Business Coach, Consultant or Trainer? How to Choose

Coach Consultant or Trainer

There is more to building, operating and growing a business than most new business owners realize. When a “doer” becomes a business owner, many find themselves in unfamiliar territory. Their skillsets and experience lie in the doing or production. In most cases they were known as the best in their field before they became an owner. Soon after becoming an owner they feel the weight of responsibility for the entire business. (5 Pillars of Business)

The role of and goal of an owner is not easy, but it is simple.

  • Assess – skillsets and values  
  • Create a vision & goal
  • Develop a plan with accountability
  • Implement – activities aligned with your current goal

Keeping in mind that over time you will develop your skillsets, broaden your vision and reassess your plan, becoming flexible and adaptable.


The challenge most owners face is attempting to go it alone, resulting in years of spinning your wheels wondering how others are doing it. Many owners are 10+ years in and are still operating the same way they did when they first started. When you think of a professional or Olympic athlete, you know they’ve had help along the way. Guiding them in different areas to hone their skills to achieve desired results. Professional is the key word here. When you want to go pro as a business owner, getting guidance is the next step.

How do you decide what kind of help you need and when?

You made decisions when choosing your, accountant, attorney or financial adviser. There is a cost to all these services, but the cost is minimal compared to the amount of money you could lose without their help and guidance.

You need to do the same when reaching out for help to improve the quality of our thinking.  A skill which leads to making better decisions. Most people seek out a coach when they are not happy with their results or when they want to grow. Their motivation could be negative or positive. It can be daunting with so many calling themselves a ‘coach’ today.

Your Needs

A coach is someone who partners with you, getting the information needed from you and unpacking it. You gain insights and see the bigger picture of your business. The focus is on you and giving you context. Focusing on your vision or goal, the coach keeps you accountable for achieving them while you are doing the work. There is a lot of self-awareness that happens with coaching. Example: A coach will help you get clarity on the bigger picture to gain control of your business and life. The client implements by focusing on the activities that will move them forward, which leads to a new sense of confidence.

A consultant has an area of expertise. They assess your situation, identify the problems and give you the plan or prescription for results. Example: A marketing or sales consultant will assess your marketing or sales process, identify problems and give you the prescription for better results. Consultants can also execute the activity for you.

A trainer will teach or train you on a certain subject or topic. They have the content and teach that content repeatedly. Often to different groups. The focus is on the trainer, their skills, expertise and knowledge. You will be better equipped to perform a task or work in a specific area. Example: training on sales or social media platforms.

What Works

What I’ve found over the years is that all business owners need training or consulting at times to either take something off your plate by delegating/outsourcing it, or to become more knowledgeable in a specific area to grow your business. It’s easy to identify the need for a consultant or trainer when you need help in one specific area. The challenge is you don’t have the time to become an expert in that area so you hire a trainer or consultant.

What I believe is that every business owner needs a coach no matter what (stage of business) you’re in and here’s why.

Coaching – helps you develop yourself and by working on you, your business can become profitable, sustainable and enjoyable. Image what your life would be like having a business that thrives without you having to be on 24/7 as an owner. (This is where new business owners tend to get stuck. In some cases for years.)

It takes more than hard work and grit to build, operate and grow an automotive or skilled trade business.  When you go pro you realize that time is your most valuable resource and spending years stuck or spinning your wheels affects more than your business. It affects your happiness and personal life as well. Sacrificing your personal life and relationships in the name of success is a mistake.

Stepping out of your comfort zone is where the opportunities are. You can’t see them or realize them without challenging yourself. It’s what the pros do. We all have blind spots. A coach can help. When you’re ready to run your business professionally, and tap into the leader within, it’s time to seek out a coach.  Here is a link to an assessment. Find out if you’re ready for a coach. Get on the path to work-life fulfillment.

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