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4 Best Intro to Business Textbooks for Your High School Classroom in 2022

April 29th, 2022 | 10 min. read

Brad Hummel

Brad Hummel

Coming from a family of educators, Brad knows both the joys and challenges of teaching well. Through his own teaching background, he’s experienced both firsthand. As a writer for AES, Brad’s goal is to help teachers empower their students through listening to educators’ concerns and creating content that answers their most pressing questions about career and technical education.

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When teaching a foundational high school course such as Introduction to Business, it is essential to keep your material fresh and accessible to your students. Although you have been using a favorite Intro to Business textbook for years, even the best textbooks slowly become out of date. 

In order to find resources that will engage and challenge your students today, it's time to look for a new curriculum that better suits the needs of today’s learners.

While we provide a business education curriculum thousands of teachers use in introductory business courses, teachers who prefer textbooks often ask us about what books other educators are using in their classrooms.

In this post, we’ll examine four of the best Intro to Business textbooks available today:

    1. Foundations of Business
    2. Better Business
    3. Business Foundations: A Changing World
    4. Principles of Business, Marketing, and Finance

After reading this article, you should have a more complete idea of what Introduction to Business textbooks are offering and if one may be the right choice for your students.

1. Foundations of Business

foundations-of-businessFoundations of Business is an introduction to business textbook from educational publisher Cengage. Written by William M. Pride, Robert J. Hughes, and Jack R. Kapoor, the text is currently in its sixth edition, published in 2019.

What subjects does Foundations of Business cover?

As a comprehensive Intro to Business text, Foundations of Business includes fifteen units engineered to give students a basic understanding of the principles of the business world and the essential aspects of business relationships, management, and operations.

Foundations of Business includes these fifteen chapters:

    1. Exploring the World of Business and Economics
    2. Ethics and Social Responsibility
    3. Global Business
    4. Choosing a Form of Business Ownership
    5. Small Business, Entrepreneurship, and Franchises
    6. Understanding the Management Process
    7. Creating a Flexible Organization
    8. Producing Quality Goods and Services
    9. Attracting and Retaining the Best Employees
    10. Motivating and Satisfying Employees and Teams
    11. Enhancing Union-Management Relations
    12. Building Customer Relationships Through Effective Marketing
    13. Creating and Pricing Products That Satisfy Customers
    14. Understanding Money, Banking, and Credit
    15. Mastering Financial Management

When studied step-by-step, Foundations of Business can help students understand the fundamentals of working in business.

What additional materials does Foundations of Business include?

In addition to the textbook itself, Foundations of Business provides teachers with an Instructor Manual and pre-made PowerPoint presentations to use in the classroom. Teachers also have access to test banks and other assessment resources, while students can access appendices to the textbook online.

The instructional materials also include content to help teachers correlate the textbook to their academic standards.

How much does the Foundations of Business textbook cost?

The paperback student edition of Foundations of Business costs $124.95 per copy. However, Cengage offers several digital options for accessing the book.

The eBook version of Foundations of Business is available for prices starting at $38.99 per student. Cengage also has several premium services for accessing the textbook, including Cengage Unlimited and the MindTap Online Homework Platform. These services allow access to multiple texts but at a higher cost per student.

2. Better Business

better-businessPearson publishes Better Business, an Intro to Business textbook designed for students in grades 9-12. Now in its 2018 fifth edition, Better Business was written by Michael R. Solomon, Mary Anne Poatsy, and Kendall Martin.

What subjects does Better Business cover?

Better Business presents content in a question-and-answer format that requires students to engage in classroom conversations about the course material. The textbook uses examples to illustrate the success or failure of business opportunities, along with “mini-chapters” to highlight critical topics within each unit.

Overall, Better Business includes sixteen chapters of content divided into five major units:

I. Looking at the Business Environment

1. Business Basics
2. Economics and Banking
3. Ethics in Business
4. Business in a Global Economy

II. Starting and Structuring a Business

5. Small Business and the Entrepreneur
6. Forms of Business Ownership

III. Managing a Business and Employees

7. Business Management and Organization
8. Motivation, Leadership, and Teamwork
9. Human Resource Management
10. Online Business and Technology
11. Production, Operations, and Supply Chain Management

IV. Principles of Marketing

12. Marketing and Consumer Behavior
13. Product Development, Branding, and Pricing Strategies
14. Promotion and Distribution

V. Principles of Finance

15. Financing and Accounting for Business Operations
16. Investment Opportunities in the Securities Market

The organization of Better Business ensures that students recognize and understand the principles of each of the five main content areas and the complexities of working in the modern business world.

What additional materials does Better Business include?

Better Business Fifth Edition includes an updated list feature, new box features, and expanded social media strategies and technologies coverage. The textbook resources include up-to-date test banks to ensure teachers can assess students fairly.

In addition, classrooms that use the MyLab online homework, tutorial, and assessment program have access to business videos, learning games, decision-making simulations, and study modules to help students get the most out of the Better Business textbook.

What does Better Business cost?

Better Business is available in paper form for $159.99. However, Pearson directs K-12 educators to contact their Savvas Learning Company representative for other purchase options and custom pricing for your educational institution.

3. Business Foundations: A Changing World

business-foundations-changing-worldBusiness Foundations: A Changing World is a popular Intro to Business textbook available from venerable publisher McGraw Hill.

Appropriate for ninth-grade students and up, Business Foundations was written by O.C. Ferrell, Geoffrey A. Hirt, and Linda Ferrell. McGraw Hill published the twelfth edition in 2021.

What subjects does Business Foundations cover?

As its title suggests, Business Foundations: A Changing World focuses on the changes to the business world today’s learners will face in the coming years. Often, these challenges are driven by developments in technology which will continue for the foreseeable future.

Business Foundations includes 16 chapters divided into six parts, along with two bonus chapters:

I. Business in a Changing World

1. The Dynamics of Business and Economics
2. Business Ethics and Social Responsibility
3. Business in a Borderless World

II. Starting and Growing a Business

4. Options for Organizing Business
5. Small Business, Entrepreneurship, and Franchising

III. Managing for Quality and Competitiveness

6. The Nature of Management
7. Organization, Teamwork, and Communication
8. Managing Operations and Supply Chain

IV. Creating the Human Resource Advantage

9. Motivating the Workforce
10. Managing Human Resources

V. Marketing: Developing Relationships

11. Customer-Driven Marketing
12. Dimensions of Marketing Strategy
13. Digital Marketing and Social Networking

VI. Financing the Enterprise

14. Accounting and Financial Statements
15. Money and the Financial System
16. Financial Management and Securities Markets

Bonus Chapters

A. The Legal and Regulatory Environment
B. Personal Financial Planning

Business Foundations follows a similar organization and content structure to Better Business and includes specific units on marketing and finance. The format is easy to follow, which will help students master material in each content area.

What additional materials does Business Foundations include?

Along with the textbook, Business Foundations includes several digital resources to help teachers and students be successful.

Business Foundations users can access the SmartBook 2.0 version of the text along with the ReadAnywhere mobile app. Both include application-based activities and exercises for students to reinforce learning.

How much does the Business Foundations textbook cost?

McGraw Hill’s Business Foundations: A Changing World textbook is available for $116.00 per student copy. To access the digital resources related to the text, educators will need to purchase a digital subscription.

Instructors can choose to purchase the subscription with a single year of digital access for $126.91 or opt for a six-year subscription for $135.00 per student.

4. Principles of Business, Marketing, and Finance

principles-business-marketing-financeThe Goodheart-Willcox Company’s Principles of Business, Marketing, and Finance text explores these core subjects of the business world for students in grades 6-12. Written by Robert L. Dansby, Chris Gassen, and Brenda Clark, Principles of Business, Marketing, and Finance was published in 2017.

What subjects does Principles of Business, Marketing, and Finance cover?

The essential subjects of finance and marketing play a prominent role in this Goodheart-Willcox textbook. Principles encourages students to explore contemporary business issues to become aware of the challenges and opportunities they encounter as they enter the workforce.

Course material in Principles of Business, Marketing, and Finance is divided into six units featuring 23 chapters:

I. Business Environment

1. Introduction to Business and Economics
2. Economic Activity
3. Business Law and Ethics
4. Business in the Free Enterprise
5. Business in a Global Economy

II. Business Management

6. Entrepreneurship
7. Business Organization, Management, and Leadership
8. Production of Goods
9. Human Resources Management

III. Marketing

10. Marketing
11. Product, Price, and Place
12. Promotion
13. Selling

IV. Business Finance

14. Risk Management
15. Money and Banking
16. Credit
17. Financial Management

V. Personal Finance

18. Income and Taxes
19. Personal Banking and Investments
20. Insurance

VI. Managing Your Career

21. Career Planning
22. Writing for Employment
23. Digital Citizenship

One of the notable features of this introduction to business textbook is the expanded focus on personal finance and career management. While Business Foundations only includes a bonus chapter on personal finance, Principles has an entire three-chapter unit on the subject. The final unit of the book consists of three chapters to help students prepare for working in the modern business world.

What additional material does Principles of Business, Marketing, and Finance include?

Principles of Business, Marketing, and Finance features a number of additional resources to help students succeed. Students can benefit from the Math Skills Handbook included in the text. The Exploring Careers feature introduces students to opportunities in the business management and administration career cluster.

Teachers can use pre-made PowerPoint slides that come with the text and benefit from several correlations to state and industry assessment standards.

What does Principles of Business, Marketing, and Finance Cost?

Teachers can purchase Goodheart-Willcox’s textbook in print format for $116.00. A related student workbook is sold separately for $28.00 per copy.

Educators interested in accessing the digital version of the text can do so for $58.00 per student for a single year or choose a subscription of up to six years at an additional cost. Some educational institutions may be eligible for a pricing discount on their orders. 

Which Introduction to Business Textbook is Right for You?


Several quality options are available to teachers looking to refresh their current business curriculum with a new Introduction to Business textbook. Depending on your specific needs, one of these four textbooks could be the right fit for you.

  • If you’re looking for a basic introductory text that surveys most of the essential topics related to business, Foundations of Business could be a good choice for your classroom.
  • If you want a structured, balanced text that includes sections on marketing and finance, consider Better Business for your foundational course.
  • If a newly-updated text which handles the entire business spectrum, including marketing and finance, meets your needs, look at Business Foundations.
  • If your students could benefit from a higher focus on personal finance and career readiness in addition to business finance and marketing, Principles of Business, Marketing, and Finance might be the best fit.

Even with an up-to-date intro to business textbook, student engagement could still be a challenge in your classroom. This is why many instructors employ multiple resources to keep students focused and learning. 

Using both textual and digital resources is one way instructors can differentiate their instruction. While some textbooks include access to digital resources, some teachers find that their students are better engaged when they supplement their texts with additional digital materials.

If you are interested in using digital resources to supplement your Intro to Business textbook, check out the Top 4 High School Business Education Curriculum Resources:

Discover 4 Popular Business Education Curriculum Resources