We’ve been reading, researching, learning, and growing quite a bit lately and we have a few very exciting things in the works. But until then, here are a few of our favorite books for small businesses and why we think you should read (or listen!) to them too.
A quick disclaimer: We listen to our books. These are the links to the Audible audio books.
1. Built to Sell
Built to Sell by John Warrillow made the biggest immediate impact on Artillery Media by its very engaging, almost novel-like, story. Built to Selldiscusses the importance of creating a business that is not only scalable and exceptional, but can live on without you. No spoilers, but this has a lot to do with specializing instead of generalizing. In other words, find what you do best and get rid of what you don’t.
2. The Automatic Customer
The Automatic Customer by John Warrillow is (kind of like) the sequel to Built to Sell. It argues the importance of a cash flow vs. a cash suck — a practice that especially service industries should perk their ears up to. Building a subscription based business allows a stronger and more consistent cash flow that not only can allow stronger, more accurate financial predictions — but gives a peace of mind necessary to focus on the important things.
3. Good to Great
Good to Great by Jim Collins is by no means a hidden gem. This #1 NYT Best-Selling classic has leaped past the 2 million copies mark way before we got to it; but man… does he speak truth. Why do some companies make the leap to sustained greatness while others enjoy periods of greatness or goodness and fall off the map? Who, then what. Disciplined (not motivated) people, disciplined thought, disciplined action. This is an absolute must for any business owner.
4. How to Win Friends and Influence People
Another longtime classic, Dale Carnegie’s long-taught principles have been upgraded to be more specific for us living in our “Information Age”. Call this the secular “Proverbs” for anyone looking to better themselves — be humble, listen, hold your tongue… I’m being blunt here, but absolutely give it a listen. We found this most helpful for our sales team.
5. Guerrilla Marketing
Specifically written for those of us without the benefit (or ball-and-chain) of big money, Jay Conrad Levinson walks through the 16 Musts of Marketing. More specifically, how marketing is an investment — a commitment that takes 6 months at minimum. “Well, I don’t have time for that!”… Yes you do. Check it out.