in with their personal goals.
  • A business coach helps the client build leadership skills, create business strategies, or improve their mindset.

In Our definition,
 a business coach is a professional business specialist who helps business owners resolve challenges and roadblocks that impede them from achieving business growth.

A business coach is often connoted with a business performance coach. And although a business coach shares the same mission as a business strategist – to help clients Win the War in business, their focus is geared towards creating business and personal transformation in you.

Business coaches are not therapists, nor are they “fixers.” The primary goal of business coaching is to assist a client in realising their full potential and maximising their productivity and performance: it can be to help business owners improve their leadership qualities, self-discipline, self-belief, and inner motivation and hold them accountable for their business progress.

As you can appreciate from the description, a business coach almost resembles the role of a life coach but is geared towards business matters. Ultimately, the key objectives of business coaches are to empower, motivate, mentor, and guide you to your business success.

Typically, business coaches do not give solutions and answers to your business problems; they ask lots of questions so you can answer them. The service delivery can include worksheets, forms, templates, blueprints, one-page exercises, and face-to-face business counselling.

Business Consultant Strategist or Coach, Explaning the Differences: Business Consultant, Strategist, Coach, and Advisor.

Business Consultant

A business consultant delivers advice and executes tasks on your behalf to help you attain a specific business outcome.

The service of a business consultant can include the implementation and execution of project-based work on your behalf. Sometimes they call it “done-for-you” services.

You can tell them precisely what you need to solve, fix, implement in your business model, and they will devise a proposed action strategy. Once agreed upon, you can either implement the plans yourself or have them execute (or project manage) the required steps and tasks to get the desired outcome.

Here are some situations where you might require the service of a Business Consultant, as follows: –

  • Implementing Sales funnel or Lead Generation System
  • Implement HR productivity systems in your workplace
  • Review operational gaps and implement improvement strategies.
  • Perform market research and implement a new pricing model across the system.
  • Review, improve, and implement a new Customer-journey experience model.
  • Investigate significant cost items, and apply cost-reduction strategies
  • Resource optimisation, profit growth maximiser, business & Strategic planning, and much more, you get the picture.

As a business owner, you can do everything mentioned above. Still, you won’t have the time to get around it, let alone be able to finish the project/assignment before your next call to action from your clients, staff members, and business.

Relying on your staff members will not pan out successfully either, as any improvement would result in anxiety and stress in them, especially if they have been in their comfort zone for more than two years.

Sometimes business consultants are hired when an organisation seeks an unbiased opinion and expertise that its team may not fully want to understand.

A consultant’s work is a service that provides a unique skill set, knowledge, or experience that is not already in-house. 

A business consultant can help clients develop their businesses by delivering solutions to improve their marketing, sales, operations, strategy, management, cash flow, finance, and HR matters.

Our Quantum Growth Program incorporate business consulting into the service. Read more.

Business Consultant Strategist or Coach, Explaning the Differences: Business Consultant, Strategist, Coach, and Advisor.

Business Advisor

In Australia, the accountancy industry has claimed the positioning of a “business advisor”, and when consumers search for a business advisor, they expect accountants. However, in the UK and US, the name “business advisors” is all-inclusive and includes any profession that fits the general definition of a business advisor, which is as follows: –

A business advisor is a professional who provides ongoing support and guidance to businesses. They work closely with businesses to identify opportunities, navigate challenges, and make informed decisions. Business advisors help businesses achieve their goals by providing expert advice and support.

As you can read, the definition very much sums up the professions of business consulting, coaching, and strategist. While there is some overlap between these professions, there are also significant differences.

Business consultants are experts who provide advice on specific business challenges, such as marketing, operations, or finance. They are hired to analyse a business’s current situation and make recommendations for improvement.

Business coaches are professionals who work with business owners or executives to help them achieve their goals. They help their clients develop their skills, improve their performance, and overcome obstacles

Business strategists are professionals who help businesses develop overall strategies for growth and success. They work closely with businesses to identify opportunities, analyse market trends, and develop long-term plans.

What type of business expert should you seek?

Generally speaking, all business consultants, coaches, and strategist are considered as Business Advisors.

Depending on your goals, you will need a different business specialist at different stages of your business. Click here to read more.

If you have a clearly defined overarching mission you wish to achieve in your business and personal life, engage the service of a business strategist.

And if you need help dealing with resilience, success, and performance issue as a business owner, use the service of a business coach. Note not all business coaches are created equal – enquire wisely.

If you have fully comprehended your business challenges and want an expert to execute a set of solutions for your business, seeking the service of a business consultant is a good bet.

But if you were to ask me for a recommendation and suggestion?

I would suggest getting a business expert with the ability of a business strategist, a business coach, and a consultant rolled into one. After all, their scope of work almost overlaps with one another.

Suppose you can find a business specialist who can look at business and life challenges with a multi-dimensional perspective. In that case, it can help your business streamline its workload, processes, and systems and develop high-level values and insights for your company. It can also consolidate various methodologies, best practices, and resources to help your business optimise its revenue and profit.

Final thought

Any business specialist is an essential component of any successful business. They provide ongoing support and guidance to businesses, helping them navigate challenges and achieve their goals. While there is some overlap between business advisors and other similar professions, such as business consulting, coaching, and strategising, they are each unique in their approach and focus. Understanding the differences between these professions is essential to choose the right professional for your business’s needs.

While there is no one-size-fits-all solution to finding the right business expert, the fundamental criteria are to find one that is committed and passionate to help you achieve your business & personal goals. The right one is a reliable counsel who will show you the way to success in your industry and help you map out action steps to help your organisation reach its full potential by addressing a structural problem in a company.

If you need more information, check out our Quantum Growth program. 

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Victor Kon

Victor Kon is a “business builder” entrepreneur, trusted business advisor, and catalyst to your success. He helps entrepreneurs optimise, automate, and grow businesses that can run without heavily relying on sweat equity. With over a decade of experience running successful businesses in a multitude of sectors, Mr. Kon now utilises the expertise he garnered in those endeavours to help others achieve the same success in their ventures. Read More.

If you need help implementing your Business & Marketing strategies, do reach out to us, click here.


Picture of Victor Kon​

Victor Kon​

Victor Kon is a "business builder" entrepreneur with over a decade of business experience. He is a Certified Business Advisor and a Certified Practising Marketer. He helps business owners optimise, market, and grow their businesses that can run without relying on sweat equity


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