Advisor, Coach, Mentor and Consultant – What is the difference?


Advisor, Coach, Mentor And Consultant - What is the difference

These job titles are often used without much clarity on the difference between the individual services they offer. However, there are fundamental differences between each of these roles, making it confusing if you get them mixed them up.  So, this is how we define between coaching, mentoring, consultancy and business advisory services. 

Our overview, providing more clarity on each will help determine the best fit to fulfil the needs for you, your business or both. 


Coaching is used to improve an individual’s performance on a job or task through methods such as questioning and reflection.  Sessions with a coach will be very task focussed but the coach will not directly instruct their client to do anything specific, they will help them develop the skill that they need in order to solve the problem themselves through the coaching process.

Coaching is usually short term until the individual acquires the skills successfully to solve their issue and move on – this is when the coaching is no longer needed.

Coaching helps the individual resolve and answer their own dilemmas in specific areas of their performance & skill, resulting in an improved self-understanding, more independence and less reliance on the coach to coach them through their problems


The role of a mentor is to assist another person in developing both professionally and personally. The difference between a coach and a mentor is that a mentor is more relationship orientated and there is no set outcome or goal, whereas a coach is very task focussed. Where coaches coach their clients, mentors are more direct as they are in a place of authority and expertise where they can give professional advice. 

The area that the mentee works on can be varied and even change over time and receives advice on request. An individual is more likely to have a longer relationship with a mentor rather than a coach because of this.

The sessions can vary from face to face , to a quick phone call or email. It’s often that some sessions can be opportunistic as mentors are more likely to be flexible for a quick fix.

The mentor also benefits from the relationship with their client through fresh perspectives and firmly grounds their own expertise, refreshing their own knowledge .


Consultancy rides on a specific brief where the consultant will gather information from relevant people and documents to issue a report with recommendations for an individual’s business.

They are professionals that come from outside of the business and give their advice on what they think should be done in order to succeed in a certain outcome, outlined in the brief.

After the report is made, it is the responsibility of the business to decide whether to implement these recommendations that the consultant has put forward. 

It is a short-term relationship and after the report, the consultant doesn’t have to go through the process with the business because their job is done.


Advisors have long term relationships with their clients where they discuss issues but also provide high level knowledge, advice and confidence to the business itself.

Advisors usually work with the business owner or managing director(s) with their business plan, decide which action to prioritise and achieve their set goals themselves.

Advisors are chosen because of their expertise and experience with previous successes, meaning their advice and guidance is highly valuable. They can choose the delivery style based on their background expertise, making them have a distinct advantage over mentors and coaches.

Through reviewing and improving the business alongside the MD and owner, advisers can make a sound difference in how a business approaches and overcomes issues as well as how they operate.

External support in any one of these roles can provide  a great asset, someone that can help stabilise and sustain growth in your business or fix an issue that you are struggling with. 

Recognising our areas of weakness is a prime indicator that we are strong and driven to learn more about how we can progress. 

Progress is a process and if you need support with a coach, mentor, consultant or advisor it is important that you know the difference in order to select the support that will benefit you most . 

Now you know how they all differ, who suits you best? Which service does your business need?

Like to know more?

We’re always happy to provide you with more information or answer any questions you may have.