Best Business Books 2008 – Readers’ Choice

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Editor’s Note:  This inauspicious exercise below was the genesis for our Small Business Book Awards.  Since the very beginning of this site, we’ve written about business books (at last count we’ve reviewed over 800 books).  One day on Twitter back in 2008 I decided to ask people for their suggestions of the best business books.  We have preserved this post as part of our company history — and because the following contains a selection of excellent books.  All are still in print or Kindle versions. Where there are updated editions, we’ve replaced the images and links with more current information as of January 2019.

2008 Readers’ Choice Business Books

Here at Small Business Trends we just love business books.  They are a low cost way to sharpen your skills and widen your horizons. In a small business they are especially valuable, because you may not have the time or budget to travel to business conferences.

I thought it would be fun to ask for input into the top business books for 2008. So I polled people on the social media site Twitter, and chose 10 responses. While not all books were new to 2008, they certainly look to be valuable.

Without further delay, here are the Small Business Trends Readers’ Choice Nominees for 10 Best Business Books, 2008 edition:

Eat That Frog Eat That Frog by Brian Tracy.

We love this book on how to stop procrastinating. Procrastination is a mental block.  For many reasons we put something off, and it causes stress in the process. After a while the guilt weighs on us. It gets harder and harder to start that project that’s always in the back of your mind. This book can help.

Nominated by Marianne Mullen (@polkadotpatch), proprietor of Poldadot Patch Boutique. A “must read for any small biz owner who has a never ending to do list.”

Web Analytics an Hour a Day

Web Analytics, An Hour A Day by Avinash Kaushik.

Most people install an analytics program, such as Google Analytics, and then never use it well.  Why? We don’t know what to do with the data. This is a fantastic book by someone who has become an expert in using — really using – analytics tools.

There’s an updated book called Web Analytics 2.0 that might be a better bet now.  Read our review of Web Analytics 2.0.

Nominated by John Joyce (@johnmjoyce) of

Hot Flat and Crowded Hot, Flat, and Crowded: Why We Need a Green Revolution–and How It Can Renew by Thomas Friedman.

Are you concerned about our environment?  Do you want to know more about sustainability?  This is a good starting point that will, frankly, scare you a bit.

And it might also inspire you in personal life and also in your business life, to focus on sustainability.

Nominated by Jesse Schumacher (@jschumac) who says “renewable environmental technologies are the new big economic opps.”

Execution Revolution by Gary HarpstSix Disciplines Execution Revolution: Solving the One Business Problem That Makes Solving All Other Problems Easier by Gary Harpst.

This book is about real world business.  Not trendy tech startups in Silicon Valley.

It’s about starting and growing a business to be profitable — and doing it anywhere.  And solving problems by executing with discipline.

Nominated by Skip Reardon (@sreardon) of Be Excellent. Read my review of Execution Revolution here.

No BS Marketing to the Affluent No B.S. Marketing to the Affluent: The No Holds Barred, Kick Butt, Take No Prisoners Guide to Getting Really Rich by Dan S. Kennedy.

Dan Kennedy is a marketer extraordinaire.  Indeed he is a marketing guru of gigantic fame in marketing circles.

This is one of Kennedy’s “No BS” series of books.  He has a “No BS Guide to Direct Marketing.”  There’s a “No BS Guide to Maximum Referrals.”  And several more.

Nominated by Tim Johnson (@Tim_Johnson).


The Breakthrough Imperative The Breakthrough Imperative: How the Best Managers Get Outstanding Results by Mark Gottfredson and Steve Schaubert.  This is a management book.  And who couldn’t benefit from becoming a better manager?

And what small business couldn’t benefit from have a management team that gets sterling results?

The authors break it down into four simple rules that separate the great managers who get results — from the rest.

Nominated by Todd Sattersten (@toddsattersten).


Plan as You Go Business Plan by Tim Berry

The Plan-As-You-Go Business Plan is by Tim Berry, fondly referred to as the father of the modern business plan.

Nominated by Chelle Parmele who writes for Palo Alto Software’s BPlans site  (@cparmele).  She says, “I’m rather fond of [it] … but I might be a little biased. 😉 ”

Yep, I’m rather fond of it too, Chelle.

Read more about The Plan as You Go Business Plan here.


Back of the Napkin

The Back of the Napkin: Solving Problems and Selling Ideas with Pictures by Dan Roam.

This book poses simple methods – back of the napkin simple — for solving problems in business.

Nominated by Chad Gardner of PaySimple (@chadgardner).

Chad says, “I loved it …. We had some fun with our company vision and eventually made a post about it.”


Street Smarts by Bo Burlingame

Street Smarts: An All-Purpose Tool Kit for Entrepreneurs by Norm Brodsky and Bo Burlingham.

The authors also have written column in Inc magazine for years, called Street Smarts.

Originally this book in hardcover was titled “The Knack.”

The updated version shown for Kindle is called “Street Smarts”.

Nominated by Brian Moran of Small Business Edge (@BrianMoran) who says “a must read!”


Marketing OutrageouslyMarketing Outrageously Redux: How to Increase Your Revenue by Staggering Amounts, by Jon Spolestra.

This is the updated Kindle version of the original print book.  It is written a renowned marketer who has been called “the best marketer in the world” by leadership guru Tom Peters.

This book is perfect for those without big budgets who aren’t afraid to push the envelope.

Nominated by Jim Kukral (@jimkukral), who says, “every small business owner needs to read it.”


Marketing Strategies for the Home Based Business

And for one bonus choice, my top business book pick for 2008 with a Twitter connection would be:

Marketing Strategies for the Home Based Business by Shirley George Frazier.

The reason I chose this book is that Shirley Frazier is active on Twitter (@ShirleyFrazier) and no doubt was too modest to nominate it herself.

If you run a home-based business (or any microbusiness with 5 or fewer employees), this is a practical on-point marketing book.

Okay, now your turn. Which books would you suggest for the Readers Choice list?

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Anita Campbell Anita Campbell is the Founder, CEO and Publisher of Small Business Trends and has been following trends in small businesses since 2003. She is the owner of BizSugar, a social media site for small businesses.