Summer’s in full swing, and it’s the perfect time to get caught up on a little business reading. Are you looking for entrepreneurial inspiration and not sure what to read next? We reached out to our influential colleagues to find out about the business books they are enjoying this summer.
Read on to be inspired by the books our B Corp Founders, Digital Marketing Influencers, partners, and our staff are reading right now.
‘”It’s a short and compelling read on how something as simple as a short checklist can solve problems and workflow issues. Needless to say, we now have workflow and process checklists at Fairware to try to minimize common mistakes.” – Denise Tashereau
About the book
“Atul Gawande shows what the simple idea of the checklist reveals about the complexity of our lives and how we can deal with it.”
The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles, by Steven Pressfield
Online tools make us happy. For those of you who have been longstanding followers of this blog, you will likely remember our Reasons to Be Cheerful posts. It has been over three years since our last one. It’s not that we’re not cheerful it’s just that we’ve been kind of busy growing.
The whole point of the reasons to be cheerful posts is to share websites, tools, apps, blogs and other cool stuff we use or have discovered lately. After 3 years, we have quite a long list but we won’t dump them all on you at once!
We use Canva regularly, and have done for ages, to create images on the fly. You can upload your own photos and images or access the Canva repository images (they don’t cost much usually $1), add great graphics and text and best of all Canva has preloaded templates for social media, Facebook posts, blog graphics and more. This is a must have in any marketer’s toolbox.
Every small business owner wants to write a book right? Or at the very least an ebook. Often the content and design are the only things holding us back. Designrr is a great tool that make this happen. You simply grab a URL (i.e. a blog article you have written), choose a template, tweak, tune and publish.
MentionMapp makes discovering Twitter’s gems easy. It visually displays people, places, events and conversations so you can see the connections, track conversations, hashtags and trending topics all in one view.
Most Twitter users don’t know this exists! If you are using Twitter for your small business it is important to track your top tweets, impressions, mentions and followers. Twitter analytics is a great tool to let you do so.
If you are looking for a marketing platform that is affordable, easy to use and has all the bells and whistles you need to manage campaigns across multiple platforms, Wishpond is the one. Its a great alternative to Infusionsoft at a much lower price point. Use it to build landing pages, manage social promotions, website popups, online forms, lead activity tracking, lead management, lead intelligence, marketing automation, email marketing and measure success with marketing analytics.
If you want to accept credit card payments for your small business then Square is great. It’s easy to set up an account, they send you a dongle that you attach to your phone or device to accept payment (or you can do this manually too). You link Square to your bank accounts and you’re ready to go. Even better, it’s much more cost effective than traditional tools since there’s no monthly fee and the percentage they take is smaller.
We all need caffeine to get us through the long days as entrepreneurs right? The Starbucks apps is not new but using it to order your coffee and pick up without waiting in the queue is. It’s particularly useful at conferences when you have a short break and long wait for your latte. I really shouldn’t be sharing this one….
Facebook can be a great place for small businesses to build community, loyalty and awareness. It can even level the playing field with larger competitors. It is important to remember, when using Facebook for your small business, not to hide behind your wall or try to make your business out to be something it isn’t. Be authentic, transparent and genuine – get out from behind your wall from time to time because the best online presences are those that reflect, augment and intertwine with your everyday functions.
If you are considering running a contest on Twitter, or any other social network for that matter, take time to think it all through before you launch. If you don’t it could end up simply annoying people and causing you to lose followers or worse, as depicted in Rob Cottingham’s Noise to Signal cartoon.
Look at McDonald’s failed Twitter campaign earlier this year. Someone at McDonalds had the bright idea that they would use Twitter and the hashtag #McDStories to encourage people to share their warm and fuzzy experiences of McDonalds. The company didn’t take time to consider whether Twitter was the best forum for this (they should have, given that there are many activisits and anti McD people on there). As a result, the campaign was hijacked by people sharing their negative experiences of McDonald’s and when I say negative, I mean really bad. Had McDonalds taken the time to consider which social media tool was the right one to use they might have had a more desired outcome.