3 Inspiring Books to Read Before You Open Your First Business

by Thom Tracy

2 min read

Many entrepreneurs dream about the day they can open their first small business. While it is a common belief that attending a university or school of business is necessary to fulfil this dream, many successful CEOs never graduated with a degree; some never received any form of higher education. An alternative is to learn directly from successful business owners themselves by way of the books they have written. Read these three inspirational books for inspiration and guidance before you open your first small business.

“Will It Fly?”

Thomas K. McKnight’s “Will It Fly” is a terrific read for anyone considering starting a small business. McKnight’’s book addresses the primary question that all aspiring business founders have, or should have: Does the idea behind this new business have wings – in other words, will this business take off and be successful? In “Will It Fly,” McKnight provides a checklist he has carefully compiled based on his more than 30 years of experience in the business space. The book is essentially designed to take you on a journey to discover your thoughts and attitudes toward your business, requiring you to question your business model and how your company will function in the real world. Ultimately, by the time you finish this book, you should be able to determine with some clarity the chance at success your business idea actually has.

“Little Red Book of Selling: 12.5 Principles of Sales Greatness”

Jeffrey Gitomer’s “Little Red Book of Selling” is designed to be short and to-the-point. Within 220 pages, Gitomer conveys why it is critical for you, as an entrepreneur, to know how to sell. Regardless of what your actual title, position, or responsibilities are within the company you’re envisioning, you are going to be required to sell something. This could include selling the vision you have for your company to potential employees or potential investors, and selling your product or service to potential clients. Whether your business incorporates a specialized sales department or you simply have a partner who will undertake sales responsibilities, you must still have a firm grasp on a sales process that is methodical and convincing. Gitomer’s book guides you through generic industry processes for a sales cycle and leaves room for you to add your own special twist that is unique to your company.

“The Founder’s Dilemmas”

Noam Wasserman’s “The Founder’s Dilemmas” is a genuinely motivating and helpful read if you are considering starting your own business. The core of Wasserman’s book – information that he gleaned from extensive research conducted at Princeton University – helps entrepreneurs proactively take the steps needed to avoid some of the most common mistakes new business owners make. The book makes entrepreneurs familiar with basic business structure and provides them with insights into the pitfalls that commonly run new businesses into the ground. As a whole, Wasserman’s book is a teaching tool that shows you how to manage your new business effectively and the various aspects that are a part of your business. Starting a new business is always a challenging endeavour. Reading through these three books can inspire and better prepare you for the journey and help make your new business more successful.

References & Resources

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