Library – Books to get you started and build your business
Books are a great way to learn quickly for low cost. If you choose the right book and you can seriously bootstrap your business or life when you apply your new found knowledge.
We read a lot of books here at BRT and one of the most common questions we get asked in the BRT inbox is what books do you recommend for X?
So we’ve put together this list with the best books that we’ve found that have helped us grow our business, which could help you too.
Starting a Business
Rework is a complete book of wisdom from the guys at 37 Signals.com and explains the principles that they’ve learnt from doing business on the web over the last 10 years. You’ll get some surprising insights in this book such as drug dealers get it right, nobody likes plastic flowers and good enough is fine. It’s a quick read (each lesson no more than a couple of pages) which will really challenge your thinking and inspire you to make a simple business work effectively.
E-myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It surprisingly enough this is not a book about E-business. It’s a book for any business, whether that’s virtual or bricks and mortar. It will help you look at your business as a business rather than a job you do to earn money. It talks about the importance of systems and how to create them, very easy to read with a great case study/story running through it.
The 4-Hour Workweek, Expanded and Updated Edition by Tim Ferriss has got to be the ‘bible’ for those looking to become location independent or fund a lifestyle, by working only a few hours a week. Don’t read too much into the title though, it’s not about working 4 hours, it’s about creating a business which works without you, introduces the concept of outsourcing, creating a product and living a low information diet. Well worth checking out.
Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity by David Allen has literally helped me get more things done in less time. It uses very simple methods which really do work. You’ll be more organised than you ever dreamed and won’t spend your life searching for emails or papers you ‘knew you put somewhere’.
Running a business
Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap… and Others Don’t if you’re looking to create a great business, Jim Collins’ study of what makes great businesses over time has got to be on your reading list. Good to great examines the key differences between those businesses that have lasting success and those businesses that are merely good. True good enough maybe good enough, but if you want to make your business really special, you should read this book.
Marketing and Branding
Purple Cow, New Edition: Transform Your Business by Being Remarkable by Seth Godin is a book about being different and standing out in your marketplace. If you’re setting up a business, you want to be different, not the same as the competition. Seth’s book argues the need to be different and continue to be different to everyone else. Not only will you make more money, but you’ll have a business people want to deal with – e.g. Apple.
eBoot Camp: Proven Internet Marketing Techniques to Grow Your Business by Corey Perlman – Corey shares the ‘secrets’ of internet marketing so that you can get more business using web 2.0 in a non techie way. It really is ideal for small business owners, those starting out or those who have a blog they want to promote. Basically anyone who starting out who wants a straightforward guide to show them the way.
How To Win Friends and Influence People is the classic book by Dale Carnegie about developing your influence. Although written way before the internet, it’s advice is as true today as it was when it was originally written. The key mantra for BRT when we meet with our clients is always to be more interested than interesting.