10 tips for buying your own company

Why start from scratch when you can buy your own company?

Miguel Meuleman

By Miguel Meuleman

Professor of Entrepreneurship

07 April 2022
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Start-ups and scale-ups are essential for a vibrant economy. At Vlerick Business School, we believe that Entrepreneurship Through Acquisition (ETA) offers an alternative approach for individuals to realise an entrepreneurial ambition and become owner-manager of a company.

A vibrant climate for ETA helps existing businesses dealing with succession issues be transferred. An ETA often provides a spark for entrepreneurial renewal assisting those businesses to realise new growth opportunities.

An ETA can also be a mechanism to strengthen and complement existing management teams to professionalise the business and accelerate growth.

Through Vlerick’s Entrepreneurial Buyout Academy, we trained over 300 buyout candidates in the past 10 years. And about 15% ended up buying their own company.

In this white paper, alumni who bought their own company share 10 tips (+ 1 bonus tip) on how to become successful when pursuing an ETA.

  • TIP 1: Do you want to be king of a small boat or captain on a big ship? – by Aloïs Ooms, Prego
  • TIP 2: The committed entrepreneur will succeed – by Bart Van Nuffel, BELBAL
  • TIP 3: Never walk alone! – by Vincent Tibau and Astrid Heiremans, Cornelius-Adriaenssens
  • TIP 4: Respect the emotions of the seller – by Edward Verté, Diamanti per Tutti / Wouters & Hendrix
  • TIP 5: Know the rules of the game of the target’s industry – by Jan Van der Beke, Capforce
  • TIP 6: Understand the culture of your target – by Yvonne Van Dormael
  • TIP 7: Explore all potential funding sources – by Charles Cattoir, Primalof
  • TIP 8: Align your shareholder base with your ambition – by Harry Christiaens, Ardena Group
  • TIP 9: Put yourself in the driver seat and create your own opportunity – by Stef Meulemans, CEO Top Brands
  • TIP 10: Dare to leap and leave the golden cage – by Annemie Baeyaerts, ResiGrass
  • BONUS TIP: Always identify 3 levers to create value – by Mark Vandecruys, Fedrus International

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