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Small Business Tips

10 best books every business owner should read

Justine Rabideau

What's one major key to success for small business owners? Reading. That's right, filling your brain with game-changing tips, insights, and advice. Not sure which books are worth your time? No problem. We've compiled 10 of the best books for entrepreneurs and business owners.

Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill

Over the course of 20 years, Hill researched the most prominent men of his day. Turns out they all shared 13 common habits that made them successful. He published his findings in 1937. Today, this classic read is considered the forerunner of self-help books. The biggest takeaway is you must have the right state of mind to become successful. Hill breaks down the exact steps needed to develop a winning mindset.

The E-Myth Revisited by Michael Gerber

The book's subtitle is "Why Most Small Businesses Don't Work and What to Do About It." This is a good read if you're just starting out. The e-myth in the title refers to entrepreneurial myth. The myth Gerber dispels is that success only requires skill and hard work. He reveals three areas entrepreneurs must focus on to turn an idea into a thriving, sustainable business. The areas are:

  • Rules
  • Regulations
  • A plan

Gerber says these things must be in place for an entrepreneur to succeed. His recommendation is based on the franchise business model.

Good to Great by Jim Collins

What's the difference between a good business and a great business? Well, Collins has an answer based on his extensive research. He identified and compiled key factors that contributed to the success of elite companies. For instance, he discovered promoting people who are the best and what they do was a top priority. Collins shares ways you can successfully implement this or other factors into your organization.

Speak and Get Results by Sandy Linver

Public speaking is an integral part of running a business. You must give presentations, conduct sales meetings, pitch your ideas, and sell products and or services. Don't have the gift of gab? Would you rather walk barefoot over hot coals than give a speech? Don't worry; Linver's got your back. She gives you a simple formula that will have your audience drooling all over you (not literally, we hope).

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7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey

Work-life balance is a real challenge for entrepreneurs, especially during the startup phase. Published in 1990, this bestseller is the blueprint on how to balance your personal and professional life. It offers timeless advice and personal development tips in areas such as:

  • Productivity
  • Time management
  • Positive thinking

Blink by Malcolm Gladwell

The subtitle of this book is "The Power of Thinking Without Thinking." How do you make decisions? Do you spend hours toiling over tons of information, data or research? That's so not necessary, according to Gladwell. He discovered that the best decision makers make quick, spot-on decisions in the blink of an eye. It's called intuitive thinking. It's the ability to filter out distractions and to focus on the important variables. Read this book, so you can unlock this super-hero power.

Getting Things Done by David Allen

It's not always easy increasing and maintaining high levels of productivity. The absence of a workflow system is often the culprit. Allen suggests you need a system put in place to stay on track. He outlines what you need to organize, prioritize, and accomplish your tasks -- without the stress.

The 4-Hour Workweek by Tim Ferriss

Ferris has a step-by-step process that allowed him to work less, earn more, and live life on his terms. He was inspired to do this after working 80 hours a week on his business. Looking to streamline your business? Read this book. It's divided into four sections under the acronym DEAL:

  • Define your objectives
  • Eliminate distractions
  • Ultimate your cash flow
  • Liberate yourself from traditional expectations

Ferris shares his struggles and achievements. He lays it all out on how entrepreneurs can design a business around the lifestyle they desire.

Built to Last by James Collins and Jerry Porras

The subtitle is "Successful Habits of Visionary Companies." Collins and Porras researched 18 successful companies over the course of six years. They uncovered the steps each organization took to transition from a start-up to a large corporation. By mimicking companies, you can achieve success too. The big takeaway: don't reinvent the wheel.

Influence by Dr. Robert Cialdini

Consumers must be persuaded to buy your product or service. How do you do that? You need to know what makes people tick; hence, the book's subtitle, "The Psychology of Persuasion." Cialdini offers sound advice based on his 35 years of research. Inside these pages, you can find solid information that can give you an edge in the marketplace.

That's it, ten of the best small business books. The authors provide the advice, systems and inspiration every small business owner and entrepreneur needs. Reading any one of these books can move you closer to achieving your professional goals.

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