As the name suggests Startupbiz is about starting businesses. While we share a lot of information about getting businesses started there is a lot that we cannot always fit into our articles. Fortunately, there are books for that. Many books in fact about starting businesses. Whether it’s about figuring out the right business to go into, getting it off the ground or growing the business in the early phases, many authors have penned their thoughts and experiences with starting businesses. Let’s take a brief look at 10 books all about starting businesses.
The best to start is with whether or not the business is likely to work. You will hear many stories of people who tried to start businesses that just failed to take off. While many reasons can be given for failures its fair to say some business ideas shouldn’t have been embarked on. Pat Flynn wants to give you the skills to evaluate your business idea before you make the mistake of jumping into it.
Gary Vaynerchuk is all about the new ways of doing business. He speaks and writes passionately about the advent of social media, the opportunities it brings and practically harnessing its power for small and new businesses. Crushing it is a follow up to his successful book Crush it with updates for the changes in trends in customers on the internet and emerging social media platforms. Gary is ridiculously practical and you can walk away with some great tips from this book.
If your business idea is new or at least a new idea to the market you’re in the insights in Zero to one are for you. Peter Thiel is a co-founder of PayPal and he knows a thing or two about getting a new idea off the ground. What makes this book great are the insights he shares about the journey to getting PayPal to become as big as it is. I don’t want to spoil it for those who haven’t read it yet but PayPal’s journey was neither a walk in the park nor a straight line.
While we are accustomed to thinking of businesses as hulking well-oiled machines very few if any businesses start that way. This book is all about stripping down the excess that we think makes up a business and learning that business can start from the smallest of things. I’d recommend The $100 startup for Zimbabweans who have struggled with our economic circumstances and wonder how to get worthwhile businesses off the ground. The lesson here is if you look at the bare essentials you can start a business from nothing or close to it.
Getting a business started and running it is very involving. It is not a simple science of putting a product in front of people and counting the money as it streams into the bank. You have to get so many things including raising capital, hiring the right people, creating a brand, positioning the brand to reach the right people all while dealing with direct and indirect competition. Guy Kawasaki calls managing all these things the art of the start.
Bad decisions at the inception of a promising venture lay the foundations for its eventual ruin. The Founder’s Dilemmas is the first book to examine the early decisions by entrepreneurs that can make or break a startup and its team. Drawing on a decade of research, Noam Wasserman reveals the common pitfalls founders face and how to avoid them. He looks at whether it is a good idea to cofound with friends or relatives, how and when to split the equity within the founding team, and how to recognize when a successful founder-CEO should exit or be fired. Wasserman explains how to anticipate, avoid, or recover from disastrous mistakes that can splinter a founding team, strip founders of control, and leave founders without a financial payoff for their hard work and innovative ideas.
Businesses are many different things to many people. For some, becoming your boss is what they see when they look at businesses and this book is about that. It can best be described as a roadmap to setting up a business in 12 months. Combining the knowledge in here with other books on this list will put you in a good position when it comes to knowing what to expect.
As the name suggests the book is all about creating an efficient business that maximises on resources available. This doesn’t happen once the business is up and running but should start from the very ideation stage. Many people want to start businesses but may not be as resourced as they would like to be. That’s ok, according to Eric Ries. You can start lean and using the lean mindset you can grow the business.
Good business plans are central to good businesses. The one-page business plan is about condensing your business idea down to a plan that can be summarised on one page. This creates a no-nonsense approach to explaining and evaluating your business. It teaches you to have a bird’s eye view of your business and thus rationalise it.