The Difference Between Business Consulting and Coaching

The Difference Between Business Consulting and Coaching

Sometimes companies need help in working through a specific problem like a product strategy or raising capital, which is the essence of business and strategy consulting. Sometimes these services are also called strategic advisory. At other times, a CEO may need guidance on a broader set of ongoing issues associated with running a company. This is the essence of coaching or mentorship. There are actually different forms of coaching depending on the needs of the executive being coached.


It gets back to consulting and advisory services. QuestFusion has that component. It’s based on my experience primarily around strategic marketing. I’m not a human resources consultant. I’m not an attorney. I’m not a CFO. If you get into thorny issues around product development and product marketing, I’m a product guy.

If you have things related to product positioning, those are problems that I can help management teams and CEOs with. They’re typically finite. Maybe it’s a two-month or six-month engagement. It depends on the project and the complexity. To me, that’s consulting. That’s advisory services. Coaching is much more intimate. It’s about working directly one on one with a person.

For me, it’s typically an executive, CEO, company founder or business owner. They’re struggling through a various set of issues, some personal and some business. I can be a sounding board to allow them to vent and provide some feedback. More importantly, I ask questions to help the clarify their own thinking around things. To me, that’s what coaching is about. Within coaching, there are at least two types. I’m sure there are more for coaching experts. There are some people who have been coaching their whole career.

I’m an operating executive. The way that I see myself is a head coach, defensive coordinator, offensive coordinator. I have other friends who are what I would call HR coaches. They do what they call strength coaching. Coaching has evolved over the years. They help people focus on their strengths. They do 360-degree assessments. They take people through a set of instruments. They assess peoples’ skills, strengths and weaknesses. Then they use that framework for giving feedback to the person or executive to help them grow their strengths and hire for their weaknesses. I’m sure there are many different philosophies around that side of coaching. That’s not what I do. I’m not an expert at that. I’m an expert at building companies.

This is Patrick Henry, CEO Of QuestFusion, with The Real Deal…What Matters.

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