18 Best Books on Starting a Business

Starting a business is a great step towards achieving success. One must be confident enough in their business idea and be aware of all the risks and difficulties that are bound to arise with it.

If you are planning to try your luck with the business venture, there are many writers out there who provide help through their books.

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We have reviewed a lot of books and have prepared a list of books that aim at guiding budding entrepreneurs. These are my best books that I have read on starting a business. These books touch upon how to start a business, give readers every information related to it, and also provide tips and suggestions.

Table Of Contents

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1. Will It Fly?

– by Thomas K. McKnight

Will It Fly? Will It Fly? How to Know if Your New Business Idea Has Wings…Before You Take the Leap by Thomas K. McKnight

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Will It Fly? Will It Fly? How to Know if Your New Business Idea Has Wings…Before You Take the Leap by Thomas K. McKnight — This book clearly gives answers to all those questions that ponder over your mind when you think of starting your own business. The doubt of whether a business idea is good or not always holds back people from even trying. Thomas K. McKnight provides a 44-item checklist by which one can evaluate their new business ideas.

Using his years of experience in business launches, he guides everyone on the kind of personal attitude they must possess and then form a clear business strategy.


2. Start Your Own Business

– by Rieva Lesonsky

Start Your Own Business by Rieva Lesonsky

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Start Your Own Business by Rieva Lesonsky — The tagline that is given by the writer in this book “The only start-up book you will ever need” is like a guarantee that the readers will surely find it useful for them. The book is written in a detailed manner that further makes it easier for people to follow the plan Rieva Lesonsky wants to put forth.

The content includes chapters on building a brand, technology security, and privacy, successful negotiating, understanding concepts such as trademarks and copyrights, management of time, and how to make money.

‘Start Your Own Business’ also explains the importance of technology, as to how one can use it to boost productivity and do online marketing.


3. The Art of the Start 2.0: The Time-Tested, Battle-Hardened Guide for Anyone Starting Anything

– by Guy Kawasaki

The Art of the Start 2.0: The Time-Tested, Battle-Hardened Guide for Anyone Starting Anything by Guy Kawasaki

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The Art of the Start 2.0: The Time-Tested, Battle-Hardened Guide for Anyone Starting Anything by Guy Kawasaki — An entrepreneur and a venture capitalist, Guy Kawasaki has written this book as an easy-to-follow guide. He gives practical advice on various topics such as marketing, social media, crowdfunding, and cloud computing.

He wants his readers to internalize one particular piece of advice of his, that is that an entrepreneur is not a job title instead it is a state of mind. To add to what was mentioned, this book is an easy read and anyone hoping to start a business or a company will find it useful.


4. Become Your Own Boss in 12 Months: A Month-by-Month Guide to a Business That Works

– by Melinda F. Emerson

Become Your Own Boss in 12 Months: A Month-by-Month Guide to a Business That Works by Melinda F. Emerson

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Become Your Own Boss in 12 Months: A Month-by-Month Guide to a Business That Works by Melinda F. Emerson — Starting one’s own business makes you the boss of it and this book right here by Melinda F. Emerson teaches you how to do it and get your business going. It shows readers the ways from scratch to success, includes how everyone would need to reach out to venture capitalists and plan a good marketing strategy to get the correct software and investing in graphic design.


5. Start Run & Grow a Successful Small Business

– by Toolkit Media Group

Start Run & Grow a Successful Small Business by Toolkit Media Group

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Start Run & Grow a Successful Small Business by Toolkit Media Group — The best reference book you could get hold of. It introduces and explains the entire process of setting up a business from planning to accounting. It has easy-to-follow guidelines that help in marketing wisely, creating a solid business plan, getting the right financing, managing cash flow, and teaching human resource management strategies.

The book has various case studies, checklists and model business plans to give readers an overall idea of what they are supposed to do when they want to run a successful business.


6. Crushing It!: How Great Entrepreneurs Build Their Business and Influence-And How You Can, Too

– by Gary Vaynerchuk

Crushing It!: How Great Entrepreneurs Build Their Business and Influence-And How You Can, Too by Gary Vaynerchuk

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Crushing It!: How Great Entrepreneurs Build Their Business and Influence-And How You Can, Too by Gary Vaynerchuk — One needs to build a brand name before even beginning to launch, it acts like a unique identity through which you can connect to your target audience and then only make sales afterward.

Gary Vaynerchuk understands the importance of the same and thus explains to his readers the basic principles of good branding. It talks in detail about how one should establish his business brand in such a way that the audience you are targeting can relate to.

The author also sheds light on how social media can be used to market a business and make it reach its full potential.


7. The $100 Startup

– by Chris Guillebeau

The $100 Startup by Chris Guillebeau

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The $100 Startup by Chris Guillebeau — What is the second most important thing you need after you have come up with a great business idea and plan?

Yes, it is money, one requires money to begin the work.

But what if you do not have enough to start?

No, one can still continue.

Chris Guillebeau shares and examines some 50 case studies on entrepreneurs who started their business with little money. Through this, the author wants to tell his readers to not lose their hope and in fact, tells them to focus more on consolidating their expertise, and sooner or later their passion will lead to a profitable business.

To conclude, this is a book that shows businesses based on a low budget can still generate income that is sufficient enough to support life.


8. The Founder’s Dilemma: Anticipating and Avoiding the Pitfalls that Can Sink a Startup

– by Noam Wasserman

The Founder’s Dilemma: Anticipating and Avoiding the Pitfalls that Can Sink a Startup by Noam Wasserman

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The Founder’s Dilemma: Anticipating and Avoiding the Pitfalls that Can Sink a Startup by Noam Wasserman — Assessing the risks and difficulties involved in starting a business is important in building a strong and successful business. This book here by Noam Wasserman is written for this purpose only, it outlines common pitfalls that business people are most likely to face.

To be exact, it examines business relationships that can become complex with time like partners, hires, and investors. He also gives some tips and suggestions on how to avoid certain mistakes or bad decisions.

In ‘The Founder’s Dilemma’, Wasserman highlights that a balance should be maintained while controlling the startup and attracting resources towards it for its growth.


9. Company of One: Why Staying Small is the Next Big Thing for Business

– by Paul Jarvis

Company of One: Why Staying Small is the Next Big Thing for Business by Paul Jarvis

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Company of One: Why Staying Small is the Next Big Thing for Business by Paul Jarvis — An interesting pick for those who love and value their independence. Paul Jarvis, the author of this book left the corporate sector as working under constant pressure was not his way of success. He introduced a unique business strategy that centered on having a small-scale business and avoiding its growth.

The only purpose behind his idea was to have more freedom and get rid of the headaches that came attached with the management of a large-scale business. He further explains how one can utilize his strategy and still generate cash flow continuously.


10. The Entrepreneur Roller Coaster: It’s Your Turn to Join the Ride

– by Darren Hardy

The Entrepreneur Roller Coaster: It’s Your Turn to Join the Ride by Darren Hardy

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The Entrepreneur Roller Coaster: It’s Your Turn to Join the Ride by Darren Hardy — Starting a business is a lot harder than just simply saying it. One needs to look and consider all aspects that are involved with the venture and become a multi-tasker to handle everything properly.

Darren Hardy points out that the business environment or entrepreneurship is so tough and burdened, that many people fail to cope up with it. He offers a way out for this. He claims that one should mainly focus on the four basic aspects of business, which are sales, recruiting, leadership and productivity.

When one has become skilled in these then they can with their efforts combined can make their business prosper.


11. The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right

– by Atul Gawande

The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right by Atul Gawande

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The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right by Atul Gawande — The author offers an easy method using which you could create a good business plan. He uses the method of humble checklist to do so and shows that it facilitates efficiency and quality.

A checklist, Atul Gawande believes that it shows the steps needed to be taken and the problems that might occur, as it covers up the topics of resources, skills, and people that will be needed. He claims that a checklist can form a great base for a successful business plan and is a great solution for immediate improvements.


12. The Startup Owner’s Manual: The Step-by-Step Guide for Building a Great Company

– by Bob Dorf and Steve Blank

The Startup Owner’s Manual: The Step-by-Step Guide for Building a Great Company by Bob Dorf and Steve Blank

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The Startup Owner’s Manual: The Step-by-Step Guide for Building a Great Company by Bob Dorf and Steve Blank — Many entrepreneurs opt for this book because of the detailed instructions and explanations it provides on how to build a successful and profitable business. It is one of the best guides that makes it easier for readers to understand the concept through the numerous graphs, charts, diagrams, and checklists that will in turn lead you and your company to success.

‘The Startup Owner’s Manual is an informative book that focuses more on the important aspects of achieving consumer adoption and retention.


13. The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers

– by Ben Horowitz

The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers by Ben Horowitz

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The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers by Ben Horowitz — Ben Horowitz offers important advice on building a Startup and then making it run successfully and profitably too. He tells his readers to have enough wisdom to manage all the tough problems and tasks that are bound to arise with the start of any business.

He shares insights on developing, managing, selling, buying, investing, and supervising companies. He gives advice based on his own experiences and that can be a helpful lesson for all the veteran entrepreneurs as well as the newbies in their own ventures.


14. E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It

-by Michael E. Gerber

E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It by Michael E. Gerber

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E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It by Michael E. Gerber — The author shows the difference between working in your business and working on your business. He then goes on to state that one should make their business reach a certain point where it can run without you. Michael E. Gerber points out every difficulty and problem that an entrepreneur may face. He also outlines the different types of workers in a business which are the entrepreneur, the manager, and the technician.

To sum up for the same, it is an informative book on small businesses’ common flaws.


15. Lost and Founder: A painfully Honest Field Guide to the Startup World

– by Rand Fishkin

Lost and Founder: A painfully Honest Field Guide to the Startup World by Rand Fishkin

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Lost and Founder: A painfully Honest Field Guide to the Startup World by Rand Fishkin — The author, Rand Fishkin being an entrepreneur himself shows the reality and the hardships of running a business. If you are planning to build your own business, then this book is all you need to read. One can learn useful lessons from Rand Ruskin’s insights.

He shows how the process of entrepreneurship looks like and shares the journey from coming up with an idea to growing it up as a startup. Thus, this book provides in-depth information about a business to the readers.


16. How I Built This: The Unexpected Paths to Success From the World’s Most Inspiring Entrepreneurs

– by Guy Raz

How I Built This: The Unexpected Paths to Success From the World’s Most Inspiring Entrepreneurs by Guy Raz

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How I Built This: The Unexpected Paths to Success From the World’s Most Inspiring Entrepreneurs by Guy Raz — ‘How I Built This’ offers advice to readers from the top entrepreneurs and shows the path to be a great leader at growing one’s startup.

Guy Raz uses high-profile examples to show that a positive mindset and attitude will surely benefit you in the longer term of building a successful business. He believes that passion is the most driving force that will make you strive towards success and shares that one must learn from his own mistakes and experience.


17. The Goal: A Process of Ongoing Improvement

– by Eliyahu M. Goldratt

The Goal: A Process of Ongoing Improvement by Eliyahu M. Goldratt

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The Goal: A Process of Ongoing Improvement by Eliyahu M. Goldratt — The author shows his approach and perspective towards starting a business. Eliyahu M. Goldratt wrote this guide to help everyone, be it the aspiring entrepreneurs or the old and experienced entrepreneurs. He has written detailed information about the common issues that one is most likely to face in their journey of starting a business and then running it.

The book effectively teaches how you can manage the flow of work in your organization and if your business will be a success or not.


18. Smarter Faster Better: The Secrets of Being Productive in Life and Business

– by Charles Duhigg

Smarter Faster Better: The Secrets of Being Productive in Life and Business by Charles Duhigg

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Smarter Faster Better: The Secrets of Being Productive in Life and Business by Charles Duhigg — The author uses a unique and engaging way to introduce the concepts of business. He uses stories as a means to explain things to the readers. Charles Duhigg emphasizes that motivation is the main characteristic an entrepreneur must possess. He further tells his readers to adopt the approach of creating mental models. This not only helps in being productive but also prepares you to overcome the obstacles when they arise.


Conclusion

Starting a business is not as easy as aspiring entrepreneurs may think. Being optimistic is a good thing but being aware of all the risks you are going to get yourself involved in when venturing into a business is also important.

Books are an easy way to gain knowledge at an affordable price. By reading the above-mentioned books you will make yourself familiar with the business environment.

My Top Recommendation: The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right by Atul Gawande. Refer to Wikipedia for a Summary.


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