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Julia Fourie | Business Coach Cape Town

5 Useful Business Books To Learn and Apply From

Julia Fourie, Business Coach, Cape Town

March 23 2018

If you want to start a business or grow your existing business, you’ll need advice on strategy, what pitfalls to anticipate, and how best to spend your time and money to accelerate growth.

Whether you’re an aspiring tech entrepreneur or a one-man show looking to sell your work, these are some of the most insightful books to read to help you scale your business fast.

  • Smarter Faster Better: The Secrets of Being Productive in Life and Business

At the core of Smarter Faster Better are eight key productivity concepts—from motivation and goal setting to focus and decision making—that explain why some people and companies get so much done. Drawing on the latest findings in neuroscience, psychology, and behavioral economics as well as the experiences of CEOs, educational reformers, four-star generals, FBI agents, airplane pilots, and Broadway songwriters, Smarter Faster Better explains that the most productive people, companies, and organizations don’t merely act differently.

  • Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products

Why do some products capture widespread attention while others flop? What makes us engage with certain products out of sheer habit? Is there a pattern underlying how technologies hook us?

Nir Eyal answers these questions (and many more) by explaining the Hook Model—a four-step process embedded into the products of many successful companies to subtly encourage customer behavior. Hooked is based on Eyal’s years of research, consulting, and practical experience. He wrote the book he wished had been available to him as a start-up founder. Hooked is written for product managers, designers, marketers, start-up founders, and anyone who seeks to understand how products influence our behavior.

  • The Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses

Most startups fail. But many of those failures are preventable. The Lean Startup is a new approach being adopted across the globe, changing the way companies are built and new products are launched.

The Lean Startup is a method to develop and manage startups. Standard business practices can be harmful to startups. These organizations necessitate special policies and procedures for managing innovative enterprises. These policies and procedures aren’t created randomly, of course — they’re the result of scientific techniques and research.

  • The Power of Habit

At its core, The Power of Habit contains an exhilarating argument: The key to exercising regularly, losing weight, being more productive, and achieving success is understanding how habits work. As Duhigg shows, by harnessing this new science, we can transform our businesses, our communities, and our lives.

Along the way, you’ll learn why some people and companies struggle to change, despite years of trying, while others seem to remake themselves overnight. You’ll discover how the right habits were crucial to the success of Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps, Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz, and civil-rights hero Martin Luther King, Jr. We go inside Procter & Gamble, Target superstores, Rick Warren’s Saddleback Church, NFL locker rooms, and the nation’s largest hospitals and see how implementing so-called keystone habits can earn billions and mean the difference between failure and success, life and death.

  • Blue Ocean Strategy: How to Create Uncontested Market Space and Make Competition Irrelevant

Blue Ocean Strategy continues to challenge everything you thought you knew about competing in today’s crowded market place. Based on a study of 150 strategic moves spanning more than a hundred years and thirty industries, authors W. Chan Kim and Renee Mauborgne argue that lasting success comes from creating ‘blue oceans’: untapped new market spaces ripe from growth. And the business world has caught on – companies around the world are skipping the bloody red oceans of rivals and creating their very own blue oceans.