Starting a successful business involves trial and error.

Fortunately, there are plenty of books on business that can help you further.


The Golden Reading Tip

, successful entrepreneurs talk about the book that has brought them the most.

This week: Lavinia Bakker (36), who founded clothing brand Goat Organic Apparel with her twin sister Abigail.

  • Entrepreneur:

    Lavinia Bakker (right in the photo, ed.)

  • Company:

    Goat Organic Apparel, Goat Wool Shop

  • Book tip:

    Scaling Up: How a Few Companies Make It ... and Why the Rest Don't

    by Verne Harnish

Preventing animal suffering is a common thread through the careers of twin sisters Lavinia and Abigail Bakker.

For the now defunct clothing brand Twin Couture, they worked with tree bark as an alternative to leather.

In their concept store the Geitenwollenwinkel they only sell brands that use organic and vegan materials.

Their current clothing brand Goat Organic Apparel, like their store name, is a nod to the woolly image of sustainability.

The shirts, hoodies and jogging pants are made under good conditions and have a basic and sleek design.

Hipness and playfulness in the collection are crucial, says Bakker.

"Sustainable clothing is not going to make a difference if it is not affordable. Our BHAG is going to be a sustainable Zara or H&M."

What is a BHAG?

"BHAG stands for Big, Hairy, Audacious Goal, the dot on the horizon that you are working towards. You break the final goal into smaller and smaller goals: for five years, three years and one year. At Goat we work with a term of three. months, which you can always adjust. That will come in handy now. "

What goals have you adjusted?

"We wanted to expand the collection and set up a campaign with influencers. That has been delayed. The main goal now is to cover costs. The Geitenwollenwinkel is experiencing large losses, which we were fortunately able to absorb with the extra income from Goat. working from home popular. "

"We have also decided to stop the Geitenwollenwinkel. We have enjoyed working on it for years, but now it feels like we have to start all over again. Then we prefer to put our energy into our clothing brand."

“We have overcome the resistance to retail.

When Goat hangs in the shops, it becomes more famous. ”

How did the book help in this decision?

"You can switch faster if you know where you are going. With Goat we want to create a large and accessible brand that is available in many places. That is why we have also overcome our resistance to retail. In principle we want as little as possible. intermediaries, so that the clothing can remain cheap, but then it is more difficult for people to come into contact with it. When Goat hangs in the shops, it becomes more famous. "

Who do you recommend this book to?

"To all entrepreneurs, whether they have a start-up or a large company. You can hire a coach who helps you with it, that saves time. Although I sometimes want to throw the book in the corner during this period, it helps us. to work purposefully. It also makes you creative. "

"Soon I will be standing on a block for twelve hours to draw attention to the textile workers who have lost their jobs in Bangladesh. Last winter we sold T-shirts to use the proceeds to save animals from the forest fires in Australia. We have quite a few there. new customers. "