Books for Growth

We only place books on this page we have read and highly recommend. They are grouped by functional area of a business, and ordered by our suggested priority of reading.

The best book for a small business to grow their small businessSTOP PRESS: Before you read any other book be sure to read The E-myth, which covers strategy, management and operations of a business. It is the first book any small business owner should read.

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


Strategy books for small business

Books for owners, Directors and founders of a small business. Helps you think about what your business does, for whom, where and how (at a high-level).


  1. Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies – Jim Collins
  2. Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap…And Others Don’t – Jim Collins
  3. Purple Cow, New Edition: Transform Your Business by Being Remarkable–Includes new bonus chapter – Seth Godin
  4. Competitive Advantage: Creating and Sustaining Superior Performance – Michael E. Porter
  5. Focus: The Future of Your Company Depends on It – Al Ries
  6. The Dip: A Little Book That Teaches You When to Quit (and When to Stick)- Seth Godin

Entrepreneur Development

  1. Think and Grow Rich – Napoleon Hill

Management books for small business

Books for managers of a small business.  Helps you manage the business and people better day-to-day.


  1. Mastering the Rockefeller Habits: What You Must Do to Increase the Value of Your Growing Firm – Verne Harnish
  2. Managing The Professional Service Firm – David H. Maister
  3. Management Powertools – Harry Onsman


  1. First, Break All the Rules: What the World’s Greatest Managers Do Differently – Marcus Buckingham, Curt Coffman
  2. The No Asshole Rule: Building a Civilised Workplace and Surviving One That Isn’t – Robert Sutton

Organisational Training

Managing people

  1. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People – Stephen R. Covey
  2. The One Minute Manager -Kenneth H. Blanchard, Spencer Johnson
  3. businessThink: Rules for Getting It Right–Now, and No Matter What! – Dave Marcum, Steve Smith, Mahan Khalsa


  1. Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity- David Allen
  2. The 4 hour Work Week – Timothy Ferriss
  3. The Effective Executive: The Definitive Guide to Getting the Right Things Done – Peter F. Drucker


  1. The Pyramid Principle: Logic in Writing & Thinking- Barbara Minto

Culture & communication

  1. Maverick: The Success Story Behind the World’s Most Unusual Workplace – Ricardo Semlar


Business Development books for small business

Books for the business development team in a business (sales, marketing and customer service/relations people).


  1. Guerrilla Marketing, 4th edition: Easy and Inexpensive Strategies for Making Big Profits from Your Small Business – Jay Conrad Levinson
  2. Marketer’s Toolkit: The 10 Strategies You Need To Succeed (Harvard Business Essentials) – Harvard Business School Press
  3. Positioning: The Battle for Your Mind: How to Be Seen and Heard in the Overcrowded Marketplace – Al Ries, Jack Trout
  4. The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing: Violate Them at Your Own Risk! – Al Ries, Jack Trout
  5. The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference- Malcolm Gladwell
  6. Marketing Warfare: 20th Anniversary Edition: Authors’ Annotated Edition – Al Ries, Jack Trout


  1. Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion – Robert B. Cialdini

Customer relations

  1. Customers for Life: How to Turn That One-Time Buyer Into a Lifetime Customer – Carl Sewell
  2. How to Measure Customer Satisfaction- Nigel Hill, John Brierley, Rob MacDougall


Operations books for small business

Books to help Operations or General Managers “operate” or run the business day-to-day.  Covers business activities of finance, administration, legal & compliance and systems.

  1. TBC


Motivational and historical business books

These books are interesting and often inspiring but not generally packed with actionable advice.

  1. Losing My Virginity – Richard Branson
  2. Direct from Dell: Strategies that Revolutionized an Industry- Michael Dell
  3. Confessions of an Advertising Man – David Ogilvy


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