Increase Your Business Acumen with These 12 Books

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As exciting and exhilarating as starting a business can be, running and growing a company can present a major challenge.

Related: Beach Reading? 5 Books Every Entrepreneur Should PeruseThis Summer.

Increasing your business acumen should be one of your top priorities, as that boost will enable you to navigate and overcome the obstacles you will surely encounter along the way.

The following books offer valuable insights into various aspects of the world of business, and may even change the way you look at being an entrepreneur.

Traction: Get a Grip on Your Business by Gino Wickman

You’re bound to encounter a myriad of problems as you look to grow your business. Common entrepreneurial frustrations include personnel, profits and consistent growth.

Traction: Get a Grip on Your Business by Gino Wickman addresses six key components of a business that need to be strengthened and nurtured if you want to gain traction: vision, people, data, issues, process and traction.

This book will help you see how you can go from working in your business to being on it, something all entrepreneurs dream about but often forget to prioritize or simply aren’t sure how to achieve.

The Goal: A Process of Ongoing Improvement by Eliyahu M. Goldratt

The Goal: A Process of Ongoing Improvement tells the story of Alex Rogo, manager of a manufacturing plant that’s on the verge of being shut down. He has three months to turn things around, and with the help of his mentor Jonah, Alex learns about the Theory of Constraints and how to build a business that runs like a well-oiled machine.

All managers can benefit from reading Goldratt’s The Goal, which contains a vital message on how to build a healthy business,

Built to Sell by John Warrillow

What if your business could run without you? That’s the concept behind John Warrillow’s Built to Sell, which contains valuable insights into how you can create your own exit strategy.

Related: 10 Must-Read Books About the Market, Investing and Building Wealth

If you want to build a business that you hope to sell, it should run without you. This is a must-read whether you dream of one day selling your business or simply want to build a more profitable and scalable business.

Giftology by John Ruhlin

What if you could build better connections and generate more referrals?

In business, whom you know is just as important as what you know, but it can be challenging to stand out amid the noise. Developing a lasting connection isn’t easy.

In Giftology, author John Ruhlin explains his strategy behind gifting and building relationships that will lead to more business.

Getting to Yes by Roger Fisher

Negotiation is an art form. But if you can master it, you can cut better deals, resolve complex interpersonal issues and build better relationships.

Roger Fisher’s Getting to Yes is a classic on the topic of negotiating and creating agreements that benefit all parties involved. Whether you’re looking to settle a conflict or negotiate with a vendor, becoming a better negotiator has major advantages.

The New One Minute Manager by Ken Blanchard and Spencer Johnson

Kenneth Blanchard and Spencer Johnson’s The One Minute Manager has helped many managers achieve incredible results in their respective fields.

But the world of business continues to change. That’s why Blanchard and Johnson put together The New One Minute Manager, which contains invaluable, timely lessons on productivity, fulfillment and growing a profitable business.

Chaos Monkeys by Antonio Garcia Martinez

The curiously named Chaos Monkeys is about disruptive tech entrepreneurs, and it was written by a leader in the field, Antonio Garcia Martinez. Martinez was a CEO of a startup he founded, and even worked at Facebook and Twitter.

If you’ve ever wanted to get an insider’s view into the world of online marketing, social media and tech companies, as well as their strategies and trade secrets, you’ll find tremendous value in Chaos Monkeys.

The Hard Things About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers by Ben Horowitz

How do you build and run a startup? There’s plenty of information out there about how to get a business off the ground, but if it were as easy as writing and executing a business plan, everyone would be successful.

In The Hard Things About Hard Things, Ben Horowitz, cofounder of Andreessen Horowitz, sheds light on the realities and challenges of running a business, through personal experiences. His knack for humor and straight-shooting style will keep you engaged and help drive important lessons home.

Stealing Fire: How Silicon Valley, the Navy SEALs, and Maverick Scientists Are Revolutionizing the Way We Live and Work by Steven Kotler and Jamie Wheal

Why are so many entrepreneurs focused on changing their state of mind? Why have meditation, flow and psychedelic drugs become buzz words among business owners?

Stealing Fire explores these topics in detail, and backs it all up with research. In this book, you will discover how to unlock creativity, think more sharply, tap into inspiration and more.

The Sales Acceleration Formula by Mark Roberge

In The Sales Acceleration Formula, Mark Roberge, former chief revenue officer of HubSpot’s Sales Division, and now advisor, shares how he took HubSpot from zero to $100 million.

This book is full of insights on how to build an effective sales team, generate leads and close sales. Customers are the lifeblood of any business. Generating sales consistently and reliably ensures your business is always healthy.

Checklist Manifesto by Atul Gawande

In Checklist Manifesto, surgeon and author Atul Gawande aims to address a problem virtually every professional must face at some point: A professional’s responsibilities do not decrease in difficulty over time. If anything, they become more complex.

Business owners would do well to understand the importance of systems. Gawande explores the importance of checklists and how they are used in the most complex of professions to ensure safety, consistency and efficiency.

Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap . . . And Others Don’t by Jim Collins

What’s the difference between companies that go from good to great and those that merely stay good or even disappear over time?

In Good to Great, author Jim Collins explores several concepts that define companies that made the leap to take their business to the next level. Any entrepreneur looking to grow and scale his or her businesses will benefit from reading this well-recognized classic.

Related: 10 Books Every Leader Should Read to Be Successful

Final thoughts

If you’re an entrepreneur, reading should be a part of your daily routine. Reading consistently will provide you with the inspiration you need to make the changes you need to make in your organization. It will help you grow your business acumen to create stronger, better businesses.

Thomas Smale

Thomas Smale

Thomas Smale co-founded FE International in 2010, growing the business with zero funds from scratch to a seven-figure-a-year business. Specializing in advising and brokering the sale of established websites and online businesses, FE In…

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