8 Insights to Finding the Right Business CoachSeptember 18, 2018 | Markus Schwarzer


Business Coaching is booming. More and more coaches are vying for a slice of the cake

It is increasingly difficult for anyone looking for a good Business Coach.

Separating the wheat from the chaff is not easy. Additionally, professional qualifications and the necessary experience are not clearly defined.

Everyone can call themselves a Business Coach. So often, the proof lies in the pudding.


Here are 8 Insights:

1 Business Coach Competencies. 

A must have is hands-on, field-proven business experience.

I am referring to practical experience. Not from books, uni or MBA courses. Business know-how gained at the coal face.

A Business Coach must understand the complex relationships that makes business successful.

2 Business Coach Attributes.

Professional business coaching is based on three core attributes:

  • coaching competence (listening, building relationships, asking questions)
  • professional competence (such as leadership, communication, project management) and
  • personal competence (self-knowledge, self-confidence, inner balance).

In essence: professional attitude, basic methodological and communication skills.

3 An effective Business Coach has Attitude.

The client needs a real counterpart. A person who knows ups and downs. Who works continuously on his/her own development and who can communicate openly.

Recommended personality traits:

  • Empathy
  • Curiosity
  • Creativity
  • Systemic thinking
  • Willingness to confront tough issues
  • The ability to motivate people and open new perspectives

Supporting the client in developing his or her own path.

A Business Coach is more a development worker than a teacher.

A Practioner. Not an Educator.

4 Coaching process elements.

First and foremost, it’s about creating a working alliance between client and coach.

  • getting to know each other
  • clarifying the goals for the coaching
  • the financial and time frame
  • decision to work together.

5 Preliminaries.

This usually takes place in a preliminary talk.

The coaching itself often proceeds as follows:

  1. First, the vision or the goal is developed
  2. At this point, the client and the coach are clear, if they are able to work together

This is about opening new perspectives and finding new ways.

The next step is to develop the resources and capabilities that are critical to this project.

Afterwards, first steps are developed. This enables the client to implement this into his or her everyday life.

6 Keeping track.

Correspondingly, an effective coaching process is to draw up an interim review.

To examine the defined goals with the client .

We all know, it easily happens that you lose yourself in everyday life issues and not move forward.

What does success look like? Easy, when you reach your goals. That’s why goal clarification is so important at the beginning of coaching.

7 Every Human has blind spots.

The coach is most likely to recognize these blind spots. Because they can become show stoppers. Internal and external conflicts require compromises.

This is a crucial point for the success of coaching. It requires a high degree of sensitivity and attention. It can be delicate, Oh yes.

in short, problems will always arise. It’s like an (temporary) obstacle blocking the way.

That’s why it’s so important to make sure that the problem does not obscure the goal.

Not dealing with the problem will lead to a dead end. Sooner or Later.

8 Techniques and Methods.

Due many years of experience, my tool case is well filled.

Finding the technique(s) that best fits the client and his/her goals

One of my key strengths is to challenge and encourage clients to develop their own unique path to success.

Likewise, honest feedback plays an important role. I enjoy working with visualization techniques and painting pictures to tackle issues from a completely different angle.

It is important to me that it is a living process that leads to success. Why bother otherwise?

Moreover, it is fun. That’s why we laugh a lot in our coaching sessions.

How do you find the right Business Coach?

Above all, before Hiring a Business Coach Make Certain Their Skills Match Your Goals.

  • Listen to recommendations
  • Set up a preliminary interview
  • Validate the experience and references.

in conclusion, the best Business Coach does not exist. Find the RighBusiness Coach for you and your particular circumstances.



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2ps.com step into New Zealand.September 13, 2017 | Markus Schwarzer

2ps.com, a revolutionary consulting firm started in Canada, step into New Zealand.

2ps.com logoMONTREAL, August 23rd, 2017. 2ps announces the appointment of Markus Schwarzer, as the first Ambassador in New Zealand

The seasoned Finance Professional with a strong background in operations and management in the manufacturing industry, will run the first 2ps League in Oceania.

Hands-On Experience

“Markus is not only a real expert, but he is also an amazing person. He has a multifaceted personality from its European origins and International business experience.
His impressive experience with businesses of all sizes, while always remaining very accessible and humble, is a proof of real seniority.” confesses Yann Rousselot-Pailley, 2ps CEO, “He advocates for a more humane vision of consulting, and entirely embodies 2ps values”.

Play Nice MottoPlay Nice

“I do like the concept of expert consultants collaborating, sharing expertise and skills across the globe.
The “Play Nice” motto is also appealing as we are living in a world that is ever more challenging for each to gain an edge at someone else expense. The fair-play message is an important one. ” says Markus.


After only a year, the 2PS concept is a great success and is now established in more than 18 different countries, “We are delighted to expand our community to Oceania, it means more opportunities for our network members. Collaboration is borderless!” tells Yann Rousselot-Pailley, 2PS CEO.

About 2ps.com

2ps believes that independent consultants are collectively a viable alternative to large consulting firms. We collaborate thanks to a decentralized and gamified platform that provides trust and security.

Our collective is a global network of vetted management advisors in the field of strategy, technology finance and marketing. As entrepreneurs our experts bring creativity and customized services to their customers, but are accountable and results oriented, delivering a fair and ethical approach of the consulting.

Juliette Rolland – PR and Marketing +1 855-907-0735. juliette.rolland@2ps.com
Yann Rousselot-Pailley – CEO +1 855-907-0735 ext 1001. y@2ps.com
Markus Schwarzer – 2PS Ambassador +64 27 9732236. markus.schwarzer@2ps.com
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Do you wanna pimp your Business?August 23, 2017 | Markus Schwarzer

The Train Trip

On a recent train trip I got talking with a fellow passenger.

After the usual introduction, her name was Conchita, she asked me: “I would like to sell my current business and then buy a new one, that is better suited to my interests.  But how do I value my business?

“ Well” I responded,” good question indeed. The answer torments business sellers and buyers for some time. There isn’t one precise method that establishes a valuation beyond argument.”

Company Value

“Conchita, “ I said “the value of a company can vary greatly. Depending on the respective viewpoint of the parties involved.”

Conchita kept persisting: “ok, understood, but how easy (or complicated) is it to estimate the true value of a business?”

Company Valuation Reasons

A company valuation can have different purposes. The most common one are:

  • purchase and sale of a company due to retirement or health reasons
  • attracting new investors, eg for expansion
  • takeover or merger
  • adding or changing shareholders
  • compulsory part calculations in inheritance division

Value not equal Selling Priceprice value diagram

The company valuation serves as a basis for decision-making for both:

  • the Seller (which maximum amount can I demand?)
  • the Purchaser  (which minimum amount should I offer?)

In my experience, Seller and Purchaser are generally colliding with their respective views between the value of a company and its (selling) price.

  • As with every commodity, the price is determined supply and demand.
  • A starting point for negotiating the sale or the takeover price.
  • Both parties should (ideally target) a company value that is as realistic as possible.

Many Valuation Methods

There are many valuation methods. Most can lead to different results. There is no binding method. 

I said to Conchita: “Choose the method that best suits the size of the company. Your capital and asset structure as well as your specific industry.  Then test the result with at least two methods.”

Typically, Seller and Purchaser regard the financial side from different angles.

Seller is…

  • often emotionally connected to their company and
  • most of the time their evaluation is based on the past.


  • approach the valuation more rationally and
  • are interested in the growth potential
  • ultimately, they want to pay as little as possible.


It is not uncommon for the seller, and also their consultant or accountant, not to know how to determine a realistic price for the company.

In the case of an overvaluation, there is a risk that the seller party will ‘overplay its hand’. The search for potential purchasers interest or indeed the subsequent negotiations could be at risk or fail completely.

Non-operating factors influence pricing

Although the company value is ideally determined according to objective criteria, other factors are often decisive for price determination. These can be:

  • Personal influence of the current owner in his/her company
  • Anticipated (but not realized) sales and profit development
  • Degree of innovation of products or services (niche)
  • Size of the company and competence of the internal organization
  • Strength or presence of Competition
  • Number of takeover offers and purchasing candidates
  • Age of successor
  • Financial and family situation of both parties

More than just A Selling Price (just like the song ‘It’s more than a feeling?’)

I said to Conchita: “Involve your banking partner in the valuation. 
The value of your company is also a reflection of the company’s creditworthiness.
Which in turn leads to favorable credit rating and favorable credit conditions such as interest rates.”

Several methods are available for determining the company value. For simplification  I am just listing the following:

The Asset Value Method
net asset diagram












Is the most commonly used valuation method. It determines the Net Assets= Owners Equity.


  • Relative easy to carry out
  • Based on current data that can be accessed easily


  • Purely based on current information
  • Disregards external factors, eg economic environment
  • Does not take into account future growth (potential)

Discounted Cash Flow Analysis (DCF)

The DCF analysis is one the most thorough method to value a company.
This method is used to calculate the value of a company from the discounting of future cash flows.


  • High degree of recognition internationally
  • Used by most financial practitioners
  • Based on future data


  • Involves some guesswork of future cash flows
  • Requires Excel and Financial Analysis skills

Pimping your Business

I don’t know what you, the reader, would recommend to Conchita.

My final comments, before I disembarked at the Hauptbahnhof: “Conchita, keep in mind that getting a company ready for sale or indeed its valuation is not a straight forward thing. 

The price which an investor would be willing to pay for your company’s equity depends on supply and demand. And also a number of Emotional Factors.”

The Author

Markus is a Financial Professional, specialising in Process Improvement and Financial Reporting.




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Queues of refugees in BerlinDuring a recent visit to Berlin, Germany, I came face to face with the sheer size of the refugee situation. Over the last two years, more than 1 million people entered Germany as refugees. 

People are on the move. Fleeing from their homelands from persecution, violence and poverty.
In the hope of a better life, they also come to Germany.

Many people who are now coming to Germany have a legitimate claim to political asylum. They are also likely to remain in the long term in Germany. Fast solutions for the conflicts are not in sight. This is especially true for people from Syria, Iraq and Eritrea.

Millions seek Asylum

Make up of Asylum Seekers_2016In 2016, almost 500k sought asylum. The majority of countries with vastly different cultural values. 

At the turn of 2015/16 more than 1,000 people a day, arrived in Berlin. This is now down to 20-30 per day.

Nowadays, the ultra long queues outside the National Office of Health and Social Affairs in Berlin-Moabit are a thing of the past.
Nevertheless, there are still significant numbers of 
refugees lining up and hope for asylum.

Administrative Challenges

This increasingly challenges the local and federal government authorities. Often pushed to capacity limits.
Again and again, employees complain about overloading.

The language and cultural barriers are significant. The two biggest hurdles for successful integration.

Refugees_level of educationAccess to Labour Market

In addition, most refugees are poorly educated in order to compete on equal terms in the German labour market. Close to 2/3rd have no high school or uni education. 

The recognition of qualification often takes a long time or not at all. Gaining access to records in war-torn and corrupt countries tends to be very difficult.

Huge Costs

Whether it is 17 billion Euros, 20 or even 23, does not really matter. In any case, It’s a huge amount spent in 2016 for the reception, housing and care of refugees.

A large number of measures are available for immigrants in the areas of language teaching, education, and work.

German Language

To learn the German language is the first step into integration. This begins with language support measures:

  • in daycare centers such as the “Language Kitas” program are supported by the Federal Government over the program period from 2016 to 2019 with up to Euros 100 million annually.
  • This is followed by school-based language support in German, which is aimed at children whose knowledge of German is not sufficient. The formats vary according to the age of the children.

Integration programs

The state sponsored integration programs are at the core of the integration measures for adult immigrants.

In addition to the general integration programs (600 hours of language course, 100 hours of orientation course), there are additional programs with the focus on literacy, women, parents, young people and young adults.

attendance integration programRoughly 340,00 people attended the Integration Programs in 2016 (2015: 180,000). Syrian refugees making up the largest contingent.

The integration of refugees will become an important social and political task in the coming years in Germany. Central to this is the integration into the labor market, which enables people to live independently.

Integration Coaching

German authorities are providing funding for more ‘Integration Coaches’. The training program for integration coaches is aimed at professionals who are active in the areas of career preparation, career counselling, and job placement for refugees and migrants.

Integration at the Coal Face

Many refugees are not only physically but also mentally exhausted. It is often the memories of experiences or the current circumstances when everything is unfamiliar. A view of the future is difficult and perhaps part of the family is not there. But regardless of this, many refugees can already be helped with simple, fast-acting methods. 

The introduction of an active policy of integration in Germany was carried out very late. Failures in early phases of life are reflected:

  • in a lower level of education,
  • which in turn reduces chances on the labor market.

The shortcomings in the integration are therefore difficult and can only be corrected with great effort.

One particular poor example that Germany does not wish to replicate is France. France failed majorly in integrating its North African citizens and migrants. 

The Challenge

The integration of migrants in Germany poses major challenges. The Germans as people who are hosts, helpers, supporters, sometimes also critics. The authorities, the state and, of course, the migrants themselves, who have to find their way first. This will take time. And Patience. Lots of it.

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Thinking like Jack Reacher improves Cash FlowJuly 2, 2017 | Markus Schwarzer

Jack Reacher drawingDo you know Jack Reacher?

The 6.5”, 250 lbs, hands like coal shovels, protagonist in Lee Child’s bestselling books.

Reacher’s main chareteristics are an unorthodox investigative style. And his ability to rile his opponents.

He solves problems in , shall we say, unusual ways. Often with significant body counts. And Reacher thinks outside the box.

Is a 20% Reduction in Outgoing $ Cash in 60 Days possible?

Yes it is.

                                                                                  How so?

20% cash flow savingsThink outside the box. Think like Jack Reacher.

Be determined. Be focused.

Fire bullets like Reacher.




Example: Paying Suppliers

3 Steps cost reduction


In Summary

The Reacher Bullet approach works. Take the time to really focus on Supplier Costs:

1 Get organised. It does not take much.

2 Do it. Don’t delay and start. Document and review.

3 Get the Benefits. Notice the cash outflow improvements

⇒20% cash outflow reduction in 6 months. Or better.

⇒It works. I have seen the Cash Flow Grin. 😀 

I want the Cash Flow Grin too!


















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