Skip to main content

3 Books Small Business Owners Should Read

Rieva Lesonsky
books small business owners should read

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.

The Leadership Playbook: Creating a Coaching Culture to Build Winning Business Terms ($27)

By Nathan Jamail

It’s becoming fairly common to compare running a small business to running a major league sports franchise. And certainly there are many analogous components. But author Nathan Jamail, a leading business consultant, goes one step further and encourages business leaders to actually think—and act—more like a coach and less like a manager. If that sounds confusing, Jamail lays out the five crucial differences between managing and coaching.

There’s a lot to like in this book. Filled with case studies, clear directions and playbook illustrations, The Leadership Playbook will drive home the importance of resolving issues proactively instead of reactively, and how to focus on the human principles of leadership that keep employee moral high.

The Meat & Potatoes Guide to Business Survival: A Handbook for Non-MBAs & College Dropouts ($14.99)

By Ed Basler

This is a book for both startup entrepreneurs and those looking to jumpstart their existing businesses. Ed Basler, a motivational speaker, coach and long-time entrepreneur, shares his no-nonsense advice and insights.

A fast read, The Meat & Potatoes Guide to Business Survival is direct and to the point. Basler shares his eight rules for hiring, 12 rules for negotiating and explains why your success is all about having a vision. The appendix of the book is full of short checklists. Basler even gives you the 20 questions you should ask when interviewing employees.

Never Be Closing: How to Sell Better Without Screwing Your Clients, Your Colleagues or Yourself ($27.95)

By Tim Hurson and Tim Dunne

In this book authors Tim Hurson and Tim Dunne tackle what they call the “Productive Selling” approach. Productive selling, they say, isn’t about trying “to wrestle money out of a client’s pocket.” Instead it’s simply about identifying and solving problems.

This concept is back-to-basics selling, and it makes even more sense in this increasingly digital world. The authors argue that selling is about relationships. If your clients perceive you as a stranger, then you’re going to be spending a lot of time proving that you’re worthy of trust.

Buying and selling, say the authors, is part of human nature. After reading this book, the process should be much more natural to you.

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.