16 Differences Between Coaching and Consulting… and Why You Need a Coach!

The Rise Of Business Coaching

According to the most recent statistics, more than 99% of businesses in the United States are considered “small businesses.” In the UK, more than 2.93 million businesses are in operation, the equivalent of one firm per 8.7 people of working age, an increase of 15% over the last 20 years. During that time, however, more than seven million businesses have started in the last twenty years whilst a similar number have closed. In Australia, there were more than 2 million actively trading businesses (representing more than 97% of the Aussie businesses) that employ approximately 64 percent of Australia’s private sector labor force – and produce nearly 50 percent of the country’s domestic output. The importance of small business for the continuing growth of market economies cannot be underestimated, however, the tools for helping these millions of business owners for years seemed out of reach. After all, which small business owner could afford to hire a consultant from McKinsey or Bain? Conversely, what McKinsey or Bain consultant would want to work with a small business? To meet this need and “gap” of knowledge and services in the marketplace, the business coaching category started to develop in the early 1990’s as an alternative to costly and project-focused business consulting services. As one of the pioneers of the business coaching industry, ActionCOACH emerged in 1993 as a result of Brad Sugars’ work in his native Australia with small and medium-sized businesses (also known as SMEs – small-and-medium sized enterprises – or SMBs) and owners who were looking for solutions to their business challenges they could easily understand and implement – and track results. Sugars realized his style of “consulting” was different than traditional, project-based or project-focused business help. First, SME owners needed “whole firm” solutions to their challenges, because in smaller companies, causes and effects are more easily seen and felt – by owners, employees and by profits on the bottom-line.

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