Who reads magazines in 2021? Here at Business Pundit, we do. A lot. OK, we admit—we’re not always reading a physical magazine, we read a lot of magazines on our devices and even on our phones. But we also have stacks of magazines in our break room, and piled up on our coffee tables at home.
Why? Because there’s nothing like the in-depth reporting and insight provided by a magazine. So, whether it’s been a while since you’ve read a magazine, or if reading a business magazine is your go-to for winding down at the end of a busy day at the office, it’s time to go beyond the click bait with our ranking of the best business magazines.
The Best Business Magazines
In this article we wanted to present to you more than just what we like to read. We also asked small-business owners which publications they like to read. Based on our own reading habits and the feedback received, here’s what we found out:
Covering everything from starting, growing, and innovating your company to money, tech, and more, Inc. magazine leads off our list of the best business magazines. What’s more, Inc. tells you not only the typical founder stories, it backs everything up with research and data, providing useful tips and tricks and valuable insights that translate easily to every organization.
If at the end of a long day, you enjoy stories of inspiration, success, or how business owners, CEOs, and founders overcame similar obstacles you may be facing (because admit it, when you’re off work you still like to read about work. It’s OK, we won’t tell), Inc. magazine is the best choice for you.
We also love the mix of subscription options if offers that make it easy and convenient to consume this quality content in a way that you prefer—including a mix of physical and digital subscriptions, two-year and annual plans, and monthly subscriptions.
Robin Antill, founder and CEO of Leisure Buildings has this to say about Inc.: “Being a business owner, I feel that Inc. magazine is one of the best business magazines out there and offers great insight into the business world.” In particular, Antill appreciates Inc.‘s focus on startups, and how the publication shares in-depth stories that are relatable to most small-business owners.
“These stories often contain strategies that are applicable to the businesses of this era,” Antill says. The magazine’s articles are often straight to the point and showcase different points of view without prejudice. It’s a source of inspiration for many startups and a means to keep up with the latest trends. I think they should try to focus more on web-based startups that are making a difference.”
Offering news, advice, and opinion, Forbes is a leading business publication and a common source of reading material for CEOs, founders, and rank-and-file boardroom members like you, stretching all the way back to 1917.
Covering breaking news as well as politics, business advice, and stories of inspiration in the field of entrepreneurship, Forbes is a trusted and reputable source for business news on topics of interest to both small startups and Fortune 500 companies.
As a business owner you can turn to Forbes for fundamentals (a recent article covered the basics of a business plan) but also tools for executive-level skill building. With Forbes, you’ll never fall behind the most current headlines that are revolutionizing the world of business. We also love the monthly, annual, and biennial subscription options.
Forbes is founder and CEO of VSS Monitoring Dustin Stannar’s favorite business publication. Here’s why: “It’s a business magazine but also just a great read,” he said, “perfect for someone who wants to be in the know but not get bored with an article halfway through.”
Forbes may be a classic, Stannar continues, “but it still has that cutting-edge stuff that you need to know about as well as the more old-school enterprises and those that are household names. If you are an entrepreneur and do not pick up Forbes, well, I think you are doing yourself and your company a great disservice. It could really help you out a lot!” Stannar adds.
3. Fast Company
Several business professionals in our survey recommended the next publication in our list of the best business magazines — Fast Company. Covering more than just business, Fast Company is a trusted and reputable source for breaking news and in-depth analysis of current events, viewed through the lens of what a modern business needs to know in today’s quickly changing and always volatile high-tech marketplace.
Topics covered in Fast Company range from trends in business to maintaining a healthy work-life balance. We also love how well Fast Company brings new media into the mix, with podcasts and informative videos on the website. Subscribers can choose from two daily email newsletters or the print edition with an abundance of subscription models to suit your style, including business bulk and even student orders.
When asked why they read Fast Company, business owners said that the magazine informs readers about the latest trends in the business world while also offering fresh takes and perspectives that aren’t available elsewhere. Thomas Fultz, CEO and founder of Coffeeble says, “This magazine is made for new entrepreneurs,” with informative content that’s presented in an easy-to-digest format.
“My longtime fave has been Fast Company,” added Neil Morton, chief marketing director and co-founder of StudioPTBO, because the publication keeps a keen eye on the future of business, innovatively packing content to engage and inspire.
The next magazine in this list isn’t technically a business magazine, but nevertheless, each edition of WIRED presents the modern, interconnected world in a way that’s relevant to business owners. Covering tech, science, gear, business, and politics the UK-based publication covers innovators, cutting-edge of arts and culture, and how the business leaders of tomorrow are shaping the future.
Recent informative articles in the business section have examined hiring in the age of remote workplaces, the effects of data on big business, and how gig work is affecting the economy. The website is also rich with podcasts, video, and even a jobs section to help you find your next gig. When it comes to subscription models, WIRED is also versatile, offering print options that include digital access or a digital-only option if that’s what you prefer.
Mark Coster owner and chief editor of STEM Toy Expert calls WIRED the most intelligent magazine he’s ever read. Coster understands WIRED isn’t strictly a business magazine, but that’s why he likes it and why, in his opinion, it’s a must-read for entrepreneurs.
“It might sound counterintuitive,” Coster continues, “but entrepreneurs today are in desperate need of smart, sharp, critical, and unapologetic insights that are really ‘outside the box’ without ever having to spell it out.” And that’s exactly what readers get from WIRED, according to Coster.
“WIRED never sells itself short by offering cheap eulogies of billionaires. Like old-school journalists, they hunt for topics and not people,” Coster says.
Alexandra Seagal, co-founder and editor-in-chief at Animalso, also loves WIRED. “I find myself coming back time and time again,” she says.
“It strikes a great balance between being an entertaining and interesting read, while letting me know about the latest tech developments that could impact the online workplace. I always look forward to reading it on my ipad while I sit on my couch with my coffee,” she continues.
Next up in our ranking of the best business magazines is, naturally enough, Entrepreneur. Offering stock market insight, useful tips and tricks for business owners, crucial headlines, and business leader profiles, Entrepreneur stays on top of what modern business owners need to know, including information relevant to women-led business and green-industry entrepreneurs.
Through the website, readers enjoy webinars, podcasts, and even a section for franchising opportunities. Entrepreneur’s annual subscriptions are very reasonably priced, and there are print, digital, and combination packages available.
David McHugh, CEO and founder of MyMixify, loves the magazine. “It provides a really comprehensive look at building a business from the ground up, and it’s specifically catered to small-business owners, which is the category I fall into,” McHugh tells Business Pundit in an email.
“I’m somewhere at the beginning of my journey as an entrepreneur, which can be overwhelming at times,” he continues. “But reading this magazine really helps me look at the bigger picture of building a business, and it’s a great reminder of the work it takes to reach my entrepreneurial goals,” McHugh says.
Also recommending the magazines is Jenny Winstead, program manager at LA Tutors. “Taking the time to peruse a magazine is a great way to decompress and learn something at the same time,” she says. “I’m a small-business owner in the education sector, so technology and small-business success stories are especially pertinent to my interests,” and that’s exactly what she finds in the pages of Entrepreneur.
The section in our list of the best business magazines includes two related online and digital-only publications. Both Bloomberg and Bloomberg Businessweek (formerly Businessweek) are two distinct but related online and physical publications and podcast series from the reputable Bloomberg Corporation, came up frequently when we queried businesspeople on the nature of their reading habits.
With a heavy emphasis on investing and the financial marketplace, Bloomberg is an unparalleled source for headlines relevant to business owners, offering a balanced perspective on politics, finance, and the impact of business on the environment, and Bloomberg offers a diverse, user-friendly mix of physical and digital-only subscription options as well as free digital content.
Stephen Light, the chief marketing officer and co-owner of Nolah Mattress, recommends Bloomberg for comprehensive content focused on business-related topics like the stock market and global business marketplace.
“I love that they offer their services on a digital platform, making their content easy to access without waiting for the shipment to arrive,” Light tells Business Pundit in an email. “My favorite type of content they publish are exclusive interviews, which follow prominent businesspeople on their journey. I try to imitate their tactics and apply them to reap the same level of success,” he says.
Brian Conghalie from My Open Country also reads Bloomberg because it always delivers well-researched articles, he says. “This magazine is a reliable source of accurate information on all aspects of the business,” he continues. “You get to learn its effects on our lives and keeps you up to date with the marketing strategies or trends.”
A digital-only weekly business periodical you may not (yet) be familiar with is Brainz Magazine. Take a look, though, and Brainz may just become your go-to publication, covering topics like business, innovation, lifestyle, and leadership, while offering a holistic approach to business news.
Recent article subjects include the unique challenges faced by “mompreneurs” and five ways to combat digital fatigue. There’s also plenty of hard journalism available from Brainz, along with its valuable insight into the minds—or rather “brainz,” if you will—of some of today’s most influential business leaders.
We liked a recent profile on Jim Kwik, lifestyle coach to many business executives; an article on the rise of female business leaders; and an article on how to write quality content that conforms to your unique brand. A subscription to this weekly periodical is free, and issues are sent directly to your inbox. Subscriptions to Brainz also unlock exclusive content as well as exciting invitation-only business opportunities for your business.
Susanne Grant, of Grant Method, is a lifestyle coach for business leaders and a contributor to Brainz. She’s also a reader. Brainz Magazine, she says, “allows businesses to share expertise or valuable insight within the areas of business, mindset, leadership, innovation, lifestyle, and performance.”
In addition to covering a range of topics, the weekly publication also boasts a responsive support team and fantastic marketing opportunities for advertisers, she says. Brainz Magazine’s global audience allows the expertise of business owners like Grant to shine through a brilliant online platform.
Foundr is the next digital-only business periodical brought to our attention by small-business owners just like you. After checking it out, we have no qualms at all including it in our ranking of the best business magazines. Offering a podcast, articles, and interviews, Foundr covers what’s important to a modern business person in a digital economy.
Subjects covered in recent articles include how to land your first ecommerce sale, and “7 fail-proof methods of client acquisition.” The leadership section offers guides to building the perfect founding team and information on the science-backed qualities of good leaders. A recent edition profiled Marc Randolph of Netflix, while another featured Gail Becker of CAULIPOWER on the power of a great product. And we loved a recent informative article on “6 habits of highly focused people.”
Foundr’s subscription packages include single issue, monthly, yearly, and even a back-issue bundle. We also appreciate that each subscription comes with a free trial period that can be canceled at any time.
Jon Dykstra of Fat Stacks is just one of many entrepreneurs who recommended Foundr to Business Pundit. “Foundr shares the stories of real entrepreneurs and founders in its pages, so you can go in-depth and learn how successful business owners got to where they are today,” Dykstra says in an email.
“I love that the magazine profiles actual entrepreneurs and dives into their stories, because it gives me actionable tips I can use in my own life, while being entertaining to read at the same time,” he continued.
Next in our list is SUCCESS, one of the oldest business publications still in print (and now online). With a robust blog, fascinating articles, and varied multimedia content, as well as classic paper editions to subscribe to for some before-bed reading material, SUCCESS helps business owners and entrepreneurs redefine success on their own terms in a modern business marketplace.
The “community” tab on the SUCCESS website is where readers go to network with other business professionals, and subscription packages offer digital-only access, subscription to the print edition, combination subscription offers, and loads of quality free content. Recent blog posts cover what may be killing your productivity and how to make finances part of your self-care routine.
Dan Bailey, president of WikiLawn, says his father had a subscription to SUCCESS, and he remembers reading back issues as a child.
“I remember reading his old copies when I was still in middle school,” Bailey says. “I absorbed so much from them, including concepts that have shaped how I do business today. “
Bailey goes on to say that SUCCESS gives readers the tools they need to be self-sufficient in business. “I’ve always admired this style, and it’s something I’ve incorporated into every aspect of my life, in large part thanks to articles I’ve read in this magazine,” Bailey says.
Though technically targeted at the Canadian market, the next digital-only magazine in our list, Canadian Business, covers many many relevant topics to businesspeople everywhere and comes recommended by several business leaders in our survey.
Covering diverse topics with an eye for an inclusion, recent free articles include four wildly divergent approaches to success, current events news like the development of mobile COVID-testing pods, and useful tips on how to instantly change the trajectory of your company.
John Ward from the Ontario-based company Mold Busters regularly reads Canadian Business, and recommends the publication to businesspeople everywhere.
“I still stay up to date with the big stories from the states, but [Canadian Business] is the most relevant here in Ontario. It is also the best read for keeping informed on Canadian stocks, including players in the U.S.,” he tells Business Pundit in an email.
Malte Scholz, CEO and co-founder of Airfocus, also recommends Canadian Business.
“I have been reading Canadian Business magazine for several years now,” Scholz says. “I can always find relevant, well-written articles on a variety of business topics with a special focus on the fastest-developing startups,” he continues.
Scholz goes on to say that unlike other business publications, Canadian Business avoids trends, focusing only on what matters, including stats, data, and critical analysis.
Best Business Magazines: Honorable Mentions
When we asked small-business owners their favorite business magazines, the responses came in—and they didn’t stop coming. So in conclusion, here are two quality publications that didn’t quite crack our top 10 but are still worth mentioning, nonetheless.
Kiplinger is recommended to Business Pundit by Ravi Parikh, CEO of RoverPass. “Kiplinger is my go-to business magazine,” he said. “They have valuable tips and are always on top of new business innovations and ideas. This is basically my business bible. Make it yours!”
Michael Hammelburger, CEO of The Bottom Line Group, reads McKinsey Quarterly and had this to say: “The McKinsey Quarterly is a great business magazine for CEOs like me,” he tells Business Pundit in an email. “The publication not only provides insights on leadership and management but also forecasts on future trends in different industries.”