Running a business can often mean learning on the job. And being a business owner will often mean that you may need to grasp areas like marketing, finance or leadership, which you may not be an expert in. The good news is that there are lots of resources out there to give you inspiration and guidance.
Learning from others can have huge benefits. That’s why we have picked out some of our favourite books from some well-known entrepreneurs that could inspire you to success:
Simon Sinek - Start with why - If you haven’t heard of Simon Sinek, then you’re in for a treat. He is a renowned speaker and author whose opinions have gone viral.
His recent speech on millennials in the workplace was incredibly popular (you can see it here), but his book ‘Start with Why’ is also an excellent read. It talks about how to create a sense of purpose within an organisation, and how this can resonate with your customers.
If you find that customers are only making one purchase from you, or if you’re struggling to get them through the door, then this could really help you create a stronger connection with them.
David Allen - Getting things done – running a business can take up a lot of your time, and you may sometimes feel like there aren’t enough hours in the day!
This book helps you rethink the way you organise yourself and your business, helping you be more productive. It’s packed full of practical advice, based on simple theory, to help you get more things done.
Michael E. Gerber - The E-Myth – this book challenges assumptions many small business owners often make, and helps you question what you’re doing and why, with the aim of helping you grow.
If you want to challenge yourself, this is a great read.
Ivan R Misner, David C. Alexander and Brian Hilliard – Networking like a pro – this book is aimed specifically at small business owners and helps teach you how to turn your contacts into connections that’ll help your business grow.
It shows you how to use a ‘results measuring system’ so you can see what’s working for you, what isn’t and advises you how to improve. Networking is an important skill for business owners, so we think this is a book not to be missed!
Sheryl Sandberg - Lean in - This is Facebook’s very first COO, and it’s said that she is one of the key people who turned the social media company into the success that is today.
Sandberg is now the second most influential person at Facebook, after Zuckerberg. But she is also a huge advocate of greater influence of women in the workplace. Her best seller covers many topics relating to equality in the workplace and why there needs to be more female leaders in the boardroom.
Whilst this book is about the workplace from the female perspective, it’s something that both men and women should read if they are interested in leadership in today’s diverse age.
If you run a business, which has a diverse mix of people, then this give you tips on how to create a happy and fair workplace, and that is so critical to the success of any business, regardless of their size.
Duncan Bannatyne - 43 business mistakes and how to avoid them - Recognise the name? We thought so, this is one of the original dragons, from BBC’s Dragon’s Den, who has been gracing our screens for well over a decade.
But he is also an extremely successful entrepreneur who is best known for opening a number of very successful health clubs across the UK. In this book, the serial entrepreneur covers all the common mistakes entrepreneurs are guilty of making.
With so many examples listed, there is a good chance that some of this may resonate with you. It’s definitely worth a read if you feel there are parts of your business that you think you can be performing better in.
So, if you’re having issues with costs; promoting your business or need some advice on getting the right finance, then this former dragon will have all the tips to help you.
Ashlee Vance - Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX and the quest for a fantastic future – Although not written by him, this is a book we think every entrepreneur should read and there is an enormous amount to learn from him.
Now, we do not expect many people reading this to have ambitions to be the next Musk, but he is a truly remarkable man who is coming up with so many new ideas it’s hard to keep track.
One lesson, for instance, is that he is still so driven to get his Spacex program off the ground, even when everyone told him it was a foolish idea. So, even if your ambitions aren’t sending human colonies to Mars, it still shows how far determination can get you!
It’s also important to know about his innovations and plans. Because what Musk does could reverberate (and has already done so) across multiple industries around the world. Who knows, your industry might also be impacted by the things he does!