Business owners and managers often hear about how various experts can help them in their aspirations to grow their business, manage teams, build leadership capability and/or to exit themselves from their business. 

Often it is assumed that consulting and coaching are inter-changeable words which mean the same thing, however, each discipline brings its own unique value.  Whilst at times as a business owner or manager you may engage in each discipline to meet your personal and professional needs – they are distinctly different activities.


Here you are relying on the knowledge, expertise and experience of a consultant or adviser to diagnose the challenge being encountered; and with this insight, the consultant or adviser will recommend a course of action to address the challenge. 

At AdviceFirst our HR Partners, Financial Advisers and Business Advisers all offer consulting or advice to our clients. With the diverse experience of our collective team of experts, we are well versed in the nuances of running businesses and/or creating better and more sustainable financial futures.

Our HR Partners will provide advice on everything from building a positive culture to managing employment relations matters. Our Financial Advisers will share knowledge of the most appropriate investment portfolios or insurances to meet each individual client’s needs. Our Business Advisers will provide industry knowledge, share insights on trends and build strategic roadmaps to support the goals of business owners and managers.

Consultants and Advisers may suggest training to lift capability such as leadership development, and if they have the skill set, they may deliver their recommendations, such as rolling out a wealth management plan or strategic business plan.

 A business owner spends a lot of time in their own head and this can be a challenging and sometimes lonely experience. Sharn’s extensive business acumen based on her outstanding HR ability is naturally supportive and results in achieving clarity around next actions – which is exactly why Sharn’s work is so empowering.
– Client Testimonial | Business Consulting & Advisory, 2019


Coaching is a partnership model which has the ultimate goal of supporting individuals to move forward to realise their desired outcome – what they really want. Coaching is about mental growth and focuses on an exploration of the present and designing the future. It hones in on future possibilities, not past mistakes. The emphasis is on taking action to drive positive change.

“Coaching is about GETTING RESULTS and helping clients understand their way of generating solutions… help[ing] a client define what they want, remove obstacles, set goals (taking into account values and purpose), and strive for balance and fulfilment.” (Coach Masters Academy, 2017)

Our coaches work in partnership with business owners and managers to work through present challenges, determine underlying meaning and encourage self-discovery. Whilst many issues may seem very surface level, for example, ‘My team are not performing’ – there is generally great significance and underlying issues for the business owner or managers which need to be uncovered to get to the heart of the problem; then together – coach and client can seek a positive step forward. To achieve this, our coaches provide guidance to enable each client to generate strategies and solutions.  From here the coach reinforces accountability and responsibility for the client to act.

Coaching is effective to support training as a follow-up, which can help embed the effectiveness of training. For example, if training is undertaken in leadership development, during a coaching session a business owner or manager may choose to discuss a challenge that they are experiencing in regard to managing a team, and the coaching conversation will enable them to gain awareness and clarity of their situation and experience, thereby enabling them to make a choice in regard to next step actions.

Consulting, advisory and coaching all have vast benefits when supporting the holistic needs of business owners and managers who are committed to growing themselves and businesses cohesively.  

Sharn’s sessions have been hugely helpful and are so practical I can instantly share the knowledge with our team and achieve a direct result. We have already implemented considerable change in a very short space of time since commencing this course; it’s great being goal orientated again and off the day to day tasks.
– Client Testimonial | Business Coaching, 2019


Author: Sharn Rayner
Author: Sharn Rayner

Head of Business Consulting

Sharn thrives on businesses and owners excelling. She has expertise in strategic planning, transformational coaching, leadership development and organisational development. Having won accolades in strategic planning, business growth and organisational success, her knowledge, insight and experience has been valuable in her roles as CEO, managing director and business owner – as well as a partner to clients in New Zealand, Australia and the UK.

AdviceFirst is a Financial Advice Provider (FSP23242).