In the online world, titles like Business Strategist, Consultant, and Coach can get mixed up easily. These are important human resources to help you with your business so you don’t have to do it alone.
Do you need a Strategist, or someone else?
Not knowing the difference can be a waste of money and time. You’re disappointed because you didn’t get the results you wanted and still don’t have things figured out. This can lead to not trust hiring someone in the future because you don’t want to “get burnt” again.
Today, I want to make sure you know WHO to hire for WHAT.
I don’t want you to hire someone only to realize it wasn’t what you needed.
This article will mainly focus on what a small business strategist is, but I’ll also briefly touch on Coach and Consultant for comparison.
Who you should hire for what?
Here’s the short version…
A Strategist helps you figure all the things out to make better business decisions to turn ideas into action.
A Consultant is an expert on a topic, or specific skill set, for implementation support.
A Coach will work on your mindset and ask questions to help you think more for yourself to reach your goals.
What is a Small Business Strategist?
You need a strategist if:
- You’re trying to make sense of everything swirling around in your head
- Decide on the best strategy that complements your business and values
- Creates the plan to get you from point A to point B
- You need a sounding board to bounce ideas off of
- Need a guide on what actions to take and when
- You need to stay on track
- Holds you accountable for what you want to accomplish
- Launch something new for your business
- Stop juggling too many things and focus instead
DON’T hire a strategist and ask them to execute the work for you or to be your therapist.
Instead, a Strategist generally involves setting goals, determining actions to achieve the goals, and organize resources to execute the actions. A strategy describes how goals will be achieved by those resources.
Some ways a Business Strategist can help you and your business are:
Keep You Focused
When you have to wear so many hats as a Solopreneur or Entrepreneur, it is important to stay focused on one task at a time. A business strategist will make sure you are being proactive and not reactive by helping each day run smoother with clear, strategically prioritized actions.
New ideas are coming to you and you might not know which ones are worth pursuing and which ones should be put on hold (for now!). Your business strategist will help you sort through your ideas, test them, and provide feedback on what the next step should (or shouldn’t) be.
Create a Plan
Now it’s time to create a plan! Whatever goals you are trying to achieve, having a strategic partner in place can help you plan on what matters most. You need a step-by-step system, that is easy to follow and understand. Your business strategist will break down your goals into easy manageable steps, then determine how each objective will be met.
Guide You on Your Actions
Working on the wrong tasks could cost you valuable time and money that could be better utilized somewhere else in your business. Your business strategist will help you stay focused and intentional about each step you take and mapped out with clear expectations.
When working for yourself, sometimes it helps to have someone who wants to see you succeed as much as you do. When you’re being held accountable you are more likely to reach and exceed your own goals and expectations. It can be so easy to get distracted. At the end of the week, you felt busy, but what did you actually accomplish? One way to avoid this is to hire a business strategist who will hold you accountable to weekly action steps, and follow up to be sure they were done.
Hiring a Small Business Strategist
When you start to look for a business strategist, do your homework. Make sure you can relate, have similar values, and feel comfortable talking to them. Every strategist has their own unique perspective and approach. It’s important to be clear on what you are looking for to find someone who is a fit for you and your needs.
Now that we’ve cleared up what a Business Strategist is and does, let’s clarify what a Consultant and Coach do for you.
What is a Consultant?
A Consultant is experienced on a specific topic or skill set. The consultant’s role is to be your advisor and problem solver. A consultant helps implement the tasks you want done to achieve those goals.
You need a consultant if:
- You already know what to focus on and do
- You’ve already figured out the who, what, why, and how of your business
- You want to learn something new
- You want expert guidance on how to do something specific
DON’T hire a consultant to teach you how to do something or help you do it unless you are already 100% clear what your strategy is.
What is a Coach?
With Coaching, you’re getting growth. They are someone who asks questions to encourage the coachee to come up with their own solutions instead of giving them the answer.
Go to a coach if
- You’re struggling to reach your goals
- You’re holding yourself back
- Want to be a better business owner
- Need accountability and regularly talk through your problems
DON’T hire a coach and expect them to work hands-on with you to figure out the strategic details of your business.
A coach helps you see what you can’t see, by asking you questions others are afraid to ask. They bring a different approach or methodology. They help when you can’t see why your strategy is not getting the results you expect. A coach helps you see patterns that you may not see since you’re too close to your business.
Who do you start with?
Begin with a strategist.
They will save you time and money by helping you quickly figure out exactly what to do with your business in terms of vision, a specific project, or goal you’re working on. They’ll help you refine the vision and the details to support it into small steps.
You may want to check in with your strategist when:
- Hit roadblocks or get stuck
- Want to launch something new
- Want to focus
- Pivot or change course
- Have a life experience that affects your business
- Are goal setting or strategic planning
- Don’t know what you need
- Thinking about hiring a new consultant and want to have the right information to smoothly outsource the tasks
Once you have all the strategic details figured out, you can hire consultants to help you implement your strategies. You may also hire a coach to help you improve as a business owner.
Ready to hire a strategist?
If you’re ready to turn ideas into action and more money, it’s time to hire a strategist. I’d love to be there for you.