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5 Books That Should Grow Your Small Business in 2024

by | Apr 3, 2024

Running a small business is hard. Here is a list of five books that should grow your business in 2024. We have used each of them and had success.

Then, I offer five more resources and products that I love to help you grow your small business.

Table of Contents

Introduction:

The last few years have been extremely difficult for small business owners. 

It’s a tough world out there. From COVID-19 to inflation to political and social division, things are hard.

Small businesses are closing faster than I’ve ever seen. 

As a small business owner, it’s important to do everything you can to put your business in the best position possible to grow.

To help, I’ve created a list of five books that will grow your small business—if you implement what they teach. 

Whether you run a brick-and-mortar business in town, have a side hustle, or want to reach potential customers to expand your customer base, these books are a goldmine.

These books cover

  • Brand messaging strategy
  • Marketing funnels
  • Buyer psychology
  • Business finance
  • Copywriting

Each one puts potentially complex ideas into extremely simple terms and frameworks you can implement immediately.

5 bookes to grow your business in 2024. Building a StoryBrand, Marketing Made Simple, Profit First, Brainfluence, Everybody Writes.

5 Books to Grow Your Small Business in 2024

1. Building a StoryBrand by Donald Miller

This is my number one recommendation to anyone who owns or is thinking about starting a small business. 

The most important thing you can do for your business is clarify your marketing message so people listen and take action.

This is an afterthought for most small business owners. 

You develop a product or service you believe in. You design a logo, purchase a domain, secure social media accounts, and launch your business.

The problem is you end up spending months or years falling into how to sell your product or service effectively by trial and error.

When you use StoryBrand to clarify your marketing message, you start with a message that resonates. It jumpstarts your business in ways you never thought possible.

StoryBrand uses seven storytelling elements to craft a crystal-clear brand message. 

  1. A character (your customer) who wants something
  2. Who encounters a problem getting it
  3. They meet a guide (you)
  4. Who gives them a plan
  5. And calls them to action
  6. To avoid failure
  7. And find success

Our brains are hardwired to respond to storytelling. Using a story to craft your brand messaging helps create clarity in your customers’ minds. They quickly understand how you help them solve a problem and achieve a transformation.

Donald Miller always says, “If you confuse, you lose.” StoryBrand ensures you are never confusing.

Read this book first. 

I believe in it because I use it. As a StoryBrand Certified Guide, I have helped around 100 businesses and nonprofits successfully implement it for themselves.

Clear messaging is the key to small business growth and the foundation of any good marketing strategy.

2. Marketing Made Simple by Donald Miller and Dr. J.J. Peterson

Yes, a second Donald Miller book out of the gate. 

This book teaches you how to implement the messaging you created using Building a StoryBrand

Marketing Made Simple teaches you how to use StoryBrand to create an effective marketing funnel for your business. 

A strong marketing funnel is the key to a successful business. 

Marketing Made Simple walks you through the following marketing funnel assets:

  1. A One-Liner
  2. A Wireframed Website That Works
  3. A Lead Generator
  4. Nurture Email Campaigns
  5. Sales Email Campaigns

Your website should be successful in converting visitors who are ready to buy. It should drive them into your sales funnel when they’re not ready to buy.

Clarify your message with Building a StoryBrand and build a marketing funnel with Marketing Made Simple. 

Both books have digital courses available on the Business Made Simple Platform, which costs a mere $275/yr for access to all its courses.

3. Profit First by Mike Michalowicz

Hey, look! A book Don didn’t write. 

Profit First is the second book I keep extra copies of on hand to give away.

This book shows how to manage your company’s revenue with five simple checking accounts.

  1. Income
  2. Operating Expenses
  3. Owner’s Compensation
  4. Taxes
  5. Profit

My TLDR for the book is this.

All of your revenue is deposited into the Income account. Then, you set up regular automated transfers to the other accounts as follows:

30% – Operating Expenses
50% – Owner’s Compensation
20% – Taxes
10% – Profit

Once every quarter, you draw 50% of your Profit account and invest it. This account is great for funding your retirement accounts and other investments.

Percentages may vary depending on your topline revenue. The practice ensures you always have a paycheck, money to pay taxes, make investments, and enough to pay your bills.

If your bills exceed the OpEx account often…you have too many bills.

Profit can also be your Oh Sh*t account if things get bad.

The Profit First plan kept us alive during COVID-19 and has been a lifeline through the highs and lows of running a small family business.

Pro Tip: Put your Tax and Profit funds into high-yield savings accounts if possible. You might as well earn some interest on those while they accumulate. You should be able to find accounts with 4-5% interest rates. 

4. Brainfluence: 100 Ways to Persuade and Convince Customers with Neuromarketing by Roger Dooley

Marketing is story. Story is human psychology.

If you don’t understand people, you don’t understand business. It’s that simple.

To effectively sell your product or service anywhere, you must understand what makes people tick. 

Why do people buy?

Brainfluence is an accessible look into the human brain. It explains the science and psychology behind why we do what we do.

Books like Building a StoryBrand and Marketing Made Simple teach you how to leverage storytelling principles to transform your marketing.

Brainfluence will teach you WHY those words work and help you more consistently use them in your marketing collateral. 

Understanding what makes people tick will improve your marketing, customer service, and customer experience.

5. Everybody Writes: Your New and Improved Go-To Guide to Creating Ridiculously Good Content by Ann Handley

Finally, the G.O.A.T. of copywriting books. Everybody Writes gives you a breakdown of how to write concise and compelling content that will propel your business forward. 

This isn’t a grammar book your 10th-grade English teacher would assign. 

Everybody Writes shows that everyone is a writer; the good ones are more intentional and consistent than the rest. 

Learn how to write texts, emails, social media posts, website copy, and ad copy using the best copywriting principles.

You write every single day. This book will help you become much better at it. 

Simple tips from Handley, like:

  • Show, don’t tell
  • Default to the present tense
  • Choose active voice over passive voice
  • Understanding brand voice
  • And 87 more practical writing tips

Don’t just write for your business. Write in a way that draws people in and moves them to action! 

Write like a copywriter! 

Bottom Line: You Can Grow Your Business in 2024

If you read these books and apply what they teach, I am confident you will take significant steps forward in your business this year. 

Each book has transformed how I run and market my business, and I would love to see the same results for you.

Don’t make the mistake too many small businesses make. Don’t run paid digital ads without setting their messaging, marketing, and financial foundations.

Reading Building a StoryBrand and Marketing Made Simple will help you set your marketing foundation. Profit First will help you set your financial foundation.

Brainfluence and Everybody Writes will help you maximize how you implement the other books in your marketing.

They can help you grow your business even in difficult seasons.

Have you read any of these books? Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Or, drop a line after you finish one with your takeaways. I’d love to hear from you.

Bonus Resources

These five books will help you grow your small business. However, there are some additional resources I want to share with you to help you go the extra mile. 

Some of these are free, others will cost you a little, and some are affiliate links, which earn us a small commission on your purchase but don’t change the price for you. 

All of them I would recommend regardless.

1. Business Made Simple Courses

The Business Made Simple Platform offers courses that align with six areas of business growth.

  • Leadership
  • Marketing
  • Sales
  • Products
  • Overhead and Operations
  • Cash Flow

You can learn everything you need through various digital courses and their Small Business Flight School to put your business on a strong footing. 

Cost: $275/yr 

Get Your Business Made Simple Subscription

2. Wallet Opening Words by Katelyn Bourgoin and Phil Agnew

Wallet Opening Words takes thousands of hours of research and boils it down into an easy-to-digest e-book. All show you how to take a science-based approach to sales and marketing.

This resource makes it so simple to almost copy and paste ideas into your marketing and see a result. 

Cost: $129 

Purchase Wallet Opening Words

3. ConvertKit – Email Marketing

ConvertKit is my email marketing platform of choice. I’ve used several, and it is by far the easiest and most intuitive.

Build email lists, opt-in pages, and automations with ease. 

When you’re ready to set up those sales and nurture email campaigns in Marketing Made Simple, ConvertKit will make it painless to automate and build your email list.

A big bonus of ConvertKit is its Creator Network. First, publish your content to your Creator Network profile. Then, other ConvertKit creators will start recommending you to their lists, and you’ll get subscribers on autopilot! 

Cost: Price varies by list size. Includes a free option

Get ConvertKit

4. Relay Financial – Profit First Business Banking

Last year, we moved our business banking to Relay Financial. Relay is a certified Profit First online bank that makes account automation effortless. I highly recommend it.

You can set up all the bank accounts you’ll ever need and create automations to move funds between accounts according to the Profit First system.

We have a nightly transfer automation in place, but you could also do weekly, monthly, or any other frequency you prefer. 

The only downside to Relay for us has been that we still have a handful of clients that pay monthly by physical check. It takes 6-8 business days for funds to clear.

It is annoying if you need the money more quickly. If you have a decent cash reserve, it’s not a big deal, but as we all know, cash reserves can come and go for small businesses.

Get Relay Bank

5. HoneyBook CRM

Every business needs a quality CRM (Client Relationship Management system).

We use HoneyBook. Honeybook is a low-cost and powerful CRM for small businesses. 

  • Automate Lead bookings
  • Create Lead Forms
  • Track Leads with Projects
  • Build Proposals
  • Get contracts signed digitally
  • Invoice clients
  • Connect with your QuickBooks Online account

That’s just the start. Honeybook has been a simple and effective way for us to grow our business and stay on top of leads and projects. 

Get HoneyBook

Start Growing Your Small Business!

Hopefully, these resources will help you as you look to grow your small business in 2024 and beyond.

They have certainly helped Moonflower Marketing.

Of course, if you want help implementing the StoryBrand framework in your business or nonprofit, schedule a free thirty-minute call with me (Joe). I would love to help you leverage StoryBrand to transform your marketing and grow your small business.

What Are Your Favorite Small Business Resources?

Do you have a book or resource you love that is not on this list? Leave a comment and let me know. I would love to check it out!

There is an endless supply of business and marketing content out there. If we’re honest, a lot of it is terrible. I love getting recommendations from people who have used a resource and succeeded. 

I hope 2024 brings all the success you’ve ever dreamed of! Good luck! 

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