Small Business Coach Or Mentor? Which is Right For Me?

in Small-business

The terms small business coach or business mentor are often used interchangeably within the business world, but what do people really mean when they talk about small business coaching or business mentoring? And how are they different from executive coaching or life coaching?

Countless articles and text books tell you that mentors use coaching skills and that coaches can act as a mentor - not much help is it?

The reason for this is it is actually very difficult when you're a business coach or mentor NOT to utilise both techniques because when you're working with a client on building their business you often have to be a supporter or coach, an experienced guide or mentor and also to provide one on one training in business skills and soft skills such as leadership skills, communication skills or negotiation skills.

The best business coaches are able to help you to:

  • think strategically and so can assist with business planning and strategy
  • work out how to increase business through offering guidance on sales and marketing techniques
  • be a better manager or leader by helping you with communication skills, dealing with difficult people, confidence and assertiveness
  • manage your stress levels through more effective time management, delegation and giving you back a sense of work/life balance
However, not all business coaching organisations can offer this in one person and if you go to a specialist life coach they might be able to help you with the soft skills and life planning aspects but won't be able to offer you guidance on building your business because they typically use what's called a 'non-directive' approach, i.e. they won't offer advice or suggestions but help you to draw the answers out from within yourself (assuming of course that at some level you DO know the answer!).

So as a potential user of small business coaching or business mentoring services how on earth do you find a suitable coach?

Ask around and be prepared to devote some time to talking to a few suitable business coaches. Don't just 'jump into bed' with the first person you speak to (unless they meet all of your criteria) and have an initial discussion with them to work out if the two of you can work together.

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Hannah McNamara has 1 articles online

About the Author: Hannah McNamara is Chartered Marketer, popular speaker, book author and qualified Coach with over 15 years experience in Sales & Marketing. She now runs workshops, seminars and programmes showing owners and directors of established businesses exactly how to find hidden opportunities and grow their organisation. Hannah is a director of SME Academy (

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Small Business Coach Or Mentor? Which is Right For Me?

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This article was published on 2010/03/26