Sometimes you pick up a business or personal development book and you enjoy reading it, but for some reason, nothing really changes afterward. Some are read it once and never read it again.

Well, recently I was perusing my bookshelf and picked up two I had read quite a while ago for a re-read.

When reading these (or any other books), you are not likely to get magic ideas or formulas to guarantee success in your business. What works for one company will not work for yours straight out of the box.

No the thing to get out of these books are some of the things you need to address if you want to run a successful small business or take your business to the level. There are lots of ways to address them and it is up to you to do so.

The E-Myth Revisited

The E-Myth Revisited; Why most small businesses don't work and what to do about it by Michael Gerber is one of the classics that has spawned a large following.

Essentially the premise is that buying a good franchise almost guarantees business success, yet starting your own small business almost guarantees failure. The reason… most small business owners have an entrepreneurial seizure and think that doing the work in a business is the same as running a business.

Unless you are really just an independent contract employee with a holding company for liability and tax purposes, you need to work on the business as much as in it… and this includes doing the things that franchisers do whether or not you intend on franchising or not; create a system to run your business so that you don't have to be the one doing it… that or risk burning out with little to show for your risk.

Becoming a Category of One

So you have your business up and running and you've created some systems to handle all the business functions. You have reached a plateau and are ready to go to the next level… now what?

Joe Calloway looks at how extraordinary companies transcend commodity and defy comparison in Becoming a Category of One.

He does this by looking at what this means and gives some great examples from a number of companies large and small. In most of the examples it not just talk about how people are your competitive advantage, they actually create competitive advantage through people, processes, systems and corporate culture.