Top 10 Recommended Business Books

Harry S. Truman said, “Not all readers are leaders, but all leaders are readers.”

Top business leaders often quote President Truman's philosophy as one of their keys to success.

As a business owner, it is often beneficial to carve out time to read books (or listen to audiobooks) that can inform, educate, and inspire. From new laws to updated technology, to fresh business growth strategies, there’s always something to learn.

We looked at dozens of business books and read reviews from real small business owners. Here are some of the best books we found.

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Marketing

Influence is Your Superpower

2022

Author Zoe Chance knows the power of partnering with influencers—she was one herself. Now a Yale professor, she teaches students how to bring their ideas to life. In Influence is Your Superpower, the reader learns exactly how to influence behavior and persuade the masses.

Best yet, Chance approaches influence from an ethical and authentic standpoint, teaching you to unleash your creativity and power of persuasion to better connect with your audience. Marketing your small business today looks nothing like it did in the past.

The Marketing Book: A Marketing Plan for Your Business Made Easy via Think / Do / Measure

2021

This book teaches the basics of marketing via the “think / do / measure” method. It will teach you to think like a marketer, to make a marketing plan for your business, and to measure what’s working and what’s not. This method can help you build your brand to ultimately increase sales.

The Experience Maker

2021

Competition is tougher than ever these days and competing on price or product just doesn't work as well anymore. So how can companies stand out in a crowded marketplace that is constantly evolving?

The Experience Maker helps managers and executives focus on customers who are already spending money with their company rather than spending additional money on marketing to new customers. In The Experience Maker, Dan Gingiss teaches that creating a remarkable experience for customers will ensure they become a company's best marketers and salespeople. By learning from the successes of other companies and applying the proprietary WISER method (Witty, Immersive, Shareable, Extraordinary, Responsive), managers and executives learn to create remarkable experiences that their customers will want to talk about with friends, family and social media followers.

Leadership

Trust and Inspire

2022

Bestselling author Stephen M. R. Covey teaches a revolutionary way to lead, arguing that in a world that has changed drastically, leadership, on the contrary, has not. Covey’s approach? Instead of commanding and controlling, lead through trust and inspiration. When you encourage your team members to be the best versions of themselves, that’s when they produce the best work.

A single workplace, especially in today’s remote work environment, might house a variety of cultures, languages, time zones, personalities, and technologies. An environment where all are accepted and encouraged is an environment where the team will flourish.

Leading with Gratitude: Eight Leadership Practices for Extraordinary Business Results

2020

Showing gratitude to employees is one of the easiest, fastest, most inexpensive ways to boost employee performance. New research shows that gratitude boosts employee engagement, reduces turnover, and leads team members to express more gratitude to one another—thereby strengthening team bonds. Studies have also shown that gratitude is beneficial for those expressing it and is one of the most powerful variables in predicting a person’s overall well-being—above money, health, and optimism.

Surrounded by Idiots: The Four Types of Human Behavior and How to Effectively Communicate with Each in Business (and in Life)

2019

Surrounded by Idiots shares a new method of understanding the people around you that will change how you interact with everyone in both your business and personal life.

Erikson breaks down the four kinds of behavior types—Reds are dominant and commanding, Yellows are social and optimistic, Greens are laid back and friendly, and Blues are analytical and precise—and explains how to identify and interact with each type. Instead of being bogged down with overly technical categorizations, the simple four-color system allows you to speedily identify a friend or coworker and adjust how you speak and share with them.

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Sales

The Consistency Pill

2022

How can you unlock long-lasting results for your business? Author Simon Chan argues that if you want to improve productivity and increase sales, you don’t need another self-help book—you need consistency, a non-negotiable practice.

More specifically, the reader will discover how to overcome procrastination, face and handle rejection like a champ, create influence, harness social media and content marketing, and maintain all of it for the long run. No matter what type of business you’re building, these habits will apply to you.

Sales Management. Simplified: The Straight Truth About Getting Exceptional Results from Your Sales Team

2021

As the title suggests, Sales Management. Simplified. is one of the most straightforward sales management books. The book teaches leaders how to coach salespeople and create a healthy and productive sales culture. This guide gives tips on how to avoid micromanagement and increase accountability among sales staff. Sales Management. Simplified. is full of practical and actionable advice for developing and maintaining strong sales teams that get excellent results.

The Ultimate Sales Machine: Turbocharge Your Business with Relentless Focus on 12 Key Strategies

2021

While most sales guides speak specifically to salespeople, this book is useful for anyone who owns or runs a business. Author Chet Holmes teaches readers effective strategies for gaining new customers and maximizing current clientele, through methods such as time management, training, marketing, and client vetting. The book lays out strategies for creating goals and priorities and making good use of time and budget so that sales decisions have the highest possible return on investment. The Ultimate Sales Machine is a playbook of high-impact sales tactics that is useful for organizations of all sizes and industries.

Inspiration

The Gift of Influence

2022

Growing your small business starts from within. What if you knew how to better harness the impact you have on others, both professionally and personally? That’s what The Gift of Influence is all about.

Learn how to show up for people in a meaningful way, develop fruitful relationships and have real conversations, and collect memorable, beneficial experiences.

The Gifts of Imperfection

2022

In this best-seller, powerhouse Brené Brown gives us a roadmap for “wholehearted living.” It’s an opportunity for the reader to proclaim, “I am worthy,” and learn how to live a life of authenticity. This means improving your sense of self and your relationships, in addition to navigating curveballs that get thrown your way in the process.

Brown offers 10 guideposts that help you take the words on the page and put them into daily practice, taking an otherwise nebulous task and making it more tangible and concrete.

Attitude is Your Superpower

2021

Success starts in your mind, which means you need to be hardwired for positivity and adaptation. Especially if you’re stuck in a spiral of imposter syndrome, Attitude is Your Superpower will help you find the light and level up your mindset game.

This book covers adopting a growth mindset and improving your confidence, boosting emotional intelligence and resilience, becoming a true problem-solver, and learning to adapt to your environment. Both personally and professionally, you’ll learn to better how you perceive yourself and how others see you.

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW: The SmartBiz® Small Business Blog and other related communications from SmartBiz Loans® are intended to provide general information on relevant topics for managing small businesses. Be aware that this is not a comprehensive analysis of the subject matter covered and is not intended to provide specific recommendations to you or your business with respect to the matters addressed. Please consult legal and financial processionals for further information.

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