How to start a small business

You will notice our resource recommendations are more action-orientated than most.  These are not stories of other people’s success, they tell you what you need to do.  We narrow down and give you the best resources for your stage of growth that will help you act.

We believe “entrepreneurship is about execution” and as Yoda said:

“Do or do not. There is not try.”

Our first recommended action begins on this page.  Build a habit of regular continual learning.  We recommend 10% of the time you work IN your business should be spent ON your business.  So if you work a 50 hour week, 5 hours of that should be ON your business (if you don’t think you can find a way to move 5 of that 50 from IN to ON time, read Getting Things Done as a start).  And a big part of working ON your business is working ON yourself.  Invest up to 5 hours a week learning, exploring, thinking, expanding your mind and seeking advice from experienced business people.

Here are some simple ways you can access great experience and advice from wonderful thought leaders.

Books to help start a small business

Here are the books in order of reading we think you should invest in before starting your small business:

  1. The E-myth: Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It - Michael Gerber. By far the best book to start your journey with.  Do not start your business or grow on it any further until you’ve read this seminal book.
  2. Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity – David Allen. Early on you will waste a lot of time,opportunity and therefore money by not being personally productive.  And, if you build excellent organisational habits when you start hiring a team of people you will reap a return by naturally leading by example. Get the most from your time, and a handle on your stress (work/life balance) from day one.
  3. Guerrilla Marketing: Easy and Inexpensive Strategies for Making Big Profits from Your Small Business – Jay Conrad Levinson. Most small business people don’t have a sales or marketing background, so invest in this area early.  This is the best book to start with.


Podcasts to help start a small business

  • The Advanced Selling Podcast:Weekly Education for Sales People. Again, as selling is usually a big weakness in most small business owners invest in this area early.  Bill and Bryan will instil the right sales mentality and philoshopies so again you build the right habits and attitude towards sales.  There are a lot of different sales resources, approaches and “systems” out there, this is the best place to start.


TV and Video to help start a small business

  • Dragon’s Den: BBC series is excellent fodder for getting the business basics right.  The 5 experienced business people tear apart business models, and sometimes people (put this part of the show down to it being entertainment, not educational).
  • The Apprentice: Either the US or UK series, but keep in mind – we do not recommend the leadership style depicted by Sir Alan or “The Don”. There are still good business lessons to learn from these undoubtably highly successful business people.


Websites to help start a small business

  • School For Startups: Ex-Dragon from the BBC series “Dragon’s Den” has a wonderful social enterprise helping people get the fundamentals right before they start their business. If you can, go along to one of his seminars.
  • Flying Solo: A terrific site for solo and micro business owners.
  • Smarta: Many great tips and resources here to start a small business



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