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27 Books To Read When Growing A Business

It takes a lot of sacrifices to keep a business from sinking.

Starting a business is hard, managing it and making sure it doesn’t go bankrupt is even harder, but growing it into a multi-million (or even billion) dollar enterprise is probably the hardest. It will take a lot of dedication, commitment, and sacrifice to ensure your business doesn’t sink. Don’t worry; we’ve listed 27 of the best books on growing business for you to read and reference as a guide and instruction you along your business journey.

#1 Unlock The Corporate Mindset by Monika Black

Recommended as it provides great context and activities for the reader to stop measuring themselves and their business against what it calls the linear illusion of success. With practical actionable tools and healthy dose of reality and humor, this book can really assist in helping someone think differently and get unstuck.

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Contributor: Tomer Yogev from TandemSpring

#2 Grow! Inbound Marketing System by Donnie R Shelton

This book offers a step-by-step plan that takes small business owners through what it takes to get the customers they want, when they want them, at a fraction of the price of traditional advertising. It's simple to understand, sharing a system that has been tested and proven by hundreds of service companies. Even though it was written specifically with small business owners in the home services industries in mind (lawn care, pest control, HVAC & plumbing), the tips are useful and actionable for any local service company looking to grow their business with online marketing.

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Contributor: Laura Simis from Coalmarch

#3 The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell

Although this book is not speaking directly about business plans or strategies, it still provides valuable insight when starting a business. This book explores the psychological and social factors that separate a very successful business from the ones that aren’t so successful. By reading this book, one can gain valuable advice on how to make sure one’s business reaches a tipping point and grows exponentially.

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Contributor: Rithvik Musuku from Advancing Science Worldwide

#4 The Power of Myth by Joseph Campbell

This book talks about how to create a story such that it appeals to the public. The advice Campbell gives can be used by almost all businesses. Whether your business is a nonprofit organization looking to raise more donations, software company looking to obtain more users, a car dealership looking to sell more cars, or any other type of business, the advice in this book will be useful as you look to appeal to the public in order to grow your business.

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Contributor: Rithvik Musuku from Advancing Science Worldwide

#5 The ONE Thing by Gary Keller

The premise of the book is simple, but it is very powerful. The book makes the reader ask themselves what is the one thing that you can do in your business that will make everything else easier or unnecessary. Once you discover what that one thing is, you should focus most/all of your energy into executing that one thing. If/when you complete that, you ask yourself the question again and then move on to that task. In today’s society where everyone is trying to multitask, this book is a powerful reminder to focus on what is most important!

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Contributor: Cornelius Charles from Dream Home Property Solutions

#6 Lost and Founder by Rand Fishkin

Lost and Founder is honest, real, and truly helpful. Rand Fishkin breaks down his experience with growing his tech company from dealing with hands on contracting to subscription based services. I recommend this book for any startup companies in the tech industry looking to scale their business.

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Contributor: Kris Gabrielle from SIMBA Program

#7 Traction by Gabriel Weinberg

This is an essential book for new business discovering different sales and marketing channels. Just as a company needs to find product market fit, founders and companies need to find sales model fit. It’s fairly high level briefly discussing ways to try and evaluate each channel. I highly recommend this book for anyone starting a business.

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Contributor: Tarek Alaruri from Fairmarkit

#8 The Ultimate Sales Machine by Chet Holmes

While it was written more than a decade ago, the principles he teaches are timeless (and priceless!) for business organization, focus, sales, and marketing. Holmes consulted Fortune 500 companies and was a legendary business coach before his untimely passing. The Ultimate Sales Machine has helped me prioritize critical tasks first and map out a strategic vision for explosive growth in my own SEO agency.

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Contributor: Avrumi Weinberger from Precision Brands

#9 How To Get To The Top Of Google by Tim Cameron-Kitchen

Probably the best non fiction book I have read. A witty, succinct but entirely actionable and easy to understand book on the multi-facetted world of SEO. Imperative for anyone starting a business - whether you are online or not. If you aren't online, you're not marketing well.

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Contributor: Rebecca Udall from Rebecca Udall Limited 

#10 Legacy of Ashes by Tim Weiner

A history of the CIA seems like an unlikely candidate for a business book, but Tim Weiner's text shines. Startups face challenges more in common with the intelligence world than than they realize: eccentric founders, hype cycles in fundraising, scope creep, and the fallout of failing to honor the public's trust. The stakes are much higher– and failures much more dire– in international affairs, but the lessons persist. Tim Weiner's credibility as a national security is unimpeachable and his insistence on using only publicly available records strengthens the text. For founders seeking new perspectives on their problems, A Legacy of Ashes is a must read.

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Contributor: Jordan Birnholtz from PawnGuru

#11 The Parallel Entrepreneur by Ryan Buckley

This book explains how to start and grow a B2B software business while working part-time. Buckley has experience doing this multiple times, launching and growing successful businesses that offer premium tools to other businesses, and explains how the reader can do it too. He offers explanations of why it's essential to offer business tools in particular and how to scale your businesses to the point of being able to quit your full-time job.

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Contributor: Nicolas Straut from Fundera

#12 Good to Great by Jim Collins

This book by James C. Collins discusses why some companies succeed and how other companies can change their ways to achieve greatness. It covers research done on some major players in the business world, analyzing what made some companies super successful while others struggled. Factors such as the importance of leadership are discussed, as well as the problems that arise from restructuring a company.

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Contributor: Nate Masterson from Maple Holistics

#16 The Freaks Shall Inherit the Earth by Chris Brogan

Recommended as it is a powerful book that helps individuals to understand that their uniqueness is exactly what allows them to separate from the competition.  Forces different thinking by embracing your individual unique qualities, foibles, etc.

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Contributor: Tomer Yogev from TandemSpring

#17 The Art of Non-Conformity by Chris Guillebeau

Recommended as it is a very approachable and digestible guide to learn how to lead without buying into the false truths we've all been inundated with about how to live and lead.  Challenges the reader to creatively explore and approach life as an adventure. Please let me know if I can be of further value in any way.

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Contributor: Tomer Yogev from TandemSpring

#18 Built to Sell by John Warrillow

This book is all about creating a business, setting up systems and people with the idea that someday you might sell it. The advice here is relevant even if you love your business and can’t imagine selling it. Realtors and passionate entrepreneurs don’t often think, “What’s my endgame? What’s my exit strategy?” But if you think along these lines, it will make your business processes more scaleable and will allow your company’s operations to thrive without you. 

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Contributor: Dan Lesniak from Hyperfast Agent

#20 The Progress Journal by Nick Loper

The book is a quick read/workbook that forces you to contemplate the most important goals you should achieve to make your business better/more profitable. You write down your goals for the day, week, month and chart your progress. It gives you a simple way to track whether you're falling short -- or if your goals are simply too lofty to achieve in the time frame you've set. That allows you to break them into smaller pieces so you can make progress. It also helps you focus on the factors you can control vs the market forces that you can't.

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Contributor: Kathy Kristof from SideHusl

#21 Scaling Up by Verne Harnish

I highly recommend the book Scaling Up by Verne Harnish. It's a guidebook and blueprint on how to successfully grow a business. Harnish builds on his previous Rockefeller Habits to create a detailed method business owners can follow to improve almost every aspect of their business. It's the godfather of business books.

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Contributor: Matt Baglia from SlickText

#22 The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing by Al Ries

Two world-renowned marketing consultants get together with all their knowledge and create a book to bring you all the “laws of marketing”. This book brings you twenty-two innovative laws that are critical to the success of any marketing campaign. Laws like: the law of leadership, the law of the category, and the law of the mind have stood the test of time and are a must know for anyone wanting to discover a clear path for success. Most successful marketers are acting within these laws - even if they don’t know it.

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Contributor: Mark Benjamin from Lasting Trend

#23 Explosive Growth by Cliff Lerner

This book is about Cliff Lerner and his journey on taking his dating app AYI (now called MetLife) from zero to a million dollar company. This is a step by step, no fluff playbook with lively storytelling, multiple growth tactics, numerous case studies, and practical lessons all packed between 316 easy to digest pages. Within this book, you will learn how to create a great product, identify only the important metrics to look at, utilize innovative growth strategies, media hacks, and create a culture of passionate employees.

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Contributor: Alex Altuhov from HandyKith

#24 Growth Hacker Marketing by Ryan Holiday

Growth hacking is an umbrella term used to describe strategies that only focus on bringing your business exponential growth. A growth hacker is one who uses creative, low-cost strategies to help a company gain a lot of customers. While the term “growth hacker” is usually used to describe “growth” marketers who focus on acquiring and retaining customers, anyone can be a growth hacker - this is what this book teaches you. This book will teach you how to acquire customers without the need for expensive avenues like billboards and TV commercial.

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Contributor: Igor Gramyko from High Water Standard

#25 The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg

This book by Charles Duhigg aims to tackle the topic of our behaviors and what motivates them in business and in life in general. Duhigg explains how habits can be changed for the better, giving examples of how different businesses have used this to their advantage. The book explores the struggle that some people have with change as well as the ease with which others can change their ways, and understanding this is one of the keys to having a healthy and flourishing business. 

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Contributor: Nate Masterson from Maple Holistics

#26 SEO for Growth by John Jantsch, Phil Singleton

For any business new to the world of SEO, this is one of the very best books out there on how to start. They’ve designed it specifically for business owners who realize they have outstanding products, but just don’t know how to reach out to their targeted demographics. Jantsch and Singleton manage to give direction on where those buyers are and how a business can directly engage with them using SEO techniques.

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Contributor: Mike Khorev from Nine Peaks Media

#27 Tribe of Mentors by Tim Ferriss

The greatest angle in this book is it shows mentors can be very diverse and even unknowing. Ferriss cites numerous people (even celebrities) who helped bring valuable advice to him on advancement. It’s the most diverse mentor list ever compiled in one volume.

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Contributor: Mike Khorev from Nine Peaks Media

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Written by Taegan Lion