In business, reading is fundamental. It is crucial to help you grow your expertise as a business leader. One of my favorite things to do is read books about small business best practices, social media and leadership. Here’s a list of best books that I think will have a major impact on your business strategy heading into 2010. Later this week, I’ll have five more of my favorite books to share.
Small Business Cash Flow: Strategies for Making Your Business a Financial Success by Denise O’Berry (J. Wiley & Sons, 2006) The best thing you can do for your business is understand how much profit is in every sale and stay cash flow positive. Denise O’Berry writes a terrific book that explains the ins and outs of financial management in a successful small business. The book does a good job of pointing out how a small business owner can stay on top of the cash flow issue in running her business. This is an incredible resource book that I highly recommend.
Get Known Before the Book Deal by Christina Katz (Writer Digest Books, 2008) It is not often I read a book that truly enlightening from cover to cover. On a scale of 1-5, Get Known Before the Book Deal is a 10! If you want to know what it takes to get a book deal, Christina Katz gives a very specific recipe, but this book is not just helpful to people who want to be authors. This book is for anyone who needs to build a marketing platform and a brand for their expertise. This book changed my entire business model and my brand. I could not recommend this book more highly.
Customers For Life: How To Turn That One-Time Buyer Into a Lifetime Customer by Carl Sewell and Paul B. Brown (Doubleday, 2002) This is a must read for every business owner. None of the ideas in this book are ground breaking, but the authors do a great job of explaining how they translate into loyal customers for your business. This book will help you create systems in your business to avoid customer service problems in the first place. This book was originally published in 1998 and has been updated three times since, selling over 1 million copies worldwide. Every business owner should have this book, and I’d also recommend buying copies for all your employees as well.
Blog Blazers: 40 Top Bloggers Share their Secrets to Creating a High-Profile, High-Traffic and High Profit Blog by Stephane Grenier (Levac Publishing House, 2008) This is one of those books that serious bloggers will keep on their shelves. I like that this book features 40 top bloggers and not just 10 or 15 like most profile books. I enjoyed learning great techniques and about what blogs these pros read. Try reading a chapter a day, look at the blogs of the blogger featured, see what they are doing well that you can implement in your blog. Learning how successful bloggers approach their blogging is an exercise that will have lots of benefits.
Greening Your Small Business: How to Improve Your Bottom Line, Grow Your Brand, Satisfy Your Customers – and Save the Planet by Jennifer Kaplan (Prentice Hall Press, 2009) Green is not just the color of money. Going green can be overwhelming, but Jen Kaplan provides a comprehensive guide to practical, meaningful, low-cost changes that can be applied today to go green in your business. Green practices are being measured by everyone including your customers-so use this book to build an additional competitive advantage in your business and save the planet as the same time.
Do you know a book that should be added to the list? Let me know, I love getting your feedback.
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Melinda Emerson “SmallBizLady” is a Veteran Entrepreneur, Small Business Expert and Social Media Coach who hosts #SmallBizChat on Twitter. #Smallbizchat is the trusted resource on Twitter to discuss everything entrepreneurs need to know about launching and running a profitable small business. Melinda’s first book, Become Your Own Boss in 12 Months: A Month-by-Month Guide to Start a Business that Works! is scheduled to be released by Adams Media in Feb 2010.