Coach Adviser Mentor, Which one

Back in 2014, I wrote a blog about the differences between Business Coaching, Business Advising and Business Mentoring. I thought now is the perfect time to write an updated version to help small business owners to decide which one they want/need. This blog will give you a better understanding of the differences and how you can distinguish between the three titles.

It must be said that everyone’s opinion varies to some degree as to these definitions. I personally define myself as a Business Adviser for micro and small business. In my role as a Business Adviser, I shift between (Adviser, Coach & Mentor) to satisfy my clients’ specific needs.

Isn’t everyone a coach these days!

Coach Adviser Mentor which oneSometimes it feels like everyone you meet is some sort of coach – Life coach, nutritional coach, fitness coach, business coach, executive coach, career coach, personal coach, coaches coach etc.! The term, I feel, has become overused and somewhat diluted in its understanding.

Business Coaching, Business Advising and Business Mentoring – are processes that enable businesses, clients, to achieve their full potential.

These three terms share many similarities so it makes sense to outline the common things that a paid professional will offer. Regardless of the title, you must find the right one who will help take your business where you want to go.Note: that sometimes a business mentor will offer their service in an altruistic manner to give back to an industry they have spent their life working in.

Note: that sometimes a business mentor will offer their service in an altruistic manner to give back to an industry they have spent their life working in.


Business Coach – Is not usually fixed upon a specific problem or topic and they are usually hands off. They are usually concerned with developing the intellectual capabilities of the business and the acumen of the business director they are working with.

Business Adviser – Is usually hands off and called to advise, assess, and counsel on a topic or set of topics. Recommendations are provided which are collaborative and based on the business owner of the businesses needs and wants. Generally, the implementation of any recommendations will be by the owner of the business and/or staff if available. Follow up continues and there may be written material produced by the owner of the business. The Business Adviser ends up mentoring too as part of the role, where specific knowledge can be applied.

Business Mentor – Is usually hands off and has knowledge that will be specific to the role of the mentored. A business mentor’s hindsight can often be your foresight!

Further to the above definitions, there is so much more that is on offer. It is also depending on the Coach, Adviser or Mentor and his/her knowledge. All advisers, coaches and mentors come to the industry with a different background. Many you meet have not been self-employed before and have their knowledge base from the corporate world! Others will have done a course of some description to become a coach. All advice will again vary depending on the business type, sizes, staff or no staff etc.

Business Advice – My Sassy Business

It is essential to:

  • Facilitate the exploration of business needs
  • Owner motivations
  • Owner desires
  • Business skills and thinking
  • Assist the individual in making real, lasting and beneficial change to their business
  • Questioning the business owners thought processes
  • Identify solutions and actions
  • It is not just about telling someone what to do
  • Set realistic goals
  • Using sensible methods to assess progress regarding these goals


  • Share knowledge of any specific tools and techniques
  • Provide a pathway of knowledge
  • One-to-one training as required
  • Counselling & networking
  • Encouragement of a commitment to action and lasting personal growth & business change
  • Unconditional positive regard for the client, being at all times supportive and non-judgmental of the client, their views, their lifestyle and their goals.
  • Enlist the provision of advice within my areas of personal expertise and competencies, based on proven methods.
  • Personal experience for skills-transfer coaching to be offered.

How do you find your ideal Coach, Adviser or Mentor?

  • Search on Google
  • Ask for a referral
  • Post in a Facebook group

Ultimately though you need to find a person that you can work with and that suits your business and your personality. This is where the choice can be difficult and naturally money, time commitment and more is going to be important for you.

I offer, and most other Business Coaches, Business Advisers and Business Mentors also offer an initial no cost and no obligation discussion so you can decide on the suitability for you.

Remember to ask about flexibility, as it is important for small business and micro business, which are changing constantly. Make sure that you are with an Adviser, Mentor or Coach who is flexible to your needs.

Please leave a comment if you have any questions.

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