The Best Books Small Business Owners Need to Have in Their Library
The path from having an idea and a dream for a business to actualizing that vision is a rough, rocky road, with no shortage of learning opportunities. It’s safe to say that anyone who has been in business for a few years probably has enough material to write a book.
Many have actually done that.
One visit to your local bookstore and you’ll see there’s no shortage of books on how to start a business, tips for succeeding in business or personal accounts of what it’s like to successfully run your dream business.
Needless to say, you have a business to run and don’t have time to read every title on the shelf. That’s why we did the heavy lifting for you.
These are the five best books for small business owners, and somewhere in these pages, you’ll be sure to find advice that speaks to you.
1. To cultivate the right habits and mindset:
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, by Stephen R. Covey
Putting Covey’s classic work at the top of the list is a bit like putting Shakespeare at the top of the list of most famous authors.
It’s an obvious choice, and for good reason.
Everyone, from CEOs of Fortune 500 companies to small-business owners like yourself, can find something valuable in these pages.
Remember, making it as a small business owner involves having the right mindset and the right habits. Making these seven habits part of who you are is one of the best things you can do.
2. To become an effective leader:
The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership: Follow Them and People Will Follow You, by John C. Maxwell
Small business owners have ambition, drive and dedication; but many times, they lack leadership skills. That’s an elusive concept, “leadership,” but getting employees, vendors, partners and the many other pieces of that vast network to work for you is the secret sauce to success.
Reading Maxwell’s book is like having a personal leadership coach at your side. Along with the laws of leadership, he has dozens of stories to illustrate the principles you need to learn, as well as hands-on exercises and evaluation tools that will help everyone grow as a leader.
3. To make yourself an effective communicator:
Speak and Get Results, by Sandy Linver
Many small business owners who have fled the corporate world know something about the drudgery of meetings. People go to meetings, present, talk, talk and then talk some more – but rarely get results.
Though it might be on a smaller scale, the same problem happens in small businesses as well.
Communication is key.
Linver’s engaging and systematic approach is a quintessential guide for anyone who wants to become a more effective communicator and turn their words into action. That is, anyone who is running a small business.
4. For financial considerations
There are a lot of inspirational accounts of people risking it all – facing an uphill battle -and founding a great company. However, the financial details of these stories are usually left out.
Of all the exciting aspects of starting your own business, managing the financial side of things usually isn’t the part people look forward to. Nonetheless, even if you hated math in high school, you’ll have to reconcile yourself to this all-important aspect of owning your own business.
Crabtree’s extremely helpful book is the place to start.
This easy-to-follow, step-by-step guide demystifies the whirling world of numbers. It gives you practical advice on how to lay a solid financial foundation for your business, including insights into creating optimal cash flow, what profit level to hit, labor and productivity and how to manage an owner’s salary.
5. To organize your business
Traction: Get a Grip on Your Business, by Gino Wickman
It’s a cliché to say we live in a rapidly changing world. For businesses big and small, keeping up and moving forward can be a continual challenge. The root of the problem is that organizations get caught up in small details, endless considerations and fail to implement the plans they need to drive profit and move forward.
Wickman’s Entrepreneurial Operations System (EOS) is a simple yet powerful system for organizing a company so that everyone, from leadership on down, stays focused, completes tasks and has the traction to move forward and grow.
There are thousands of other titles out there, but no matter what stage you’ve reached, these five books provide invaluable information and insight into what it takes to run a small business.
Want some more books for small business owners to add to your library? Check out 5 Small Business Owners Share the Most Important Book They’ve Ever Read.