Owning a small business means your work doesn’t stop at 5 p.m. That's why it’s important to stay sharp. Below we’ve listed some of the best books for small business owners. These titles cover everything from management to entrepreneurship. If you’re looking to up your business acumen, check out the following titles:
How to Win Friends & Influence People by Dale Carnegie
This 1937 book is a classic for business owners the world over, and with good reason. Carnegie’s understanding of human nature is what makes this book a perennial favorite. His theory was that financial success is 15 percent professional knowledge and 85 percent “the ability to express ideas, to assume leadership and to arouse enthusiasm among people.”
Hustle: the Power to Change Your Life with Money, Meaning and Momentum by Neil Patel, Patrick Vlaskovits and Jonas Koffler
In a rut? Hustle is all about learning how to achieve success on your own terms. It’s an inspirational guide that also teaches you how to work and live in a way that can help you learn to thrive in today’s world. An excellent choice for those who believe we create our own luck!
Shoe Dog by Phil Knight
Shoe Dog takes you into the mind of Nike’s creator. Remember, even Nike was once a hopeful startup. This book is an inspirational read about grit, branding and the power of a bold vision.
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey
This title turns up on must-read lists for a reason. An instant bestseller upon its debut in 1990, 7 Habits teaches readers how to perform better both professionally and personally. Note that the seven habits the book is named for aren’t skimmable; this is a tome you’ll want to study! But the advice it gives makes the effort worth your while.
The 24-Hour Customer by Adrian C. Ott
In a world where time is at a premium, how do you capture the attention of your customers? This book offers some ideas for how to carve out your own space in a digital, instant-gratification world. Featuring case studies from a variety of well-known companies like Amazon and Johnson & Johnson, this book will make you look at your business and customers in a whole new light.
Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion and Purpose by Tony Hsieh
Hsieh, Zappos CEO, is a big believer in the importance of the relationship between employer and employee. Readers will enjoy descriptions of his unorthodox — but surprisingly effective — leadership style. If you’re interested in company culture and how it impacts your bottom line, give Delivering Happiness a read.
Who Moved My Cheese? by Spencer Johnson
Hate change? You’re not alone. Johnson uses parable to draw parallels between a tale of two mice, and how we perceive the world around us. The lessons drawn from this book can help you whether you’re a small business owner or the member of any organization where people fear and distrust change.
Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead by Sheryl Sandberg
The popularity of this book has made “leaning in” a common catchphrase among women in the workplace. In it, Sandberg emphasizes the importance of seeking challenges and taking risks. Men and women alike can find useful advice on negotiating techniques, mentorship and pursuing career goals.
The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference by Malcolm Gladwell
How does a product find staying power in a viral world? This fascinating book examines the psychology behind the “tipping point” — where an idea or trend crosses the threshold and spreads uncontrollably. The idea of a “tipping point” provides an interesting perspective for the small business owner looking to understand the psychology behind selling products or promoting ideas.
The Essays of Warren Buffet by Warren Buffet and Lawrence A. Cunningham
Billionaire Warren Buffet is known for his understanding of finance and quote-worthy phrases, and you’ll find both in this series of essays. While you won’t find much commentary on the stock he owns (Buffet is notoriously close-lipped about this), you will learn a lot of interesting information on the philosophies behind his investments.
Protecting Your World
You know how to run your business — now let us help protect it! Farm Bureau offers a range of coverage that can be tailored to suit your business needs, big or small. Want to learn more? Contact your local Farm Bureau agent today.