With the 2013 Small Business Book Awards underway, I could not help but reminisce about my favorite small business books. I thought about the ones that made an impact on my way of thinking moving forward. I felt these books also impacted how small businesses can make a difference in their operations as well as in their community.
Without further adieu, I present my favorite small business books from 2012. I hope these inspire your thoughts for nominating your favorite small business books  in this year’s awards.
No You Can’t Pick My Brain  by Adrienne Graham
This book should be every consultant’s first book to read before going into business. It gives the best reminders of why you are in business – to make money.
Her quote, “There are no amount of pleasantries, well meaning deeds, gestures or sandwiches that will pay your bills” remains etched in my mind as a favorite.
Yet the writing goes beyond quips to valid arguments and solid analysis – a lesson for authors who think they can write any old article and attract a solid audience.
Data Driven Marketing  by Mark Jeffery
This textbook-in-disguise gets it right when it comes to envisioning metrics worth exploring.
Its value is in transforming surveyed responses into the top marketing metrics that can influence operations and ultimately make analytics everyone’s business.
You will want to keep data driven marketing at your side. It is a solid book that sets a marketing context against other operations in your business. Business owners who like to learn will be in for a treat.
Our Black Year  by Maggie Anderson with Ted Gregory
I loved that the authors personalize the challenges facing black communities.
The concerns of racism and economic struggle have changed over time into critical questions on class and where meaningful dollars are being spent.
The text speaks sharply to the post civil-rights African American middle class. The resources offered are really good and the book will fascinate people who have an interest in community development.
Small Town Rules  by Becky McCray and Barry Moltz
Both authors Becky McCray and Barry Moltz have had plenty of success on their own, but this book should be considered a masterwork from them both.
Big and small companies are returning to the values of small towns and the 7 small town rules that they outline come from their real world experiences with large corporations and small business.
It’s an excellent blended overview of the impact of technology as well as the impact on community as Our Black Year also outlines.
The Start Up of You  co-authored by LinkedIn Co-founder/Chairman, Reid Hoffman, and Entrepreneur Ben Casnocha
I liked how Reid Hoffman balanced the importance of team and individualism in his view on networking and the book offers actionable concepts to go along with the philosophical notions.
It is this kind of thinking that I easily imagine as an influence to LinkedIn’s success.
Before you develop that earth-shattering app, read this book to gain a sense of proper value your startup should be bringing to the world.
What are some of your favorite small business books from 2012? Feel free to share them here in the comments. Or even better, consider nominating them for the 2013 Small Business Book Awards:
(1) There is no nomination fee. That’s right, it costs nothing to nominate a book – zero.
(2) How can Small Business Trends afford to run awards without fees, you ask? It’s thanks to the generous support of Namecheap , an ICANN-accredited domain registrar. Presenting this year’s awards is yet one more way that Namecheap is supporting the small business community. So if you want to thank anyone for this awesome opportunity to discover new books and share your favorites, be sure to thank Namecheap.
(3) Can I nominate my own book or book app? (Remember, there’s a “resources” category this year, too.) Yes, anyone can nominate a book – it doesn’t matter who submits the nomination. The idea behind community awards is that the entire community receives an opportunity to participate.