15 Key Differences Between Business Consulting and Coaching

Business leaders and professionals strive for excellence in every facet of business and are always on the lookout for ways to streamline business operations and processes. However, there’s always a need for a helping hand in some business issues whose solution is rather too complicated or too difficult to interpret.

This assistance often comes from business coaches and consultants who work with a common goal to simplify business processing and abridge problem resolutions. The goal and the outcomes of business coaching and business consulting may be the same yet the methodology and approach differ massively.

The key idea of hiring professional consulting services is not only to find a solution to a particular issue but to nurture the growth of a business culture valuing the importance of expertise and experience. In this way, businesses can move forward more steadily with the focus on the right set of goals and objectives.

Major Differences Between Business Coaching and Consulting

The same belief is followed by the top consulting firms that are focused on delivering effective consulting services to businesses in dire need of assistance. The world of consultancy is incredibly vast and encompasses experts from every field who holds the ability to interpret the problem and design effective solutions. This includes the likes of operation consultants and IT consultants who know the ins and outs of streamlining business operations and IT processes.

In the same way, business coaching services are also tailored to cultivate a change in business culture and help businesses transition to more productive strategies and approaches. Despite sharing so many similarities, there are big differences between these two professional consulting services. Here are the 15 key differences between business coaching and business consulting for businesses striving to capitalize on the fruitful benefits of the two:

  1. Professional Expertise and Business Growth Enabler

The biggest difference between the two business services lies in the definition of the two. A consultant is a professional sharing focused expertise or a subject matter expert equipped with the rights tools and knowledge to resolve a particular business problem. On the other hand, a business coach may or may not be a subject matter expert but rather shares expertise in directing professionals to adopt the right mindset and follow the right path. Consultancy strives to help resolve a business problem while coaching serves the purpose of a business growth enabler.

  • Offering Solutions and Exploring Possibilities

Business consulting is the art of offering solutions tailored to unique business needs. Business consultants work closely with businesses to understand the problem and provide effective solutions. While business coaching is all about exploring possibilities and trying to reinvent oneself. The purpose of a business coach is to shed light on solutions and possibilities which are not in plain sight and are often hard to perceive. A coach never offers a solution yet enables professionals to view the same problem from a different light.

  • A Business Expert or A Business Equal

A business consultant is an expert in his field and strives to provide the right answers based on their problem analysis. The consulting services adopt the “I Know” approach to problem resolutions and strives to deliver their knowledge and expertise. On the contrary, a business coach serves as an equal rather than a superior expert. Business coaching services are all about sitting on the same table, exploring possibilities, and developing solutions. These services adopt the “You Know” approach and hardly ever impose solutions.

  • Problem Resolution and Capacity Enhancement

Business and management consulting focus on problem resolution whether the problems are related to competition, reputation, or operations. A consultant’s only objective is to help the client address a specific problem or rise above a particular business obstacle. On the other hand, business coaching is a process of building capacity and reaps long-term benefits in the form of better confidence and enhancement of problem-solving skills.

  • Consultants Instruct and Coaches Guide

A consultant’s job is to put himself in your shoes and understand the root cause of the problem and present the most effective solution. These professionals are here to instruct you to follow the right path. On the contrary, a coach is another word for a guide and they strive to help you find the right direction and identify the best solution.

  • Teaching and Rediscovery

Business consulting services focus on teaching business professionals what to do, how to do, and when to do. Their role is to present answers to every plausible question that may arise in your mind relating to a particular business problem or an obstacle. Hence, consulting is a form of teaching. Whereas coaching is a process of rediscovery and aims to help professionals rediscover themselves and adopt a constructive mindset or learn a productive approach.

  • Execution Versus Truth Extraction

Business consulting focuses on educating the client about what needs to be done and offers businesses the tools needed to execute a specific operation and move forward. In these services, the focus remains primarily on problem resolution. Whereas business coaching focuses on extracting the truth from the clients and giving them access to the tools needed to identify solutions on their own.

  • Authority and Guidance

A consultant serves as a subject matter expert and takes authority in the business decision-making process. A business resorting to hiring professional business consulting services implies their need to be directed by an authority. On the other hand, business coaching is about guidance and focuses on building the potential in clients. Coaching services can be opted for at any stage and don’t only need to be recalled upon in the state of crisis.

  • Providing Answers and Asking Questions

A business consultant’s role is to provide answers whereas a business coach’s job is to ask questions leading to the right answers. Their working methodologies often yield a similar result yet are truly worlds apart. In other words, a consultant is an expert delivering his expertise while a coach is a partner who helps you make the most of your hidden knowledge and expertise.

  1. Subject Matter Expert and Facilitator

Business consulting and coaching services are tailored to help businesses resolve problems effectively and develop approaches that augment productivity. Sometimes, there’s a dire need of a technical expert who can resolve an unsolvable problem and that’s where the consultant comes in handy. Whereas sometimes businesses only need a facilitator who knows how to facilitate business professionals to unveil their true potential.

  1. Problem-Focused and Client-Focused

Both the professional business coaching and consulting services focus on developing solution yet focus on entirely different subjects. A business problem is the main focus of a business consultant and they play a key role in addressing the problem and resolving the issue. On the other hand, the client is under the spotlight of a business coach and a coach’s responsibility is to shed light on the client’s approaches and confinements of the mind.

  1. Empowerment and Recommendation

Business consulting is the art of empowering businesses with the right solutions and answers to arising business complexities. Consultants can help businesses progress fluently and grow by eradicating the barriers restricting growth. Whereas business coaching is all about recommending, advising, and motivating business professionals to adopt the right set of mind and approach needed to resolve a business complexity.

  1. Consultant’s Expertise and Client’s Expertise

Business consulting services revolves around the expertise of the consultant whereas business coaching perceives the client as an expert. A business consultant is a pre-assumed expert and clients feel comfortable to follow their instructions and adopt their strategy. On the contrary, business coaches perceive clients as the expert and believe their job is only to extract the right information from the expert’s (client’s) mind.

  1. Business Problem Diagnosis and Options Investigation

A business consultant’s role is to diagnose a business problem and utilize their expertise and experience to get to the bottom of the issue. Businesses that hire consultants firmly believe in their problem-solving abilities and leaves the diagnosis part in the hands of the experts or consultants. Whereas business coaches do the opposite and assist clients to diagnose a business problem on their own. Coaches simply serve a medium for business professionals to abridge the gap between a problem and the best solution.

  1. Short-Term Solutions and Long-Term Products

Business consulting majorly focuses on producing short-term solutions and is best suited for a business stuck deeply in a complex business scenario. The benefits of these solutions not necessarily last for long and only strives to get the business back on track. Whereas business coaching has long-term benefits on business growth, productivity, and problem resolution as it strives to develop a culture of innovation and reinvention.


  1. https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbescoachescouncil/2018/06/14/key-differences-between-coaching-and-consulting-and-how-to-decide-what-your-business-needs/#6c4426513d71
  2. https://www.501commons.org/learn/career-resources/whats-the-difference-between-coaching-and-consulting
  3. https://adaptovate.com/what-is-the-difference-between-coaching-and-consulting/
  4. https://www.huffpost.com/entry/business-coach-vs-busines_b_10563390