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We asked our top columnists to recommend a favourite book or app to our Report on Small Business readers. The following list includes everything from project management software to inspirational books written by the world's most successful entrepreneurs.


My marketing department at Boughtonlaw is a big fan of BuzzSumo, an application that they use to optimize their content marketing strategy. Buzzsumo shows the most shared articles, infographics and videos about a particular topic. You can see at first glance what content is working well in an industry, the most popular links on the main social media platforms, and who the major influencers are.

-Tony Wilson is a franchising, licensing and intellectual property lawyer at Boughton Law Corp. in Vancouver


The Alliance: Managing Talent in the Networked Age by Reid Hoffman, co-founder and chairman of Linkedin, is an insightful look at the new employer-employee relationship (especially for those of us on-boarding Gen Y and soon Millenials). It speaks to recruiting, managing and retaining the entrepreneurial individuals that will help drive our business forward in a fast-changing world.

-Ken Tencer, CEO of Spyder Works Inc. is a branding and innovation thought leader who helps organizations reimagine their futures


I’d suggest Thrive by Ariana Huffington. It’s the Lean In of 2014, and I loved it reinforces the importance for women to focus on yourself and not always everyone around you. The point she makes around your eulogy and how it celebrates our lives very differently from the way society defines success. They don’t commemorate our long hours in the office, our promotions, or our sterling PowerPoint presentations as we relentlessly raced to climb up the career ladder. Your eulogy is about memories, family, your impact on the people around you and the world. I think we all need a little wake up call when we think about how much time we are spending climbing the corporate ladder.

-Mia Pearson is the co-founder of North Strategic


The best app for business owners is FreshBooks. Small businesses are given the best of “comptroller skills” by using the FreshBooks cloud based platform. It enables a small firm to operate at as sophisticated a level as a large organization with finance experts. It reminds me of the film Alien, when Sigourney Weaver was able to battle the far larger alien inside the lift operator body suit.

-Jacoline Loewen is director of business development of UBS Bank (Canada)


Charlie is an app that synchs with my calendar and delivers a “one pager” overview of the person I will be meeting with and their company. This includes news from mainstream sources, and a social round up. I get a summary in the morning of all my meetings, and an hour before the meeting. It allows me to go in informed and ready to talk about them instead of me and my product.

-Tibor Shanto is a principal at Renbor Sales Solutions Inc


The EntreLeadership Podcast – a bi-weekly audio program featuring discussions and tips on leadership and business by some of the top minds in business like Simon Sinek, Mark Cuban, or John Maxwell. I listen every Monday morning on the way into the office to get me amped for the week ahead!

Ryan Caligiuri is the president of Ryan Caligiuri International, a consultancy focused on driving revenue growth through creative growth strategies for professional services firms


We use Wrike: Project Management SaaS internally to make sure we are all on task, and that the tactics we’re employing make the most sense. Our teams and projects can get pretty remote and Wrike offers us a great method for keeping developers, programmers, and sales teams on task and up to speed.

-Cameron Chell is co-founder and CEO of Business Instincts Group, a venture creation firm in Calgary that finances and builds high-tech startups