Published October 01, 2018
So you want to start (or advance) your business but don’t know where to begin? Luckily, these days you don’t need a fancy MBA, a loaded trust fund or thousands of followers on Instagram to run a successful business. Instead, you can learn about business by reading books written by experts in the industry (experts with one of those fancy MBAs or even a PhD). Here are our picks for the top books you should read before (or while) starting your business:
The Art of the Start by Guy Kawasaki
Business is a fine art: marketing, investing and customer service are all necessary to every business. The Art of the Start helps you navigate these choppy waters with a present-day perspective. While most business books detail outdated topics of traditional PR, finding capital and having a 20-page business plan, Kawasaki has written a state of the art modern manual with information about newer business tactics such as using social media to your advantage, using non-traditional crowdfunding strategies and ditching that business plan altogether. As Kawasaki states “entrepreneurship is a state of mind, not a job title” so anyone can become a successful entrepreneur with the help of this book.
The Lean Startup by Eric Ries
This bestseller teaches you how to cut the fat in your budget to create a business that is optimized in terms of capital and creativity. Ries encourages business owners to abandon those elaborate business plans in favor of continually adapting your business to keep up with changing economies and customer needs. The Lean Startup argues that without a business plan you are free to explore different ways of running your business while providing you with useful savings tips along the way. With this new approach to entrepreneurship, you’ll be on your way to becoming a lean, mean business machine in no time.
Become Your Own Boss in 12 Months by Melinda Emerson
There’s no time like the present to start a business, at least that’s the philosophy of Quintessence Multimedia CEO and author Melinda Emerson. In this year-long step by step guide Emerson spells out every task you need to do within the first year of founding your business. From creating a one-year marketing strategy, to why you should invest in graphic design, to how to contact investors, you’ll be a successful business owner in no time. While this book is organized for those on the fast track, these tips are still useful for business people who like to take their time.
Will it Fly? by Pat Flynn
Not sure if your business idea of selling dog goggles will take off? Maybe your friends think your business plan for creating cheese sculpture is dead on arrival? Will it Fly? will take the guesswork out of determining if your business idea is pure gold or just fools gold in five easy (and a-pun-dant) steps:
-Mission Design: Helps to make sure that your business goals are in line with your idea
-Development lab: Details logistics behind your business idea
-Flight Planning: Describes how to assess current market conditions for your target audience
-Flight Simulator: Shows how to validate and test your idea with your target market
-All Systems go: How to analyze and finalize your idea.
With your business idea cleared for takeoff after these steps then it’s time to read one of the other books on this list to pilot you through the early years of your business.
The Founder’s Dilemma by Noam Wasserman
If you’re stuck between a rock in a hard place when determining how to run your business, look no further than this manuscript by former Associate Professor at Harvard Business School Noam Wasserman. After studying CEOs of top business for years, Wasserman learned first hand the mistakes that business owners make when they’re just starting out. Don’t be intimidated by Wasserman’s accolades as he explains the basics like business structure and management in an easy to follow manner. With real-world examples, Wasserman proves he knows what he’s talking about while giving you the inspiration to aim high.
Still hesitant to get started? Remember that all businesses need to start somewhere, and even some of the most successful companies (Microsoft, Facebook, Apple) were founded by college dropouts with no business experience. But know that no matter where you are in your business journey Invoice Home has your back. We offer a free invoicing plan when you are just starting out or testing your business idea while once you become your own CEO you can graduate to our unlimited invoicing plan. Now what are you waiting for? Go out there, crack a book, send your invoices, and build your business!