The best books on how to manage profit and survive

The Books I Picked & Why

Profits Aren't Everything, They're the Only Thing: No-Nonsense Rules from the Ultimate Contrarian and Small Business Guru

By George Cloutier

Book cover of Profits Aren't Everything, They're the Only Thing: No-Nonsense Rules from the Ultimate Contrarian and Small Business Guru

Why this book?

This book is very basic and aimed mostly at small business owners or readers who are interested in the fundamental mechanics of profit. It’s a hard-hitting book and controversial, e.g. with recommendations such as, “Never pay your vendors on time. Wear your control-freak badge with pride.” It shows that many little things influence profit and should be observed. Useful for start-ups and readers with basic economic knowledge. The obsession with profit as the only priority is, however, somewhat exaggerated. 


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Grow the Pie: How Great Companies Deliver Both Purpose and Profit

By Alex Edmans

Book cover of Grow the Pie: How Great Companies Deliver Both Purpose and Profit

Why this book?

This book addresses the highly topical discussion on the potential conflict between profit and purpose, fueled in particular by the 2019 Business Roundtable guidelines. In this sense, it is not a pure profit book but seeks to balance the social and financial goals of a company. Anyone who wants to have a qualified say in the current discussion about profit and purpose should read this book.


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The Profit Paradox: How Thriving Firms Threaten the Future of Work

By Jan Eeckhout

Book cover of The Profit Paradox: How Thriving Firms Threaten the Future of Work

Why this book?

This book addresses another highly charged topic, the exorbitant profits of tech and internet giants. The focus is on the consequences of the huge profits on competition, economic policy, and society at large. 1% of the world’s largest companies reap 36% of global so-called economic profit, that is the profit that exceeds the cost of capital. The book, which is punctuated with juicy examples, is very didactic as well as rigorous, and will appeal not only to those versed in economics but to the enlightened public in general. It is, however, not a book on how to manage profit, but rather how to address the problems resulting from super-profits. 


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Sustainable Happy Profit: Products and Organizations that Thrive

By Ines Garcia

Book cover of Sustainable Happy Profit: Products and Organizations that Thrive

Why this book?

This book takes an unusual, very modern approach by combining profit with sustainability and happiness. A current controversial discussion, after all, deals with the compatibility of sustainability and profitability. This compatibility is strongly advocated by the author. She also believes that a sustainably profitable offering makes the company and the customers happy. Overall, an enrichment of the discussion about profit orientation!


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Double Your Profits: In Six Months or Less

By Bob Fifer

Book cover of Double Your Profits: In Six Months or Less

Why this book?

This book approaches profit improvement primarily from the cost side. Numerous practical methods and tricks are explained. If these are successfully implemented in real business, significant profit improvements will result in a short time (hence the six months or less!). But these methods are not without risks, because if you treat stakeholders such as suppliers, banks, and employees too harshly, this can lead to negative reactions. The same is true for competitors if you play too hard. Therefore the judgment of one reviewer should be observed: Useful if applied with common sense, but dangerous in the wrong hands.


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