Building a business is hard work and there is unfortunately no one size fits all blueprint to explain and describe what goes into a successful startup. Luckily for us there are some people with some good ideas on the subject.
Whether you’re starting out in the world of business or you’re already running a successful company, reading at least a couple of these books will help you to clarify your thinking and become a more effective leader.
And even if you feel that you’re too time-poor to read right now, it’s simple to buy the audiobook and listen on your commute. So continue reading and pick a couple of titles to help you grow your great ideas and build a business that works for you.
01. Simon Sinek – Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action
Simon Sinek’s bestselling work Start With Why is a great launching off point for anyone who has to lead a team or a company. Sinek examines leaders and companies that make the greatest impact in the world and explains in clear terms how we can learn from them.
The book helps us to dive deep into the DNA of our business and ask ourselves not what we do or how we do it… but why we do it.
Way beyond profit, what is the reason we do what we do? Successful companies like Apple and Virgin have a very clear understanding of their ‘Why’ and this book inspires you become a better leader and discover yours too.
02. Seth Godin – Purple Cow: Transform Your Business by Being Remarkable
Seth Godin is the Don Corleone of the branding world and his bestselling book Purple Cow is based on the premise that ‘something remarkable is something worth talking about’.
Seth says: ‘It is a manifesto for marketers who want to make a difference at their company by helping create products and services that are worth marketing in the first place. It is a plea for originality, for passion, guts, and daring.’
Purple Cow is worth it for Godin’s insights into branding and modern marketing alone and the volume of usable, real world advice that the reader can take and apply to their business or their marketing department is undeniable.
03. Eric Ries – The Lean Startup
Eric Ries is rethinking how we as business owners approach building our products. How do you discover whether your idea has the potential to be profitable if you don’t do it?
Ries’ idea is that instead of spending thousands on development and focus groups, we should instead develop what he calls an MVP or Minimum Viable Product. This is a product made with the minimum amount of effort and expenditure to test the value of an assumption or an idea.
Forget ‘If you build it, they will come’ and instead focus on testing your assumptions before you commit capital.
This is a great book for startups and can help us avoid potential pitfalls that we just aren’t aware of. Foresight is cheaper than hindsight after all.
04. Gino Wickman – Traction: Get a Grip on Your Business
Do you have a grip on your business, or does your business have a grip on you?
Traction highlights ‘Six Key Components’ to your business and provides clear plans, tools and strategies for business owners to work with.
Unlike many other business books or how-to manuals, Traction provides a tried and tested framework or operating system that you can use to navigate and run a better business. Often cited as one of the most useful tools by business people, Traction is a great option for anyone looking for a more systematic approach to growing their great ideas.
05. Daniel Priestley – Key Person of Influence
Daniel Priestley is the managing director of a leading social network for entrepreneurs and his approach is based on the 5 P’s: Pitch, Publish, Product, Profile and Partnership and how an individual can use them to leverage change for themselves and their business.
Key Person of Influence works as an accelerator program for changing the way you look at yourself, your business and how both operate.
It’s a simple and effective guide that is perfect for entrepreneurs or people with new startups and is full of workable advice for individuals and companies navigating a digital landscape.