When I decided to pivot into serving businesswomen, I purposely chose to work as a strategist instead of a coach. Outside of there being A LOT of business coaches out there, I know that my strengths lie in planning. What I’m best at is helping others create plans to work towards achieving goals. While most coaching deals with mindsets (and mindset is important), over in these parts we’re getting to work! But most people don’t know that there is a distinct difference between strategists and coaches. If you’re trying to figure out which is better for you, here are the differences.
What Are They Solving?
A strategist is going to help with an unclear vision, strategy, plan, or figuring out the next steps for the big picture in your business or a specific business problem. Coaches help navigate the daily difficulties of running a business or find what’s holding you back from maximizing potential.
What Results Can You Expect?
When you work with a strategist, you can expect actionable and customized strategies and plans to move your business forward with clarity, purpose, and direction. With a coach, you’re more likely to reach goals (or take meaningful action towards them) usually faster than you would independently and get an improved approach to managing a business.
When Should You Hire?
A strategist and coach can work together or separately but strategists work best when you’re:
- At the beginning or early on in your business and figuring things out;
- During changes, pivots or growth;
- When problems, challanges, or dissatisfaction arise;
- At regular touch-points to identify opportunities;
- When you don’t actually know what you need;
Coaches can be hired:
- To get from where you are to where you want to be;
- To hone your approach to managing and growing a business and overcome and mental blocks and behaviors holding you back;
- For ongoing support, self-improvement or accountability;
What Are Their Approaches?
Because a business strategist is more action and strategy-based, they are going to help you make sense of all of your thoughts, ideas, opportunities, and challenges. They’ll help you finds patterns, brainstorms ideas, analyzes options, and guide you in making tough decisions based on what’s best for your unique situation. A good business coach will guide you in coming to conclusions with insightful question-asking and other similar approaches. They’ll teach using proven methods to improve your mindset, behaviors, decision making, management, etc.
What Is the Format?
I typically have one or more hands-on work sessions with pre-work and homework until clarity is achieved and strategy/action plans are completed. Most strategists will work privately with clients through workshops or strategy intensives. Coaches, on the other hand, are more likely to have group programs that are regularly scheduled discussion sessions (ongoing, until the goal is reached or for a set period of time – usually 3+ months) sometimes with homework and accountability check-ins in-between.