5 Books Every Local Business Owner Needs to Read
So you’ve just opened up shop down the street - congratulations! You’ve now become one of the pack of SMB’s in America. In fact, 99.7% of all American business’ are small and medium-sized. Great work! I know it’s been a very long road to get to this point, and you should reward yourself. Give yourself a real good pat on the back.
here is a famous saying, “focus on the marriage, not the wedding”. For local businesses, the reference is a metaphor which explains that simply opening up shop isn’t going to get you anywhere, but rather focusing on creating demand to the shop is where you are going to find a major increase in your local value. As I said earlier, 99.7% of all businesses in America are small and medium sized. If you are just another one, then what will separate you and make you unique? How do you plan to succeed more than all of those around you, and even more specifically in your local market? You need a plan, good marketing, and a fantastic product/service.
Someone wise once told me that if you want to succeed in something, find someone else that you know or have heard of who has found great success in that same thing. Study that person, speak to them (if it’s possible) and try to understand their mentality, strategy, and how they’ve come to succeed in that field. Once you acquire that same mindset, it is very likely you will find great success. Whether or not you have a specific person in mind, books can also provide to be a fantastic alternative to learning something completely new. Unlike online blogs, books take much more time to write, require publishing services, and ultimately are a much greater investment. If someone has taken the time to write a book (I’m not talking about e-books here), then it is very likely they are a true expert on a subject and you have a lot to learn from them, whether it be very specific action items or just general mindset and psychology.
Here are the 5 most recommended books that every local business owner must read:
Here is a quick clipping from the book’s Amazon page which briefly reviews some of the major takeaways -
You'll discover how to:
Capture high-quality leads from Google AdWords and Bing in 48 hours
Master the components of a high-converting campaign and get the most visitors and phone calls for your buck
Lead Generation for Real Estate, Dentistry, Law, Auto Sales, Chiropractic and professional practice that brings new customers
Harness mobile search advertising and Facebook ads for maximum results
This book will give you a ton of very specific action items which you can implement in your local business. It is written with the focused intent to help those that are dissatisfied with their current local advertising operations, and take action towards improvement. Most importantly, “business owners will learn to use advertising money wisely for maximum profitability.” (Source)
Clearly, the focus of this author was to grab your attention with the title. Being just above 100 pages, I can definitely say that this would be a great book to start with considering your time investment is the least amongst all of the 5 options. Obviously none of us have too much free book-reading time, so less is more in this case.
One of my favorite elements of this book is the focus on finding alternative local advertising solutions. The author initially wrote the book out of disgust of the current situation in which many local business owners are taken advantage of when it comes to advertising. As the author states it himself, “I wrote this book because I'm really sick and tired of all the local business owners getting duped into buying horrible, disgusting, non-productive advertising. Especially for GOOD, local businesses. I want you to STAY in business! I don't want you to waste your money on advertising that simply won't get you where you want to go.” (Source)
The Hidden Agenda is a unique read, featuring 242 pages of inspiring and motivating content. It is not a book specifically for local advertising or local businesses, however I absolutely had to include it in this list. The author, Kevin Allen focuses on the approach of creating a connection between business owner and customer, such that a mutual win is created. In other words, rather than being a hard salesmen and feeling as if you are being pushy by trying to get someone to purchase something from your local business, you can search for a connection for that end customer and try to understand why or why not he/she may need your product/service. And, sometimes, you will find that despite your desires, the potential customer actually does not need your product/service. In this case, IT IS OK to tell him the truth. Allen goes into depth on this topic of course highlighting the demand to ‘craft a story or message around it’, which contributes to the likelihood of receiving a more predictable AND repeatable result.
If you’re looking for a book to give you the beginners ins and outs of local small business marketing and you have a bit of extra time on your hands (131 pages still isn’t asking for too much), then I’d highly recommend you read this book. The book covers a wide variety of local marketing tactics including both effective online and offline strategies which will turn your business into an engine. It covers topics including SEO, social media marketing, offline marketing, business card marketing, radio, and much more.
You really can’t miss out on any of the major must-know topics for local business marketing if you take the time and read this book very carefully.
Hopefully these books will help you turn your local businesses into sales generating engines with a long line out the door ;)
Whether or not you read any of these books, what’s important to remember is that nothing will change if you are not willing to take action. If you have just opened your local business or you’ve already owned a local business for 50+ years, remember that an increase in any key business metric can only come from action. It’s like Sir Isaac Newton’s famous law of motion - “Every action has an equal and opposite reaction”. If you do not put forth the initial action, then expecting for an equal or even opposite reaction is irrational thinking.
Good luck! If you have any other recommendations for books local business owners must read, please feel free to share in the comments below.