Business Coach, Advisory Board, or Business Program: What’s Right for You?

Business Coach, Advisory Board or Program - which is right for you?

If you’re running a mid-sized business, you’re likely familiar with the intricate dance of managing and expanding your company. The journey of steering a business through growth and challenges is both exciting and complex.

Once your business is established, you will find yourself contemplating the best route to seek guidance on growth, strategy, performance and exits. This is where the decision between a Business Coach, Advisory Board, or Business Program becomes crucial.

In this article, we’ll explore these three options to help you determine the most fitting path for you and your business.

Business Coaches: A Personal Guide to Success

A business coach is like having a personal trainer for your business. They work closely with you to identify your strengths, weaknesses, and areas for improvement.

Embracing the guidance of a business coach can prove to be a game-changer, providing essential support in setting realistic goals, offering valuable insights, and fostering accountability. It’s akin to having a strategic partner genuinely invested in the journey towards success.

Working out how to choose a business coach or advisor can be tricky. Here are a few tips:

  1. Aim to engage an advisor who has proven experience in building mid-sized businesses like yours. Look for genuine relevant experience and check references and results. Be cautious – anyone can polish a turd or make a past story sound good!
  2. Beware the glowing corporate CV. Running a corporate business unit or large company is very different to running a mid-sized company. Corporations have an army of people that look after the heavy lifting where you genuinely don’t have this luxury in small to medium businesses.
  3. Be sure to select a coach with the right connections, tools and knowledge to benefit your current situation and future goals. There are plenty of wanna-bee’s out there.
  4. Finally, select someone that you can work with. Someone that you’re willing to listen to and has the balance of empathy for your situation but will also push and challenge you.


The downside of a coach is that you’re only getting one person’s opinion and experience, while with advisory boards or business programs you get a range of opinions and skill sets. Some people will prefer this 1:1 mentoring option, or may find a coach a benefit once they have completed a business program and want help keeping on track – ultimately, it’s a personal preference. 

If you’re looking for a coach then OM Advisory & Coaches is a tailored one-on-one program offered by Australian Owner Manager. Designed to turbo-boost your business and take it to the next level, OM Advisory & Coaches is for business owners who are looking for ongoing support, advice and accountability from a dedicated business advisor.

Advisory Boards: Diverse Perspectives for Informed Decisions

How to choose an Advisory Board

An advisory board brings together a group of seasoned professionals with diverse expertise to guide your business decisions.

A well-established advisory board can be an invaluable asset for owner manager businesses. By choosing people who originate from various industries, their collective wisdom actively challenges business owners’ ideas, provides unique perspectives, and safeguards against potential pitfalls. It is a bit like having a board that can foster an environment rich in strategic insights and informed decision-making, without the formalities. If you’re contemplating an advisory board:

  1. Be clear on your purpose. Is it for general advice, moving the business in a specific direction, or help in a specific industry? Without a clear purpose, you’ll end up with a wonderful talk fest with plenty of people enjoying the sound of their own voices!
  2. Get a good chair or lead for the board. This person needs the right balance of engaging others and keeping the group on track.
  3. Beware of those who have done a course or some kind of advisory board certification. Look at people’s experience, and their connections and speak to other people they have worked with. You are engaging their knowledge and experience, not some dodgy credentials.
  4. Be clear on the timing, process, document management, etc. This housekeeping ensures you get value for money from the meetings.


The advantage of an advisory is the range of opinions, while this can also be a downside. Without a clear objective and key focus, you’ll get a lot of opinions and potentially create more work for yourself.

Australian Owner Manager can assist in connecting you with an individual or a group of advisors who provide regular feedback on business direction, operations and future plans… people who have been there and done that.

Business Programs: Practical, Applicable and Results-driven

Programs for Business Owner Managers

Business programs are designed to give business owners the practical tools, expert knowledge and connections to transform their business strategy to foster growth and resilience.

Residential programs like the Owner Manager Program remove owners from their everyday distractions and workload so they can truly focus on working on their business and themselves. This format allows them to make transformational progress within their business and form close relationships with other business owners. Together this boosts the owner’s confidence and sees them commence a life-changing journey as a business owner.

When choosing a business program:

  1. Look for testimonials and endorsements from alumni, including going the extra mile to chat to past participants directly. Read online reviews and see what people are saying.
  2. Find a program that suits your style. If you struggle with discipline and accountability, an online program is probably not going to work for you. If you’re looking for a network, look for a program that includes the type of people you want to connect with.
  3. Look at the history and understand who is involved. Is it a “ra ra”, “promise the world” program run by people more interested in big-noting themselves or lining their pockets, or something that is genuinely designed to benefit the business owners involved?


The advantage of good business programs is that they work on transforming you as an owner and not just improving the business. Often the owner is the biggest limitation in any business and a coach or advisory board often doesn’t have the skills or framework to deal with changing you.

Finally, business programs are complementary to coaches or advisory boards – coaches and boards can help with implementation and execution moving forward post-program.

Choosing the Right Path for You

Selecting the right solution depends on your specific needs, preferences, and the stage of your business. If you thrive with personalised attention and guidance, a business coach might be the ideal choice. For those seeking a wealth of perspectives and industry insights, an advisory board could be the answer. Meanwhile, if tried and tested methodologies, access to practical tools and forming connections with other business owners are your top priorities, a business program might be the perfect fit.

In conclusion, whether you opt for a business coach, advisory board, or business program, each option brings unique advantages to the table. Consider your goals, budget, and the level of support you require to make an informed decision.

If you want to discuss your situation and options that suit what you’re looking for schedule a call for an informal chat about your current situation and goals.

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