Books Every Small Business Owner Should Read

Ironwood Insights

Successful entrepreneurs pull knowledge and motivation from a number of resources – their family, mentors, movies – but no one can downplay the power of books. Words have a way of getting through to people, and for small business owners, might just be what gives them and their business that boost they need.

Check out these must-read books for small business owners:

  1. 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey

“The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey is a self-improvement book. It is written on Covey’s belief that the way we see the world is entirely based on our own perceptions. In order to change a given situation, we must change ourselves, and in order to change ourselves, we must be able to change our perceptions.” (Summary from HubSpot)

  1. Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap… and Others Don’t by Jim Collins

“Can a “good” company make the transition to be “great”? And if so, how? Through extensive research and analysis, Collins identified a number of timeless principles that helped a small group of companies to break away from the rest and consistently outperform the market.” (Summary from Reading Graphics)

  1. Every Family’s Business by Tom Deans

“Every Family’s Business chronicles the journey of two people who meet on a flight to Barbados. Both discover that they work in family businesses and proceed to share their successes and failures. One character reveals 12 questions that have been passed down through four generations of his family –questions that have shaped their approach to succession planning. Entertaining and informative, Every Family’s Business helps families break the ice and gets them thinking and talking about the future if their family firm. A bestselling novel sure to leave families in business together thinking differently about what’s really important. A book that gives families a method for coming together to plan using sound business principles, love and mutual respect.” (Summary from Goodreads)

  1. How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie

“How To Win Friends and Influence People teaches you countless principles to become a likable person, handle your relationships well, win others over and help them change their behavior without being intrusive.” (Summary from Four Minute Books)

  1. The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell

“The Tipping Point explains how ideas spread like epidemics and which few elements need to come together to help an idea reach the point of critical mass, where its viral effect becomes unstoppable.” (Summary from Four Minute Books)

  1. Selling the Invisible by Harry Beckwith

“SELLING THE INVISIBLE is a succinct and often entertaining look at the unique characteristics of services and their prospects, and how any service, from a home-based consultancy to a multinational brokerage, can turn more prospects into clients and keep them. SELLING THE INVISIBLE covers service marketing from start to finish. Filled with wonderful insights and written in a roll-up-your-sleeves, jargon-free, accessible style, such as: Greatness May Get You Nowhere, Focus Groups Don’ts, The More You Say, the Less People Hear, and Seeing the Forest Around the Falling Trees.” (Summary from Amazon)

  1. The 24-Hour Customer by Adrian C. Ott

“In The 24-Hour Customer, Adrian C. Ott—the CEO and founder of a top Silicon Valley–based consulting firm—challenges businesses to re-conceive their approaches to time and technology in order to win an unprecedented share of their customers’ attention and loyalty. Filled with powerful and provocative ideas, The 24-Hour Customer is an indispensable handbook for any company competing for business in today’s around-the-clock economy.” (Summary from Goodreads)

  1. Small Business Cash Flow by Denise O’Berry

“Many small business owners don’t understand the importance of maintaining a healthy cash flow. More than anything else, cash flow determines the success or failure of a small business. Small Business Cash Flow covers all the basics of cash flow, from selecting a great accountant, to keeping money flowing in and out of the business, to budgeting and record-keeping.” (Summary from Amazon)