With longer days and warmer weekends comes the inevitable pull of lying on a sun lounger trying to relax with a book. If you can’t switch off from thinking about work, here are some recent additions to the business writing cannon worth taking the time to dip into for practical advice and inspiration.
Even if you always seem to have something more pressing to be doing for the health of your company than reading up on the latest business fad, it’s hard to ignore a title designed to be consumed whole in one 90-minute sitting. The brevity is no accident, either Botterill and Gladdish think all of the most important things in life, from taking a nap to writing a killer sales email are best achieved in hour-and-a-half chunks of time. Even if it sounds too good to be true, the concept is worth giving up one day’s starting at Facebook during your commute for.
Small enough to fit in your back pocket (or clutch bag if you want to try and combine swotting up with an evening networking event), serial entrepreneur Johnson’s book is a cross between business writing and self-help but that shouldnt put you off. The exercises and questions it contains are simple, practical and devoid of new-age fluff, and the author’s recommendation that business owners focus on inputs rather than just looking at outputs is refreshing and helpful.
University of Pennsylvania psychology professor Angela Duckworth’s book isnt just about success in business, but the traits that the best people in a diverse range of fields from Olympic sport to spelling bees have in common. Duckworth defines grit as a combination of passion and perseverance, and the good news is that certain gritty? behaviour is a sure-fire way to increase achievement in a whole range of areas. Unfortunately, her research shows the type of focus this entails is rarely fun.
Whether you’re struggling to keep the upper hand in wage negotiations with new employees or worried you end up paying suppliers more than materials are worth, it’s almost certain that there will be an aspect of small business ownership which could be improved by better wheeling and dealing skills. Neale and Lys? guide is practical enough to warrant persevering through more than 200-pages, and engaging enough to read on the beach.
it’s rare that one management book provides examples like Netflix, Wallmart and Rolls-Royce alongside inspiring micro business inspiration stories, but Marr succeeds in explaining how big data is equally important for the owners of big and small businesses, and accessible to the latter group without unrealistic investment. For a sneak preview, check out this exclusive extract we published in April.
If you’ve caught the learning bug, then register to attend our inaugural Small Business School on 14 June.