Starting up your own business is no mean feat. It requires time, money, patience and more-than-a-little knowhow. More than anything it requires love, as you’re going to be pouring your heart and soul into this thing. But love alone will not suffice. You need books.
According to Forbes.com, 90 percent of startup businesses fail. That’s quite a depressing statistic. To be in with a chance of joining the 10 percent that succeed, you’ve really got to do your homework. This isn’t school anymore – there are no excuses. What follows is a compiled list of some of the most highly rated books on starting a business, which is sure to help you start off on the right foot. But don’t stop here – read all that apply, and keep on reading.
1. Online Business Startup: The Entrepreneur’s Guide to Launching a Fast, Lean and Profitable Online Venture, by Robin Waite
This book is heralded as an easy read for the online novice, designed to stop you from wasting money on strategies that just won’t work. It goes into depth on the importance of working with a digital agency that you trust, the top methods for optimising your website and how to create a solid social media marketing plan. This is a book you will want to make notes from as you read through it, refreshingly lacking in the usual waffle and buzzwords that are commonly found in business guides.
2. Will It Fly? by Thomas K. McKnight
In summary: ‘How to Know If Your New Business Idea Has Wings…Before You Take the Leap’. No sensible person should fly a plane across the ocean before it’s been tested, and the same applies to your business idea. ‘Will It Fly?’ is written to help you assess and refine your ideas to improve your odds of success before you take that journey.
3. The Industries of the Future, by Alec Ross
The digital revolution has changed, is changing, and will change everything. Jobs and industries that exist now may become obsolete, and new ones will form, thanks to technology and the internet. ‘The Industries of the Future’ looks at what will come next, what businesses should
expect and how we can be prepared.
4. The Lean Startup, by Eric Ries
This best-selling book examines a new approach to business based on constant innovation. It is realistic about the fact that – as previously mentioned – most businesses fail, but it claims that most of these failures are preventable. ‘The Lean Startup’ encourages you to shift your focus of attention to the customer and looks at how you can consistently improve your approach to solving their problems.
5. Steve Jobs, by Walter Isaacson
It’s important to learn from the trials and experiences of others. Whether it’s a prominent figure like Steve Jobs or someone closer to your chosen industry, find out what worked for them. Learn the lessons they learned along the way. This book is the result of more than 40 interviews with Steve Jobs and his peers, documenting his extraordinary professional life.
6. Think Big, Act Small, by Jason Jennings
This book is the result of research conducted across 100,000 companies to determine the factors that made them successful, or not. Of all those involved, there were 9 who continued to enjoy success, year after year. Their secret? They were highly ambitious, but they never lost the fundamental roots and values established when they started out.
7. Entrepreneur Revolution: How to Develop Your Entrepreneurial Mindset and Start a Business That Works by Daniel Priestley
Daniel Priestley believes that now is the age of the entrepreneur. If you don’t want to get left behind, you have to embrace a new mindset – one that breaks away from the limiting theories of the industrial age and seizes the advantages of innovation. This straight-talking book offers some simple and rejuvenating home truths about how business models need to change, and how you can adapt your approach.
8. The Art of the Start by Guy Kawasaki
This book describes itself as ‘The Time-Tested, Battle-Hardened Guide for Anyone Starting Anything’. Frankly, we all need one of these from time to time. This bestselling guide is all about getting started and making your new product, service or idea as successful and viable as possible. Kawasaki claims that business is now as much an art as a science, and shares his insights into getting your ideas off the ground in today’s modern marketplace.
9. Originals, by Adam Grant
How nonconformists change the world. This is the focus of ‘Originals’, a highly analytical read that examines the creativity and psychology behind some of our greatest artists and inventors. Grants asks how can we improve the world with our own originality, with an optimism about humankind and our potential that makes for a very inspiring page turner.
10. Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products by Nir Eyal
Written based on years of research, consulting, and practical experience, ‘Hooked’ examines why some products capture our attention and become household names, while others simply fade away. The reason? Habit. Eyal believes there is an underlying pattern to the way in which technology has the potential to shape consumer behaviour, and offers a four-step practical process for embedding this psychology into the creation of your own products.
If you’re about to embark on your own startup journey, take heed and learn everything you can from these incredible, inspirational authors. Be like a sponge – take notes, absorb their messages and give yourself the best possible advantage in an evolving, noisy and competitive landscape.
What books would you add to this list? Let us know and provide a link in the comments.