At some point, all small business owners will find themselves in need of inspiration. And there’s nothing better than good, old-fashioned small business magazines (or, okay, maybe an online magazine) to give you the revitalizing boost, or simply a store of extra knowledge, that you need to run your business to the best of your ability.
In addition to your favorite blogs, podcasts, books, and online forums, subscribing to regularly-updated small business magazines is a great way to stay savvy on your industry and the economy, get valuable advice on how to be a better business owner, or just read engaging stories about small businesses like yours.
So, which publications should you keep on your radar? We suggest starting your search with these 20 must-read small business magazines.
The Best of the Best Small Business Magazines
We’re pretty sure you’ve heard of the following business magazines—if you’re not already a loyal subscriber. But, in the interest of thoroughness, this list of the best small business magazines just wouldn’t be complete without the following go-to publications.
Probably the publication with the greatest name recognition, Forbes magazine is an industry standard that’s been peeking out of Wall Streeters’ briefcases for over a century. Both Forbes in print and its online iteration offer practical advice, comprehensive lists (check out their annual Forbes Billionaires list, for starters), opinion pieces, lifestyle trends, news, and an entire vertical dedicated to Small Business. Forbes is a total classic, but it dedicates just as much attention to cutting-edge fintech companies as they do to household-name businesses and old-school head honchos.
But where Forbes really excels—and where its clout and caliber truly shineo—is in its ability to convey the leadership knowledge from the world’s most powerful experts in a way that’s valuable for every entrepreneur, no matter how new or small their ventures are.
2. Fast Company
An industry standard since 1995, Fast Company‘s name is totally appropriate to their sensibilities—their stories offer flashy, exciting looks into some of the fastest growing startups and the Most Innovative Companies. (Other online article tags include the “Most Creative People in Business,” “Innovation by Design,” and “World Changing Ideas.”)
Their print issues offer longer-form features on some of the world’s leading thinkers and creators, like Twitter founder Jack Dorsey, Bumble CEO Whitney Wolfe, and Emmy Award-winner Donald Glover. Fast Company might seem too big picture for small business owners wrapped up in the nitty gritty of running a business. But you very well could find the inspiration that brings your business to the next level, or enjoy spending some time in the brains of brilliant entrepreneurs and industry leaders.
As the name suggests, Money is geared mainly toward small business owners or employees in the finance world. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be reading if you’re not directly involved in finance—ultimately, every small business owner has to deal with their business’s financials, and Money is a legitimate source for actionable advice.
Published by TIME, Money covers everything from managing your business banking account to investing in your small business. Plus, Money has really valuable columns on how to prepare for retirement—a reality that all small business owners will need to face at some point.
Whether you’re running a fast-growing startup, or you’re just opening the doors of your small business, you’ll benefit from the small business insight that every issue of Inc. magazine and inc.com have to offer. Inc.com in particular hits the right balance among business-related news, bite-sized how-tos, personal essays, profiles, and highly shareable lists and pop-psychology features to appeal to every generation of small business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs.
The Best Small Business Magazines for Techies
Whether you own an IT business or you’re simply a digital enthusiast, check out these leading websites for all things tech. (Yes, all of these tech-centric small business magazines are actually digital—no surprise there!)5.
Online publisher TechCrunch is one of the best sources for entrepreneurs running technology-oriented businesses. Following TechCrunch is a great way to stay on top of industry updates, companies emerging in your market, company acquisitions, funding campaigns, and the most promising new entrepreneurs.
TechCrunch’s news stories are compelling and quick reads, so you might enjoy following them if you’re interested in the tech world in general, whether or not your small business operates within that industry.
You might also consider registering for TechCrunch-owned Crunchbase, which you can think of as a LinkedIn for businesses. Here, you can create a profile for your business, share information on your products, services, and funding status, and link to any relevant information about your business (like news articles and your social media channels). Then, investors, other business owners, or interested individuals, can find and follow your profile. And Crunchbase isn’t only for small ventures: Some of the world’s biggest companies, like Apple, Netflix, Tesla, and LinkedIn itself are active on Crunchbase.
VentureBeat is another useful technology and entrepreneurship publication to follow. This online publication mostly posts tech-related news stories, but their Entrepreneur and Business sections are particularly handy for staying up-to-date on the most promising new startups.
If you want to stay on the cutting edge of science and technology, Wired is an absolute must-read. While you might dismiss this magazine as too tech-heavy, Wired’s articles provide valuable insight into how the most innovative businesses operate. Their online publication gets a little less niche (or more, depending on your perspective), with verticals dedicated to gear, ideas, science, security, transportation, culture, and business, the latter of which delivers all the need-to-know headlines about the world’s biggest tech companies.
The Best Small Business News
It’s so important to be aware of the small-business climate at large—and the best way to do that is through some of the world’s most legitimate news sources. Open up these resources (either in print or on your tablet) along with your morning coffee to arm yourself with the news you and your small business need to know today.
8. The Wall Street Journal’s Entrepreneurship Section
You might already get the Wall Street Journal to keep up with the news and general trends in the economy. But, as a small business owner, you should definitely be paying attention to the WSJ‘s Entrepreneurship vertical in particular. This section has in-depth features on über-successful small business owners, small business trends and news, opinion pieces, and profiles on promising new startups.
And once you’ve grown into the experienced entrepreneur that you’re destined to be, start following WSJ’s Venture Capital Dispatch. It’s a great resource for business owners—or even small business investors—who’ve been around for a while.
9. The Washington Post’s On Small Business Section
As we’re sure you already know, the Washington Post is one of the nation’s leading news sources, with a special interest in covering national politics. But, once you’ve read up on today’s headlines, you should hop over to the Post’s “On Small Business Section.”
Articles in this section can also be politically-leaning, but they all relate directly to how news and legislature relate directly to small businesses. One recent article, for example, covers a proposed bill in California that would help combat the gender pay gap.
As you would imagine, the Post’s On Small Business articles tend to be heavy-hitting news articles like this, but this section features some thought-provoking opinion pieces, too—like a perspective on whether Amazon is good or bad for small business.
The Best Small Business Magazine for Brand-New Entrepreneurs
Starting a small business, or even considering starting a small business, can be seriously intimidating. Before you second-guess yourself, look toward these small business publications that are especially helpful for some support, guidance, and inspiration.
Although Mashable certainly posts news and features that most people will find interesting, millennials remain their target demographic. So, much of their business content is geared toward younger entrepreneurs, and offers concrete how-tos on all things starting and running a small business—recent articles, for example, include learning how to become a freelancer and the skills you need to launch a startup. But if you’re just starting up a new venture, or if you’re transitioning into entrepreneurship from a previous job, you’ll probably find some useful or inspirational pieces on here, regardless of your age.
And, unlike other small business magazines, Mashable’s content isn’t too heavy or dense. So if you’re looking for something light but compelling to read on the train, between meetings, or before bed, Mashable should be your go-to business publication.
If you’re looking to start a small business, or grow your already-successful business, Entrepreneur is a great magazine to crack open. The magazine attracts especially high-profile contributors: Recent cover stars include Jeff Bezos, Venus Williams, Bobby Flay, and Glossier CEO Emily Weiss, who fronted their annual “Young Millionaires” issue. Checking up on the Entrepreneur website is an easy way to stay plugged into the business world in between your print subscriptions, too.
In both print and online, you’ll find advice on almost every small business issue imaginable, like weathering economic downturns, financing a business, hiring employees, and managing your time efficiently. The website updates several times a day with business- and commerce-related news pieces. Other startup-specific verticals online include “Inspiration,” “How To,” “Franchise,” “Technology,” and, conveniently, “Start a Business.”
If you’re looking for a mix of actionable advice and entertaining stories that relate to your small business or industry, Entrepreneur is one of the best small business magazines to subscribe to.
The Best Small Business Magazines for Established Small Business Owners
Even if you’ve been in business for a while, it’s pretty much a guarantee that you’ll run up against questions or concerns in how best to run your small business—for which these small business magazines might provide a solution.
Regardless of your industry, Business2Community is one of the best “how-to” small business magazines you’ll find. This magazine is great for staying up-to-date with news in your industry and the tech space, but it’s also a great resource for entrepreneurs who need actionable advice on how best to run their small businesses and manage their staffs. Their articles get as industry-specific as the “Best Practices for Running a Digital Fundraising Campaign,” and as general as advice on hiring high-potential employees. So, no matter what kind of small business advice you need, Business2Community should always have some content that can help.
13. Small Business Trends
Small Business Trends has valuable online and print resources that cover all things small business—making it one of the best small business magazines if you want to stay ahead of your industry’s curve. If you subscribe to their print magazine service, you’ll get a monthly issue that focuses on one thing on a small business owner’s mind. So, one month you might get an issue related to making sales for your business, and another you might see business-travel-related articles. All in all, you’ll have access to resources that cover a wide range of topics you deal with everyday as a small business owner.
14. Small Business Today
Both a print and online publication, Small Business Today is a catch-all resource for small business owners who need tips on managing their companies efficiently and successfully. Small Business Today also deals with issues related to finding a small business loan. So, if you’re looking for finance your business, you might find some particularly useful advice in this small business magazine.
Small Business Today also has a valuable section that connects small business owners to events in their area. Check out the magazine’s long list of local events if you’d like to network with other small business owners in your industry.
The Best Niche Small Business Magazines
Although cross-industry publications are certainly valuable, sometimes you need to know the nitty gritty of your specific business. Take a look at some of our favorite trade magazines to stay up-to-date on your field—or learn something new about an entirely unrelated industry.
15. Best for Franchise Owners: Franchise Times
If you’re involved in a franchise business, you should absolutely be reading Franchise Times as one of your small business magazines. As you can probably guess, Franchise Times has articles that are specifically meant for franchisors and franchisees. Use Franchise Times to follow the news on franchising in the United States, learn about other successful franchisees, and take advantage of valuable advice on how to better manage your franchise.
16. Best for Logistics: Inbound Logistics
Whether you’re in trucking or warehousing or materials handling, if your small business is involved in any link in the supply chain, you’re exactly the readership that Inbound Logistics magazine is here for. This one-stop shop for all things logistics offers news, tips on successfully running a logistics business (like how to boost warehouse productivity and choose a warehouse managing system), reports on industry trends, and more.
Inbound Logistics is much more than a source for valuable reading material: They also provide actionable tools and services, such as bid lists and logistics planners, and an entire drop-down menu for “Finding Solutions” like finding trucking companies, tech companies, and logistics education programs.
17. Best for Restaurant Owners: Nation’s Restaurant News
True to its name, Nation’s Restaurant News is your go-to source for restaurant news. But restaurateurs will find valuable advice, information, and inspiration on all aspects of the business: The magazine’s website has features on consumer trends, food and beverage trends, operations, marketing, finance, proprietary research and data reports, chef profiles, and, of course, news on menu updates from the country’s biggest restaurants.
18. Best for Healthcare Professionals: Modern Healthcare
You’re probably seeing a theme here, but, also true to its name, Modern Healthcare is the absolute best publication for those in the healthcare business. This award-winning publication is especially diligent about covering news and policy across all aspects of the healthcare industry, including providers, insurance, government, finance, and technology, but they also feature robust opinion and research verticals.
Even if you’re not in the healthcare industry, you may be interested to read about—or nominate someone for—Modern Healthcare’s awards lists, which recognize the best executives, hospitals, and other healthcare leaders across the country.
19. Best for Designers: Women’s Wear Daily
If your small business is at all fashion-adjacent—or if you’re simply a diehard fashion or beauty nerd—you absolutely need to be reading WWD, either online or in print. This weekly publication, which has been going strong for over a century, has been referred to as “the bible of fashion” (sorry, Vogue).
As you would expect from such a praiseworthy nickname, industry leaders trust WWD for its comprehensive coverage of the most important news, trends, shows, and events across the business of fashion. Once you’re caught up on the need-to-know, read their “Eye” vertical for a peek into exclusive industry parties, profiles on upcoming designers and fashion executives, and even celebrity real estate.
20. Best for Small Business Inspiration: Success
Success magazine isn’t specifically tailored to business advice. Instead, it’s aimed toward achieving personal success in life—however you define that term. But Success magazine should still be on your list of small business magazines to read. After all, as a small business owner, your personal success is directly related to your business’s success. In their business vertical, though, this 121-year-old publication offers tips for becoming a better manager, balancing your time, setting achievable goals, and encouraging productivity.
Why You’ll Love These Small Business Magazines
Technically, not every single aforementioned “small business magazine” is a magazine in the traditional (by which we mean “print”) sense, nor are they all geared specifically toward small business. But they’re all among the best of the best resources to turn to when you’re in search of advice, inspiration, or just a productive break in your day.
We know you’re a busy entrepreneur, but it’s so worth it to take a few minutes to read an article about your industry or a small business like yours—you never know what valuable piece of business wisdom could be between the covers (or just a few scrolls down) of one of these small business publications.
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