Last updated on December 14th, 2022
One of my hobbies is reading, and I’m a strong believer that books can be a great resource for knowledge and information when studying a range of topics.
As a result, I actually recommend that those who want to start their own small business should read as much as they can first.
Whether it’s from books or genuine business and marketing articles from blogs like mine, you can learn so much more by going out and reading.
But…which books should start with?
Here are some of my favorite books which I like to recommend to small business owners. Not all of the books below will be relevant to you, or perhaps some just don’t meet your reading preferences – and that’s completely fine!
Read what you enjoy but if you are stuck for ideas, then I hope the recommendations below will help you find a good book to start with.
Best Books For Small Businesses (In My Opinion)
Here are my top recommendations for books for small businesses (see also ‘Best Small Business Onboarding Software‘).
As a little disclaimer, everyone has their own reading preferences so I can’t promise that you will be completely in love with all the options below. However, you may find some really interesting books that can help you learn a lot more about business.
With that said, let’s get started.
The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What To Do About It By Michael E. Gerber
Statistics show that 10% of startups fail within their first year and that 90% of small businesses fail after ten years since they began business.
These cold hard facts can be crushing for a lot of entrepreneurs and even intimidate people from starting their own business.
The E-Myth Revisited is one of the many books by Michael E. Gerber that aims to coach future business owners to help their business succeed.
The author himself is a small business consultant with years of experience behind him, and so his writings provide a lot of great insights that business owners and entrepreneurs can benefit from.
The book itself walks through the steps of a business’s life – from its infancy to the growing ‘adolescent’ pains and finally, to its mature stage.
Along the way, Gerber highlights mistakes, assumptions, and expectations that business owners make and how they can spell disaster for a business’s success.
There are a lot of different motivations for starting your own business. One study found that 55% of entrepreneurs are motivated by the idea of being their own boss, while 39% wanted to pursue a passion, and 25% were done with corporate America.
Basically, most of us go into starting our own business as a career change – and this can be a tricky, uncertain point in our lives.
Carla Harris’s Strategize To Win is a book designed to speak to those who are (or just thinking about) switching careers. It provides readers with the tools and knowledge they need to get started, get out of bad situations, and how to get a clean start by starting over.
All of this is told from one of Wall Street’s executive professionals who has sat on the boards of various organizations and knows how to handle the bumps and surprises that comes with running a business.
The book is divided into three sections with each one offering important advice and strategies to help with issues around motivation, problem solving, and tackling challenges head on.
Dare To Lead By Brene Brown
Some small businesses are run by a single person but the Small Business Administration actually defines a small business as a company that has fewer than 1,500 employees.
The average number of employees in a small business is actually around 10. This means that a lot of business owners are going to be stepping into a leadership role, and some of us for the first time.
Dare To Lead is a book which offers a leadership model for business leaders to take inspiration from to help create a positive work culture for their employees.
This is incredibly important because toxic work cultures can increase employee turnover with 1 in 5 employees leaving their jobs due to toxic cultures at work.
So, if you want to keep your employees in your small business, Dare To Lead will help to achieve that by giving advice on how to be a good boss and create a great work environment for your employees.
The book offers advice on how to lead in through difficult situations, make tough decisions, and ultimately how to value your employees. Each piece of advice is backed up with research, studies, and examples so the information is valuable and true.
The Little Red Book Of Selling By Jeffrey Gitomer
Every business is trying to sell something, whether it’s a product, a service, or even a brand. As a result, every small business owner needs to understand the principles of ‘selling’ so they know how to do it successfully.
One highly recommended book for this is The Little Red Book Of Selling. It’s filled with strategies and techniques used by longtime sales consultant Jeffrey Gitomer who uses his many years of sales experience to give helpful and insightful advice.
The book covers how to build meaningful relationships with clients and buyers, using ethical and effective methods, as well as dipping its toe into areas such as branding, customer engagement, value, networking, and more.
It’s densely packed with straightforward information and advice that comes from a professional in the field.
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People By Stephen Covey
The final book I’d like to recommend is The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey.
It’s easy to become burnt out while running a small business and productivity can suffer as a result. However 7 Habits was written to help inspire all kinds of people to be more efficient and productive by picking up the several habits of highly effective people.
The book details each habit in depth with different methods on how each habit can be used today and in different situations.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Kind Of Books Should I Read In Business?
There are lots of different books in the category of ‘business’ ranging from entrepreneurs talking about their experiences and history, to textbooks that go into detail about business strategies or techniques.
This means that you have a lot of choice on where to start but ultimately, I recommend that you start with the kind of books you are interested in and are relevant to you.
Want to start an online e-commerce business? Then pick up a book in that category. Prefer to read books from a business owner’s point of view? Then start out with those.
Reading is much easier when you enjoy what you are reading and you will learn plenty of useful information along the way.
What Are The Three Most Important Things In Business?
Starting with what topics are important for businesses is a good place to start when choosing the books you want to read.
In business, it’s generally considered that the important keys to business success are customer relations, financial management, and operations.
So, these are also good topics to start looking for reading material in.
How Can I Teach Myself Business?
As much as I love reading, I don’t think you can rely on books alone to teach you everything you need about business. I got a BA Economics and Marketing degree, and I still learned a lot of new things during the start of my career.
While books are a good place to start, I also recommend you take up as many business related courses as you can, get as many qualifications behind you as possible, and get a lot of experience under your belt.
There are a lot of benefits that come with reading, from reducing stress by up to 68% to helping 50% of people get a better night’s rest, but reading can also help you learn a ton of useful information in a range of different topics.
If you love reading like me and you want to learn more to help make your small business a success, then check out the books I have recommended above.
I can’t promise that you’ll enjoy them all as everyone has their own preferences when it comes to books, but I can promise that they are informative and contain a lot of interesting facts that small business owners can potentially benefit from. Enjoy!