It boggles the mind how many small business books are published each year. I, for one, will never have enough time to read all the ones that I want. You either? Lucky for you I’ve curated some of the best business books published in the past few years. If you’re taking time off or traveling for the holidays, add these books to your reading list.
Lean Business Planning: Get What You Want From Your Business
I have long been a fan of Tim Berry, the founder of Palo Alto Software and BPlans.com. He’s my go-to source for everything business plan related, and this book is no exception. Rather than focusing on creating a mega business plan, with lean business planning, Berry encourages readers to create a manageable plan that will help them achieve their goals.
Nugget of Wisdom: Berry says it’s the planning that matters. Not the plan. What a great philosophy we can apply to so much in business!
Million Dollar Women: The Essential Guide for Female Entrepreneurs Who Want to Go Big
Who doesn’t want to “go big?” Julia Pimsleur, CEO of Little Pim, shares her own story of becoming one of few women to be backed by venture capital in this book. She also introduces readers to other women who have built powerful networks and raised capital for their businesses, pushing past the hump of being “mom and pop” and onward to huge growth.
Nugget of Wisdom: Pimsleur wanted to create an “exceptional experience” with her children’s language learning company, but then realized she needed to think differently if she wanted to run a multi-million dollar company. How could a mindshift affect your success?
Invisible Selling Machine
Author and entrepreneur, Ryan Deiss is the man, when it comes to internet selling. He knows what we all want: to make money while we are asleep. In his book, he shares marketing automation tools and tips you can use to generate more sales in your business.
Nugget of Wisdom: Deiss walks you through the 5 phases of the prospect/customer lifestyle and provides easy tips for automating sales and marketing messages at each stage.
The Digital Marketer: Ten New Skills You Must Learn to Stay Relevant and Customer-Centric
I’m always looking out for new marketing tips, and Larry Weber’s and Lisa Leslie Henderson’s book did not disappoint. The authors outline what digital marketing looks like today, and provide tactics to really engage your audience.
Nugget of Wisdom: It’s no longer about your brand in marketing. This book helps you shift your thinking to being customer-centric and engage with customers in meaningful ways.
No More Cold Calling: The Breakthrough System That Will Leave Your Competition in the Dust
I agree with author Joanne S. Black: cold calling is awkward and ineffective. In her book, you’ll learn how to hook potential clients to make them want more. She also includes selling scripts, presentation techniques, advice, and tips to help you get more referrals and sales.
Nugget of Wisdom: Black has organized her ideas into methods and processes that make getting referrals easy, like her Tell, Remind, Audience, Contacts, Touch tips. Read this and take great notes.
Boss Life: Surviving My Own Small Business
If you’re tired of reading books about how easy it was to make millions, or how effortlessly an entrepreneur launched yet another company, Paul Downs’ book is for you. My former NY Times colleague shares a very real account about running his custom furniture business, warts and all. The story is engaging, honest, and there are plenty of lessons to learn.
Nugget of Wisdom: Running a business isn’t always glamorous, and that’s okay. We relate better to people who are human and can admit mistakes, don’t we?
Scale: Seven Proven Principles to Grow Your Business and Get Your Life Back
The Catch 22 of being an entrepreneur is that when you start your business, it relies solely on you, which makes it difficult for you to have any personal freedom (the reason you went into business in the first place). In this book, authors Jeff Hoffman and David Finkel provide a roadmap to grow your business while removing its dependence on you.
Nugget of Wisdom: You don’t have to choose between the success of your business and your personal life! This book provides a roadmap for success.
Content Inc.: How Entrepreneurs Use Content to Build Massive Audiences and Create Radically Successful Businesses
This is my favorite book on this list. Joe Pulizzi knows content marketing, and it’s him I turn to for the latest information on content marketing trends. In this book, Pulizzi shares a systematic approach to creating unique content that your target audience wants to read and share.
Nugget of Wisdom: Just because you’re creating content doesn’t mean you’re creating good content. This book will help you improve your content, no matter what level you’re on.
Launch: An Internet Millionaire’s Secret Formula To Sell Almost Anything Online, Build A Business You Love, And Live The Life Of Your Dreams
If you’re ready to boost you internet business, this is the book to read. In his book, author Jeff Walker applies what he’s learned in launching online efforts quickly and effectively, and he teaches readers to apply the same principles.
Nugget of Wisdom: There really is a formula for online business success. Walker’s approach skyrockets any online startup.
50 Billion Dollar Boss: African American Women Sharing Stories of Success in Entrepreneurship and Leadership
Kathey Porter centered 50 Billion Dollar Boss around the fact that there simply isn’t a blueprint for African-American women entrepreneurs to use to achieve success in business. She profiled baller businesswomen of color that created their own blueprint for success. The book has lots of fantastic leadership tips that readers can use to launch and grow their businesses. For even more information from the book, check out a recent interview on Kathey Porter gave on #SmallBizChat
Nugget of Wisdom: The profiles in this book are really inspirational. The “Boss tips” at the end of every chapter are the real gold in this book.