What is the difference between a Business Coach and a Business Mentor?

Coach vs Mentor- the differences explained

What is a Business Mentor?

The term mentor comes from Greek mythology, when Odysseus left for the Trojan wars he asked his friend ‘Mentor’ to take care of his son Telemachus. Mentor became the boy’s teacher, coach, adviser and counsel.

These days a Business Mentor is someone with business experience who can teach, guide, coach, who helps explore all options and is there as a trusted adviser in all aspects of business.

What is a Business Coach?

A coach is generally someone who will help you to achieve an objective through asking questions to get you to come up with the possible options/solutions and help you decide which is the best alternative for you and the business. A business coach may not have the same level of all-round business experience as a Business Mentor.

The difference between a Business Coach and a Business Mentor

Imagine you have damaged one of your car tyres, you would probably opt to take your car to a Tyre Centre to get the tyre looked at and have it repaired or replaced.

Now imagine your car is making strange noises or an engine fault light comes on – you are more likely to take your car to a general garage to get them to diagnose the fault and then repair it.

This to me shows the difference between a coach and a mentor. If you know the area of your business that needs attention a coach may well help you look at that specific problem and explore options with you.
A Business Mentor is probably better for you if you are not sure of the specific area that needs fixing or there are a number of issues– his or her business experience will help identify what the issues are, much the same as the general mechanic with their wealth of experience.

When I established UK Business Mentoring in 2009 I specifically chose the word ‘Mentor’ to reflect what we do. Our Business Mentors all have a wealth of business experience across many areas such as financial, people management, leadership, processes, marketing, business development. Whilst sometime we will be a  ‘business coach’ that only reflects a small element of what we do, for most of the time we are sharing experience, advising, training or being that ‘Trusted Adviser’. 

If you would like a Business Coach or a Business Mentor to help you and your business, get in touch for a complimentary mentoring session.


Joe Hinton
Managing Director and Founder.