Starting a new business is one of the riskiest - yet rewarding - things any professional can do. While the process may seem intimidating at first, fortunately, there are a number of valuable resources on the market that can illustrate just how exciting this journey can be, whether you're thinking about starting your own company or you're looking to read inspirational stories from successful small business owners.
There are three books that stand out among the rest. The following books cover a range of factors that may affect your startup, from how to foster strong relationships to tips for implementing technology in your operations:
1. "Enchantment: The Art of Changing Hearts, Minds, and Actions" by Guy Kawasaki
Guy Kawasaki has worked for several different companies, including Apple and Motorola, and started his own business, Garage.com, in 1998. He has written 12 different books spanning an array of tips for professionals, but "Enchantment: The Art of Changing Hearts, Minds, and Actions," stands out among the rest. Kawasaki emphasizes the importance of ethical enchantment in the business world, and how to build the most trustworthy image possible.
This book encompasses several topics, including how to use a variety of resources when building your business' personal brand through likability, technology and relationships. Sir Richard Branson, the founder of the Virgin Group, explained that the book is especially important for those looking to strengthen their relationships with consumers.
"The power of a really good idea to transform the marketplace and individual customer experience is huge, and this book offers a wealth of insights to help businesses and entrepreneurs tap into that potential," Branson wrote in a review.
2. "The Thank You Economy" by Gary Vaynerchuk
Another book that stresses the importance of your consumers is "The Thank You Economy" by Gary Vaynerchuk. This book not only explains the value of the Internet for small business owners through the use of data and personal testimonies, but it also offers suggestions for how to best use these sites to your brand's advantage.
Executives have long understood how vital consumer connections are to the success of any business, but the Internet has provided the perfect platform on which professionals can provide personalized interactions with their customers. The book explains the importance of crafting your online presence, including tips for social media adoption, digitally communicating with consumers and methods for innovative website installations.
3. "The Lean Startup" by Eric Ries
There may not exist a perfect formula for small business owners to follow, but Eric Ries' "The Lean Startup" provides a framework for those looking for solid advice for their startups. Ries presents certain practices that are best-suited for budding businesses, whether they plan to employ 50 or 500 people. He stresses that two of the most important factors to consider with your new company are eliminating wastefulness and embracing innovation.
To grow your small business, you don't need an extensive business plan, Ries says in his book. Instead, you must constantly evaluate your brand and how it can best move forward, whether that's by adopting new technologies as they arise or continuously examining how effective your current strategies are.