Must-Read Books to Scale Your Startup
If you're looking for reliable advice on how to scale your startup, look no further than these essential reads. Each one has unique insights on what it takes to grow your business, giving you a well-rounded crash course in scaling.
Also Recommended: Check out our list of the best startup books.
1. ‘Simple Scaling: Ten Proven Principles to 10x Your Business’ by Claire Colvin and Brendan McGurgan
When you need a straightforward and simple breakdown of what it means for a business to scale, “Simple Scaling” gives you 10 principles to follow. They help you break away from the everyday grind and realize what it takes to reach success.
You'll learn the scale-up psyche, how to source the right people, planning tips, and how to implement repeatable performance in this lesson-learning book. McGurgan and Colvin give you the framework needed to overcome any challenges you'll face while trying to scale your company.
2. ‘Startup CEO: A Field Guide to Scaling Up Your Business’ by Matt Blumberg
Whether you're at the helm of a new startup as the CEO or you've created your own company, “Startup CEO” is a fantastic resource. Blumberg walks you through every stage of the scaling process and helps you identify which growth strategies will work for your business.
Blumberg has been a startup CEO himself and helped turn a company with no revenue into a $100 million business. You don't just get a play-by-play of what Blumberg has done, you get all the tools and advice on how to take action yourself to become a successful startup.
Listen to our interview with Matt Blumberg below!
3. ‘TeamWork: How to Build a High-Performance Team’ by Natalie Dawson
There are many facets to growing a successful startup, but creating your team is one of the most important. In “TeamWork,” Dawson helps you learn everything there is to know about team building so you can create a well-oiled machine.
From sourcing and hiring the right people to managing and inspiring your team, this book will give you all the tools needed to implement proper teamwork in your startup. Intimately learn the three essential growth components: development, alignment, and transition.
4. ‘Scaling Up: How a Few Companies Make It...and Why the Rest Don't’ by Verne Harnish
Focused on four major areas for business growth, including people, strategy, execution, and cash, “Scaling Up” gives readers all the dos and don’ts of taking a startup to the next level. Harnish is the founder of the world-renowned Entrepreneur's Organization, making him an expert on what it takes to grow a company.
This book has been used by Fortune 500 companies and startups alike to help them achieve their growth potential. Not only will you get actionable advice, but you'll also get one-page tools that will help you implement the right structure for success.
5. ‘High Growth Handbook: Scaling Startups From 10 to 10,000 People’ by Elad Gil
There are few other people as qualified to talk about startup growth than Elad Gil. As a global tech executive, serial entrepreneur, and angel investor, Gil knows a thing or two about taking a company from small to big, and he shares it all in the “High Growth Handbook.”
There are common patterns all breakout companies have, and Gil has synthesized them down to the role of the CEO, managing a board, recruitment, mergers, public offerings, and late-stage funding.
Looking for more book recommendations? We asked startup founders to share their favorite books on entrepreneurship, and here's what they said.
6. ‘Scale: The Universal Laws of Life, Growth, and Death in Organisms, Cities, and Companies’ by Geoffrey West
You won't just learn how startups scale in this book by Geoffrey West; you'll learn how the entire world operates. West is an influential scientist and physicist in complexity science, but you don't need to know technical terminology to learn the simplified lessons in “Scale.”
Scaling laws determine how everything from animals to organizations grows, and this book will teach you all about them. If you want to better understand the concepts of the world and easily apply them to your business, this book lays it out for you.
7. ‘Blitzscaling: The Lightning-Fast Path to Building Massively Valuable Companies’ by Chris Yeh and Reid Hoffman
“Blitzscaling” is the process of prioritizing speed over efficiency when growing a startup, and in this book, you'll learn how to do just that. Yeh and Hoffman are both well-renowned entrepreneurs who have used blitzscaling to grow their own companies to massive influence.
In order to rise above the competition, it pays to be first, and it pays to be fast. This book teaches you how to execute at a level you've never considered and teaches you the strategies in order to get there.
8. ‘From Startup to Exit: An Insider's Guide to Launching and Scaling Your Tech Business’ by Shirish Nadkarni
Shirish Nadkarni is a successful entrepreneur in his own right, and in “From Startup to Exit,” you will not only learn lessons on scaling but also how to exit the company successfully. You'll learn practical lessons like founding, funding, and managing your company.
You'll also get practical advice from leading entrepreneurs in detailed interviews. Nadkarni gives you a playbook to use for growing your startup and reaching a level of finding an exit so you can get started on your next million-dollar idea.
9. ‘The Sales Acceleration Formula: Using Data, Technology, and Inbound Selling to go from $0 to $100 Million’ by Mark Roberge
Listen to enough naysayers, and they might convince you that growing a successful startup is a pipe dream. In “The Sales Acceleration Formula,” you'll get a clear structure for success from Mark Roberge.
Roberge takes readers step-by-step through the entire process of building a sales team that will help take startups to new heights. This book is chockful of actionable advice, templates, and scripts that will make it easy for you to implement his teachings. Learn the exact ways Roberge used data, technology, and inbound selling to make his company over $100 million.
10. ‘The Startup Growth Book: 50+ Proven Ways to Scale Your Business Without a Marketing Budget’ by Andrew Lee Miller
Most startups don't have a large budget for any part of their business, much less marketing. In “The Startup Growth Book,” Andrew Miller teaches entrepreneurs that it isn't the size of their bank account that can help them reach more people.
With over 50 proven ways to scale a business without a marketing budget, Miller attempts to prove that with the right tenacity and strategy, you can achieve growth without a big budget. The book details ways that Miller himself has grown several companies to multimillion-dollar exits.
11. ‘Scale or Fail: How to Build Your Dream Team, Explode Your Growth, and Let Your Business Soar’ by Allison Maslan
From personal experience, Allison Maslan has gathered all the insights and actionable advice she has gathered from scaling ten different companies and has put it all into “Scale or Fail.”
In the book, Maslan talks about the importance of hiring the right team and how to get everyone on board with your company's vision. You'll also get tips on ways to manage stress so you can avoid burnout. If you're feeling stuck in your business growth, reading this book might help reinvigorate you to find success for your struggling startup.
12. ‘Building an Elite Organization: The Blueprint to Scaling a High-Growth, High-Profit Business’ by Don Wenner
When you're done looking for inspiration and want practical advice on how to scale, “Building an Elite Organization” gives you the blueprint for success. Don Wenner breaks down the challenges a company will face when it reaches a certain level and gives you tools to overcome them.
Wenner gives you the same system his company and other organizations are using to drive growth and get to profitability. You'll understand which stages you are in to understand whether you're on the right track and how to leverage opportunities to reach success.
13. ‘Scale: Seven Proven Principles to Grow Your Business and Get Your Life Back’ by Jeff Hoffman and David Finkel
More success often means more responsibilities and less free time. In “Scale,” Hoffman and Finkel show you how to grow your business without sacrificing your personal life. They teach the important lesson that the only true way to scale is by making sure your company isn't reliant on you.
The book walks you through the process of growing a company while maintaining a work-life balance. You'll learn how to delegate responsibilities so that you're not constantly working yourself to the bone. You'll also find out when it's time to bring on investors and when you can continue to bootstrap your business.
14. ‘Masters of Scale: Surprising Truths from the World's Most Successful Entrepreneurs’ by Reid Hoffman
It has often been said that the best way to learn is by learning from others, and that's exactly what Reid Hoffman provides in “Masters of Scale.” His book gathers the interviews he has had with some of the most successful founders and entrepreneurs in the world and reveals the secrets to their success.
Hoffman's podcast, “Masters of Scale,” includes leaders from Apple, Nike, Netflix, Spotify, and more who all give unique and telling insights into what it means to be a successful startup.
15. ‘Traction: How Any Startup Can Achieve Explosive Customer Growth’ by Gabriel Weinberg and Justin Mares
There are books on this list that focus on the entire process of growing your business, but in “Traction,” you get valuable insights into exactly what it takes to acquire enough customers to scale.
Weinberg teams up with Justin Mares to give you the 19 different channels that successful businesses use to build their customer base and give you the framework to decide which ones are right for your business.