It is recorded that over 137, 000 businesses/startups are set up every day. Doing simple math, this suggests that about 50 million businesses are set up every single year. As laudable as it is that such a number of businesses spring up on a yearly basis, it is, however, worrisome that about 70 to 90 percent of these businesses fail in their very first year. What is the reason for this you may ask? It simply stems from the fact that many of these startup owners adopt outdated business practices. The fact is that our business clime is dynamic. Therefore, to grow any startup from its cradle to hold a respectable market share of the product or services, you need help. The books below can provide that and then some.
The Best Business Book
When you set up a business, at least the conventional businesses we are already familiar with, one thing is certain – you will surely come in contact with a countless number of people in the course of running the business. More often than not, you will try to win them over with your business offers and possibly influence their buying decision to a great extent, either by cross-selling or upselling. Now, the art of doing this is not something that comes naturally to every business person. Even if you’re a people’s person, there is no harm in brushing up on and honing your skills for better results. That’s why you need this book that is sure to take you as suave as can be as far as customer relations are concerned.
Here, the renowned late American writer and lecturer, Dale Carnegie compiled strategies to adopt in his book How to Win Friends & Influence People. The self-help book remains a best-seller till today. It was first published in 1936 and has sold over 15 million copies worldwide. It is a 288-page book with catchy and educative sections like “Fundamental Techniques in Handling People,” “Twelve Ways to Win People to Your Way of Thinking,” “Letters That Produced Miraculous Results,” and others.
There is a saying that we’re what we repeatedly do. Taking this a bit further, you will agree that many startups fail, not because they don’t bring value to the market but often because of certain personal habits that turn out to be counter-productive to the life of the business. As you’re picking books to read when starting a business, The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business is one you should take into consideration. The book encapsulates and presents all you should know about human habits, how they are formed and how they can be changed for good.
The Power of Habit has its author as Charles Duhigg and was published in the year 2012 by Random House, a subsidiary of Penguin Random House LLC. Charles is an American journalist who has worked as a reporter for the New York Times. Deservedly, this is work is a New York Times best-seller while Financial Times and The Wall Street Journal gave the 371-page book ‘the Book of the Year Award’ in 2012. For those who aren’t too keen on reading, grab a copy of the book in audio form.
You’ve probably heard of this book a countless number of times. Well, the fact remains that it is worth the hype. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change has been the foundation upon which many big businesses today were built. The book teaches that a path is more effective when the goals set and attained are based on a set of principles the writer defines as “character ethics.” As one of the best business books for startups, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People has been named the number one Most Influential Business Book of the Twentieth Century. It also happens to be a New York Times Bestseller.
The business book which also doubles as a self-help book was written by the late Stephen R. Covey, an educator, and businessman. Within the book’s 381 paper pages, it has notable sections like “Independence,” “Interdependence” and “Continual Improvement” which are all hinged on understanding the habits that make effective people who they are. Apparently, if you are able to adopt the same habits, you’re bound to see transforming results in your personal life or even business. For its publication, credit is given to Free Press which later became Simon & Schuster. This book would make a perfect Christmas gift for anybody trying to start their own business.
Another business book ideal for startups is the trio of John Carreyrou, Will Damron, and Random House Audio’s creation uniquely titled Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup. The audiobook is a well-researched report of events that played out during the glorious rise but somewhat unsavory debacle of the multibillion-dollar privately-owned biotechnology startup known as Theranos. The now-defunct company projected itself as one in the forefront of conceptualizing and actually introduced a range of cost-saving technological gadgets. While it existed, was the brainchild of Elizabeth Holmes, a then 19-year old Stanford University drop-out who perhaps had wonderful ideas but lacked proper guidance on research and development of her ideas into marketable products.
The author of the book John Carreyrou began making investigations about the claims of the company in 2015. His inquiry was centered on the company’s blood-testing gadget which claimed to be able to run a large number of blood tests from a tiny sample of blood. By May 2018, John Carreyrou released the audiobook, narrated by Will Damron while Random House Audio took credit as the audiobook’s publisher.
In the beginning, we pointed out how fast various business approaches are changing. These rapid changes, as you already know, have ultimately led to the termination of certain people’s jobs while on the other hand, it has also encouraged the emergence of certain new types of jobs which were hitherto thought as bizarre for someone to eke out a living from. The book Choose Yourself! – focuses on all these dynamic changes and will teach every one of its keen readers on how to run a business profitably in difficult times like this.
Choose Yourself! is a 276-page book written by James Altucher. The author is a seasoned American venture capitalist and business author amongst many things with 10’s of blossoming business he started. Clearly, he is someone to learn from; not only is his works/teachings contemporary, but the principles he lays down are pretty easy to adopt and lay down. So, if you’ve got a startup you want to nurture all the way till it starts getting listed in the stock exchange market, let its foundation be built on the principles in this book.
Can you make a list of the most successful entertainment companies in the world without adding Walt Disney? Impossible you would say. So how would you like to read about how the company was able to grow into a global media giant at a time when the competition was very tough. This book, The Ride of a Lifetime: Lessons Learned from 15 Years as CEO of the Walt Disney Company is filled with vital lessons that will help shape your startup and position you to do exploits in the market.
The book was written by Robert Iger, the CEO of Walt Disney from the year 2005 to 2020. In the years of Disney’s growth, Iger led the company with a vision of insisting on quality, embracing technology and having big dreams. He eagerly pursued this vision with firm leadership principles exhaustively discussed in the book. All these worked out to build the Walt Disney company we know today. The ideas he discussed in the book have further been applied in other businesses with excellent results as the outcome. The Ride of a Lifetime, which is a number 1 New York Times Bestseller, is a 272-page book published by Random House.
As its full name suggests, the book is a ‘Simplified Beginner’s Guide to Launching a Successful Small Business, Turning Your Vision into Reality, and Achieving Your Entrepreneurial Dream’ is a complete business book. Whether you are an aspiring entrepreneur, a struggling business owner or a person who’s recently attained a new leadership role in an organization, Starting a Business QuickStart Guide promises to turn your passion into a profitable business.
The 287-page book published by ClydeBank Media LLC was written by seasoned operational leader Colwell Ken Ph.D., MBA. He has many valuable years of experience mentoring entrepreneurs and teaching business courses in higher institutions to undergraduates, graduates and also executive students. The author believes that the thought of starting a business alone is a creative act worthy of commendation itself. Therefore, the book was written to ensure that every entrepreneur succeeds. Within the book, he reveals how the many barriers startups/new entrepreneurs face existing mainly in their heads. Thus, with the right coaching/principles, this can be overcome.
The goal of every business owner is primarily to make a profit from his or her business investment. However, there’s a season where it’s paramount to spend on and invest money into the business. Unfortunately, most new businesses never seem to come out of this stage early enough. Its simply because they take quite some time to make a profit. Here, the author/narrator of the book Mike Michalowicz draws attention to the fact that the traditional accounting method of determining profit which is sales – expenses = profit is not a reliable one. In the book, Profit First, he held the view that a behavioral approach to accounting which is sales – profit = expenses is more logical.
This book will teach you 4 basic principles to simplify your business accounting method. This has been proven to have benefits readers and practitioners by better positioning their startups for long-term survival and profitability. In case you haven’t heard of the author, Mike Michalowicz, it should interest you to know that he has set up and sold 2 multi-million-dollar companies. So, he has seen both the good and bad sides of business with his own story of loss as a small business angel investor. Definitely, his business development book will position your entrepreneurial effort for long term profitability.
Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action is yet another great book on this list. More often than not, as a startup whose brand is still finding its feet in the market, you will have to give answers to various “whys” including why you went into business in the first place. Why are some businesses more successful than others? Why do consumers readily accept a brand at the expense of another? Why do some CEOs function better than their peers? Etc.
The underlying principles in understanding the reasons behind these “whys” this captivating read will empower you with. It is a powerful tool that many successful business leaders have repeatedly used to be ahead of the competition. The author, Simon Sinek calls this powerful idea “The Golden Circle.” In 7 hours and 18 minutes, the author cum narrator explains how you can use this powerful Golden Circle to inspire the growth of your business from several facets. In case you’re wondering how successful he is himself, Simon’s TED Talk based on Start with Why has recorded over 28 million views which is the 3rd most popular video on TED.
Another business development book that is ideal for every business model out there is Scott Adams’ Loserthink: How Untrained Brains Are Ruining America. The book highlights the dangers of slipping into what the writer calls loserthink. Basically, this is the series of dumb ideas flying around the internet lately. He cautioned that such ideas are capable of trapping victims into a series of false believes which is not only counterproductive to them but also to their businesses. Without question, it will stifle startups within a short time the business falls to it.
Scott Adams’ Loserthink: How Untrained Brains Are Ruining America is a 6-hour 58-minute audiobook that promises to teach you how to spot this loser think attitude and avoid it. The audiobook goes a step further to teach the underlying causes of this “sneaky mental habit” which is listed as poor thinking, ego, ill-informed decision making, not considering alternatives and accommodating coincidences. Due to the book’s political undertone and the writer having an apparent political leaning which some people do not readily agree with, he has been mildly criticized based on some of his opinions. But what you can’t take out of him is the fact that his analysis of events and how they affect the business environment is a worthy investment you shouldn’t kick off your business without.
Innovation is a vital aspect every meaningful business should always consider so as to remain in business for a very long time. These innovations, according to the writer of The Lean Startup, are often made in conditions of uncertainty no matter the size of the business under consideration. In order to scale through this phase of a business successfully, this handy and informative business book teaches a series of counter-intuitive practices as well as validated learning. You’ll also find here, a range of rapid scientific experimentation approaches to shorten the innovation or product development cycles of most businesses. The book lays heavy emphasis on innovation by adopting a scientific approach designed to deliver results within the shortest time possible.
Altogether, the 336 paged book was written by Eric Ries. He is a familiar face and name in the online community thanks to his blog startup named Lessons Learned. He also has many other startups which are all doing well in their various markets. Certainly, with his many years of experience researching businesses, Eric has a lot to offer your business with his book, The Lean Startup. No doubt, the book comes highly recommended as one of the best business books for startups.
With $400,000, the author of What It Takes: Lessons in the Pursuit of Excellence set up an investment firm now valued at $500 billion. He was able to achieve this having invested many years in researching what it takes to achieve “excellence” in any business venture. His findings are put together in this aptly named book which comes highly recommended as one of the best business development books. It’s even regarded as a personal development book in some circles. The book sheds light on how the businessman and author was able to achieve a whole lot with a $500 billion worth investment firm named Blackstone. Seeing the success his firm recorded, there is no better way for you to replicate the same result than following in his footsteps as outlined in the book.
The 384 paged book published by Avid Reader Press / Simon & Schuster is Stephen A. Schwarzman’s first published book. The American businessman and investor certainly knows his onions, with a track record of multiple business successes. Without a doubt, his book is a worthy investment in your collection of business development books or even as a gift item to an aspiring entrepreneur.