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Investing in your Business on a Budget: Books for Small Business Owners

In order to grow your business, you must get comfortable investing in it. There are so many ways to invest in your small business, but a big one (that often gets overlooked) is learning. 

I strongly believe that we should learn from the greats who have come before us. There’s a reason that they are successful. I also believe that it’s critical to learn not only from our own industry, but from a variety of industries. If you think you have little or no budget for this, think again.  The simplest and most cost-effective way to do so is by reading!  

There are a lot of books out there to choose from. It can be completely overwhelming. So I've put together a list of my favorite business books that will help you right away, even if you're on a budget.

Now, you might be thinking: who has time to read?  If this is you, I hear you, friend.

I have two strategies that can help you build this into your daily routine.

  1. First, set aside 15 minutes at night or 10 minutes every morning. Whatever works for you. You may find yourself loving it, and adding more minutes (or hours!) to these slots as time goes on! 
  2. The second is to download the books and listen. While I’m following my usual routine, like my Sunday Reset, or going for a daily walk, I will often have a downloaded book playing in the background through my Audible app. 

Now that we have strategies in place to fit reading into your daily routine, let’s talk about some high-quality books that have helped elevate my business and can do the same for yours.

Best Books to Read to Invest in your Small Business 

Blue Ocean Strategy and Blue Ocean Shift, both written by W. Chan Kim + Rénee Mauborgne.  This Forbes article explains the magic of these books. We’re all trying to find our Blue Ocean Strategy, which means to seek new markets instead of staying in existing, overly competitive markets. If you feel like your product is in an oversaturated market, and you are struggling to find your niche, these books will be very helpful.

Scaling Up by Verne Harnish 
Ready to take your business to the next level? This book includes proven business lessons to scale up. From their summary:Scaling Up focuses on the four major decision areas every company must get right: People, Strategy, Execution, and Cash. The book includes a series of new one-page tools including the updated One-Page Strategic Plan and the Rockefeller Habits ChecklistTM, which more than 40,000 firms around the globe have used to scale their companies successfully — many to $10 million, $100 million, and $1 billion and beyond – while enjoying the climb!”

Traction by Gino Wickman If you are intimidated by KPIs and looking at the data in your business, this provides a compelling reason to make it a priority. It utilizes its own trademarked process, the Entrepreneurial Operating System® or EOS, to teach you (and 80,000 others!) how to harness the data in your business to make better, more effective decisions that can guide your company in the direction you want it to go. 

High Performance Habits by Brendon Burchard + Hay House. 
This book, which is based on original research, shows you how to use your authentic voice and vision to be highly productive. The summary states,Based on one of the largest surveys ever conducted on high performers, it turns out that just six habits move the needle the most in helping you succeed. Adopt these six habits and you win. Neglect them and life is a never-ending struggle.” That’s a pretty compelling argument to read this book! And, I’d have to agree! It was worth it. 

The 7 Habits of Highly Successful People Stephen R. Covey 
Learn from the most well-respected productivity expert the habits you can adopt to increase your success. This is a classic. Truly, a must-read. The principles it shares are not only effective for business leaders, but for anyone. Reading this book will help you focus on yourself and your journey. 

The Slight Edge by Jeff Olson 
The summary states: “The Slight Edge shows you how to create powerful results from the simple daily activities of your life, by using tools already within you.” The little activities and mindsets we hold in our daily life add up to make a huge difference. This book tells you how to live out your dreams instead of watching others achieve theirs.  

Good to Great by Jim Collins 
If you ever wondered about the best strategy for having a successful business, it’s this: Hire the right people and put them in the right positions. This is easier said than done, though. Read this book to figure out exactly the right people to put where. It’ll change your business...for the better! 

Whenever you feel lost or frustrated, know that others have struggled before you and you can find some golden nuggets of wisdom in their words and experiences.  

Are you ready to invest in your business AND yourself at the same time? Pick just one book from the above list - whichever one speaks to you - and start reading. You’ll be so glad that you did.

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