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The 33 best books for business owners

Avatar photo by Casey Woods, Executive Director | February 21, 2012
Resource Library

Books and resources the Main Street staff recommend to improve your business. Available at your local independent bookstore.

Taking Care of Business: One Hundred & One Ways to Keep Your Customers Coming Back (Without Whining, Groveling Or
Giving Away the Store)
Zemke, Ron “What they have to say, and the stimulating
way they say it, makes this guidebook to customer retention easy and fun
to read–every page drives home an important, useful truth.” — James
B. Miller Chairman, Miller Business Systems.
The One Minute Manager Blanchard, Kenneth Ph.D. This is the book that has taught millions the
easy-to-use secrets that simplify your life, get more done in less time,
reduce stress, and help you find peace of mind.
Who Moved My Cheese? Johnson, Spencer M.D. “I’m giving this book to colleagues and
friends because Spencer Johnson’s storytelling abilities and unique insights
make this a rare book that can be read and understood quickly by everyone
who wants to succeed in these changing times.” — Randy Harris, Former
Vice-Chairman, Merrill Lynch International
Polarity Management — Identifying and Managing Unsolvable Problems Johnson, Barry Ph.D “As each of us struggles to cope with
the forces of change, Barry Johnson reminds us to take a balanced perspective. Polarity
should be on every manager’s bookshelf.” — Don
DeGuerre, Manager of Organizational Effectiveness, Syncrude of Canada
Systematic Problem-Solving and Decision Making Pokras, Sandy Have
you ever heard the old cliché, “There
are no problems, only opportunities?” This practical, logical book
shows you how to rationally confront problems and develop clear solutions.
Based on a six-step methodology, systematic problem solving and decision
making teaches readers to recognize problems, define them, determine their
root causes, explore options and alternative strategies, develop realistic
solutions, and implement them intelligently.
The Employee Handbook of New Work Habits For a Radically Changing World Pritchett, Price Now, in his 16th book, Price Pritchett gives
a new set of guidelines that will be crucial to your job success in the
years to come. Using hard facts and powerful logic, he shows why you need
to change your work habits,-immediately-in order to protect your future.
Making Humor Work Take Your Job Seriously and Yourself Lightly Paulson, Terry L Ph.D Making
Humor Work
is not another book to make
you laugh. You will laugh, but that’s not it’s purpose. It introduces you
to the value of humor on the job. The appropriate use of humor will not
only increase your personal and professional effectiveness, but also the
productivity of others. This friendly, practical book will show you how
to use humor to disarm anger, unlock the receptivity of others, and enhance
communication. Learn for yourself why it is never a crime to have fun on
the job.
Given The Opportunity: A guide to interaction in the workplace Mitchell, Paula How to help those with disabilities to better
interact with others in and around the office.
An Honest Day’s Work: Motivating Employees to Give Their Best Dell, Twyla “There
is an enormous need for a book of this type. An Honest Day’s Work provides
a most thought provoking motivational
tool for both managers and employees.” — Linda L. Miles, C.S.P.
— President, Linda L. Miles & Associates
Delegating For Results: An Action Plan for Success Maddux, Robert B. Delegating
For Results
is a practical, realistic,
motivating book designed to help supervisors and managers recognize and
apply basic delegation skills. Delegation is not a mysterious art form
available to a chosen few. It is a basic management process that can be
learned and honed to a fine edge by anyone willing to invest some effort
and practice proven techniques.
The Manager as Coach: A New Management Training Howell, Marion A workbook for what is and isn’t a successful
Developing Positive Assertiveness: Practical Techniques for Personal
Lloyd, Sam R. “Most
people confuse assertiveness with being aggressive. This book clearly
spells out the difference between these
two behaviors and provides a step-by-step program that teaches a reader
how to stand up for what he or she believes in, while respecting the rights
of others to do the same.” — Dianne Johnson — Account Manager APT,
Quality Interviewing Maddux, Robert B. Quality
is great! The exercises and examples are practical and extremely
valuable. It has become part of
our ongoing supervisory training.” — Rick Hall–Human Resources Manager
Deseret Corporation
Managing Stress For Mental Fitness Raber, Merrill F., MSW, Ph.D. “Physical
fitness has become a national goal. This creative, imaginative book can
help readers become mentally
fit by providing information, provoking reflections, and inspiring action.” —
Vernon H. Kratz– Medical Director Penn Foundation, Seilersville, PA
Team Building: An Exercise in Leadership Maddux, Robert B. Team
provides the principles
and methods needed to develop successful problem-solving teams. Learning
to convert groups into teams is essential in today’s competitive business
environment. This book can help you achieve positive results.” —
Dallas Wade — Plant Manager Basin Electric Power Cooperative
Creativity in Business: A Practical Guide for Creative Thinking Goman, Carol Kinsey Ph.D. Creativity
In Business
is a remarkable, stimulating guide for creative development
that is valuable at all levels
of business. The ‘get it started’ exercises are particularly effective.
This book is definitely the right tool for those who want a competitive
edge in jobs where creativity and innovation make a difference.” —
R.E. Rhody — Senior Vice President and Director of Corporate Communications
Bank of America
How To Run Seminars and Workshops Jolles, Robert L. Covers
all the bases, including research and preparation, questioning techniques,
pacing, visual aids, interest holding,
evaluation and support, feedback, provides self-monitoring techniques that
help you to gauge your level of effectiveness and to increase it many times
over, peppered with eye-opening real-life stories, humorous anecdotes,
and “tricks of the trade”.
Boom Town: Use The 7 1/2 Keys to Big Success in Small Towns Schultz, Jack “Reads
like a novel. An inspirational and practical guide for small communities
competing for jobs. A must book
for the leadership of communities facing plant downsizings and closings.” —
Ed Gilliland, vice president, sr. director, Advisory Services, International
Economic Development Council.
Perfect PR Maitland, Iain All publicity is good publicity – or is it?
Perfect PR explodes this popular myth and guides you through the minefield
that is publicity. It shows you how to organize perfect PR activities and
promote the right message about your company. Covering all practical aspects
of PR, including planning and scheduling activities, writing and issuing
press releases, managing press, radio, and television interviews, organizing
press conferences and handling tricky situations, Perfect PR explains how
to get the right publicity without spending a fortune.
Good To Great Collins, Jim “This carefully researched and well written
book disproves most of the current management hype–from the cult of the
superhuman CEO to the cult of IT to the acquisitions and merger mania.
It will not enable mediocrity to become competence. But it should enable
competence to become excellence.” — Peter F. Drucker
Customer Service . . . Who Needs It??? Segel,
Rick & Associates, LLC
How to provide good customer relations and
The Home Town Advantage Mitchell, Stacy “Anyone concerned about the preservation
of locally owned small businesses in America should read The Home Town
. So should those who lament the conversion of the American landscape
into blobs of sprawl. This concise, readable report is a real eye-opener
in explaining how public policies often favor absentee-owned businesses
over the local businesses that contribute so significantly to a community’s
civic life and distinctive character. Most important, the report describes
planning, zoning, and other strategies that Main Street preservationists
can use to enhance the quality of their towns.” — Constance E. Beaumont
1,001 Ideas To Create Retail Excitement Falk, Edgar A. Here is a storehouse of practical suggestions
that show small- to medium- sized retailers how to attract hew customers
. . . And keep them coming back.
A Better Board In 30 Days: A Practical Guide for Busy Trustees Vol.
Weisman, Carol “This
is a wonderful collection of useful, doable, effective strategies for
improving the effectiveness of a board. Any organization
which takes this prescription will improve.” — Charlie Brown,
Director of External Affairs, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum
Laugh & Get
Rich: How to Profit from Humor in Any Business
Rick & LaCroix, Darren
This collection of tools and stories will serve
as a blueprint for business success while you enjoy the process. Improve
your organization by understanding inclusionary humor and other principles
that will become part of your life. Humor, it’s not just for advertising
Looking Forward To Monday Morning Hodges, Diane Ph.D. Dr. Diane Hodges, a former human resources
director and school administrator, shares numerous staff appreciation and
recognition activities that can be implemented to promote a positive work
environment. She also presents low-cost, fun ideas that staff members can
do at work during meetings, holidays, lunch time, ect. that help them look
forward to coming to work.
Chase’s Calendar of Events   Packed with more than 12,000 entries, Chase’s
delivers its wonderful mixture of special celebrations and observances
for every day of the year.
Retail Business Kit for Dummies Segel, Rick Dying to open up a retail business but scared
to even start? Relax! Let retail marketing guru Rick Segel show you the
way. From expert advice on branding, marketing, and merchandising your
goods and services to savvy strategies for creating eye-catching displays,
this essential guide will put you in business in no time at all!
ClipWords Promotion Gorski, Robert E. It’s a definite cure for writer’s block, an
excellent way to find the right words to get your project on paper quickly
and easily! It’s about sparking your creativity!
How to Run A Sale Segel, Rick How
to Run A Sale
is the definitive, one-stop
resource for retailers looking to increase the power of their sale events,
written by one of the world’s most recognized retail experts, Rick Segel.
This book takes you step-by-step through the planning, promotion, and implementation
of your sale event and teaches you how to: create fun , exciting, and wholly
unique themes for your sales; find the wow promotable items customers will
kill for; maximize your bottom dollar through effective sale advertising;
and profit from the psychology of bargain hunting discount shoppers.
Keep The Money Coming Graham, Christine This book offers nonprofit organizations the
basic skills for annual fundraising, but with an underlying emphasis on
strategy and capacity-building — the keys to long-term financial security.
You will find charts, checklists and guidelines to simplify the process
and lead you to success. You will find powerful tools, sage advice, and
proven methods to help you raise the money your organization needs every
Secrets of Successful Fundraising Weisman, Carol 19 nonprofit gurus share their fundraising
secrets. Chapters include: board involvement, feasibility studies, generating
multiple revenue streams, hiring consultants, special events, direct mail,
planned giving, grants, major gifts, cause related marketing, corporate
giving, internet fundraising, social entrepreneurism, newsletters, accounting
101, strategic alliances, and donor recognition.
Creative Event Development Wiersma, Elizabeth This manual is a guide to proven techniques
that work to create, organize and manage successful events. It outlines
important questions to ask and issues to consider as you work toward managing
your own event challenges. The ideas are shared by project managers in
the field, striving to improve the documentation of knowledge in our industry.
These helpful hints have been developed through years of experience in
corporate, private and not-not-profit sectors.

About the Author

Casey Woods, Executive Director

Before accepting the director position in March of 2009, Casey worked in both retail and agricultural jobs in the family businesses. A lifelong resident of the Emporia Area, Casey was a ten year volunteer for Emporia Main Street prior to his appointment as director. During that time he served as the board president and chair of the Economic Vitality Committee.

Casey also serves as a partner in PlaceMakers, LLC, a consulting firm that routinely works with both large and small communities, and their businesses, to promote sustainable economic growth through community and economic development practices. Casey consults with businesses, organizations and communities to understand their market capacity and fill vacant spaces. He has been involved in two projects that included crowdfunding as a part of their overall business funding strategies, Radius Brewing and Twin Rivers Winery & Gourmet Shoppe.