I preach all the time that small business owners need to be lifelong learners in order to stay sharp in business. I love reading books, especially biographies of successful entrepreneurs, books about running a better company and my favorite books are personal development books. Reading is one of the most low-cost and effective ways to learn to do anything. If you’re planning a trip before the summer ends or are doing a staycation, I wanted to provide you with some helpful reading suggestions. These books could make all the difference in your business in the last half of this year. Here are my 10 picks for SmallBizLady’s Summer Reading List 2013.
The Barefoot Spirit: How Hardship, Hustle, and Heart Built America’s #1 Wine Brand by Barefoot Wine Founders Michael Houlihan & Bonnie Harvey (Footnotes Press, 2013) This is a fun beach read filled with small business inspiration. This is a story of two renegades who started Barefoot Wine with no money and no experience, yet they used their creativity and resourcefulness to make up for it. The Barefoot Spirit is an entertaining rags-to-riches story that will motivate you to think of your challenges differently. Don’t miss this twenty-year business adventure story.
The Pocket Small Business Owner’s Guide™ to Starting Your Business on a Shoestring by Carol Tice (Allworth Press, 2013) This book will help you save money on every aspect of your start-up business, from advertising to overhead. The cost-cutting tips are valuable for all types of businesses, from e-commerce and home-based operations to service and retail. This guide will help you create a blueprint that will allow your business to survive and thrive. Carol’s street-smart advice will lay the foundation for a business that will be profitable for years to come.
Treat Me Like A Customer: Using Lessons From Work to Succeed in Life By Louis Upkins (Zondervan, 2009) It is critical to find the proper balance in one’s life. Too many entrepreneurs struggle in their personal relationships. Louis Upkins has developed a system that will help you think differently about how you value your family, your employees and your customers. If you read this book, it will have a major impact your life and your business. It will save many small business owners from becoming divorced, by heeding the valuable lessons in this book. Learn Louis’s system for providing excellent internal and external customer service.
The Facts of Business Life; What Every Successful Business Owner Knows That You Don’t by Bill McBean (Wiley, 2012) I am a sucker for a great small business success story. This is a fascinating read. It speaks to the real challenges and opportunities that entrepreneurs face in business. Seasoned entrepreneur Bill McBean looks at all the elements of a small business and intertwines the life cycle of a business with the 7 business facts critical to success. Whether you are a start-up entrepreneur or a seasoned business owner looking for an exit strategy, he’s got something of value for you in this book.
One Simple Idea For Startups and Entrepreneurs: Live Your Dreams and Create Your Own Profitable Company By Steven Key (McGraw-Hill Professional; 2012) The is the perfect book for people with a product idea. Key believes that anyone can bring a simple idea to market and be successful in business. He offers straight-forward, no-nonsense information for how to start a product company. Steven Key’s draws on his own experience as a billion-dollar inventor, and shares case studies of many others, to offer how-to’s and other takeaways you can use to get off the ground and be profitable. It’s a great road map for small business success.
From Rags to Restaurants; The Secret Recipe by Misty Young (Advantage Press, 2013) They don’t call Misty Young the Restaurant Lady for nothing. If you own a restaurant or have dreams of opening one some day, you need this book. This book is all about how much you pay attention to what’s going on in your business. Misty shares her experiences and rock solid approach to help you transform your restaurant into a profitable stand-alone venue or creating the base for expanding into a regional chain. The best thing about this book is Misty’s Five Irrefutable Laws of Restaurant Success. Misty based her book on how she expanded her Squeeze In restaurant, from one beloved location into multi-million dollar enterprise with four locations and counting.
Mindset; The New Psychology of Success by Carol S. Dweck Ph.d (Ballantine Books, 2006) I recently read this book for a second time, it was so powerful. It’s written by world-renowned Stanford University psychologist Carol Dweck. After decades of research on achievement and success, she has discovered a truly groundbreaking idea–the power of our mindset. If your business is not as successful as you would like; chances are your mindset could be your biggest obstacle. For those interested in improving their lives, their leadership skills, their teaching skills and their business relationships, this is a must read.
The Energy Bus; 10 Rules to Fuel Your Life, Work, and Team with Positive Energy by Jon Gordon (Wiley, 2007) This is a great book for small business owners who need help motivating their employees. The Energy Bus provides useful tools for overcoming negative attitudes than can become detrimental in small organizations. Jon Gordon takes readers on an enlightening ride that reveals ten secrets for approaching life and business with a kind of positive thinking that leads to ultimate success. And it’s all with easy-to-replicate formulas for when we all face challenges. What I like best about this book is that it explains how to handle stress at work and at home.
Do It! Marketing; 77 Instant Action Ideas to Boost Sales, Maximize Profits and Crush Your Competition by David Newman (AMACOM, 2013) If you just started your business and you need to kick your marketing in gear, this is the book for you. Being terrible at marketing is the #1 reason why small businesses fail. David Newman provides 77 actionable tools to help you immediately generate business! If you are a solopreneur, this book is an especially good guide to get clarity, confidence and control of your marketing efforts. This book will give any small business owner a competitive edge in the marketplace.
Getting to Yes With Your Banker; 93 Secrets to Get Your Business Funded By Ron Sturgeon and Greg Morse (Mike French Publishing, 2011) The bigger your business becomes, the more likely you will need a line of credit or loan to expand. In this book, you’ll learn dozens of do’s and don’ts to build the right relationship with your banker. This is a complete guide to understand the world of banking. This book specifically breaks down how the bank evaluates your worthiness to extend credit.
How to Become A Social Media Ninja; 101 Ways to Dominate Your Competition Online by Melinda F. Emerson (Quintessence, 2012) You knew I had to throw one social media marketing book on the list. If you want tons of actionable tips to boost your social media efforts, invest in this ebook. I wrote it to provide an understanding of how to build a power social media brand. Starting with the 6 C’s of social media marketing, I break down how I became SmallBizLady, America’s #1 Small Business Expert and specific tactics for all of the social media sites (LinkedIn, Twitter Facebook, YouTube, Google+ and Pinterest). If you’ve been wondering how grow your small business using social media, this is a great starting place.
Do you have any other books worth reading this summer?