Here at VARC Solutions, we know that business owners should focus on a couple of things. One of those is of course the needs of the customer; meet those needs and your business should be a success. Other things that owners should have in their sights are profitability, employee relations, and business strategy. Many business owners start out with an idea or a specific skill that they can market, but in reality have little experience running a business. Self-education is important, and studies show that many successful business owners read an average of 1 to 2 books per month. We looked for the most popular and insightful business books that entrepreneurs are reading and put together this list.
The E Myth Revisited by Michael Gerber
This is an older title that is considered a primer every business owner should read. Their focus is on the concept that every business should have a set of policies, procedures, and structures that would essentially allow anyone to run the business. We have noted in these pages before that policies and procedures, especially as they pertain to internal procedures and how employees perform them, are paramount to business success.
How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie
While this title is over 80 years old, it is still a top seller. If your focus is on selling products or services, this book will be invaluable in attaining success in that area. Information about how to meet people and build relationships is found in this book that is just as relevant today as it was when first published.
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey
Over the course of 30 years, this book has sold more than 30 million copies. I read this book years ago and have referred to it often when in need of advice on the basic principles of managing a business. Thinking about being proactive, putting first things first, building business synergies; they are all covered in easy to understand language that will spark you to move your business forward.
The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell
A tipping point is a point in time when a small change tips the balance in a system, and thus produces a large change. For business owners, it is often a slight change in the way that they think about their business that brings big results. Using common-sense, Mr. Gladwell shows how little things often induce large changes in thought and behavior.
Good to Great by Jim Collins
The Hedgehog Concept helps business owners determine what they will find at the intersection of what they are passionate about, what they are good at, and what drives their economic engine. Successful business owners pursue this intersection relentlessly, always striving for future success by building on what has come before. This book can help you find your passion and see how it can push you to economic heights you might not have previously imagined.
Who Moved My Cheese by Spencer Johnson
Every business owner knows that change is coming; they just don’t always know when and from what direction it will come. How they react to change will determine the level of success they will have on the other side. Success can be found when we anticipate, monitor, and adapt to change in a productive manner.
Influence by Robert Cialdini
Business owners, whether they sell their products and/or services to retail customers or other businesses, must convince these buyers that their product or service is the right one for them. The subtitle of this book is “The Psychology of Persuasion” and the essence of the book is a set of strategies that let you understand why people do the things they do. This is a must-read if you want to find success in marketing your business.
Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki
While not strictly speaking a business book, this one offers valuable insight into how business owners should look at money. Every business owner hopes his efforts will lead to profits, but what should they do with those profits? The three tenets outlined in this book will help guide you to answer that question. The tenets are: Save some, Invest some, and Give Away some. You will find that careful planning will help you achieve these three goals and grow your business.
Shoe Dog by Phil Knight
Everyone likes to read a good story about another person’s success and see how the lessons they learned along the way can be applied to their own lives and businesses. Phil Knight is the co-founder of Nike, Inc. and his story that took him from rags to riches is both instructional and inspirational.
The Art of War by Su Tzu
The oldest and shortest book on this list is also not technically a business book, but anyone serious about succeeding in the business world should read it. This book was written by a Chinese military strategist and general about 2500 years ago. While consisting of just 13 short chapters, it is a primer on tactics that can help business owners succeed. Take, for example, the chapter on secrecy; if a direct competitor knows about a future business strategy you are planning, they might get a jump on you and beat you to the punch.
Whether you need assistance with QuickBooks bookkeeping or business process flows via a custom Quick Base app, VARC Solutions has you covered. Contact us today and we can get you set up with one or our consultants to work through pretty much any business issue that arises.