Looking for a gift for the small business owner in your life? Here are five reading suggestions that can prep them (or you) for the new year.
The Worst-Case Scenario Business Survival Guide: Survive the Recession, Handle Layoffs, Raise Emergency Cash, Thwart and Employee Coup, and Avoid Other Potential Disasters!
By David Borgenicht and Mark Joyner
Most books in the “Worst-Case” series are silly, offering tips on what to do if your parachute doesn’t open, or your car is submerged in water. The Worst-Case Scenario Business Survival Guide, though, is a serious book and not meant as a joke. While it won’t give you a detailed road map on how to raise cash fast, meet payroll, or salvage a bad ad campaign, it will give you a place to start if your brain flatlines during the middle of a work crisis. It’s worth having on the shelf if one of those “just in case” situations actually happens.
All Customers are Irrational: Understand What They Think, What They Feel, and What Keeps Them Coming Back
By William J. Cusick
The title doesn’t quite say it all in this case. All Customers are Irrational isn’t so much about whack-a-do customers calling your customer service line at midnight demanding a shipment update. Instead, it’s a hard look at the science of sales, and how playing to primal impulses can boost your bottom line. By looking into the neuroscience and behavioral psychology of attracting and retaining customers, Cusick gets behind customer surveys and shows you how logical assumptions of what your customer wants are wrong – and how to fix your approach.
Better Green Business: Handbook for Environmentally Responsible and Profitable Business Practices
By Eric G. Olson, PhD
Green this, green that. Greenwashed yet? You shouldn’t be, according to Olson, who writes that greening up your operations is essential to your business’ future. Better Green Business is a no-nonsense, step-by-step handbook on how you can apply best green practices to your business, and transition from traditional to more environmentally friendly. If you’re not convinced your business needs help, flip to the last chapter in the book about the future role of environmentally conscious work, then go back to the start so you’re not left behind.
The Boss of You: Everything a Woman Needs to Know to Start, Run, and Maintain Her Own Business
By Lauren Bacon and Emira Mears
While much of the basic advice in The Boss of You applies to any new entrepreneur, Bacon and Mears write the book specifically for women, which means they pay special attention to issues that typically crop up when women go solo in the working world, like work/life balance. It’s for a very specific entrepreneur, too -- someone at the very early stages of small business development who wants to make money doing what she loves as opposed to someone who wants mega profits, tons of employees, and world wide domination across the Forbes 500 list.
Surviving Dreaded Conversations: Talk Through Any Difficult Situation at Work
By Donna Flagg
In the new flick Up in the Air, George Clooney plays a consultant who is hired to fire people. If you can’t afford that luxury, give Surviving Dreaded Conversations a go. It’s a guide to navigating those confrontations that keep you up at night, like having to fire someone, deliver bad news, or learn to get along with your at-work nemesis. But this isn’t a book of scripts only. Flagg writes about, first, why work confrontations are so difficult (and how to work around those issues), then what to do depending on who’s talking to who (boss to employee, boss to client, etc.). She concludes with example conversations. It’s a practical guide on dealing with uncomfortable issues.