Dare to leap and leave the golden cage

Tips for buying your own company – from Annemie Baeyaert, owner of ResiGrass

Miguel Meuleman

By Miguel Meuleman

Professor of Entrepreneurship

27 April 2022
Video still 10 + 1 tips - Annemie Baeyaert

Entrepreneurship through acquisition offers an alternative approach for individuals to realise an entrepreneurial ambition and become owner-manager of a company.

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.

One of them is Annemie Baeyaert, owner of ResiGrass, a pioneering company that develops and sells premium artificial grass and hedges for landscaping. Under her leadership, ResiGrass expanded beyond Belgium with new branches and exclusive distributors in various European countries and in the UAE.

To pursue this entrepreneurial dream Annemie decided to leave behind an international career at a renowned company at the age of 52. A decision that takes a lot of guts. According to Annemie, the most challenging thing when becoming an entrepreneur is probably to take the leap and leave your comfort zone. She shares some tips on how to dare to jump.

Video still 10 + 1 tips - Annemie Baeyaert

Dare to leap and leave the golden cage

Annemie Baeyaert is the owner of ResiGrass, a pioneering company that develops and sells premium artificial grass and hedges for landscaping. At the age of 52, she decided to leave behind an international career at a renowned company to pursue her entrepreneurial dream. She shares some tips on how to take the leap and leave your comfort zone.

How can you create the conditions to enable yourself to leap?

  • Reduce your financial footprint (e.g. mortgage loans) and build a safety net by putting a minimum amount of savings aside to help you with your day-to-day expenses. Waiting until the kids have grown up – and are less financially dependent – can also help.
  • Don’t overstretch yourself financially and manage your downside financial risk (e.g. by not giving personal guarantees). Look for a company that matches your financial possibilities.
  • Carefully assess the risks (e.g. understand the CAPEX requirements of the business) and never walk alone.
  • Surround yourself with like-minded people, including aspiring entrepreneurs. Join an excellent educational programme. Jumping together will be easier.

An entrepreneur is someone who takes risks. You need to accept you cannot control everything. Don’t become paralysed by overanalysing the target. And if entrepreneurship is not for you, after all, you can still be a good intrapreneur!

Eager for more inspiration and insights on how to become successful when pursuing entrepreneurship through acquisition? Then download our white paper with 10 tips for buying your own company.

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Miguel Meuleman

Miguel Meuleman

Full Professor