We know that for brick-and-mortar retailers, finding time to read during the holiday rush is a little like winning the lottery — nearly impossible.


But when the last customer has left the store and you sit down for the first time in weeks, these are the best books to read if you own a retail business and want to spark your imagination for the year ahead.

The New One Minute Manager

If you own your own business, you are most likely the manager of someone. Based off the original The One Minute Manager, this edition is an easy-to-read story that presents three practical secrets to leading others. But even if the only person you manage yet is yourself, it’s never too early to become a great leader. When the time comes to hire/manage staff (or additional employees) you’ll be ready!

Boss Life: Surviving My Own Small Business


Written by The New York Times Columnist, Paul Downs, this memoir is an honest account of the ups and downs over over twenty years as a retailer. If you’re a person who prefers to learn through the trials and tribulations of others. This definitely a book you’ll enjoy.

Made to Stick


For those merchants who are looking to reinvent the wheel, or sell smoothies while giving haircuts, they’ll appreciate the deep dive into why some ideas “stick” others fall flat. The real-world examples given by Heath and Heath will hold your attention and inspire your creativity.

Who Moved My Cheese?


Change is not always pleasant. But if you’re a business owner it is definitely something you experience and become accustomed to quickly. Who Moved My Cheese? helps put the fear of change in perspective. It might not completely solve your anxiety, but it will push you to view change through a different lens.

Buyology: Truth and Lies About Why We Buy

For those college psychology majors turned coffee shop owners, you’ll appreciate this science-backed explanation of why consumers shop and purchase the way they do. Though it won’t tell you exactly why your blueberry muffins sell better than your bran, it’s a fascinating read that will keep you motivated to think outside the box when marketing your business.

Sara Sugar

Sara Sugar

As Managing Editor at ShopKeep, a leading iPad Point of Sale System, Sara Sugar uses her distinguished journalism background to boil down small business and point of sale topics.