What is the difference between a business coach, advisor and consultant?

These titles are used so interchangeably, that I find it confusing to know what I should look for to help me with my startups. Can anyone explain the difference?

Lisa Ormenyessy

Lisa Ormenyessy, Business Coach and Marketing Specialist at

Top 10% Online Business

Great question Fleur and everyone will answer it slightly differently.

After doing the journey myself, and wearing many different hats along the way, a business advisor and consultant are pretty much the same - they advise and propose solutions - some will help with the work too.  You will need to direct the consultant as to the result you are wanting.

A coach will help you find your own solutions and identify knowledge gaps - and help you find the right solutions.  They are also great if you need clarity.  It is more of a partnership route.

A mentor has generally 'been there before' and can show you the path and connections most suitable to your situation.

If you are asking what you should be using, if you give me a quick overview, ie is it start - up or start - ups?  Industry etc I can point you in the right direction.

Good Luck!

Lisa O

Fleur Leong

Fleur Leong, Director at

Thanks Lisa. I am getting better in finding the right people on my team.

John Jocys

John Jocys at Midpoint Wealth Management

Hi Fleur

Business Adviser - methodology and deliverables are generally aligned to programs that solve specific problems and their causes. This keeps the process on track relevant to a defined period and within a predefined budget. Results are measurable. 

Coach - defines skill gaps and assists with improving the gaps. Methodology is one on one and often deals with emotional intelligences to provide solutions which includes inspiration and motivation amongst other things. Process can take some time and generally coaches like to work with businesses for at least one year. Results can be measured.

Consultant - analyzes the business problems and provides solutions generally documented with recommendations and appropriate strategies and tactics for implementation. Process generally ends once the document is produced. Results are measured following implementation of recommendations and strategies. 

Fleur Leong

Fleur Leong, Director at

I like your descriptions, John. It makes sense.

Iain Dooley

Iain Dooley, Owner at The Procedure People

Here's how I'd define it based on my experiences with both:

Looking for the perspective of your business, a coach is more strategic and a consultant is more tactical.

The coach can help you decide what you need to do.

The consultant can help you decide how to do it.

A business adviser is someone I'd say who is more involved with the nitty gritty of actual "business" (like shares, structure, laws, M&A, etc. etc. etc.) but then John is a Business Adviser so his definition is probably correct ;)