Three Small Biz Books Worth Reading

If you’re looking for a business book to read on a holiday flight (or even one to read to get away from the chaos of family), here are some great ones to look at. Here we give you just a taste of three fantastic business books. It’s your job to read them!

Engagement from Scratch!

Engagement from ScratchEngagement from Scratch! is written by Danny Iny (@DannyIny) of Firepole Marketing. The book is one part marketing, one part blogging and one part social media, all of which adds up to community,  the theme of the book. Or rather, how to create and continue to engage your community through content. The book teaches readers how to build an audience that will rally around you and your cause, be that through your blog or a social channel.

The author, Iny, trains and coaches small business owners on marketing through his Firepole Marketing platform. He also blogs prolifically on sites like LifeHack, Problogger and Freelance Switch.

The book is a collection of essays from top marketing and small business experts (including Small Business Trends‘ CEO, Anita Campbell), who provide actionable tips you can actually use. In his review, blogger Steve Hill found it to be not just another internet marketing book:

“Engagement from Scratch provides ideas about getting started and generating results for readers who recognize the importance of building online communities. Also, most of the writers present their ideas in such a way that comes across as transparent and genuine rather than an attempt to get a few more Twitter followers or generate some leads (although I’m sure none of them would complain if that did happen).”

Managing with a Conscience: How to Improve Performance Through Integrity, Trust and Commitment

Managing With a ConscienceFrank Sonnenberg’s book, Managing with a Conscience, originally published in 1996, got an update with its second edition, released this November. The management book looks at  nine factors critical to success for managers, such as “building an organization with passion that focuses on major priorities, reinvents itself every day, devotes itself to service excellence, adapts well to change, responds with speed, maintains a flexible structure, taps unlimited resources through networking, and puts integrity back where it belongs, right beside the bottom line.”

Sonnenberg (@FSonnenberg) is the author of four books, and often appears on CNN as an expert in marketing. He acted as National Director of Marketing for Ernst & Young’s Management Consulting Group  for ten years.

Reviews of the second edition are as positive as they were for the original version. On Amazon, reader Barbara Kimmel, Executive Director, Trust Across America had this to say:

“Managing With A Conscience should be read by every CEO who wants to build a long-term sustainable business strategy, and placed on the “required reading” list in all MBA programs.”

Become a Franchise Owner

Become a Franchise OwnerFranchise expert Joel Libava just released his book, Become a Franchise Owner. This book is full of the resources you need if you are seriously considering buying a franchise, including a self-evaluation to see if you’re cut out to become a franchise owner. As Libava says, most people aren’t cut out for franchises, so this book is an affordable tool to help you figure out if you should move forward.

Libava (@FranchiseKing), also known as “the Franchise King,” says he was a lousy franchise owner. But through his experience both owning franchises and consulting with franchise owners, he’s learned a great deal about what to consider when looking at a franchise.

Business consultant Jim Kukral recommends the book to anyone considering a franchise as a business investment:

“Bottom line, if you EVER thought about purchasing your own franchise, you must read Joel’s book. Joel will give you tips on how to locate information about franchises, current industry trends, interviews with franchisors, and hot franchise opportunities.”

Have you read any of these books, or do you plan to? Let us know what you like about them!

Susan Payton Susan Payton is the Communications Manager for the Small Business Trends Awards programs. She is the President of Egg Marketing & Communications, an Internet marketing firm specializing in content marketing, social media management and press releases. She is also the Founder of How to Create a Press Release, a free resource for business owners who want to generate their own PR.