Do you want to become a coach or a consultant? Both coaching and consulting involve a skilled, trained professional helping a company or an individual to further their goals. You could become a professional or a business coach or consultant and help individuals and companies improve their business and/or careers, or you could become a life coach and help individuals improve areas of their lives. Running a business as a coach or a consultant can be very freeing – as your own boss, you set your own hours and can be working with different people and at different locations every month. It can be a great way to use your skills in a profession that allows you to both specialize and be exposed to a variety of tasks.
The difference between being a coach or being a consultant is in how they help others. A coach coaches an individual client who wants to improve either professionally or personally. The coach acts as a trained facilitator and can sometimes help with group work as well. A coach can be a life coach, helping the client improve their personal life, as a professional coach, helping the client improve their professional image or career. Coaches help clients reach decisions and find goals by asking the client questions about what they want and helping clients to discover what they want on their own. A coach will help the client in many areas of their lives, and provide support for the client as they work. This is often a creative process.
A consultant provides advice and recommendations on a specific topic, such as software choices. A consultant works with a group of people within an organization. A consultant will analyze a company’s plan for a specific task and give recommendations. A consultant may solve problems for a company or organization by giving advice or by providing training to employees on specific software or procedures. Consulting generally focuses on a single problem or specific question the company wants solved or answered. Consulting is a more business like process than coaching.
Whether you choose to be a coach or a consultant, no matter how creative your business or your coaching is, you need to be business like about how you go about becoming a coach or a consultant. First, you need to make sure that being a coach or a consultant is right for you. Second, you need to decide what type of coach or consultant you would like to be. Once you’ve decided these, you need to form a professional business plan. After your business plan is done, you’re ready to hang out your shingle and start marketing!