Our Favourite Small Business Books and Podcasts
Lost and Founder, Rand Fishkin
The American founder of Moz, Rand has a beautifully honest and personal style of writing. This is not just a small business book but also a more personal read, as he describes the ups and downs of his personal journey. From working with his mother, to running a start-up there are lots of lessons and tips to pick up for small business owners as well as overarching themes of persistence and valuing what’s really important in life. An inspiring read and one I’ve recommended many times.
The 4-Hour Work Week, Tim Ferriss
Full of hacks and strategies to cut out the excess from your day, this is a great book for small business owners. The title sounds too good to be true and I find it hard to believe many reading it achieve the holy grail of a four hour work week but it certainly is food for thought. A significant section of the book is dedicated to arranging working from home, and in a post Covid world this is particularly relevant. There are plenty of case studies which illustrate how the concept can be applied to a whole host of scenarios. The author, Tim Ferriss has a well known blog, with oodles of additional content. He has also launched ‘The 4 Hour Chef’ and ‘The 4 Hour Body’, so there’s plenty more content on this topic to improve the other areas of your life as well.
Starting and Running a Business: For Dummies, Colin Barrow
An absolute beast of a book, this is not one to pop in your backpack, but it’s a reassuring one to have sitting at home on the bookshelf. It’s an incredibly thorough approach to marketing, accounts and everything else you might want to know when starting out on your own. A great back to basics approach and one to dip in and out of when issues pop up. A brilliant small business book.
Alchemy, Rory Sutherland
This book manages to be both entertaining and useful, with plenty of interesting and unusual observations. Rory Sutherland is a British UK media professional with many years of agency work under his belt. Combine this with a sense of humour and knack for thinking about things in an unexpected way, he makes a great case for unpicking the traditional train of thought, and coming up with more lateral solutions to marketing problems.
Rather than grab a print edition, I listened to this as an audiobook. This added to the experience to hear the author narrating his work himself. It also makes it the perfect companion as you do your tax returns (or something more enjoyable!). As an added bonus there are some additional comments in the audio version as he amusingly describes elements which are much easier to see as a visual! His examples are occasionally a little dated but this adds to the natural charm of the book. I’ve already added another of his works to my ‘must read’ list.
As well as audiobooks, there are some fantastic podcasts out there which can give you bite size info perfectly suited to your industry and stage of business. The following are regulars on my playlist:
- Niche Pursuits – A regular interview style podcast focusing on digital businesses, providing a ‘jump start to your next big idea’
- The Side Hustle Show – Nick Loper is a very likeable host who talks to part time entreprenuers and shares lots of actionable tips
- Amy Porterfield: Online Marketing Made Easy – A very slick podcast with a huge back catalogue. There are plenty of linked online events as well, with a particular focus on online courses and email list building
- Desert Island Discs – Not strictly a business podcast but an intriguing insight into many leading business personalities. Guests include Deborah Meaden, John Caudwell and Tom Ilube.
- Fat Stacks – A low fi podcast form a Canadian online guru, about digital publishing and online monetisation
Even with just 30 minutes a week you can boost your business knowledge with stories and tips from the most knowledgeable and entertaining voices in the industry. Which small business books and podcasts do you listen to? We would love to know!
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