Five Blogs, Four Books, and Three Conferences That Can Boost Your Small Business in 2017
Running a small business can be hectic, and sometimes it feels as though it’s you against the world. Thankfully, you’re not the first person to go down this path and there is plenty of information out there to help you figure out how to make your business succeed. With that in mind, we put together a list for small business owners of resources that offer great information and learning opportunities for all kinds of companies.
1) Smart Hustle
Smart Hustle’s magazine-style format is packed with great content for small business owners. Articles range from interviews with business owners and commentary on what’s happening in the world of small business. Recent stories have included 4 Major Lessons from Super Bowl LI We Can Apply to Small Business and The Truth About Ramping Up (Or Winding Down) Your Seasonal Small Business.
Forbes’ Small Business section offers a variety of coverage of small business issues from Forbes’ network of contributors. Everything from winning social media techniques to an in-depth profile of a family-owned sausage company keeps readers informed and up-to-date in Forbes’ trademark style.
Copyblogger has been around for more than a decade, teaching people the art and science of attracting eyeballs online with content. These days, it’s called “content marketing” and Copyblogger is still going strong. They now offer training and education for businesses as well as a blog full of great content, including valuable articles on audience engagement and how to utilize cognitive biases to persuade readers.
Harvard Business Review covers a range topics that all business owners are interested in, regardless of the size of your business. Their Difficult Conversations series tackles tricky topics like how to respond to offensive comments in the workplace or how to deliver criticism productively. Coupled with in-depth coverage of consumer trends and spotlights on successful businesses, HBR is a must-read for small business owners.
Barbara Weltman’s business books focus on technical aspects of running a small business, like taxes and building credit. Her blog is similarly focused and provides great content for small business owners who of course need to keep an eye on the bottom line. She weighs in on topics such as the pros and cons of hiring additional staff and offers useful advice on how to stay current amid changing state and local employment laws.
1) Shoe Dog
Shoe Dog tells the tale of Nike founder Phil Knight. It goes from the company’s early days as a start-up—founded with a $50 loan—to the company’s current position as one of the most iconic and influential global brands with sales of more than $30 billion. Bill Gates called Shoe Dog “a refreshingly honest reminder of what the path to business success really looks like. It’s a messy, perilous, and chaotic journey riddled with mistakes, endless struggles, and sacrifice.”
Silicon Valley life hacking guru Tim Ferriss’ latest tome (it clocks in at well over 600 pages) is a collection of advice culled from people who Ferriss has interviewed. The book’s full title is The Tools of Titans: The Tactics, Routines, and Habits of Billionaires, Icons, and World-Class Performers, which should give you a sense of the people and ideas contained within. It’s chock-full of tips on everything from meditating to wireless routers, and it sticks to Ferriss’ brass-tacks, fast-paced style.
Antonio García Martínez’s memoir is a bit gritty. The New York Times starts off their review by saying “There is plenty not to like…” while going on to laud the book as “irresistible and indispensable.” Bloomberg calls out the author’s sometimes offensive remarks but says “he can be rude, but he’s shrewd, too.”
Chaos Monkeys: Obscene Fortune and Random Failure in Silicon Valley follows the author as he leaves Goldman Sachs for a valley startup and eventually lands at a pre-IPO Facebook. He gets fired (of course) and starts working with Twitter (of course). Along his path, García Martínez is exposed to some of the best and worst tendencies of the Valley.
Angela Duckworth’s Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance shows readers that the secret to success is a particular combination of passion and persistence. Drawing from her own life experience as a researcher and professor, as well as interviews with successful people across disciplines, Duckworth sheds light on what people can accomplish through their own determination and skill.
With a slate of 18 shows in cities across the United States, chances are there’s a Small Business Expo happening near you. Each event features workshops, networking events, keynotes, and an expo floor packed with products and services for small businesses.
June 20-22nd the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council’s Business Fair will be happening in Las Vegas. The four-day conference will feature workshops, lectures, panel discussions, networking events and more than 350 exhibitors geared toward women-owned businesses.
Taking place April 6-7 in San Francisco, Launch Festival brings together startup founders and investors with a full slate of events and workshops as well as a two-day “Founder University” educational track prior to the event.