Bill Gates reads about 50 books a year. That is one a week. So if a billionaire is reading lots of books there must be something to it. Business books have long since become a popular read with business owners looking to grow their company.
So with Christmas just around the corner and if you're stuck for present ideas we have put together a list of our favourite business books.
Must-read business book for running your business
'Do you have a grip on your business or does your business have a grip on you?' That is the question that Traction poses. Traction is a solution to business owners facing common frustrations like personnel conflict and inadequate growth.
Traction walks you through the 'Entrepreneurial Operating System' (EOS), a practical method for achieving business success. It will help you identify the key metrics for your business, help you discover the key issues holding your business back and give you a simple plan for fixing those issues.
"Traction is far and away the most potent and useful approach I've ever seen for running a successful company. The content is bulletproof!" Vince Poscente, best selling author of The Age of Speed.
Best for customer service
It doesn't matter what industry you're in if you have customers you should be delivering happiness. That is the premise behind Delivering Happiness. The book helps your business improve customer service by living a life of passion and purpose.
Delivering Happiness goes beyond a normal customer service approach and helps you work on culture throughout your business that is geared towards offering great customer service.
Delivering Happiness tells the story of Tony Hsieh and his company Zappos. Giving examples of long term thinking and the power of passion within a business.
"This book is awesome. How Tony and Zappos grew to $1 billion in gross revenue in 10 years is just the beginning. From fundraising to finding happiness, from actual e-mails to checklists, it covers it all. Intensely personal and intensely practical." Tim Ferriss, #1 New York Times bestselling author
Best for productivity
Veteran coach and management consultant David Allen shares his methods for stress-free performance with a simple premise productivity is directly proportional to our ability to relax.
Since it was first published over 15 years ago, Getting Things Done has become one of the most influential business books. In 2015 David Allen rewrote the whole book tweaking his original premise with new perspectives on the modern workplace.
"Getting Things Done offers help building the new mental skills needed in an age of multitasking and overload." Sue Shellenbarger, The Wall Street Journal
Best for business structure
The Five Dysfunctions of a Team offers a storytelling approach to business leadership. The book follows Kathryn Petersen, CEO of a fictional company, Decision Tech, as she faces the leadership crisis of uniting a team in such disarray it threatens the whole company.
Not only is the book a gripping tale it also serves plenty of examples of how leadership requires as much courage as it does insight. In the book, Patrick Lencioni reveals the 5 dysfunctions that mean even the best teams struggle.
Outlined in the book is a powerful model and actionable steps that will help you overcome common business problems and help you build an effective team.
"there is a lot of good sense in this book...certainly offers some useful pointers..." Supply Management
Best for motivation
'Because in business it doesn't matter what you do, it matters why you do it.'
Start with Why analyzes what causes certain businesses and leaders to have great success. Any person or company that can explain what they do but not many can explain WHY. The WHY is the thing that inspires business owners and those within the business.
Simon gives examples from Martin Luther King JR to Steve Jobs showing how inspirational leaders act and communicate in the same way. Start With Why introduces the now-common phrase 'People don’t buy WHAT you do; they buy WHY you do it'. For further inspiration check out Simon's videos on YouTube.
"This book is so impactful, I consider it required reading." Tony Robbins, bestselling author
Best for marketing
It's tough not to put Seth Godin book in this spot but that is how influential They Ask You Answer is. This book can convince even the most sceptical business owners to take a fresh look at their company's content marketing options.
Marcus tells the story of how he turned his failing swimming pool business into one of the top-selling companies on the East Coast. The key? He took the questions his customers were asking and he wrote the answers.
The book covers how and why you should document your pricing policy, how you should handle competitors and the best way to qualify prospects.
“Marcus Sheridan is a legend in the digital marketing world…[His] strategy is based on two fundamental assumptions: your customers are smart readers who want you to educate them and your best resource for doing so (the internet) is free.” Mashable
We are massive fans of business books at InfoTech. Each one of these books has been read by a member of the team (at least once) and comes with the highest recommendation.
Of course, this is not an exhaustive list so we would love to hear your business book suggestions, just let us know in the comments below.