The best books on starting a business will help you to Kickstart your new business. The below-mentioned books will help you in the following areas; developing business ideas, testing if the product will be successful, launching a business, and finding customers.
For most individuals, starting a business is difficult because many people do not understand entrepreneurship. Hence, the more information you have about business and entrepreneurship, the more chances of success. So, for ordinary people, the cheapest way to get information is by reading books.
In this time of economic upheaval on a global scale, starting that independent business you’ve long dreamed about might be the last thing on your mind. On the other hand, as we reconsider the way we work, there might never be a better time to go for it! So many variables factor into the process of entrepreneurship, from staff size to advertising to the ever-shifting vision of the company. Where to begin and how to make it work? Here are some of our favorite reads to equip you with the tips, tricks, and tenacity to go into business for yourself—and succeed at it.
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The 21 Must-Reads Best Books For Starting A Small Business
Author: Peter S. Cohan
As the startup culture has proliferated, these bite-size businesses have become infamous for their all-consuming personal demands, requiring their teams (sometimes teams of one) to sacrifice sleep, food, family time, and other basic human needs in the hope of getting off the ground. It’s hard to dive headfirst into a venture that takes so much out of you if you don’t go in knowing what you’re in for. Peter Cohan’s definitive guide goes behind the scenes, funneling tidbits of his personal experience and extensive case studies of general trends into an honest and genuine look at what it takes to survive in the startup world. Some of the tasks facing startup entrepreneurs—specifically “setting goals, picking markets, raising capital, building teams, gaining market share, and adapting to change”—get a spotlight, giving the aspiring starter the building blocks for success. A thorough examination of what makes entrepreneurs so hungry.
Author: Shawn Doyle and Rachael Doyle
It can be hard to find the inspiration to start a business—or the motivation to keep one going. These elusive elements are easier to come by when you’ve got the rest of your tools together. To that end, this guide functions as a sort of checklist, offering up one after another essential ingredient to a successful small business. Do you have a mission statement? How about a vision statement? (Yes, those are two different things.) Have you drawn up a business plan? Are you balancing optimistic thinking with realistic thinking? How can you set goals and stick to them? And how do the connections you make along the way influence your outcome? This is but a sampling of the questions and ideas you’ll need to keep at the forefront of your mind in your pursuit—luckily Shawn and Rachael Doyle have compiled them into a neat, handy go-to guide.
Author: Daniel Smith
Apple’s Steve Jobs has become the universal symbol of small-startup-turned-big-business, self-made success. And while every business isn’t destined for quite the same level of influence, the bright-eyed and bushy-tailed hopefuls behind every business can adopt similar methods and thought patterns—and apply them to find success of their own. In the pages of Daniel Smith’s book, you’ll find Jobsian wisdom on inspiration, innovation, presentation, timing, advertising, and more. And you’ll learn how to hone them and use them to maximum effect. From the ability to anticipate people’s needs to the ability to convert it into a marketable product, no stone is unturned in this glimpse into one of the most creative business minds of a generation. You don’t have to have been born a genius to think like one and to have the impact of one. Whatever your industry, you’ll be making a big splash in no time. Turtleneck optional.
Author: Naomi Simson
Australian entrepreneur Naomi Simson shares inside stories on the process of having an idea with the potential to hanging out a shingle on a new business. People profess varying reasons for wanting to start their own business—making more money, filling a niche in their community, or even just being their own boss—but the challenges they face tend to stem from a single source: lack of a practical plan for turning their dream into a reality. Now, Simson knows that such a plan is only as good as how well it works for you…so she helps you develop a tailored procedure to maximize the chances of your individual success. She also answers some questions you’re bound to ask along the way. What does an effective pitch look like? Where should you seek out funding? What is a pivot? And that’s only the beginning. A must-read.
Author: Howard Partridge
The subtitle of Howard Partridge’s book is How to Stop Being a Slave to Your Business and Have the Freedom You’ve Always Wanted, and that is truly its focus. Many people who might otherwise have great business ideas are deterred from pursuing them by the warning that they will have to give up all the fun in their lives and dedicate themselves body and soul to building a business. This warning has some basis in fact, but it’s hardly all pain and no gain. Partridge expounds on the joys of building relationships, the ways to use growth tools to your advantage, and the top marketing mistakes to avoid. In a world teeming with small businesses, it can feel next to impossible to distinguish yours—well, Partridge has solutions to that problem, too. Oh, and then there’s The #1 Reason Small Business Do Not Grow…and how to clear that hurdle. Think phenomenal!
Author: Stan Davis and David Mcintosh
Stan Davis and David McIntosh understand the importance of art in the business world, and they’re here to spread the philosophy. Even if your business has nothing to do with art, you would do well to apply some of its key principles to optimize the chances of success for your cherished small business. The authors demonstrate that depth and texture aren’t just artists’ jargon; they’re hidden codes to developing an interesting, attention-grabbing brand and nurturing longstanding relationships with clients and customers. Performance and creativity, when applied to entrepreneurship, can generate the same energizing effect that it has in a studio or on a stage. Better still, it can infuse your career and life with meaning and fulfillment, and it can help your business become a force for change in the world. By embracing these ideologies, you can truly—as the subtitle suggests—make all your work a work of art.
Author: Sonia Williams
When doing anything creative, like making art—or starting a business—it can feel Ike the obvious move to wait for inspiration to strike. But inspiration doesn’t simply “strike” often, and sitting and waiting for it will end up wasting the most precious resource your young business has: time.Of course, the work that goes into developing a business plan and all the attendant details might sound daunting—but expert Sonia Williams is here to assure you that it is easier than you imagine. Once you learn to master the nuances of contemporary technology and combine them with the tried-and-true techniques of the classic business model, you’ll wonder why you didn’t put your dream of self-employment into action years ago! Williams has tips on how to avoid rookie mistakes and how to maximize your chances of success on the first go. So what are you waiting for? Dive in!
Author: Julia Bickerstaff
Julia Bickerstaff introduces fun and functional manual dedicated specifically to women who are entrepreneurial hopefuls. Described as “simple, no fuss, and slightly irreverent,” it takes you through a list of “recipes” to start you on your way to a blue-ribbon-worthy business (can you tell the metaphor she’s going for?). From weighing up your resources—time, staff, money—to giving the product a trial run in the environment of just the right temperature, the ingredients and instructions are all right there in front of you. As are an array of memorable one-liners to remind you not to take yourself too seriously. The more you experiment as you bake your business, the better you’ll get at baking. Bickerstaff has armed you with everything. All that’s left is for you to roll up your sleeves and prepare to get that bread! (Literally.)
Author: Margot Fraser
Maybe you think you know everything there is to know about starting a business. Or maybe you feel like you’re missing something. Wherever you’re at, Margo Fraser and Lisa Lorimer are here to tell you what they don’t tell you in business school. This is a volume of case studies in which business owners and operators face the “tough stuff” head-on: conflicts they faced, mistakes they made, people they should (or shouldn’t) have trusted…the list goes on.
It reads like a tell-all of small business secrets, tricks of the trade, and true stories that range from run-of-the-mill to radical. And it also provides a healthy dose of inspiration, in the form of some of the most successful leaders out there who have stared down unexpected hardship and lived to tell the tale. Starting a business is synonymous with being resilient; this is the perfect guide to toughening up for the task.
Author: David Borgenicht and Mark Joyner
It’s quite easy to slip into worst-case-scenario thinking when undertaking a venture as serious and consuming as a business—probably more so than when doing some other tasks. So what if the worst were to actually occur? What if the smaller mishaps and growing pains are overshadowed by a recession, a sudden loss of funds, or an employee coup (their scenarios, not ours)? David Borgernicht and Mark Joyner bring their nationally acclaimed Worst-Case Scenario series to the small-business world, accounting for all these potential events and more.
Handling terrible customers, staying in business when you can’t make payroll, executing an emergency layoff…this book provides escape hatches for the problems you haven’t spent much time dwelling on because you’ve been hoping you’ll never face them. If and when the worst should hit, you’ll be that much prouder of yourself (not to mention that much stronger) for pulling through—and that much more prepared for the next catastrophe.
Author: John Spence
Dreaming about owning your business is one thing—acting upon it is quite another. Luckily, advisor and strategist John Spence’s book isn’t subtitled Essential Business Strategies for Turning Ideas Into Action for nothing. The book enlists and discussed his 6 primary tactics i.e. A Performance-Oriented Culture, A Sense of Urgency, and Extreme Customer Focus, Best People, Robust Communication, and Vivid Vision. He cites real-world studies and cases he has seen over the course of his career and converts their lessons into action items for you to take into your business experience.
He even includes discussion questions to get you asking yourself about the key issues so it’s less likely that you’ll lose sight of them. All with the ultimate aim of making your business the standout among competitors, the one that lasts while the rest fall away. It need not be complicated or convoluted—if you let it, it can be awesomely simple.
Author: Edward G. Rogoff
The business plan is the heart, soul, and backbone of the small company. Its strengths help the company to prosper; its weaknesses, if unchecked, can bring the company to ruin. But even before you get to that point, you need a compelling enough basic strategy to attract funding and financial backers. Edward G. Rogoff synthesizes everything he knows about the Risk Management Association, the Small Business Administration, and other forces at work to bring you the strategies and savvy that is bound to get you in the door with potential investors. From businesses run out of the home to a business owned by a sole proprietor to businesses forged through and in partnership, there is a tested and trusty technique for every type of company. So whatever you’ve got in mind, keep this book at your elbow to grow your chances of realizing the dream.
Author: Andrew Griffiths
This title separates the true winners from the casual business dilettantes. If you want to genuinely stand out, you need every trick of the trade at your disposal…and that is Andrew Griffiths comes in. To build a winning business, you need to think like a winning business-person, examining the circumstances that bring some companies to the pinnacle of their industry while laying lesser companies low. It doesn’t matter whether you’re an entrepreneurial newbie or you’ve been around the block a few times—Griffiths’s book is guaranteed to contain tips you’ve never heard before and techniques that will revolutionize the way you envision your business. Even if you take only a handful of the advice, you’ll pull ahead of what you once considered your fiercest competition.
Keep your head in the game and your eyes on the prize—and, okay, this book on your bookshelf—and your business will be every bit the winner you are.
Author: Mark Albion
Mark Albion understands the value of a values-based business model—and not monetary values (or not only monetary). Sure, starting your own business is full of hustle and grind and vision and relentlessness. But you’ve heard all that before. Can’t it also be about joy and enthusiasm? Albion believes the answer to that question is yes. The overarching message of this guide is that “business is beautiful”; and he supplies guides to seeing the beauty in the everyday yet extraordinary responsibilities that go into running a small business. Not only that, he notes the tendency of socially-minded business and business owners to rise above their competitors and make a quantifiable difference. How to lead such a company? Albion has a few ideas…and they’re good for the leader, the staff, and the world. Your all-in-one guide to effective leadership.
Author: Ben Cohen
The subtitle of Ben Cohen and Mal Warwick’s handbook is How to Change the World, Make Money, and Have Fun. We’ll bet you didn’t think you could do all three of those things at once, did you? If you’re well into the process of running a business and thinking “there must be more than this”—or if you’re just starting out and hoping to create a meaningful work experience from the get-go—then this is undoubtedly the book for you.
Not only will the ideas Cohen and Warwick propose to help you to create a sustainable and socially responsible business model that allows you to run side by side with the big corporations, but they might also even help you to outshine those corporations. We won’t make any promises, just to be safe…but suffice it to say there is a way to “have it all” in the entrepreneurial world, and this book will help you on your way there!
Author: Brain Tracy
Great news about business, a bit like the rest of life: the successful people to come before you have paved the way. Follow their lead and you’re likely to find the same success. Don’t follow it and you’re likely not to. Circumstances differ in every business environment, but there are some universal truths that can be counted upon at any stage of company growth. Lucky for you, Brian Tracy has compiled these truths into a single guide for easy and frequent consultation. Some of them might seem obvious or as if they are over-simplifying matters. Others you may never even have thought to think of. Nonetheless, there is a reason they all exist, and a reason many business owners have reached fame or fortune (or at least satisfaction) upon them. Don’t miss this guide to how to help your business directly gain the edge in its market.
Author: Andrew Griffiths
Businesses are bound to weather storms, so they should be built to. Andrew Griffiths, one of Australia’s leading marketing consultants, brings all his knowledge and expertise to this guide on how to increase the chances that your business will weather such storms. From economic crises to intra-company drama, there are all sorts of problems—on all manner of scales—that your business can encounter, and you (as its fearless leader) need to be equipped to contend with them. What’s more, you need to feel confident in your ability to manage the ups and downs, big and small, of entrepreneurial life. Griffiths gives you the know-how that will see you through. Stick with these tips and tricks, stories, and studies—let them inform your approach to your work—and your business will be bulletproof in ways you never thought possible.
Author: Jim Stovall
”You can’t expand your wallet until you expand your mind,” goes one of the many sayings in this book—and few are qualified to articulate this message like Jim Stovall, filmmaker, and expert at “creating, enjoying, and sharing the wealth.” Stovall’s volume stresses the importance of being willing to give freely of yourself if you are to truly achieve the lofty ambition of becoming a millionaire. Accumulating wealth is as much about what you do with it as it is about what it allows you to do, and what you take from it is only as good as what you make of it.
Stovall advises you to take control of your money while you can, lest it exerts its own control over you later. He reveals the complexity behind the millionaire complex and the mindset that must accompany the pursuit of wealth. There are many ways of becoming rich, and, as this book proves, how you think of it makes all the difference.
Author: Fred Kofman
Fred Kofman explores the idea we touched upon earlier in this list, that of equating the myriad meanings of value: his subtitle is How to Build Value Through Values. A business is a reflection of personal beliefs and values, he argues, and a successful business is one that adheres most closely to your beliefs and values. And it isn’t something that happens by itself or overnight—at least, not if the belief system represented is the one you want to be represented. You have to craft it intentionally; you have to be conscious. Furthermore, a conscious leader makes for conscious staff and a conscious image that will in turn attract a conscious clientele. Keep this book close at hand for a steady reminder of the dignity and worth of each person in the community of business.
Remember that it is a community, after all, and that you have a say in shaping how aware, awake, and alive that community is.
Author: Ken Hudson
Ken Hudson outlines sixty (that’s right—60!) tried-and-true methods for growing your business beyond not only its current point but the point you imagined it could grow to. The power of ideas is tremendous, but nary a business has run on ideas alone: they must be transformed into action. Luckily, the action flows nonstop through the pages of this book. Hudson presents thoughts on problem-solving, strengthening your team both individually and collectively, and creating opportunities for personal and financial growth. Whatever your sector in the business word—advertising, marketing, customer relations, sales, or even (especially) leadership—there is an invaluable takeaway for you. Everyone can learn from this book about how to contribute more effectively to their team and do their part to make their company better for the world. Get those ideas moving from your brain into your world and there’s no telling to what heights they’ll take you.
Author: Ken Hudson
The “lean startup” has two objectives in mind: agility and flexibility. Author Michel Gelobter walks you through the steps to creating a small, optimized business model (if you’re new to the entrepreneurial world) or to streamline your business model (if you’ve established yourself). The goal of the lean strategy, which is gaining traction in businesses of all sizes, is to have a plan that can adapt easily to volatile markets and ever-changing economic conditions. With the mantra “build, measure, learn” at the heart of the strategy, Gelobter guides you through a timeline in which you, the business owner, regularly stop and evaluate your plan. Is it too susceptible to unexpected events? Can it withstand a major hit? The process is built on testing small experiments instead of taking major gambles. Countless enterprises have already found the method has made generous returns—try it for yourself!
As we hope this list demonstrates, it’s never too late to claim your share of the market, and though it’s no casual undertaking, the process is frequently much less croof fraught than you might expect or fear. More importantly, these books can help you to sidestep some of the most common issues facing would-be entrepreneurs. Be sure to check out these handy and helpful guides to making your mark on the world of small business. In fact, follow the advice they give you and you may find your “small” business booming! But all that for later—first, get ready, with these reads by your side, to hang out your shingle. You’ll be glad you did.