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16 Best Business Strategy Books You Should Read

Business strategy is a huge part of running a successful business. If the strategy is not there, the business will inevitably crumble. We reached out to experts to get their recommendations for the books you should read to master business strategy.

#1 The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell

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Although the book is not a step-by-step model of the best business strategy, the book (which is very well-written and interesting to read) points out the factors that cause a business to go to the next level and not forever be stranded as a small startup. I found the advice in this book really helpful when starting Advancing Science Worldwide and would recommend that others read it as well as it helps one understand how to set their business above the rest.

Want to read more reviews of this book or buy it? Check out the links below:

Contributors: Rithvik Musuku Organisation: Advancing Science Worldwide

68 points
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#2 Thoughtfully Ruthless by Val Wright

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Val's book is at the top of the list for innovative and practical ideas you can implement NOW for improvement of personal performance. I have found the application of Thoughtfully Ruthless leadership to be the perfect blend of people and execution focus needed to succeed today. It's not just theory. Val ties together common concepts like time management and resource management with a wealth of fresh thinking and a clear direction for moving from knowledge to action. If you feel like you have the capability but not the capacity to do more, you need this book. Not only am I engaging others with greater purpose, but I've clawed back a ton of time to focus on more strategic goals.

Want to read more reviews of this book or buy it? Check out the links below:

Contributors: Jeff Skipper from Jeff Skipper Consulting

59 points
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#3 How to Be a Cash Flow Pro by Ken “Mr. Biz” Wentworth

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According to a U.S. Bank study, 82% of business failures are due to poor cash flow management or poor understanding of how cash flow contributes to business. At some point during every business's life cycle, cash flow becomes a challenge. How to Be a Cash Flow Pro educates its readers on what cash flow is and how it differentiates from profits. More importantly, it also includes 50+ impactful tips that will help business owners avoid falling victim to the travails of poor cash flow management. Reading this book just might help prevent your company's failure!

Want to read more reviews of this book or buy it? Check out the links below:

Contributors: Chip Gregory from Gregory-Fowler Media

28 points
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  1. This books has helped me a TON with my business! Thank you, Mr. Biz! I can’t wait for your next book…there is another one coming, right? 🙂

#4 They Ask, You Answer by Marcus Sheridan

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This book is a must for any business strategy because it teaches you how to use content marketing to your advantage. How? Simple - answering the most often asked questions of clients or customers before you even speak to them. These are typically answers to problems and costs, and reviews/comparisons on services or products within your industry. The book also explains the importance of the sales and marketing teams working together instead of being in silos and not interacting with each other.

This knowledge alone is worth 100X the price of the book because most businesses keep these departments separate. The sales team is on the proverbial front lines, and knows what problems need to be addressed. When sales works with marketing, the marketing team can create content to address these issues.

Then the sales team can use their companies own content to further back their talks when speaking with prospects. Having prospects read information directly from your company helps build brand awareness, and makes sales easier because a few psychological triggers are pulled, such as the prospect viewing you as a thought leader on the subject, and trusting you because you are already offering a solution to the problem.

Want to read more reviews of this book or buy it? Check out the links below:

Contributors: Ron Lieback from ContentMender

6 points
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#5 Strategy Safari by Henry Mintzberg

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A work of commanding yet accessible scholarship, this book summarises 10 “schools” of strategic management and, in doing so, clarifies a rather messy field. Strategists often disagree with each other in a way that few other disciplines would tolerate; this books makes clear why that happens and – to some extent – how strategic management has evolved the way it has. It is a must-read for anybody interested in the subject.

Want to read more reviews of this book or buy it? Check out the links below:

Contributors: Jas Ahmad from Middlesex University Business School, London, England

5 points
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#6 The Lean Startup by Eric Riles

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Though The Lean Startup talks about product-based startup methods, the same knowledge can be used across service-related businesses. The book explains how to remain lean by working in real time and designing products around customer feedback. The same can be done with service-based businesses.

When I launched my SEO-driven content marketing agency, we spent a year working closely with clients, creating our services around client needs. This saves much energy and money because you don't waste time developing a product or service that may tank before it goes to market. And it also trains you to continually develop/restructure your services around client needs - a must for any business because of the swift changes in technology.

Want to read more reviews of this book or buy it? Check out the links below:

Contributors: Ron Lieback from ContentMender

3 points
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#7 When: The scientific secrets of perfect timing By Daniel H. Pink

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Because every important decision depends on timing. Time isn’t the main thing, it’s the only thing.

Want to read more reviews of this book or buy it? Check out the links below:

Contributors: Arlinda Copani from Copani Advisory Group

3 points
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#8 The 10X Rule by Grant Cardone

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This is an excellent book on business strategy that provides an incredible blueprint on how leaders can rise above to take massive action instead of behaving like everyone else and settling for average results. Thinking about things with a 10X mindset helps you align your priorities in order to focus on the initiatives that will allow you to scale your company as fast as possible.

Want to read more reviews of this book or buy it? Check out the links below:

Contributors: Taylor Toce from Velo IT Group 

1 point
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#9 Competition Demystified by Bruce Greenwald and Judd Kahn

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The book covers a conventional spectrum of topics – such as strategic analysis, market opportunities, economic value – but in a way that lifts the fog that engulfs many books on business strategy. Its “simplified approach” does not mean it is superficial; in fact the authors make very robust points about some common misconceptions; for example, they argue – convincingly, I think – that growth is not always good, that the unbridled pursuit of growth can undermine shareholder value. I think this is an accessible and useful book for both business people and students.

Want to read more reviews of this book or buy it? Check out the links below:

Contributors: Jas Ahmad from Middlesex University Business School, London, England

1 point
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#10 Strategy: A History by Sir Lawrence Freedman

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This is a majestic and authoritative survey of strategy that covers everything from military, political and business strategy to strategic insights in the bible and Milton. It is a comprehensive book – a tome – but it is ultimately rewarding. I am recommending this book because insights into business strategy don’t just have to come from business strategy. In fact, as this book shows, business strategy borrows heavily from other domains of strategy not least military strategy.

Want to read more reviews of this book or buy it? Check out the links below:

Contributors: Jas Ahmad from Middlesex University Business School, London, England

1 point
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#11 The Innovator’s Dilemma by Clayton M. Christensen

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Strictly speaking, this is not a book about strategy; it is a book about innovation and redundancy. But it informs why and how very successful companies eventually fail and in that there are business strategy lessons for all.

Small businesses and startups can reflect on insights that show how they can compete with giants in their industry; executives in large businesses can reflect on how their apparently justifiable decisions will undermine their markets to the point where they are irrelevant to the consumer. Plus, this is a great recommendation for anyone curious about why great companies fall flat on their face - in the end.

Want to read more reviews of this book or buy it? Check out the links below:

Contributors: Jas Ahmad from Middlesex University Business School, London, England

1 point
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#12 Leading the High-Performing Company by Heidi Pozzo

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Leaders in businesses of any size will find practical advice and useful tools to drive high performance. This is a straightforward, easy to read book that challenges readers to take action now.

Want to read more reviews of this book or buy it? Check out the links below:

Contributors: Jeff Skipper from Jeff Skipper Consulting

1 point
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#13 The Competitive Strategy by Michael Porter

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I took his class in business school and this is a classic. It takes you through all the steps with frameworks, rules and tools to be successful. Another classic is Jim Collins¹ Good to Great which shows how any company can transition to become better. These books give you the questions, mindset, inspiration and motivation to create a strategy for your business so that you are in the right frame of mind to think big and set your business apart. There are plenty of templates online to follow to draft a plan but it is the thinking behind it that really matters and these books help you think better and more clearly.

Want to read more reviews of this book or buy it? Check out the links below:

Contributors: Paige Arnof-Fenn from Mavens & Moguls

1 point
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#14 The 4-Hour Workweek by Timothy Ferriss

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My inspiration to start a location independent business with the 80/20 principle and automate as much as possible came from this book.

Want to read more reviews of this book or buy it? Check out the links below:

Contributors: Kean Graham from MonetizeMore

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#15 David & Goliath by Malcolm Gladwell

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Malcolm Gladwell illuminates the counter-intuitive advantage of being the under-dog. Via many impressive stories, it shows how it is very possible to exploit a weakness and turn it into a one-of-a-kind strength in the long term.

Want to read more reviews of this book or buy it? Check out the links below:

Contributors: Kean Graham from MonetizeMore 

1 point
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#16 Good Strategy, Bad Strategy by Richard Rumelt

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I liked a book called Good Strategy, Bad Strategy. It dives into some of the best strategies out there for business owners, and most importantly one's to stay away from. It's written by Strategy Guru Richard Rumelt, who lays out the all-too-common mistakes owners make.

Want to read more reviews of this book or buy it? Check out the links below:

Contributors: Bijan Abdi from Freedom National Insurance

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