Whether you’ve been a small business owner for decades or you’re just starting out, taking the time for professional development is essential, if you want to grow both personally and financially.
And let’s face it: if you own a business, you should always be researching ways to grow and improve. Your brain is a muscle that needs to be flexed, and what better way to flex it than by learning from some of the most successful entrepreneurs and business writers out there?
Here are eight fantastic books that will teach you concepts that could change the way you run your business.
Who Moved My Cheese? – Spencer Johnson
This book is a classic, and short enough that you’ll be able to finish it in just a few days. The story is a parable whose message is important for any business owner: change is inevitable. How you choose to handle change will determine your future, the future of your business, and more.
The Tipping Point – Malcolm Gladwell
Gladwell is the master of pop psychology and sociology, bringing the science of how people think and how trends develop to the masses. This book is great for anyone looking for an easy read to learn more about how information, products, and behaviours spread among a population.
The 4-Hour Workweek – Tim Ferriss
If you haven’t yet heard of Ferriss, prepare to be amazing at the sheer scope of his ability to reframe concepts in a way that makes them more accessible to the masses. In this book, you’re not actually learning how to reduce your workweek to just four hours, but you are learning how to maximise productivity so you can spend more time on what matters most to you.
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People – Stephen Covey
Another classic book in the personal development realm, there’s no question that people from every walk of life can benefit from reading and putting into practice each of the seven habits. Insights on leadership, cooperation, and communication will all be incredibly useful for small business owners, in particular.
Lean In – Sheryl Sandberg
While the field of entrepreneurship is certainly dominated by men, Sandberg has spearheaded a movement amongst women in business to change that. This book is essential for any woman in business for herself, but it’s also incredibly useful for men who want to be allies to women who are trying to move up in the business world.
How to Win Friends and Influence People – Dale Carnegie
It’s hard to believe an 80 year old book is still a best-seller in the business world, but the concepts that Carnegie teaches are timeless. This book is useful whether you’re a selling a product or a service, because it changes your focus from what you’re selling, to who you’re selling to.
The Lean Startup – Eric Ries
Whether your business is being run out of your garage or in a moderately-sized office, Ries’ book can help you leverage what you have right now to create a successful company in today’s competitive and ever-changing market.
Raving Fans – Ken Blanchard & Sheldon Knowles
Another book that is written in parable style, but filled with tips you can immediately implement in your business. Having customers who are satisfied with your product or service just means that another business that does the same thing better could lure your customers away. What you want to create are dedicated customers or, as the book’s title says, “raving fans” of your business.