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 books small business owners should read and the lessons you can learn from reading them.
Beyond Your Logo: 7 Brand Ideas That Matter Most for Small Business Success ($19.95)
By Elaine Fogel
We all know (or should) that even if you have the best products or deliver stellar services, your business will not succeed if no one knows about you and what you do. Marketing is key to small business success—and branding plays a big role in whether your marketing will fail or succeed.
In this book, marketing and branding expert and thought leader Elaine Fogel offers seven strategic ideas for building your brand and then provides tons of tactics and resources you can call on to implement those ideas.
Beyond Your Logo is loaded with information for small businesses of all sizes. Fogel even tells solo entrepreneurs to skip the sections that aren’t suited for one-person businesses (but to save this book for future reference). There are takeaways, lists, illustrations and other reader callouts throughout the book, making it an easy must-read for small business owners.
Fogel delivers on her book’s title—she takes entrepreneurs well beyond the logo—and your business will be all the better for reading and acting on Fogel’s advice.
Re:Think: 11 Surprising Things You Should Do Now to Win Retail Customers in the Digital Age ($24.99)
This book is targeted to smaller, independent retailers who, according to the authors, “don’t have time or money to waste trying to adopt the latest broader retail fads.” Instead, they say, they’re offering practical, actionable advice.
And though I could argue that small retailers ignore broader retail trends at their peril, there is a lot of solid, smart and applicable advice in Re:Think. The authors warn retailers not to hide prices on their websites, which is an all too common mistake. No detail is too small to be mentioned here–for instance, there’s a chapter devoted to “The Need for Speed,” referring to website load times. The authors also cover how important having a mobile website is for retailers.
This book is loaded with charts and pictures, making it especially easy to read, comprehend and act upon.
Life Is Great, Even When It Sucks: What Makes People Do the Things They Do ($19.99)
By Ellen Nyland
Even if you do everything else right, conflicts at your business can affect productivity and morale and derail your journey to success. If your office meetings get heated or your employees spend as much time gossiping as working, you need some solutions to get your staff refocused. In this book author Ellen Nyland, a Certified Professional Co-active Coach, presents her unique, five-step approach to resolving workplace issues and conflicts.
Nyland applies her years of research and offers insights to help people get through the tough times and learn to react positively to the stuff life throws at them. As Nyland explains, we all face new challenges daily, but it’s the way we deal with them that matters.
The book is filled with checklists, exercises and other reader aids to help you quickly comprehend the problems in your business and then fix them.
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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.