There are so many reasons to love being a small business owners.. Not only do you have the freedom to dictate your own future, but you also have millions of fellow entrepreneurs that you can learn from. From Benjamin Franklin to Steve Jobs, small business owners have a myriad of leaders and trailblazers to look up to. Since the early days of man, there have been documented tales of success, failure, and everything in between - here are a few of our highly recommended small business books (with a link to purchase each).
1. “Traction” Gino Wickman
Small business owners often try to do everything at once. This take-charge attitude is what allowed you to become a business owner in the first place, but it can lead to burnout and frustration. Mr. Wickman lays out a structure of checks, balances and “Rocks” (quarterly goals for employees and departments) that will help align your company, while allowing you to focus on big picture strategy.
2. “The E-Myth Revisited” Michael E. Gerber
It can be tempting to create your business’s systems on an “as needed” basis. However, this makes for an inconsistent customer experience and a frustrating work environment. Mr. Gerber explains why systems are important for your small business, as well as how to install systems that invite efficiency.
3. “Every Family’s Business” Tom Deans
If your small business is family owned, or you are planning to leave your business to your children, this book is a must read. Mr. Deans’ argues that it is impossible to separate family and business affairs. The best thing to do, he says, is to shift your succession paradigm from gifting your business to who will be buying your business. Create clarity and an open dialogue with your family to protect your family business’s legacy.
4. “Speak and Get Results” Sandy Linver
Learn to be a “Natural” with Sandy Linver’s book on how to speak up in any business situation and influence the results you want. Linver teaches you how to get the results you want with her speech “formula” for motivating your listeners to your desired action. She teaches you to become a “Natural” by breaking down the science of speech patterns, repetition, and inflection.
5. “Virtual Freedom” Chris Ducker
If you suffer from “Superhero Syndrome” - the idea that you, as the business owner, has to do everything - you need “Virtual Freedom.” Mr. Ducker uses a 3-Step exercise to teach you how to harness the power of virtual teams. From identifying your weakest areas, to hiring and managing your virtual assistants, this book will help you take back control of your most precious commodity - your time.
6. “The Tipping Point” Malcolm Gladwell
This book explores that magic moment when a spark of an idea ignites and starts to spread like wildfire. Mr. Gladwell explains how these moments can affect our lives, our psyche, and society as a whole - and how they should change the way your business approaches sales. Learn to recognize and take monetize the tipping points in your business.
7. “Raving Fans” Ken Blanchard and Sheldon Bowles
In an over-saturated digital market, having satisfied customers is not enough. You have to create “Raving Fans” who will become brand ambassadors - walking advertisements for your business. Bowles and Blanchard reveal the secret to creating a life-changing customer experience. Put yourself in you customer’s shoes and tweak your services to accommodate their needs...and then watch your fans go wild.
8. “The 4-Hour Work Week” Tim Ferriss
Save effort, money, and time with Ferriss’s tips on how to streamline your business systems...and your life. By cutting out unnecessary steps, prioritizing your workload, and working in short bursts followed by “mini-retirements,” you too can master the world of “luxury lifestyle design.” Small business owners especially will benefit from his anti-burnout methodology.
The key to small business success is a well-rounded understanding of the challenges you’re likely to face - and how to overcome them in a manner that benefits your customers AND your business. Hopefully these books lead you down a path of success - each providing a different way of thinking about the way you do business.