Business support comes in many forms and is often not just a matter of selecting a business support professional based on their knowledge but also the way in which they provide the support service.

The below is a handy guide to what can be expected from the different forms of business support available.

A business adviser will provide you with an opinion of what you should do or how you should behave in a situation potentially with the development of an action plan on how to go about doing it for you to carry out.

They will often provide feedback on documentation such as business plans and financial planning documents to ensure that you take into account other view points in a strive to increase quality and effectiveness.

A business coach will provide you with support to overcome a support need through the provision of a learning and development solution developing your knowledge and skills within a subject area.

A business consultant will focus on the development of business practices, processes and structures and generally looks at the business on a strategic level rather than individual issues.

A consultant will often take a lead on a particular course of action whilst developing the skills of the individual who has contracted the consultancy support.

A business mentor is often a person who has been there, done it and got the t-shirt already.

The mentoring process is often discussion based sharing past experiences and encouraging the mentee to reflect on themselves and their business to reach their own solutions.

A business trainer/educator will provide often pre-defined and subject specific knowledge and skills development solutions on a group basis. They are often run by schools, FE Colleges, private training providers and universities either on a face to face or online distance learning basis.