The best business magazines are sometimes hard to come by.
It can be especially difficult if you’re an entrepreneur or small business owner, as a lot of magazines talk about huge ideas and things that will eat five years of marketing budget.
That said, I do love a good magazine!
The internet is great don’t get me wrong, but when I catch the train or a flight, I sometimes like to read an actual physical business magazine. There’s just something about it.
Call me strange, but I love flipping through the glossy pages. And call me weird, but I love the smell of print work!
And we all know what smell I’m referring to here! It’s like the paper version of a ‘new car’ smell. You just can’t beat it.
Walking into WHSmiths and taking your pick of business magazines is one of life’s simplest pleasures.
So, which business magazines are my favourite? And which are the best for entrepreneurs and small business owners?
The Best Business Magazines for Entrepreneurs and Business Owners
What makes a good business magazine the best business magazine? (It’s not just the smell!)
In the digital age, I appreciate magazines that aren’t just recycling the content they post to their website. I don’t want to read a magazine full of blog posts!
It has to be something different. And the print design has to be great too!
We’ve also ran each of these websites through our favourite SEO tool, AHREFs, to find out which of their articles are visited, read, and shared the most.
Before we dive in, have you ever been curious as to what goes in to making a magazine?
Well, we’ve just created a new video that explains just that. Check it out here.
In this video, we work through the design and printing of a magazine for one of our regular clients.
This shows your the process from start to finish and gives you more of an insight into how we approach these type of projects.
From first draft, to final print, this video shows you exactly what’s involved.
Anyway, let’s take a look at my favourite business magazines and their best articles:
Entrepreneur Magazine is an American publication, but it has become one of my go-to business magazines.
That said, it can be a little tricky to get hold of. I subscribed to a local magazine provider who’ve sourced the magazine for me.
The magazine was first published in 1997 and currently, they produce 10 issues annually.
I like Entrepreneur because it’s focus is squarely on entrepreneurship. They also feature celebrities and famous figures with business interests and they’re often fun to read about.
Recently, they’ve featured:
- Elon Musk
- Maria Sharipova
- Kristen Bell
- Michelle Pfeiffer
Entrepreneur Magazine manages to attract the “big guns” but also write articles on up-and-comers and exciting startups too.
It’s a well rounded magazine that manages to be both informative and entertaining.
The Top 3 Articles on Entrepreneur Magazine’s Website
- 10 Things You Can Do to Boost Self-Confidence
- 7 Steps to a Perfectly Written Business Plan
- The Complete, 12-Step Guide to Starting a Business
Best For: Easy to read business articles
Forbes Magazine is another great read. Especially if you like to read about the rich.
Again, Forbes Magazine is another American publication and was founded way back in 1917. They publish on a bi-weekly basis.
With a motto like “The Capitalist Tool” – it’s not hard to imagine the type of magazine Forbes is.
They focus quite heavily on billionaires, wealth, and money. Forbes compete directly with Bloomberg Businessweek and Fortune Magazine.
Most of their articles discuss finance, industry, investing, and marketing. However, they also include posts in the related topics of technology, communications, science, politics, and law.
Reading Forbes is quite inspirational. It’s easy to imagine yourself making the Forbes rich list, and it certainly gives me a motivation boost!
The Top 3 Articles on Forbes Magazine’s Website
Forbes write such a variety of articles that their top ranking posts tend to be about security, hacks, leaks, or unsurprisingly, the porn industry.
We’ve eliminated the risky clicks and pop culture and their top 3 most visited pages are:
- Billionaires: The Richest People in the World
- What Are The 25 Best Jobs In The U.K. And How Much Do They Pay According To Glassdoor?
- GLOBAL 2000: The World’s Largest Public Companies
Best For: Lists, money, fame, billionaires
Another great business magazine produced across the pond in the USA. Inc was founded in 1979 and is based in New York City.
Every year they publish their list of the 500 and 5000 fastest growing companies in the USA. These lists are called “The Inc 500” and “The Inc 5000.”
Their lists are a great place to gain motivation (just like Forbes’ rich list!) and give you the kick up the rear you might need.
Inc typically focus their articles on small business and startups.
As well as that, they do tackle a broad range of other subjects including:
- Business success stories
- Green earth through business
- Self help and motivation
Inc is a great magazine, and I love their lists and business articles.
I’ve never been a huge fan of self development and motivation articles, but their business articles outweighs them at a big enough ration to make Inc a must read magazine.
The Top 3 Articles on Inc Magazine’s Website
- 51 Quotes to Inspire Success in Your Life and Business
- 10 Simple Ways You Can Stop Yourself From Overthinking
- How to Write an Executive Summary
Best For: Small business and startups
Fast Company Magazine
Fast Company is yet another American publication (where are all the great UK based publishers at?) that makes our list of must read business magazines.
Starting in 1995 they’re one of the newer magazines on the list! And with eight issues a year, they’re not the most frequent publisher.
However, each issue they put out is business gold.
Fast Company run with the tagline “the future of business” – and that perfectly sums up what they’re all about.
On top of the magazine itself, the Fast Company magazine website is also a great read.
If you can get your hands on an issue, make sure you pick it up!
The Top 3 Articles on Fast Company Magazine’s Website
- Dwayne Johnson dives into bottled water with new Voss Water Deal
- What It’s Like To Drink Bulletproof Coffee Every Morning For Two Weeks
- Here’s Why Nobody Wants To Buy Birchbox, Even After VCs Spent $90M
Best For: Advances in technology, looking at the new business world
Unsurprisingly, another American publication is in the list. This time, it’s New York City based Fortune Magazine.
Fortune are also one of the oldest publications in our list of must-read business magazines.
You may be familiar with Fortune for their renowned “Fortune 500” companies list.
Fortune competes directly with Bloomberg Businessweek (coming up next!) and the already mentioned Forbes magazine.
Fortune run to a monthly publication schedule and focus on running longer in-depth articles than their competitors.
They also post regular news updates from across the business world.
Fortune Magazine is a great pickup, especially in the issue where they announce the new Fortune 500 list!
The Top 3 Articles on Fortune Magazine’s Website
- Fortune 500
- Friedlieb Ferdinand Runge: The Man Who Gave Us Caffeine
- Spotify Brings Back Annual Feature—2018 Wrapped
Best For: Fortune 500, long in-depth articles, lists
Bloomberg Businessweek compete with Fortune and Forbes magazines, and of course, they’re American too. Again, they’re NYC based.
It seems, New York City’s brand still holds appeal for publishing companies.
The magazine is published by major press corporation, Bloomberg.
They’re also the only magazine on the list (so far!) publishing on a weekly basis, 47 times a year.
First published way back in 1929, Bloomberg Businessweek aims to provide information and interpretations of the “current goings on” in the business world.
Bloomberg stray away from the typical “glossy magazine” type design, and go for something a little more unique with each issue.
The printed version of Bloomberg Businessweek is lovely to look through. Alternatively, you can join the 100,000 other subscribers and receive it digitally through iTunes.
The Top 3 Articles on Bloomberg Businessweek’s Website
Bloomberg Businessweek’s website works in a slightly different way to others and our SEO tool is having difficulty crawling it.
The best articles are available in Bloomberg’s printed or digital offering, and we urge you to check it out there!
Best For: Current affairs
Wired are the second youngest magazine in this list, as it was founded in 1993. Again, over in the USA – but this time in California!
Wired publish monthly around the topics of business, technology, science, culture, and lifestyle.
Wired is a great choice if you’re not looking for anything too “business heavy” – as they offer a lot of other content too. Yet, the articles they offer up still make for a good read, rather than any sort of sensationalist rubbish.
Recent cover stars of Wired include:
- Elon Musk
- Stella McCartney
- Charlie Brooker
You can see from the list above, they dive into a range of topics. Business, tech, fashion, TV, politics and more.
Wired is a great aeroplane read!
The Top 3 Articles on Wired Magazine’s Website
- The Secret to Success on YouTube? Kids
- The 13 Tablets Worth Buying Right Now
- The WIRED Guide to Net Neutrality
Best For: Technology, light reading, things in related verticals to business
Harvard Business Review
Harvard Business Review is published 6 times a year, and is a subsidiary of Harvard University.
According to Wikipedia:
HBR’s articles cover a wide range of topics that are relevant to various industries, management functions, and geographic locations. These focus on areas including leadership, organizational change, negotiation, strategy, operations, marketing, finance, and managing people.
I’ve never read a copy of Harvard Business Review myself, but it comes highly recommended from my network.
I do however, take a look over their website from time to time.
Harvard Business Review are another magazine that eschew the typical “cover star” and glossy magazine design style.
Instead they use creative imagery and illustrations for a good portion of their covers.
In 2009, Harvard Business Review brought in former managing editor of the Times magazine, Adi Ignatius.
He gave the magazine a new lease of life with the brand mission:
“Delivering information in the zeitgeist that our readers are living in.”
By nailing their brand strategy, Harvard Business Review skyrocketed in popularity.
The Top 3 Articles on Harvard Business Review’s Website
- The Balanced Scorecard—Measures that Drive Performance
- Are Companies About to Have a Gen X Retention Problem?
- Exploit the Product Life Cycle
Best For: Motivation, leading teams, Academic pieces
Creative Review are a magazine I’m very familiar with, and the first UK based publication on the list!
They swap New York City for London, and whilst not strictly a business magazine, write great articles about design, brand building, and advertising.
Creative Review lean very heavily on design and advertising for their content and publish on a bi-monthly basis.
But now more than ever, your brand is an important business marketing tool.
Not sure how to get started? Check out The Ultimate Small Business Branding Guide.
Even though a lot of the articles in Creative Review are brand lead, they do also write a good amount of business articles.
If you have even a fleeting interest in design and brand building, alongside business, then Creative Review is probably the perfect magazine for you.
The Top 3 Articles on Creative Review’s Website
- Tesco – Every Little Helps
- John Lewis – Never Knowingly Undersold
- Food, sex and superheroes: what makes a great GIF?
Best For: Design, advertising, branding, creativity
Let’s hop back over the pond, to United States based Adweek magazine.
First published in 1978, Adweek, like Creative Review, covers a range of creative topics, including:
- Client-agency relationships
- Global advertising
- Accounts in review
- New campaigns
They have their finger on the pulse and much like Bloomberg, publish weekly.
Adweek talk about up-to-date news from within the advertising world, but also share tactical marketing advice.
Check out this post, if you’re looking for more specific marketing magazines and publications.
Again, although Adweek sounds niche, it’s not at all, and their content should interest most business owners and entrepreneurs.
The Top 3 Articles on Adweek’s Website
- Hidden Skype Emoticons, Smileys
- 10 Royalty-Free Music Sites Every Online Video Creator Should Know
- Longest YouTube Video Ever Will Take You 23 Days To Watch
Best For: The advertising industry, creativity, marketing
Stuff Magazine is one of our lead designer’s favourites. He buys it every time we catch the train anywhere!
It’s also the only other UK based magazine on the list.
And whilst not business focused at all, their heavy focus on technology and innovation again, should excite most business owners and entrepreneurs.
The Top 3 Articles on Stuff Magazine’s Website
Stuff’s website tends to focus on technology reviews. They’ve reviewed a range of phones, tablets, laptops and more.
However, by linking out to specific articles, we’ll not be providing the most up to date information possible.
Check out their website below if you’re interested in their take on the best modern technology for your business.
Best For: Technology, innovation, electronics, reviews
As you’ll already know, things in the business world never stay the same for long.
Whether it’s changes to customers, purchasing habits, or technology, you’ve got to stay in the loop.
One of the biggest challenges in the world of business is changes to the economy. This means should be paying attention to how this affects your business so that you can put the right strategies in place.
This is where The Economist comes in useful as it shares insights and opinions from experts on the topics of news, politics, business, finance, and most importantly economics.
Having been round since 1843, it’s a staple of the business world.
The Top 3 Articles on The Economist Magazine’s Website
- The Rise and Rise of A24, a Champion of Storytelling on Screen
- England’s Football Clubs Are Playthings for the Global Elite
- What Is a Recession?
Best for: Financial information, news updates, the economy
Must-Read Business Magazines for Entrepreneurs and Business Owners
The quality of some business magazines change quite frequently.
But, at the time of writing, the magazines I’ve outlined above would be my go to choices.
Although the majority of the business magazines above are American publications, most of them are pretty easy to get your hands on.
I’ve never got my head around subscribing to a magazine on a tablet. It just doesn’t sit the same as reading a well put together glossy publication!
So the next time you’re in the train station or airport, and you’re not listening to a business podcast, look out for my favourite business magazines.
And enjoy the smell!
What do you read when you travel? Do you have a favourite business magazine not listed here? Let me know in the comments below.