In 2014, Japanese lifestyle guru and solopreneur Marie Kondo began her ascent to cultural and business icon with the English language release of her book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. The soft-spoken but savvy entrepreneur transformed her small business into an empire based on the concept of simplifying one’s life by letting go of anything that doesn’t “spark joy.” As this is National Simplify Your Life Week, Kondo seems like a perfect role model for solopreneurs, small business or LLC owners looking to nurture their success, while decluttering and refocusing on what really matters.
As you look for ways to simplify, you’re likely to find more room and more time to devote to growing your business intentionally and meaningfully. Here, we offer a recommended reading list of books you can add to your library to create a clear and focused go-to-market plan that is sure to spark joy…and spark success.
Books for Small Business Owners Who Want To…
Create a Simple and Effective Marketing Strategy
The 1-Page Marketing Plan: Get New Customers, Make More Money, and Stand Out from the Crowd by Allan Dib
Building a comprehensive marketing plan that works for your business can seem like an overwhelming task, but with this method, it’s as simple as a single sheet of paper. Dib gives small business owners a map to success that is easy to follow, quick to implement and sure to deliver results. Learn why “big business” techniques don’t work for entrepreneurs and how to grow your company beyond your expectations.
Break Barriers and Develop Sustainable Success
The Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses by Eric Ries
Small business owners know that success isn’t guaranteed. But neither is failure. Ries looks at how creativity, innovation and smart operations combine for a scientific approach to success that is both measurable and actionable. A must-read for any small business with a focus on bringing new products to market.
Avoid the Mistakes Failed Businesses Have Made
The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It by Michael E. Gerber
What is the entrepreneurial myth, and why does it keep good businesses down? That’s the central question asked in this offering from a seasoned small business consultant. It seems logical that all small business owners are natural entrepreneurs, but the truth is that anyone equipped with the right tools and the right methodology can find success…if they avoid the traps and pitfalls of the E-myth. This book walks readers through the life stages of a growing business, taking lessons from successful — and not-so-successful — entrepreneurs along the way.
Launch or Grow Your Business on a Shoestring Budget
The $100 Startup: Reinvent the Way You Make a Living, Do What You Love, and Create a New Future by Chris Guillebeau
If your business is also your passion, this is the book for you. In 50 case studies, Guillebeau looks at startups that achieved success on the most modest of budgets and identifies the key tools, concepts and methods that got their owners where they are today. Learn how these sometimes reluctant entrepreneurs made their dreams reality and tackled common issues like cash flow, small business marketing, product launches, setbacks and much more.
Take a Hands-On Approach to Business Planning
Mind Your Business: A Workbook to Grow Your Creative Passion into a Full-time Gig by Ilana Griffo
Reading about success is all well and good, but sometimes you just need to dig in and get to work. This guide offers a step-by-step method business owners can use to identify their audience and create a marketing plan focused on growth. Along the way, you’ll learn key business planning tips on everything from legal considerations to tax filing. At the end, you’ll have a plan for going to market customized to your business goals, industry and experience.
Market More with Less
Minimalist Marketing: How Entrepreneurs and Nonprofits Are Reaching Their Audience Without a Marketing Budget by Joe Fontenot
“Minimalist” is more than a Scandinavian design aesthetic; it’s also a smart approach to marketing for entrepreneurs and small business owners who don’t think they have the budget to compete with major brands. In this book, business owners will learn how to reach the customers they want with tools that won’t break the bank. From customer engagement to crafting effective messaging that leads to conversions, this book gives you the strategies you need to craft and implement a marketing plan that works…no matter how much or how little you’re able to spend.
Make Sure Your Business Taxes Are Buttoned Up
Tax Savvy for Small Business: A Complete Tax Strategy Guide by Frederick W. Daily
Filing taxes is never an enjoyable task, but you can reduce headaches and avoid the panic by ensuring your small business is prepared the next time tax season rolls around. This guide has everything small business owners need to navigate tax time confidently and comprehensively, from tracking deductions to small business-specific benefits to handling an IRS audit.
Become a Better Leader
Entrepreneurial Leadership: The Art of Launching New Ventures, Inspiring Others, and Running Stuff by Joel Peterson
You don’t have to be a C-suite executive or a Fortune 500 maverick to embody the qualities of leadership, trust and respect that propel some companies to success. In this book, you’ll learn what it takes to lead — as a business owner, an entrepreneur and a person of influence. Your path to leadership is clearly mapped here and scalable to your business's size, whether it's a franchise, group LLC or solo venture.
Still have room on your bookshelf? Here are some of the best business books we recommend for solopreneurs. And if you still need some inspiration to simplify your life and renew your business focus, our experts at Incfile are here to help. Contact us today to cut through the clutter and find a path to a business that’s guaranteed to spark joy.