If you’re at a crossroads in your MSP business, or simply want to learn tips and tricks to inspire growth or evolution, who better to learn from than the experts?

And no, I don’t mean Google. I mean business authors.

We asked leaders from IT channel companies and MSPs which book they’ve read that left them with actionable learning. Here are their top book picks for MSPs.


Reinvent YourselfJames Altucher


With the MSP market changing so rapidly, companies are being forced to examine how they’ll stay relevant and compete. Reinvent Yourself shares bite-sized examples of ways that people have done just that. There’s a chapter in the book that compares Eminem’s rap battle in the movie 8 Mile to the sales process, and it’s the best sales tutorial I’ve ever read. I constantly share snippets and read it every day—it outlines step-by-step how to win new business. This is a fun read, and a nice break from the classic business books. Approach this book with an open mind and an interesting problem, and I guarantee you’ll come away with new ideas.

Carrie Simpson, founder & CEO of Managed SAles Pros
Carrie Simpson
Founder & CEO, Managed Sales Pros
@coldcallcarrie


Built to Sell: Creating a Business That Can Thrive Without YouJohn Warrilow


Built to Sell is a great book which explains how to create a business that holds value in itself, and not in the owners’ time and involvement. It’s a book that everyone should read if they want to build a stable business.

Leigh Wood, Director, Node IT Solutions
Leigh Wood
Director, Node IT Solutions
@NodeIT


The Digital Revolution: How Connected Digital Innovations Are Transforming Your Industry, Company & Career Inder Sidhu


This book is a great macro and micro look at how digitization is changing all industries. The insights about transforming to a digital world are lessons for any MSP to take to customers, as well as to apply to their own business. Great read.

Carolyn April, Sr. Director, Industry Analysis at CompTIA
Carolyn April
Sr. Director, Industry Analysis, CompTIA
@CarolynAApril


Ready, Fire, Aim: Zero to $100 Million in No Time FlatMichael Masterson


Once our partners get their service delivery under control and begin to profit substantially from their existing customer base the natural question is—what’s next for our MSP? The answer is new product ideas, marketing, and revenue streams. Ready, Fire, Aim is a guide to doing just that. The author provides a step-by-step process for developing, testing, and marketing products and services with a very simple and cost-effective methodology. I make a point of re-reading this book at least once a year to keep our company on its toes and bring new profitable and innovative products to the marketplace.

James Vickery, CEO, Benchmark 365
James Vickery
CEO, Benchmark 365
@JamesVickery


The Challenger Sale: Taking Control of the Customer ConversationMatthew Dixon and Brent Adamson


I love The Challenger Sale. It helps you identify the right people to have on your side to close the deal. It’s a very good book, and a must-have for all MSPs.

Corey Kirkendoll, President & CEO, 5K Technical Services
Corey Kirkendoll
President & CEO, 5K Technical Services
@ckirkend01


Outliers: The Story of SuccessMalcolm Gladwell


There’s one author who always makes me think a little bit differently, which is why I’m a huge fan of Malcolm Gladwell and his book Outliers. Working with people—whether it be employees or customers—is one business aspect I’ve always been more curious about. Gladwell simply makes you think differently about how and why we engage with people and the subconscious behind our interactions.

Rob Rae, VP of Business Development, Datto
Rob Rae
VP of Business Development, Datto
@RobTRae


Hyper Sales GrowthJack Daly


It’s a book about personality types—acknowledging yours and figuring out how to instantly adapt to others. Very quickly you’ll be able to increase sales, establish a winning culture for your business, and be “Jacked up” to keep it all moving in a positive direction.

Barb Paluszkiewicz, CEO, CDN Technologies
Barb Paluszkiewicz
CEO, CDN Technologies
@bpluszkiewicz


The Phoenix Project: A Novel About IT, DevOps, and Helping Your Business WinGene Kim, Kevin Behr, and George Spafford


The reason I encourage MSP owners and service managers to read this book is it gives a practical approach to implementing LEAN methodology for IT service groups. MSPs often battle against an endless tidal wave of work. Working on a LEAN approach can help get to the source of the noise and reduce the volume of work. Instead of throwing bodies at the problem, LEAN methodology can help MSPs get out of reactive mode and shift into a more structured and proactive approach.


Who: The A Method for HiringGeoff Smart & Randy Street


Behind every great MSP, there’s a team of great people. And the only way to build a team of great people is to focus on attracting, hiring, and retaining A-players. This book is full of gold nuggets to help you knock your next hiring campaign out of the ballpark and find the amazing people you need to grow an outstanding MSP.

Nigel Moore, founder, The Tech Tribe
Nigel Moore
Founder, The Tech Tribe
@nigel_moore


Great by Choice: Uncertainty, Chaos, and Luck-Why Some Thrive Despite Them AllJim Collins


For folks who are getting into reading books to start or build a business, I’d recommend The E-Myth Revisited. It does a great job of showing MSPs how to move from being mostly technical to other facets of business ownership. It’s an excellent read to take a small one-to-three person business to the next level. For folks who are already a level or two up from there and need to improve operations from a vision point of view, a book I love is Great by Choice. This book is a fascinating true story and shows that a determined and calculated growth rate—rather than a wild, unknown growth rate—is best .

David Pence, Founder and Managing Partner, AcumenIT
David Pence
Founder and Managing Partner, AcumenIT
@acumenit