There is so much small business owners need to know to operate at peak performance. Luckily we live in the Information Age with plentiful resources. To help you sift through some of the data, every week we’re going to look at three business books and the lessons you can learn from reading them.
Just Listen: Discover the Secret of Getting Through to Absolutely Anyone ($17.95)
If you find it difficult to connect with other people, whether it’s employees, clients or even your family, this book is for you. Author Mark Goulston, a business consultant, communications coach and psychiatrist, says, “Reaching people isn’t magic. It’s an art...and a science.”
If your instinct (like most people) when trying to reach other people is to push, you’re actually creating resistance, says Goulston. Instead, he writes, you need to “listen, ask, mirror and reflect back on what you’ve heard.” That’s when people will feel “seen and understood.”
There’s a lot of value here. Goulston teaches you about the “persuasion cycle” and how to avoid the toxic people in your life. Perhaps most important, he tells you how to get through to yourself.
The Financially Savvy Entrepreneur: Navigate the Money Maze of Running a Business ($15.99)
Starting and running a business requires business owners to be knowledgeable about a lot of things—not jut their area of expertise. And it’s a given that most of us don’t know as much about the financial side of running a business as we should. This book will help fill in those gaps.
Author Emily Chase Smith is an entrepreneur and bankruptcy lawyer, and she offers you a step-by-step plan to help you determine the current financial health of your business, set up and maintain your books, keep more of your money and project your cash flow.
While you never have to know as much as a CPA (tip: hire a good accountant), smart business owners know their numbers. This book helps you do just that.
Customer Analytics for Dummies ($29.99)
By Jeff Sauro
The key to connecting with customers, to knowing what they want, to getting them to do business with you again and again is using analytics. Everyone is buzzing about “big data” these days, which essentially means learning about your customers’ behaviors based on the data you have about them.
Of course, collecting data is only part of the answer—you also need to analyze what you know and then put it to use. Customer Analytics for Dummies shows you the easy way to segment your customers, measure and test your data, and learn from the experiences of top companies.
Like all the books in the Dummies series, Customer Analytics is filled with charts, tables and checklists, making learning easy and accessible.
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Rieva Lesonsky is CEO of GrowBiz Media, a media and custom content company focusing on small business and entrepreneurship. Email Rieva at firstname.lastname@example.org, follow her on Google+ and Twitter.com/Rieva, and visit her website, SmallBizDaily.com, to get the scoop on business trends and sign up for Rieva’s free TrendCast reports.