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Five essential reads for small business owners

Last week we outlined a few of the best TED talks to watch to gain business inspiration. This week, we’re going to clue you in on five of the best books to read if you’re looking for guidance when it comes to your small business.

1. The Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses, by Eric Reis.

The international best-selling sensation, The Lean Startup has been lauded by many as the bible of entrepreneurship. Translated into over thirty languages, Reis aims to teach his readers why business fail, and why those failures are preventable. The CEO of his own company (the third he launched, after the first two failed), Reis shares his learnings and proposes a new approach to business.

The key takeaway? Test your vision 24/7, adapt if you need to, adjust to stay on track, and put your customers first.

2. The Founder’s Dilemmas: Anticipating and Avoiding the Pitfalls That Can Sink a Startup, by Noam Wasserman

A must read for anyone looking to start a business, The Founder’s Dilemma helps readers navigate the pitfalls most new businesses fall into. Covering business structures, team building, decision making, finances, control and more, this book aims to help guide founders to make informed choices in order to accomplish their goals.

The key takeaway? There’s nothing more important than making smart decisions based on your priorities.

3. Building a StoryBrand: Clarify Your Message So Customers Will Listen, by Donald Miller

A fantastic crash course in marketing that can help you re evaluate how you position your business. By breaking down the seven universal elements of powerful stories, Miller teaches the reader how to connect a narrative to their business that inspires an emotional reaction and growth. If you struggle to promote yourself, this will help you create, clarify and refine a message that will pack a punch.

The key takeaway? “Your brand is not the hero of the story. Your customer is.”

4. Eat That Frog!: 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time, by Brian Tracy

If you struggle to get organized, the legendary Eat That Frog will help you whittle down your to-do list in no time. Jam packed full of advice that will help you achieve more results faster, Tracy draws on thirty years of time-management study. If you’ve struggled to find a time management solution that works for you, Eat That Frog will take you step by step through 21 methods you can utilize.

The key takeaway? Completing your hardest task first will open your day to productivity and growth.

5. The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What To Do About It, by Michael Gerber

Originally published in 1986, the E-myth is still as relevant as ever. In it Gerber breaks down the three essential components a business needs to have in order to survive growing pains, explains what you can do to revive a dying business, and teaches entrepreneurs the seven steps to success. Revised and updated for a modern audience, this read will help you overcome the common assumptions, expectations and technical details that can derail a successful business.

The key takeaway? Businesses need different processes at different stages of their growth, and there’s a big difference between working on and in a business.

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Let us know in the comments which books you’ve been reading – share your favourite quotes with us!

Lena Klein

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