Do I need a one-on-one consultation or a coaching program? How to decide.

Stuck in your business growth? Check out these options.


Photo by Thought Catalog on Unsplash

Your business has been running for a while. You may be in a decent place, but you know you want to do better–to grow.

But how? 

Maybe you have some ideas already, but you’re struggling to implement them or to measure their feasibility. Maybe you don’t have an idea, but you have a feeling rather than a clear strategy to get to a better place. Maybe you know what you want and know what it will take to get there, but you don’t know where to go for exactly what you need.

You need help.

But how?

There are many ways to get the help you need. You can hire someone to do it for you. You can research and research and research to figure it out yourself. You can fail over and over again to gather the lessons needed to succeed.

Or you can try a consultation or coaching.


Do I need a consultation?

A consultation typically involves meeting with an expert in a specific area. Consultations can be a single, one-on-one meeting with an individual, project-based with groups meeting or a combination.

Consultations are great if you already have an idea but are struggling to iron out the details; have some part of your business or organization that is stuck; or have a problem you are struggling to solve. 


two women sitting at a table looking at a laptop together
Photo by KOBU Agency on Unsplash

I often meet with business owners who need help mapping out an idea or with their digital marketing or websites. I get calls weekly from people who want to start a business or who have a business but want it to grow somehow and so-and-so said, “Call Martha!” Or someone who is ready to start marketing their business or have tried but aren’t seeing it convert. Or they received some notice about their website, or they want to spruce it up but don’t know how.

I totally need that!

The best thing about a consultation is that you can be clueless about the issue or how to fix it, but the objective third-party expert comes in and sees what you may not.


The value of a consultation

Consultations are not free. At least, they shouldn’t be. A lot of people call me and want to “pick my brain” but don’t want to pay for that time and my expertise even though it brings immense value to them and their business or organization. Often, people see some value in project-based consulting services, but they don’t see the value in a one-on-one conversation.

For example

I had a consultation with someone I met in my coaching circle a few weeks ago. She was trying to figure out her marketing next steps for her business. What was supposed to be a call about marketing turned into a conversation about her business offerings and partnership. She has this amazing business, but I could hear the inflection in her voice change as she was talking about different offers. I could also hear and see (video call) the way she tensed up when talking about her partnership. I pushed and discovered that what she hated doing was because someone asked her to do it; what she really wanted to do was what she lit up about but didn’t think would be sustainable; and what she was scared of was the commitment because of previous partnerships that didn’t work out and this one that was starting out the same way. Rather than focusing on spending money on marketing, I challenged her to get the offer she loved in order. Not only was it what she loved, it was a high-ticket offer and it got her away from that partnership that she was feeling gross about.

Was there a product sold? No. Was there value to the consulting sessions? Absolutely.

She spent time clearing her mind and heart of the weight of obligation that many business owners struggle with. (BTW: Just because something makes you money, doesn’t mean it’s worth it.) She also gained the confidence that this thing she wanted to do is a feasible business offering. She didn’t waste time and received the validation to say no to pursue her passions. All in 90 minutes.

I need that!


    Do I need a coach?

    Like a consultation, coaching typically involves working with an expert, but often, the expert is someone who has some shared experiences or expertise but who can see some issues and problems, dig in to discover why those exist, and resolve to coach you out of them. Coaching most often has a one-on-one element but also a group component (of your team or others in similar situations).

    Coaching is great if you’re struggling to know where you’re stuck or why something isn’t working; working through a series of issues (often that are holding you back from success); or need or want a network of support. 


    two women standing at a table with a laptop and a paper talking
    Photo by Amy Hirschi on Unsplash

    A lot of people don’t know this, but I started with a course where the creator became my coach. I would get frustrated or stagnant and look to people around me for advice, but I wasn’t surrounded by entrepreneurs and business owners. So I turned to Jen Schneider with Creative Tech Teacher to help me. I asked her questions, and she helped me get it together more quickly than if I had muddled through it myself.

    I need a coach!

    The best thing about coaching is that you can think you have one issue, but the coach is going to (or should) challenge your BS. You can have excuse after excuse with friends, family, and your team, but a coach isn’t going to handle those rationalizations the same. They may empathize, but they’re going to dig into why, and work with you to find a path out of whatever the true issue is.


      The value of coaching

      Business coaching isn’t free. It also isn’t for the faint of heart or the passive entrepreneur. It’s for people who are ready to do the work, but who need support in how to do the work. It’s also not for those who are looking for someone to listen to their woes. Find a therapist for that.

      But it is of major value for those who follow that expression about getting what you put into something. If you invest fully, you’ll reap the benefits. If you don’t, you won’t.


      For example

      This year, I invested in another business coach who changed my life and the direction of my business. The program is robust with tons of opportunities. It doesn’t include the same level of one-on-one guidance that many do in coaching programs, but it does have some level of that and an even bigger community. The larger group coaching sessions helped give me the confidence to increase my prices, which I did. Increasing one job was the equivalent of the price of the coaching program.

      That coaching program also opened up new opportunities, including working with others and getting certified in a new coaching certification program. More than the opportunities, all of my coaching opportunities have given me a chance to look at myself, my life, and my business and assess what would make me happy. Only a few months into the most recent coaching program, and I’ve reshaped my business model and my life, so I am the one in control.

      I need that!

      Consulting with an expert and working with a coach are valuable business practices, but they typically serve different purposes. Consulting tends to be more focused while coaching is based on needs. For both, it’s important to find someone who is experienced and challenges you and who resonates and meshes with you.

      Categories: Business