Knowledge is the key to success. And the most prominent sources of obtaining knowledge are from books, magazines and of course, the Internet. At some point, when starting a small business, you will find yourself in need of inspiration. And there is nothing better than good, old-fashioned small business magazines (or, maybe an online version of a business magazine) to give you the revitalising 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 favourite blogs, podcasts, books and online forums, subscribing to regularly-updated small business magazines is a great way to stay savvy about 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.
We recommend starting your search with these 20 must-read publications.
We are pretty sure you have heard of some of the following business magazines, if you are not already a loyal subscriber. There are others you might never have considered small business magazines before. But, in the interest of thoroughness, this list of the best small business magazines will go over exactly which publications are best for you.
If you are looking to start a small business, or grow your already successful business, Entrepreneur is a great business 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 will 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 start-up-specific verticals online include “Inspiration,” “How To,” “Franchise,” “Technology” and conveniently, “Start a Business”.
If you are looking for a mix of actionable advice and entertaining stories that relate to your small business or industry, Entrepreneur is one of the best business magazines for you to subscribe to.
Best for round-up lists
Forbes magazine is an industry standard that has been peeking out of Wall Streeters’ briefcases for over a century. It is probably the business magazine with the greatest name recognition. Both Forbes’ print and online editions 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 as a small business magazine specifically and where its clout and calibre truly shine 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 venture is.
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Best for special reports
Whether you are running a fast-growing start-up, or you are just opening the doors of your small business, you will benefit from the small business insight that every issue of Inc. magazine and its online publication called 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.
Best for start-up inspiration
Fast Company‘s name is totally appropriate to their sensibilities. It has been an industry standard in the business magazine world since 1995. Their stories offer flashy, exciting looks into some of the fastest-growing start-ups 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 to compete with other small business magazines that covers 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, with this business magazine.
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Best for finance
As the name suggests, Money is a business magazine that is geared mainly towards small business owners or employees in the finance world. But that does not mean you should not be reading it if you are not directly involved in finance. Ultimately, every small business owner has to deal with their business’ financials and Money is a legitimate source for actionable advice.
Published by TIME, Money earns its small business magazine chops because it covers everything from managing your business banking account to investing in your small business. In addition, 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.
Best for “how-to” guides
Regardless of your industry, Business2Community is one of the best “how-to” small business magazines you will find. This magazine is great for staying up-to-date with news in your industry and the tech space, but it is also a great resource for entrepreneurs who need actionable advice on how best to run their small businesses and manage their staff.
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.
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Best for small business inspiration
Success magazine is not specifically tailored to be a business magazine. Instead, it is aimed toward achieving personal success in life, however you define that term. But Success magazine must be on your list of business magazines to read and follow.
After all, as a small business owner, your personal success is directly related to your business’ 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.
So, no matter what kind of small business advice you need, Business2Community should always have some content that can help.
Best for an overview of business
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 Wall Street Journal’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 start-ups. And once you have grown into the experienced entrepreneur that you are destined to be, start following Wall Street Journal’s Venture Capital Dispatch. It is a great resource for business owners, or even small business investors, who have been around for a while.
Best for business management tips
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 are looking to finance your business, you might find some particularly useful advice in this small business magazine. Small Business Today also has a valuable and precious section that connects small business owners to events in their area.
Check out this business magazine’s long list of local events if you would like to network with other small business owners in your industry.
Best for start-up news
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 start-ups.
Best for established businesses
Small Business Trends has precious online and print resources that cover all things small business thus, 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 will 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 will have access to resources that cover a wide range of topics you deal with every day as a small business owner.
Best for science and technology
If you want to stay on the cutting edge of science and technology, Wired is an absolute must-read. Although 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.
Best for business opinions
The Washington Post is one of the nation’s leading news sources, with a special interest in covering national politics. But, once you have read up on today’s headlines, you should hop over to the Post’s “On Small Business Section”, which functions somewhat like a business magazine in its own right.
Articles in this section can have a political bent, but they all relate directly to news and legislative implications for 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 small business magazine-like section features some thought-provoking opinion pieces, too, like a perspective on whether Amazon is good or bad for small business.
Best for Franchise Owners
If you are 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.
Best for light reading on business and technology
In its early days, Mashable focused almost exclusively on social media, but the site’s share-worthy content quickly expanded its scope and, now, the site features an exclusive Business vertical. 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 start-up. But if you are just starting up a new venture, or if you are transitioning into entrepreneurship from a previous job, you will probably find some useful or inspirational pieces at this business magazine, regardless of your age.
Unlike other small business magazines, Mashable’s content is not too heavy or dense. So if you are looking for something light but compelling to read on the train, between meetings, or before bed, then Mashable should be your go-to business publication.
Online publisher TechCrunch is one of the best business magazines 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 are 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 like 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, such as news articles and your social media channels. Then, investors, other business owners, or interested individuals, can find and follow your profile.
Crunchbase is not only for small ventures. Some of the world’s biggest companies, like Apple, Netflix, Tesla and LinkedIn itself are active on Crunchbase.
Best for restaurant owners
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.
Best for healthcare professionals
You are 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 are not in the healthcare industry, you may be interested to read about, or nominate someone for Modern Healthcare’s awards lists, which recognises the best executives, hospitals and other healthcare leaders across the country.
Best for women’s clothing designers
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) because it functions both as a business magazine and lifestyle publication.
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.
Best for logistics
Whether you are in trucking or warehousing or materials handling, if your small business is involved in any link in the supply chain, you are exactly the readership that Inbound Logistics magazine is here for. This business magazine is a one-stop-shop for all things logistics offers news, tips on successfully running a logistics business reports, such as how to boost warehouse productivity and choose a warehouse managing system on industry trends and much 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.
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.
This list has probably widened what you would consider a business magazine, but they are all among the best of the best resources to turn to when you are in search of advice, inspiration, or just a productive break in your day. We know you are a busy entrepreneur, but it is 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 of one of these small business magazines. So, being an entrepreneur, you should read these small business magazines.