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By: Aaron | March 19, 2018

This is a common question that we are asked on a regular basis. In many ways, it is similar to asking what the difference between an accountant and a CPA, or ice cream and frozen yogurt is. On the surface, they may seem like the same thing, but when you dig a bit deeper there is a difference, and it can be meaningful to what you are trying to accomplish in your business. Sometimes, however, you can benefit from taking advantage of both in separate resources or packaging them all together.

Business Coaches

Having a hard time finding motivation in your business? Have you lost the luster that brought you into the company in the first place? Or maybe doubt is shrouding your every move?

Business coaches first and foremost job is working with the individual to help them perform better. They re-ignite your passion for your business as well as help you squelch doubt. Think of them as your workout buddy, encouraging you each day to get up and go to the gym regardless of how you feel that day. The coach will be the one to remind you that even though you were working all week, you procrastinated on the goals you had set out to be done.

As the saying goes, those that can't do coach. That's not intended to take out coaches from the knees or say you don't need them. Many coaches have been there, done that, and got the t-shirt. But, some people are more observant from a third party perspective, and as such, they can be a powerful resource to help you see things that are right in front of your face. They may not have the direct experience in your field, but they do have experience in motivating people, and that's what you are looking for from a coach.

In many cases, business coaches don't just work with one individual in an organization. They may offer their services to an entire company and work with key players that the company identifies to get the best return out of those people. In larger organizations, it is common to have a business coach sit down with new managers or future executives. Current executives may also be encouraged to work with a business coach to manage stress levels and stifle self-doubt. Further, using one coach throughout your organization can help facilitate more effective communication between the team as a third party can hear multiple perspectives to the same issues and help point out significant problems that may be festering under the surface.

Business Consultants

What is the most effective marketing campaign for my industry? How do I build my product more effectively? What optimizations can I do to run my bar?

These are all questions that a business consultant can address. Think of it as not working on the individual (though, they may only work with an individual in a particular space), but as working on the business itself in a specific way. Ultimately most business consultants are focused on monetary returns for your company. Even a consultant on management, who focuses on teaching you how to lead your people more efficiently, ultimately, is working to increase the productivity of your employees and therefore increase sales, minimize rework, and increase customer engagement.  All of these factors lead to quantifiable returns on the organization as a whole.

Further, many consultants have specialties that differentiate them. For example; a marketing consultant or sales consultant, These are two very different, specialized functions. A consultant in many cases will be industry specific. They have run a business in this space, or several successful businesses using the methodologies they want to implement with you.

If a coach is a psychologist, generally working to get your head straight and work through personal issues, think of a consultant as a psychiatrist who can identify specific ailments and prescribe treatments to target them. If you have an apparent problem and you are willing to invest in fixing it, an experienced consultant in that space is the way to go.

Obsidian Difference

We recognize that small businesses are a specialty all their own. In most cases, the owner of small company didn't sign up to push marketing, business development, administration or management. They started their business or acquired it to fulfill a passion in an industry space and to have freedom in their schedule and no boss to please.

As such, small business owners and managers likely have had no formal training in business, marketing, and are shooting from the hip when it comes to most endeavors. They may be aware they are not making as much money as they hoped, but not able to pinpoint where or how to address the issues keeping them from being truly successful.

Our approach is first to get to know you and your business from a high level, then zero in to find the specific issues that need to be addressed. Once those areas are identified, we can provide you with ideas, strategies and best practices to implement changes and get your business running more smoothly. Further, with retained services, we keep an evergreen approach to coaching you through getting tasks done while consulting you through new challenges as they come up. In this way, we hybridize a coach with a consultant.

Obsidian focuses on making small businesses successful while keeping business leaders engaged in their business. We leverage cross-industry experience to bring you opportunities to improve your business efficiently. Hate networking? Use our contacts to find trusted specialists and warm leads.

We know one thing for sure, small business owners are practical when it comes to their bottom line. While every business could stand to benefit from coaching as well as consultants in every field, it's not practical to spend that much money or time with multiple people when your business needs to focus on its clients. We don't coach our clients from an authority standpoint: we engage with our clients as teammates, working towards a common goal, to make your businesses better. Our passion is for all the annoying things associated with running a business that the average business owner can't stand. Let us investigate ways to improve your margin, implement sales strategies, cost-effective marketing campaigns, and find the specialists to go more in-depth when necessary. This frees our client's time to focus on their passion, their service, and products for customers.
So, what can we do for you? Reach out for a free 30-minute consultation when you mention this article, and let's see how we can get your business Better Results.

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