I just finished a pretty decent book called The E-Myth Revisited by Michael E. Gerber. It helped me get my head around some misconceptions I had about running a small business.
The author really pushes building your business as if it is a prototype for a franchise, regardless of whether you will ever spin it off into a franchise. By doing this, you are in effect documenting every important feature, process and procedure of your business so that you could sell the rights to someone else and they could operate it turn-key. And if everything is so well defined you could sell it turn-key, then at the very least you could hand off enough of the duties to take a vacation once in a while.
A key quote: You need to spend more time working on your business instead of working in your business.
Reading the book was a bit of a fluke – I had seen the title at the bookstore for quite a long time and always figured it was a dot-bomb retrospective. But a while back I picked it up and flipped to a section when the author is describing a woman running a pie shop. It sounded close enough to a bakery for me, so I read on and finally picked up a copy.
The only downside for me was that most of the book is written as a parable (a la The Wealthy Barber) which wears thin quickly — the author likes monologuing too much for that format. But it’s pretty good nonetheless. Well worth picking up at the library.