7 Books That Any Small Business Owner Should Read

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How do you overcome the hurdles of making your company succeed? How do you draw consumer attention with your brand? When we want a little inspiration, we like to turn to the experts—successful business owners, authors, and consultants—for invaluable tips on how to boost productivity, market our products, and build a sustainable business in the long term.

Here at Tailor Brands, we’ve compiled a list of our favorite books that offer deep insights and actionable advice for small business owners. These books have certainly helped us succeed in growing our business, and we think they’ll help you, too.

1. Buyology: Truth and Lies About Why We Buy, by Martin Lindstrom

Why do consumers buy the things they do? In Buyology, business expert Martin Lindstrom presents his findings from a three-year, multimillion dollar neuromarketing study in which he tested the human brain’s responses to ads.

He examines what attracts us to brands in the first place, grappling with questions like the relationship between marketing and sensory response. This is a useful guide to help you figure out how to shape your small business into a brand that captures consumer attention.

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

Some companies start out mediocre, or even on a bad foot—but they achieve enduring greatness anyway. In Good to Great, Jim Collins examines why some companies are able to leap from mediocrity to lasting greatness, while other companies never do.

What, in other words, are the determinants of greatness in the business world? Collins’ book serves as a helpful resource for those looking to propel their company forward in their industry.

3. The E-Myth Revisited, by Michael Gerber

As Michael Gerber points out, most small businesses eventually fail. The E-Myth Revisited looks to dispel the myths surrounding business, pointing out common mistakes and offering practical advice on how to avoid them.

The book is a guiding light throughout each phase of a business, from entrepreneurial infancy to maturity and growth. We like that it provides concrete steps for starting your business and for carrying it forward in a long-term, sustainable way.

4. Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion, by Robert B. Cialdini

What makes people say “yes”? Cialdini’s Influence is a modern classic that digs deep into the psychology of what moves people to change their opinions and actions. His 6 universal principles of persuasion teach readers how to influence consumer behavior.

While the book applies to any walk of life, it’s a great resource for small business owners looking to boost their brands and make them more attractive to customers.

5. The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich, by Timothy Ferriss

How do you own a business without overworking yourself? How do you make your business compatible with the lifestyle you desire? The 4-Hour Workweek has the answer to these questions.

Author and entrepreneur Timothy Ferriss explains his personal struggles and achievements in streamlining his own business. His book is a useful guide for enhancing productivity, improving your business, and focusing on what really matters.

6. Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity, by David Allen

Getting Things Done, written by business coach and management consultant David Allen, is another lesson in increasing both your happiness and your productivity.

He points out the unintuitive: That our productivity and ability to relax go hand-in-hand. If you’re feeling stuck or overwhelmed as a business manager, pick up Allen’s book for advice that’s both uplifting and practical.

7. Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products, by Nir Eyal

Why do some products hook us while others don’t? Eyal’s Hooked outlines the four-step process that gets embedded into products and encourages customer behavior.

Spoiler alert: You don’t need costly advertising to bring in customers again and again. Hooked is great because it’s more than theoretical; it’s an actionable approach for building better products and creating a brand that sticks.

Over to You

If you want to boost your business, add these 7 books to your reading list. You’ll find all types of advice for growing your small business—how to streamline your workflow and boost productivity, how to build a brand shaped by consumer appeal, and how to establish yourself as a long-term industry player.

Are you thinking what I’m thinking? It’s time to hit the bookstore!

About the author

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Gordon Meagher is the head of Organic Marketing at Tailor Brands. When not thinking about new ways to drive organic growth, Gordon likes to kick-back with a glass of Jack Daniels and listen to some laid back sounds.

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