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6 Best Contracting Books to Read

A woman in a sun hat reading a book for contractors

What if you were to read only six books on contractor work and business during your lifetime? What would they be? How would you spot the right ones in between myriads of titles?

We’ve curated a selection of relevant and helpful books that every contractor should read. Entrepreneurs and business leaders have suggested these picks and provided their reviews. Whether you’re a contractor from the roofing industry or fencing, the below top reads will help your company thrive.

Plus, we include some bonus reads for specific industries after the general list.

Let’s jump in.

A stack of books for contractors
A man reading a contractor book on the stairs

Fundamental Topics Contractors Need to Read About

Just as you equip yourself and your team with the right tools for a job, you should arm yourself with knowledge about the ins and outs of a contracting business.

The essential topics for a contractor’s reading list are:

  • Business Management
  • Finances
  • Digital Marketing
  • Sales
  • Project Management
  • Partnerships

We’ve rounded up one title for each area to help you strengthen your skills and expertise.

6 Great Books for Every Contractor

1. The E-Myth Contractor by Michael E. Gerber

Category: Business Management

What It’s About

Did you know that 80% of contractors’ businesses fail? The majority of them do so in the first five years.

So how do you avoid failure and level up your business instead?

That’s where The E-Myth Contractor steps in. In this book, Michael Gerber teaches you how to run a contracting company successfully. This book covers vital information on:

  • Money
  • Planning
  • Subcontractors
  • Estimating
  • Customers
  • Time Management
What Readers Have to Say About It

“There’s a huge difference between owning a business and owning a job,” emphasizes Dan Wood, owner of AZ Valley Windows.

“And that’s what The E-Myth Contractor is about. The author explains why the E-Myth, a.k.a. entrepreneurial myth, exists and what dangers it has in store for business founders. The key idea lies in a mindset shift from a technician to an entrepreneur.

His groundbreaking tips helped me reinvent my windows and doors contracting business and become a true company leader,” he shares.

2. A Simple Guide to Turning a Profit as a Contractor by Leslie Shiner and Melanie Hodgdon

Category: Finances

What It’s About

“Your numbers are talking; are you listening?” the book asks. A Simple Guide to Turning a Profit as a Contractor encourages you to turn to numbers.

Aside from other financial aspects, it closely investigates the necessity of payment automation and using the right financial management tools to avoid getting buried in paperwork.

What Readers Have to Say About It

“Since business is bound to finances, I’d recommend starting with this contracting book about financial literacy and economic prosperity,” outlines Anthony Martin, founder and CEO of Choice Mutual.

“Importantly, it helps uncover extra employer costs like insurance that can be burdensome for a business owner. Unlike other similar books on finances, it includes a full glossary of financial and accounting terms that make the reader more financially savvy and ready for economic decision-making in business management.”

3. 7 Pillars of Digital Marketing for Contractors by Charles & Linda Musselwhite

Category: Digital Marketing

What It’s About

From $400K in debt to a $6M project.

It’s the result of Musselwhites’ seven-dimension framework in action. Charles and Linda Musselwhite used it to promote Jerry Russell’s firm AGE online.

Here are its seven pillars:

  1. Company’s Website
  2. Content Marketing 
  3. Emails
  4. Online Advertising
  5. Videos
  6. Social Media Presence
  7. Review Acquisition
What Readers Have to Say About It

According to Witold Stawarz, CEO of Foter magazine, “It’s one of the top books for contractors stuck at any point in their digital marketing journey.

Beginning with a website, you get a cold shower of evidence that design decides practically everything. Afterward, the authors explain how content and SEO get you found in the digital space. What I like the most from this book is the part about social networks that establish a direct line of communication between your target audience and your business.”

4. The Contractor’s CODE for Marketing and Sales by Elizabeth Allen

Category: Sales

What It’s About

Looking to close more leads and sales in your contracting business?

Follow this contractor’s survival guide on selling written by a professional sales consultant and self-employed entrepreneur, Elizabeth Allen.

She distinguishes four phases of the selling process:

  1. Lead Generation
  2. Lead Qualification
  3. The Sales Pitch
  4. Post-Sales Activities
What Readers Have to Say About It

“If the bid-a-job routine has worn you out, this is a go-to resource for a prosperous sales cycle,” claims David Cusick, CMO at AllStar Home.

“After years of bidding roofing and siding jobs, this read became a game-changer for our marketing team. It helped us take a relationship-driven approach to sales and bring our results to the next level,” he adds.

5. Customer and Contractor Project Management Book by Roberto Pisani

Category: Project Management

What It’s About

This book provides clear-cut instructions on setting up a contract and breaks down the following key aspects of project management into smaller chunks:

  • Resources (human and material)
  • Works
  • Risks
  • Time
  • Costs
What Readers Have to Say About It

“From all the books for contractors, this one is my favorite because it studies the art of project management from A to Z,” states Jack Underwood, CEO & Co-Founder of Circuit.

“It’s common knowledge that customers and contractors look at projects from a different perspective and at a completely different angle. But what we often don’t know is how to meet halfway and ensure satisfactory outcomes for each party. In his book, Roberto Pisani tackles the complexities of working on projects both locally and internationally.”

6. WIN WIN: How to Create Mutually Beneficial Relationships That Grow Your Business by Laura Meyer

Category: Partnerships

What It’s About

Win Win is a universal reference book for nurturing authentic and meaningful brand relationships.

Let’s say you want to elevate your roofing business and beat the competition. This guidebook will give you all the information on how to do that successfully and with minimum worries and concerns.

What Readers Have to Say About It

“Strategic connections and collaborations are the keys to going further in your business and growing your reach,” says Andrew Pierce, founder of Real Estate Holding Company. “This statement is woven into the win-win paradigm from this book on entrepreneurship that, I think, should lie on the table of every contractor.

If you take the real estate industry, for example, it still remains an unpenetrated realm for contractors who can use it for building relationships with realtors,” he notes.

Bonus: Industry-Specific Books About Contracting

  • For Roofing Contractors: Roofing Contractors Guide to Getting More Customers by Brian Gibbs
  • For Construction Contractors: Profit First for Contractors: Transform Your Construction Business from a Cash-Eating Monster to a Money-Making Machine by Shawn Van Dyke
  • For Restoration Contractors: The No Bulls**t Guide to Internet Marketing for Restoration Contractors by Benjamin Ricciardi
  • For Siding Contractors: Siding Contractor: Start and Run a Money-Making Business by R. Dodge Woodson
  • For Gutter Cleaning Contractors: The Gutter Bunch: A Step-by-Step Guide to Starting a Profitable Gutter Cleaning Business by Doug Grobbelaar
  • For Fencing Contractors: Internet Marketing for Fence Companies by Scott Andreasen
  • For Painting Contractors: The Sales System Playbook for Painting Contractors by Brandon Pierpont
  • For Remodeling and Home Service Contractors: Unlocking Unlimited Lead Flow: A Blueprint for Remodeling & Home Services Contractors to Make the Jump to $10MM+ by Rich Harshaw

Books for Contractors Unpacked

There you have it, some of the must-reads on running a contractor’s business. Take your time to read them, and you’ll find some actionable techniques you can apply to your business immediately.

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