This is a really good question I get asked a lot, and the answer isn't all that straightforward. There is a lot of overlap between these three approaches, and which one is right for you and your business has a lot to do with personal preference, where you are in the process and what skills you already have.
Coaching - The International Coaching Federation (ICF) defines coaching as "partnering with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential. The process of coaching often unlocks previously untapped sources of imagination, productivity and leadership." https://coachingfederation.org/about
Mentoring - The Art of Mentoring defines mentoring as "a learning relationship, generally focused on long term career development. The primary purpose is to drive personal growth; building skills, knowledge and understanding." https://artofmentoring.net/what-is-mentoring/
Consultancy - The Oxford English Dictionary defines consultancy as "the work of giving professional advice within a particular field". The Harvard Business Review also has a great article geared towards high level management consultancy to large multi-nationals, the principles of which can be applied to small businesses: https://hbr.org/1982/09/consulting-is-more-than-giving-advice
Yes, but what does this actually all mean for me and my business?
Fundamentally it boils down to whether the coach/mentor or consultant is steering the direction for you and providing answers, or whether they are asking you the right questions so you can set your own direction and steer yourself.
All individuals and businesses have different requirements, so for this reason, at Westchester Entrepreneur and Small Business Coaching we use a unique blend of coaching, mentoring and consultancy to help our clients reach their business goals.
You might already know exactly what you want to do, so the help you need is getting organized, pinning down a plan, and gaining accountability as you execute it.
For others you might be branching into a new field and need expertise and direction on how to position yourself there. We've working with entrepreneurs at every point on the scale to help them realize their dreams.