Most people had trouble choosing what type of help they need for their business. Here are the examples based on my own experience and research about the differences between Business Coach, Mentor, Consultant, Advisor and Analyst. Which one do you need in your business?
A coach is like a friend that understands you, holds you accountable and understands your situation. The coach will bring the best out of you without giving you the answer for the problem, but rather ask the right questions and lead you to your own solution.
To me, a coach is someone that will even use their own resources or give you opportunities if they think you are ready. A coach is like a friend and someone you can talk to in life or in business.
A mentor is someone who offers their knowledge, wisdom, and advice to someone with less experience. They will advise you based on their experience. If you want to follow the same path as your mentor and know how they achieved a certain result, the fastest way is to do what your mentor is advising you to do.
To me, a mentor can be your friend as well. Sometimes when they look at you, they will be reminded of themselves when they are at your age, the mistakes that they made, how their mentor helped them and gave them some opportunities.
A consultant is someone that can fix your problem in the business by providing you with the right solution and plan.
Similarly, they can also improve your business.
Of course, they need to have lots of experience in a certain field so that they can provide you with the solution and the result you need.
An advisor provides recommendation and advice as well. But they will not follow up on your action plan and guide you along the way, unlike coach and consultant. It is like a one-time service unless you hire the advisor again.
An analyst analyses an organisation or business domain. He also documents the business processes and systems, assessing the business model or its integration with technology.
Analyst identifies business needs and determines solutions to business problems. Solutions often include a software systems development component, but may also consist of process improvement, organisational change or strategic planning and policy development.
What help is suitable for you?
Most people I know of relying on price to decide whether to find a coach, mentor, consultant, advisor or analyst. The price varies on their level of expertise as well as branding. More importantly, you will need to realise that the right person is going to make you money, not cost you money. After all, time is the most important resource that money cannot buy. They must be comfortable working with you before they decide to invest their time in you.
If the right coach, mentor, consultant, advisor or analyst comes along, assess holistically if the path they walked is the path you will like to follow. If the signs are right, go for it and commit to doing what they tell you to do! You will be amazed by the results you get!