“Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers.” -- Charles William Eliot
It’s hard to choose from hundreds of business books every year and try to apply them to your small business. So we decided to feature and review some of the popular business books of 2013 that will enrich your experience and help advance your small business this year. Three factors that play an essential role for any business to lead are marketing, entrepreneurship & leadership. In this post we listed our choice of books according to these themes.
The Face-to-Face Book: Why Real Relationships Rule in a Digital Marketplace: A winner of the 2013 Berry-AMA Book Prize, authors Ed Keller and Brad Fay “provide us with strong evidence that in today's high tech digital world, face-to-face real relationships matter most,” says marketing expert Robert Lusch. Using several examples of successes and failures, Keller and Fay suggest that producing conversations, interactions and social influence should be the main objective of marketing. It conveys that humans are “social beings” and businesses should focus on real life conversations and interactions with consumers. So, perhaps you shouldn't’t be too worried about your digital presence.
To Sell is Human: The Surprising Truth About Moving Others: Another winner of the 2013 Berry-AMA Book Prize, author Daniel Pink, as marketing expert Robert Lusch notes, “offers compelling empirical evidence that everyone has the ability to persuade and alter another's position or to in short sell.” A conversational style book, Pink provides sleek ways to influence and sharpen such efforts. This book is easy to comprehend and apply the recommendations to your small business.
Customer Sense: How the 5 Senses Influence Buying Behavior: Aradhna Krishna, a marketing professor at the Ross School of Business, University of Michigan, has produced this book to help marketers learn more about how sensory factors affect a buyer's decision making. Highly recommended by Choice reviews, the author defines and discusses how many companies are realizing the importance of sensory marketing and shows how they can use vision, sound, smell, taste, and touch to achieve differentiation with various examples. Although it might not be easy to implement strategy, this book helps businesses understand their consumers better with an interesting approach.
Playing to Win: How Strategy Really Works: For this book Roger L. Martin, former dean of the progressive Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto, teams up with A.G. Lafley, CEO of Proctor & Gamble. Drawing from theory, this book takes real life instances and tries to address two critical questions: where to play and how to win. The authors use a simple approach to differentiate between theory and real life examples in order to provide practical insights into a business’s strategy (mission, vision, planning etc.). This book could be a good start on how to plan your new business strategy or improve an existing one.
The Lean Entrepreneur: How Visionaries Create Products, Innovate with New Ventures, and Disrupt Markets: Brant Cooper and Patrick Vlaskovits provide “real world” examples to describe how we are moving toward a new era of entrepreneurship. By using new methods of disruptive innovation, this book gives instances of how entrepreneurs are creating new markets and disrupting others. This book explains to anyone interested in starting a new business or in bringing an idea into a market how to be creative in a simple and effective manner.
Leadership and the Art of Struggle: How Great Leaders Grow Through Challenge and Adversity: It’s a common belief that leadership is a struggle and we often refrain from talking openly and honestly for fear of looking weak or seeming to lack confidence. Author Steven Snyder draws from real life examples to show that knowing one’s weaknesses is essential for personal growth. He discusses strategies and offers a host of unique tools and hands-on practices for embracing fears and to help you learn from your stumbles.
Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead: Author Sheryl Sandberg uses her wittiness to make a strong case for why women's progress in achieving leadership equality with men has stalled. She offers simple solutions for organizations to empower women to realize that equality is a benefit. She also discusses how work shouldn’t be a pressure on every woman and men need to realize and contribute their share. This book is an interesting and engaging read for not just female entrepreneurs but for everyone.