Taking the leap into business, whether you are a career professional or an entrepreneur, is a big step. Naturally, you want to be good at what you do, but succeeding in business can be tough. The key to success is to learn as much as you can about how to make a business functional, unique, and exceptional. Fortunately, there is already a wealth of knowledge available from some of the greatest minds in business. Here are 7 books that can help you excel in business. 

The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing by Al Ries and Jack Trout

Marketing is one of the key components of a successful business. All of the top businesses, and many businesses on every level, focus heavily on their marketing strategy and execution. After all, no one is going to buy from you if they never know that you exist. 

If you want your company to increase sales and make a name for itself, then you have to improve the ways that you market. This process begins with understanding the key concepts involved in marketing. If you can understand and master the basics, then you can make better marketing decisions that propel your company forward instead of making stagnant and ineffective noise. 

The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing by Al Ries and Jack Trout covers 22 basics of marketing, without which, you cannot create effective marketing resources. Based on years of experience in marketing, these two distill decades of success down into what they see as the most essential parts of marketing strategy.

What you’ll take away from this book is a more comprehensive understanding of what you need to do or include in your strategy to make your marketing successful. Business professionals at every level can take away important insights into marketing from this book. 

Blue Ocean Strategy by W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne

Perhaps the most prominent and destructive force in business is the concept of competition. Everyone goes in thinking that they have to “beat the competition”. However, that is not always true. 

In fact, Blue Ocean Strategy by W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne argue that taking on the competition is the wrong idea. Instead you should focus on setting your business apart in a way so that there is no competition, letting you reap the rewards of being a standout rather than fighting tooth and nail to pull customers away from other companies.

The concept of the blue ocean comes from the idea that most businesses swim in an ocean full of hungry sharks that devour each other until the ocean runs red. This is especially dangerous for new business, but established businesses can become victims in the red ocean too. 

Rather than following the same path as other businesses, including having the same type of products or services, using the same marketing strategies, and fighting for the same resources, Kim and Mauborgne say that it is better to build a company that is different. If you make it stand out and stand alone without any competition, then the whole blue ocean is your reward.

When you read this book, you will understand why competition can be so crushing for businesses, as well as how to set your company apart in multiple ways so that competition can no longer threaten you. 

Profit First: A Simple System to Transform Any Business from a Cash-Eating Monster to a Money-Making Machine by Mike Michalowicz

In the last several decades, we have all seen large and small businesses fail because of cash flow issues. If you don’t have the money coming in to cover your costs, then staying in business becomes an exercise in expanding debt and scraping by. This is largely because companies don’t manage their money effectively, according to Mike Michalowicz, author of Profit First: A Simple System to Transform Any Business from a Cash-Eating Monster to a Money-Making Machine.

Profit First teaches business owners and managers a different way of looking at how to manage the business’ finances. Instead of the traditional approach of trying to pay costs and then taking the rest as profit, Michalowicz argues that companies should take the profits before doing anything else. Using this method, the business owner always makes a profit and doesn’t have to run the business paycheck to paycheck anymore. 

Naturally, this makes you question how to pay for resources and keep the business going. Profit First talks about how to take the remainder of the business’ income and use it to operate. This forces the business to make tough decisions and to find better ways of delivering the same or better quality with fewer or less expensive resources.

As a business professional, this can be a game-changing concept to master. If your company always makes a profit, then the stress of keeping it running decreases, and you can focus on innovating and growing using the resources that you were able to save up over time. 

The E Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It by Michael E. Gerber

There is a trap in every business where a person or people within the business become so essential to its function that it cannot function without them. For startups and small businesses, this is often the owner or the team that starts the business. For larger, more established businesses, this becomes the CEO or some other high-level executive. 

Regardless, this trap can make a company non-functional if the key person/people are not there. The E Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It by Michael E. Gerber is widely considered one of the leading books about this trap and how to overcome it. 

In the book, Gerber describes the process that all businesses go through as they develop and how it can lead to dependence on specific people. He also talks about how to treat your business like a franchise so that it can function if you are no longer there. 

For business professionals, this is the difference between being able to work on the business, or work in the business. If your business depends on you to function, you become stuck in the same roles and duties every day. There is no time to work on growing or expanding the business. 

More than that, you face the possibility of burnout from stress and overworking since you can never take a break or step back from your duties. This book is essential for helping business professionals set up businesses so that they are independent of the people that work there. It gives you the freedom to work on what is needed to advance rather than simply keeping the business running all of the time. 

How to Win Friends & Influence People by Dale Carnegie

Communicating and making connections with people is at the heart of every business. No successful business is bad at communicating and building relationships. If you want your business to advance, then you need to understand how to work with other people to make that happen. 

How to Win Friends & Influence People by Dale Carnegie is widely regarded as the first and one of the best books on communication in business. It is considered an essential read for any business professional that wants to move up the corporate ladder or to help a business reach new levels of success. 

The book is focused on communication and how you can improve it so that you can connect with people. Many people regard business communications as a largely superficial and insincere practice, but the right skills and insights can help you turn this perception around about your company. More than that, this book helps you understand how to cultivate the right relationships and use them to move your business forward.

The Personal MBA by Josh Kaufman

Going to school to learn about business is both expensive and prohibitive for most people. You can succeed in business without getting an MBA. However, you will succeed a lot easier if you get the same level of education. 

The Personal MBA by Josh Kaufman gives you the chance to learn the core of successful business without ever having to go to school for it. He is renowned for taking complex business concepts, and breaking them down in a way that anyone can learn. 

This book is essential if you are trying to run a business. It covers everything that you need to know about:

  • What businesses are
  • How they should function
  • How to turn your business into a thriving one

Get Help With Your Business

There is one thing that all of these books have in common: they emphasize getting help to make your business more successful. You can outsource the operations that can be done by others so that you can focus on the things that you need to do. Answer Aide can help you with your answering services. You can spend less time on the phone and more time growing your business.

If you’re ready to get started with a professional answering service, we’re here to help. Contact Answer Aide by calling (866) 427-3500 or by filling out our online form. We’re happy to partner with you to support your business while it grows.