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Business Coaching vs. Executive Coaching

AUTHOR: Erickson Coaching International
DATE: 12 August 2022

There are many niches in the realm of professional Coaching. You may have heard of Personal Coaching, Corporate Coaching, Small-business Coaching and Career Coaching. The differences between these disciplines may seem obvious at first glance but what about Business and Executive Coaching? Do you know what sets these two Coaching niches apart? 

We have outlined the important similarities and differences between Business and Executive Coaching. If you are interested in exploring other Coaching niches, explore our downloadables for the "20 Coaching Niches" guide to discover your Coaching niche. 

The Similarity

The Coaching methodologies behind Business and Executive Coaching are very different but the overarching goal of both is the same. This goal is simply to help  clients improve their businesses and solve business-related issue to grow their bottom line. 

Whether you are a small business owner or the leader of a large organization, if you want to know which type of Coaching is most suited to your business, you need to determine if you are in need of personal or strategic business development. Likewise, if you are a new coach and are trying to decide which niche is right for you, keep reading. 

The Difference

A Business Coach specifically focuses on business-related Coaching. Now this might sound obvious, but in fact, it is not. This type of Coach has undergone coach training and works with business owners independently. A trained business coach works with clients on a variety of goals, some of which include reviving business strategy, improving company organization, identifying marketing needs, and boosting the overall performance of a business. Business Coaches are trained to recognize and help resolve issues and stumbling blocks around many areas of a business. Business coaches also equip their clients with effective skills that assist their clients with problems that may arise in the future. 

As a Business Coach, you will understand successful business practices, productive team environments, motivational approaches, and provide tools to overcome any obstacles. A Business Coach, therefore, works in a partnership with their client (often the business owner or CEO) to grow their company. 

In comparison, an Executive Coach can be independent (hired to coach teams and managers for specific periods of time) or can work in-house (retained by the company to coach leadership and employees). The key difference is that Executive coaches specifically help with personal development. Yes that's right, Executive Coaches work with executive team members to develop personally. This is an indirect approach to improving business performance but it is recognized that personal development of executives results in improved company performance and growth. 

Executive Coaches are typically hired to help C-suite, VPs and other executives with setting, following and achieving personal improvement goals. These can vary from increasing productivity, developing leadership skills, managing staff to improving communication. It’s about facilitating change in someone’s (personal) behavior which indirectly will ultimately result in achieving organizational fiscal goals. 

Simply put, Business Coaches work with clients to improve business practices where as Executive Coaches work with clients to facilitate personal development as it relates to business. Business Coaching directly impacts business performance and bottom line where as Executive Coaching indirectly achieves a similar result. 

At Erickson, we believe that everyone needs a coach. The goals of organizations require both Executive and Business Coaching. 


To find out more about Erickson's Coaching solutions for Businesses, Get in Touch with one of our Business Coaches.