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Ambition Annemarie van Gaal - Book review

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5 mins read

Annemarie van Gaal (1962) is a Dutch businesswoman. She earned her first fortune with her publishing house in Russia. Annemarie van Gaal is now back in the Netherlands and is investing in real estate and various companies. In her book 'Ambition', Annemarie van Gaal gives advice to entrepreneurs. I briefly discuss the 8 chapters below.

1 - Think about what you want - Ambition Annemarie van Gaal

The first chapter of Ambition by Annemarie van Gaal is about coming up with what you want. In summary, Annemarie van Gaal gives four recommendations.

  • Doing business is fighting
  • Read books from experienced experts (you are already working on that, so very well!)
  • Choose a sector: turn it into a project
  • Launch your company in the right time and/or in the right form

2 - Write a business plan

Annemarie van Gaal gives the following advice about writing a business plan:

  • Think first and then start writing
  • Choose the right legal form for your company
  • First do the maths, then the text
  • Come up with a good name
  • Answer all the questions in your business plan
  • Pay attention to implementation
  • Read the ten common mistakes
  • How does the Chamber of Commerce work?
  • What are the most important tax rules?
  • Do I have to apply for a VAR statement
  • Look at your insurance policies and your pension
  • Prepare your general terms and conditions

3 - Organize your finances

Annemarie van Gaal says the following about arranging your finances as an entrepreneur:

  • Do you want a bank or an investor?
  • How does a loan work at the bank?
  • How do you convince an investor?
  • Learn from the pitches from Dragon's Den (a TV program).
  • Watch your financial situation
  • Change strategy on time

4 - Sail your own course

Annemarie van Gaal says the following about this:

  • Know your limits and talents
  • Make a SWOT analysis
  • Take crisis measures in collaboration with the government
  • Pay attention to the second step of your business
  • Stay focused
  • Calculate your risks
  • Do things that give you energy
  • Take a critical look at advisors
  • Network in your inner and outer circle

5 - Create the market

In this chapter, Annemarie van Gaal elaborates on the content.

  • Learn from the best marketing ideas
  • Make a good mailing or a perfect press release
  • Cherish your customers (old and new)
  • Take research with a pinch of salt

6 - Conquer the world

In this chapter Annemarie van Gaal shows that she is an experienced international entrepreneur.

  • Own branch abroad; view the pros and cons
  • Read everything about joint ventures
  • Choose an agent or an importer
  • Check the useful sites
  • Make use of subsidies

7 - Manage your people

HR is, of course, an important part of doing business. Here Annemarie van Gaal gives her clear vision, where her female leadership qualities are beautifully explained. She says the following about it:

  • Distribute power in the workplace
  • Do not manage your company remotely
  • Choose the best employees for your company
  • Make use of government regulations
  • Be clear in what you think is and is not permitted
  • Meet as little as possible, brainstorm often
  • Create a clear bonus system
  • Pay attention to blockages, with your employees and with yourself
  • Say goodbye properly.

8 - Determine your future

  • Choose your moment of exit
  • Make a fair deal with your business partner
  • Transfer to your children; handle it with care
  • Sales to an external party? Read the tips.

Conclusion on Ambition by Annemarie van Gaal

A nice, smoothly written book with on the one hand the interesting story of Annemarie van Gaal, and on the other hand the useful tips from her many years of experience as an international entrepreneur. You read through it quickly, so ideal for a busy entrepreneur. It gives a checklist, so at least I experienced some interesting aha moments.

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