Skip to main content

3 Books Small Business Owners Should Read

Rieva Lesonsky

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 small business owners should read and the lessons you can learn from reading them.

Tips from the Top: 100+ Award-Winning Columns Proven to Solve Complex Business Puzzles ($19.95)

By Michael Feuer and Dustin S. Klein

Michael Feuer is the cofounder and former CEO (for 16 years) of Office Max, and the author of the award-winning syndicated business column Tips from the Top.

This book is a compilation of the best of those columns. There’s a lot of good information here covering a lot of business turf. Feuer addresses managing people, communication, overcoming challenges, building value, innovation, competition, leadership, customer service, evaluating opportunities and negotiating.

I particularly like the column on overcoming analysis paralysis, in which Feuer urges business leaders to manage with your head, heart and gut. Reading this book is like having a seasoned business expert on call.

Fire Up Your Startup & Keep It Up: Lessons from Twelve Business and Entrepreneur Experts ($18.95)

By W. Gary Sitton, PhD

Although he’s an entrepreneur and college professor, W. Gary Sitton realizes “no one person can be an expert on every facet of the entrepreneurial world.” So Sitton created a lecture series at Chico State University, California, where he is a professor emeritus, bringing in 12 entrepreneurial experts to talk to his students. Those lectures form the core of this book, addressing the traditional small business topics, such as marketing, sales and the duties of the CFO, as well as adding more contemporary topics such as social media, outsourcing, running a virtual company and more.

The book is filled with lists and lessons that you can immediately grasp and put into action.

Your Self-Sabotage Survival Guide: How to Go From Why Me? to Why Not? ($15.99)

By Karen Berg

So many of us throw obstacles in our own paths, argues Karen Beck, an award-winning author, speaker, business leader and life coach. If you feel like everyone around you is moving ahead while you’re stuck in a rut, this is the book for you. Berg gives you a “tough-love” program that helps you identify the elements of self-sabotage and show you how you can break its destructive cycle. The book also includes a step-by-step roadmap to developing a charismatic attitude.

Even if you’re not feeling “stuck,” this book is so full of information, inspirational insights and lessons from others, great advice, checklists, worksheets and quizzes, it’s worth a read.

Want more assistance growing your business online? Join the Small Business Forum for free access to our library of ebooks, the latest industry news and support from other business owners, entrepreneurs and working professionals. Join a Group to ask questions, share your opinions and grow your network! Visit to learn about our full range of affordable website design and online marketing services.

Author information

Rieva Lesonsky

Rieva Lesonsky is CEO of GrowBiz Media, a media and custom content company focusing on small business and entrepreneurship. Email Rieva at, follow her on Google+ and, and visit her website,, to get the scoop on business trends and sign up for Rieva’s free TrendCast reports.