The difference between coaching, mentoring and consultancy
Starting up a business can be exceedingly difficult and lonely.
Over half a million new business start-ups were registered in the UK alone in 2019¹, and less than halfwill survive their first five years².
That’s a shocking statistic when you consider the amount of time, money and hope that has been collectively invested in them and will never see a return. It’s even more disheartening to think of the men and women whose hard work wasn’t enough to make their businesses succeed.
The causes of business failure are many and varied
One common cause is that small business owners don’t consider where their business is going; understandable, they are concentrating on the immediate day-to-day tasks that keep their business running. But for a business to last, entrepreneurs need to spend time working on their business’ future as well as their business’ present.
It’s not their drive that’s at fault – they work hard, often far longer than 9-5.
Neither is passion an issue – they often start these businesses because they love what they do!
Often it is simply a lack of experience and outside perspective that makes the difference between the success and failure of a new venture.
Reversing the statistics
The failure rate would fall significantly if a start-up entrepreneur was surrounded by a community that supported them. A community of people who not only know them, and recognise their calling, but also people who understand business. A community like this could collectively help nurture small business owners to not only survive those arduous early days, but apply the groundwork for long-lasting fruitfulness.
God continues to call and gift people to create a new enterprises with Him today. Businesses have a valuable role to play in His Kingdom, just as they did in Acts – from self-sustaining tentmakers like Paul who can minister and work, to generous altruists like Lydia who can open up their homes to the church.
One of the main reasons Business Link was formed was so that business and church leaders together can create a community to support start-up entrepreneurs. This support can be done in a number of ways – mentoring, coaching, consulting, praying and encouraging are just a few.
‘What’s the difference between consulting, mentoring and coaching?’ I hear you ask!
Consulting is a more directive approach, where someone tells the other what needs to be done. Often big businesses will employ consultants who can identify areas for improvement far sooner than those within the business would.
Mentoring is more advisory, using their experience and knowledge to guide and help.
Coaching in its purest sense isn’t about giving advice. Instead, the client is seen as the expert on the business, whilst the coach is the expert on asking open questions that help the client identify their goals and how to reach them.
Building firm foundations
The businesses that bring long-lasting change and hope to broken communities need to build firm foundations with a supportive community around them. The entrepreneurs we hope to fund through the Christmas Appeal may benefit from one or more of these areas of support, and the wealth of resources available within the Business Link community could play an invaluable role in helping the entrepreneur navigate those difficult start-up waters.
You can find out more about the Christmas Appeal here.