The five business books every entrepreneur should read

By   Hannah Bickerton 2 min read

At whitefox, we’ve worked on a lot of business books. And therefore we’ve also read a lot of books in this space. Let me warn you, should there be space in your local bookshop or
online, some of what has been written and published would definitely best fall into the category of the-blindingly-obvious-surely-isn’t-that-just-common-sense? section of a bookshop.

So we thought we’d try and point you in the direction of some books that really do add value to the budding entrepreneur:

1. The Lean Start-Up by Eric Ries

The book that launched a thousand pivots and MVPs. A genuinely brilliant, game-changing look at how to grow without spending vast amounts of money by really understanding what your customer wants from your product.

2.  The Hard Thing About Hard Things by Ben Horowitz

Written by one of Silicon Valley’s most respected entrepreneurs, Horowitz’s book offers essential advice on building and running a startup – practical wisdom on all the toughest problems that an MBA doesn’t cover. Based on his popular blog, it also uses lyrics from his favourite songs to illustrate stories about managing, selling, investing, poaching and knowing when to exit.

3. Upscale by James Silver

Written by the brilliant journalist James Silver, Upscale, produced in collaboration with Tech Nation, lifts the lid on what it takes to scale from the perspective of entrepreneurs and investors. The book offers a huge range of practical advice from the people who have actually built or backed some of the most successful start-ups in the world. By founders for founders, it is as good on what to learn from failure as it is on how to accelerate success.

4. The E-Myth Revisited by Michael Gerber

A myth-busting book about starting your own business. Small business consultant Gerber uses insight gained from years of practical experience and points out how many common assumptions and certain technical expertise can actually get in the way of running a successful business.

Good on the steps in the life cycle of a business — from start-up through adolescent growing pains to the mature entrepreneurial perspective.

5. Good Strategy / Bad Strategy by Richard Rumelt

Published in 2011 but already seen as another classic of the genre, Rumelt called out the jargon-filled slogans of consultants that masqueraded as strategy and showed how misleading and valueless so much of it was. Good strategy is a coherent action backed by an argument. It isn’t the same as good leadership or a company vision. But it is reliant on good insight that can help cut through the hype and encourage better thinking and get results across all sectors.

Hannah Bickerton
Hannah Bickerton
Hannah has worked in marketing for nine years, specialising in strategy development for start-ups and EdTech companies. Having recently jumped across industries to join the Whitefox team, Hannah isn’t a complete stranger to the publishing world with previous employment at Macmillan and TES Global. She is now dedicated to ensuring that anyone who has something interesting to say knows all about whitefox.