LIVE | 8 Essential Books for Building Business Systems

There are 8 essential books for building business systems that I find myself recommending again and again to business owners, ops managers, and systems service providers who are looking to build business systems.

Rather than just reading you what could be a blog post, I’ll also give you my “two cents” on why the best business books in this category are still not perfect.

I’ll share:

#1 – What is each book about? (I’ll give you the “long story short” version.)

#2 – What is imperfect about each book? (We’ve all read “those” business books. I’ll try to warn you about the less-than-perfect aspects of each of my favorite books to help you decide before you buy.)

#3 – Which should you read next? (I’ll share when in your journey should you read this book. There’s an easier order of operations than what I originally did!)

In this video, I’ll walk through each one by one:

00:00 – Introduction

02:38 – What is System Building?

03:56 – This is Service Design Doing by Marc Stickdorn, Markus Edgar Hormess, Adam Lawrence, Jakob Schneider.

08:02 – Scaling Up by Verne Harnish

13:39 – Idea to Execution by Ari Meisel and Nick Sonnenberg

17:09 – Built to Sell by John Warrillow

22:39 – Boss Life by Paul Downs

24:47 – Systemology by David Jenyns

28:23 – The Goal by Eliyahu M. Goldratt

31:51 – How to Be a Millionaire Real Estate Investor by Gary Keller

35:06 – Recommended Order of Reading

Want to read these books yourself? Use our Amazon affiliate links:

Idea to Execution by Ari Meisel and Nick Sonnenberg here.

  • Best real-world example of system-building in practice.
books for building business systems

How to Be a Millionaire Real Estate Investor by Gary Keller here.

  • Best real-world example of teaching a prescriptive system.

This is Service Design Doing by Marc Stickdorn, Markus Edgar Hormess, Adam Lawrence, Jakob Schneider here.

  • Great technical read about the details of service blueprinting, a detailed “zoom in” of how to refine a particular workflow.
books for building business systems

Built to Sell by John Warrillow here.

  • Best for an introduction to the framework.
books for building business systems, clickup consultant

The Goal by Eliyahu M. Goldratt here.

  • Best for the terms and reasons for measuring efficiency.
books for building business systems, clickup consultant

Systemology by David Jenyns here.

  • Great overview of how to systemize a full business, but both falls into “business book tropes” which hurt its applicability.
books for building business systems, clickup consultant

Boss Life by Paul Downs here.

  • Best wake-up call for what life is like without systemization; also great to talk you OUT of running your own business.

Scaling Up by Verne Harnish here.

  • Great overview of how to scale a business and how systems fit in.
books for building business systems, clickup consultant

Bonus Books:

Mapping Experiences by James Kalbach here.

The Book on Managing Rental Properties by Brandon Turner and Heather Turner here.

Let My People Go Surfing by Yvon Chouinard here.

Badass Your Brand by Pia Silva here.

The Customer Support Handbook by Sarah Hatter here.

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Shandi is the Marketing Lead at ProcessDriven. Shandi's focus is helping small businesses learn about our ClickUp training programs by skillfully repurposing our YouTube content to reach business leaders like you.

Layla at ProcessDriven

Layla is a Vetted ClickUp Consultant who helps growing teams define their business workflows and translate them into a business instruction manual inside ClickUp. She spends most of her days teaching ClickUp, creating content, and providing unlimited feedback within the ProcessDriven Membership. The rest of the time? She's focused on creating value over on her YouTube Channel and free Facebook Group.