As anyone who’s been there, done it and got the T-shirt will tell you, launching and running a business is a steep learning curve. Further along in your journey, you’ll look back and see just how many things you wish you’d known when you first set out.
Luckily, there are loads of great books out there that mean you can learn from those who’ve been through it all before. Wherever you are on your business journey – whether you’re already in business, growing your SME, just launched a startup, or even just thinking about a new business idea – you’ll find lots of pearls of business wisdom in these top reads.
1. Made to Stick – Chip and Dan Heath
A great business starts with a great idea. Made to Stick offers a fascinating insight into the psychology behind why some ideas ‘stick’ and others don’t, so if your business is still at the idea stage, this book is a must-read. In it, you’ll find plenty of practical advice on how to capture people’s imagination with your ideas, which you’ll be able to put to good use in marketing your new business venture.
2. Self Made – Bianca Miller-Cole and Byron Cole
The Apprentice finalist Bianca Miller-Cole recently celebrated the launch of her book Self Made, written with Byron Cole and aimed at offering a definitive guide to startup success for anyone setting up their own business.
With advice and expert interviews covering every aspect of launching a startup, from business plans to growing your company, and from creating a website on a budget to converting social media into revenue, this book is an indispensable guide if you’re new to the world of running your own business.
3. The Power of Habit – Charles Duhigg
Subtitled ‘Why we do what we do and how to change’, The Power of Habit explores the idea that understanding how habits work is critical to success in both work and life. Reading this book, you’ll learn valuable lessons from the habits of successful people and companies, including why some are less able to implement change than others.
Martin Luther King, Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz and Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps are all among the inspiring people whose successful habits are analysed, while Target and Procter & Gamble are among the business case studies you’ll be able to learn from.
4. The Lean Startup – Eric Ries
A book that’s taken the business world by storm, The Lean Startup discusses ‘How constant innovation creates radically successful businesses’. Whether you’re a startup or an established business, you can learn important business lessons from the idea of the lean startup.
This popular book shows you how to understand what your customers want, and how to test, refine and adapt your business model to keep it relevant and efficient even in fast-paced markets.
5. ReWork – David Heinemeier Hansson and Jason Fried
With a strapline that promises to ‘Change the way you work forever’, ReWork explains how to set up your own business – the easy way. If you’ve dreamed of ditching the 9-5 office job and being your own boss, this inspiring book tells you everything you need to know about starting a business ‘on the side’. In the opening, it explains that you don’t have to work 60-100 hour weeks to start a business; nor do you need to take major risks or plunder your life savings. You can do it all from home, in your spare time, and make a success of it.
To give you a flavour of the book’s ethos, the back cover features such motivational phrases as “meetings are toxic” and “fire the workaholics”. It’s sure to change how you look at the world of work – with potentially life-changing results.