7 Books Every E-commerce Entrepreneur Must Read Before Starting A Business

. 7 min read

To launch a successful eCommerce business, you need to learn from the best industry experts. Learning from their real-world experience will help you build a long-lasting eCommerce business that attracts loyal customers, have excellent customer experience and ultimately boost sales and profit.

Building a business requires having a business plan that spells out your clear vision. Your business plan should also capture other ingredients including the right team to work with, a financial management plan, a marketing plan, and a customer service strategy.

In this write-up, I assemble the best collection of books that you MUST read before starting your eCommerce company.

1.The Startup Owner's Manual: The Step-By-Step Guide for Building a Great Company

In this book, renowned Silicon Valley startup expert, Steve Blank and his colleague, Bob Dorf deflate the fear all eCommerce merchants usually struggle with when starting their businesses.

The book will enrich you with best practices, lessons, and tips such as how to identify customers; retain and grow your customer base; nine deadly mistakes every start-up must avoid; fuel growth with metrics that matter, etc. The tips shared in the book will help you build a successful, scalable and profitable eCommerce business.

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Although it might be a bit tough reading an entire 608-page book, it offers one silver bullet piece of wisdom of how eCommerce merchants can build their businesses from scratch on a step-by-step basis including Customer Development methods and how to use it to bring your business idea to life.

The book has been simplified in a simple language for easy understanding in the form of charts, graphs, diagrams, and checklists aimed at helping fresh starters to build a successful and profitable eCommerce business.

In addition, it has been tailored to help eCommerce entrepreneurs to develop a business strategy including building a customer-centric business, avoiding common pitfalls, incorporating business-building strategy, moving clients through a well-developed funnel and scaling their business to drive profits for the short and long term.

2. One-click: Jeff Bezos and the Rise of Amazon.com

As a starter, don’t wait to fail so you can learn from your failure. Some mistakes are costly and hard to correct.

Instead, you should be forward-looking to learn from people who are two steps ahead of you. This way, you will navigate your way carefully and avoid all the stumbling blocks they weren’t lucky to skip.

The author walks readers through the life of the founder and CEO of Amazon, Jeff Bezos and his meteoric rise from a “computer nerd to a world-changing entrepreneur.”

The book tracks the rise of Amazon from its start (in a garage) and how the company has grown into a giant business. The book is exciting to read as readers will somewhat re-watch Amazon grow up in Brandt's pages into a successful business.

The writer goes further to interview employees of Amazon, competitors, and observers and gives a glimpse of how the Forbes Richest Man in 2019 takes decisions that have put the company on the path of growth over the years.

Richard Brandt gives a detailed behind the scenes picture of how the eCommerce colossus managed to build arguably the world’s most successful eCommerce empire.

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Brandt’s book comes in a simple language and gives compelling thought of why Amazon continues to be wizardry and the most sought-after eCommerce business.

Brandt tries to look into the formation of Amazon; how it overcame all the hurdles and how the company gradually evolved itself to become a full-fledged business that it is today.

Whether a starter or eCommerce merchant looking to scale, this book will provide you with a fresh perspective on how to build a long-lasting and profit-driven eCommerce business.

3. New Sales. Simplified.

Sales are the lifeblood of every business. Without sales, you won’t offset your unit cost and make profits. It’s therefore essential that even before you kick start your business, you learn all the tricks that ensure you drive maximum sales to keep your business afloat.

There may be many books about sales on the market but if you’re looking for one that gives you all the ideas on sales as a beginner, then this book is your pick.

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The book has been shortlisted by HubSpot as one of the top 20 sales books of all time.

Mike Weinberg provides a detailed and yet simplified approach to how eCommerce entrepreneurs can draft a compelling, customer-focused "sales story" to increase profit.

The book covers the essential aspects of sales including how to identify a strategic, finite, workable list of genuine prospects; how to use email, voicemail, and social media to your advantage; perfecting the proactive telephone call to get face-to-face with more prospects, among others.

The book is well crafted in an easy-to-read format and takes readers through a journey of the best approaches of prospecting, developing, and closing deals.

4. Crushing It!

As a beginner, you need timeless tips on how you can build a long-lasting business that’s highly profitable. The challenge to beat the competition is growing keener especially with the rapid growth of social media.

In his book, “Crushing It: How Great Entrepreneurs Build Their Business and Influence-and How You Can,” Gary Vaynerchuk, tells motivating stories of people who were scared, who were told they were being foolish, reckless or irresponsible but managed to build successful businesses from ground zero.

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Social media has become part of our everyday life and that’s exactly what the book teaches. The author tries to enter the minds of customers by offering timeless theoretical and tactical tips on how eCommerce entrepreneurs can grow their businesses through platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Pinterest, and Snapchat; podcast platforms like Spotify, Soundcloud, iHeartRadio, and iTunes; and other emerging platforms such as Musical.ly.

Apart from that, the author also shares real-life stories of entrepreneurs who have grown wealthier through the use of social media to promote their businesses—thanks to the golden principles the author shares in this book.

The book is written in a simple language but offers practical solutions to how eCommerce entrepreneurs can build their own path to professional and financial success by building thriving businesses and extraordinary personal brands using social media.

5. Raising Capital: Get the Money You Need to Grow Your Business

Before you can launch your business, you need startup capital to help you pay rent, stock your store, acquire automation tools or even pay salaries. There are a number of strategic ways you can raise money such as personal savings, crowdfunding, loans, grants, venture capitalists, etc.

In his book: “Raising Capital: Get the Money You Need to Grow Your Business,” Andrew Sherman offers practical solutions to how beginners like you can raise capital necessary to grow your business and put it on a path of continuous growth.

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Apart from toning down the language to the understanding of every person who reads the book, Andrew Sherman also shares useful insights such as tips for building business plans, preparing loan proposals, drafting offering materials, etc.

6.Best for Building a Story/Brand: Clarify Your Message So Customers Will Listen

Customers are everything in a business. Without customers, no business can survive.

Customer attrition is a major headache many businesses are faced with. In fact, companies lose 71% of consumers due to poor customer service.

You should, therefore, master how to craft your message well enough to buy brand loyalty and create a sense of belongingness with your customers to have them stick faithfully with you.

In his book, “Building a StoryBrand”, New York Times best-selling author Donald Miller demonstrates the magic bullet solution to how businesses can rely on what he terms as “the seven universal story points all humans respond to”. The seven universal story elements Miller points out in his book are:

  1. A character
  2. Has a problem
  3. And meets a guide
  4. Who gives them a plan
  5. And calls them to action
  6. That helps them avoid failure
  7. End ends in success

These universal story elements reveal the real reason customers make purchases. The book also offers useful tips such as how to simplify a brand message so people understand it, and how to create the most effective messaging for websites, brochures, and social media.

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7. Launch: An Internet Millionaire’s Secret Formula To Sell Almost Anything Online

Before you start your business, you should have a master plan on how to start it.

Launch: An Internet Millionaire’s Secret Formula To Sell Almost Anything Online  outlines how to sell anything online, make a fortune and fulfill your dreams.

The book provides a perfect recipe on basic internet marketing strategies such as how to test the pulse of prospects through pre-launch email surveys and how to generally grow your business by teaching readers what causes people to buy.

It also offers a practical formula on how to create highly successful businesses from scratch by teaching readers with zero knowledge of email marketing some good information.

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Whether you’re yet to conceive a business idea or you have set up a business and looking to scale up, the book is a useful resource to guide you on your way to becoming a globally competitive eCommerce entrepreneur.

The lesson shared in the book will unlock your entrepreneurial skills and position you for greatness by breaking down into step-by-step mental triggers that influence people to buy from a particular company.

In sum, whether you’re a wanna-be eCommerce merchant, or you’re a well-established eCommerce mastermind, you should acquire the right knowledge to help you outsmart the competition and stay constantly relevant. There are many books on the market but these carefully selected books will keep you well informed as an eCommerce merchant.

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