As a small business owner, you encounter a range of diverse situations on a daily basis.
Within weeks of starting my first business, I was forced to learn how to:
- Research which products to sell
- Find and talk to suppliers in China
- Choose a logistics provider
- Navigate UK customs, and
- Liaise with Amazon’s warehouse and distributions organisations
Although your ultimate success or failure will be down to many factors, you can increase the chance of a pleasurable outcome by getting advice from experts.
These are people who have already trodden a similar path, and now want to share their knowledge.
And the best way to get your hands on this information?
Books, of course!
If you’re looking for answers to problems or just seeking inspiration, then we’ve got the books for you.
Here is our list of 9 books that every small business owner should read:
- How To Win Friends And Influence People By Dale Carnegie
- Crush It! By Gary Vaynerchuk
- The 7 Habits Of Highly Effective People By Stephen Covey
- Getting Things Done By David Allen
- Good To Great By Jim Collins
- Will It Fly? By Thomas McKnight
- Virtual Freedom By Chris Ducker
- The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership By John Maxwell
- Speak And Get Results By Sandy Linver
A huge part of being a business owner is establishing and then developing relationships. This can include relationships with customers, investors, or even mentors along the way. For the most part, those who have a greater pool of professional and personal relationships have a much higher chance of succeeding. This book investigates how to develop amicable relationships and how to be more persuasive in your communication.
This quirky novel was created to show you why sometimes the best small business idea is one that involves your passion or favourite hobby. By going in to business with something you already love, you will be much more likely to stick with it and dedicate more time to growing the business. By turning your passion into a business, you may increase your chance of success.
This well-known classic is broken into seven distinct sections which delve into the common characteristics of the world’s most successful people. Covey’s use of anecdote in the book provides helpful insight to those seeking to change their own lifestyle for the better. It also assists in allowing you to better note when changes are occurring and how to best capitalise on these changes for your benefit.
This helpful book looks closely into optimising your use of time. Many feel that when they begin a small business that they have bitten off far more than they can chew. This usually causes stress which only further compounds the time management issues. By reading this novel you can gain helpful insight into how to get the most completed in the shortest period of time.
This book was written after the author did more than five years of research on the topic. It investigates what specific changes businesses have made in the past to surpass competition in the field. Both businesses may have been doing well financially and had a good business model, but only one made some very specific changes that enabled them to be great. As opposed to giving an opinion, many of his teachings are backed up by facts.
This well written book investigates how you can thoroughly vet a business idea before actually making an investment. Many small business owners choose to put their own savings at risk when starting a business. By properly assessing the risks and determining what the likelihood of success is before making an initial investment, business owners can potentially save themselves thousands before the journey even begins. McKnight investigates past successes and failures and shows you how you can put your own ideas to the test.
One of the key parts of being a small business owner is being able to recognise which tasks you’re well placed to do, and which would be better to outsource. The book is called Virtual Freedom because it is no longer necessary to employ someone at your physical location to provide a service. This can include things such as website development as well as hosting a call center for customer inquiries. By outsourcing jobs to others, you are able to better focus on your favourite tasks and those that you are well-placed to deliver, making your working experience more efficient and positive.
Growing as a leader is imperative to running a small business. Without proper leadership, companies with even the best products will fold. This book is broken down into 21 chapters, each of which focuses on a distinct leadership characteristic. The great thing about it is that small business owners can hone in on the aspects where they fall short and spend less time on those that have already been mastered. If these is ever a time when a leadership quality appears to have declined, the book can be reread again to reinforce the basics.
Part of owning a small business is being able to effectively communicate as well as speak publicly in front of potential investors, employees or customers. Speak and Get Results pushes the small business owner to get outside of their comfort zone to better promote their business in regular conversation. The way you respond to questions and present yourself in front of a crowd is a great indicator of what kind of small business leader you are.
Now over to you!
As a small business owner, you should always be looking for a leg up on the competition and a helping hand. One of the best investments in your time is reading. By fully grasping and understanding the lessons in these books, a great deal of valuable insight can be gained.
While nothing is guaranteed in life, it’s safe to say that those who learn from the experience of others through reading have a far higher possibility of being successful.
Are there any books that have made a big impact on your life, or helped you push through challenges as a small business owner? If so, then let us know in the comments below!