12 Books You Must Read Before Starting a Business (2023)

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Katherine Gustafson

2018-05-24T21:39:00Z

12 Books You Must Read Before Starting a Business (1)

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  • BooksIt can be an inexpensive way to get professional advice before starting your own business.
  • The authors highlight mistakes startups have made in the past and make them easier to avoid.
  • The advice contained in these books can be applied to anyone, whether you're an aspiring tech entrepreneur or an artist looking to get your work out there.

If you're looking to start a business, you need advice on where to start, what pitfalls to watch out for, and how to best use your time and money to get your idea off the ground.

(Video) 15 Business Books Everyone Should Read

While you may be tempted to attend courses, seminars, and training, books are the most affordable and affordable way to start learning.

Whether you're an aspiring tech entrepreneur or a handyman looking to sell your work, these are some of the most insightful books to read before you start.

1. “The Art of Starting 2.0: The Proven, Battle-Tested Guide for Anyone Starting Anything,” by Guy Kawasaki

12 Books You Must Read Before Starting a Business (2)

Courtesy of Amazon

Entrepreneur and venture capitalist Guy Kawasaki lays out important lessons for new entrepreneurs in an easy-to-understand, accessible guide.

He recognizes that with the democratizing power of the internet, once unassailable business lessons are now being challenged. But one key idea is timeless: the importance of focusing on important details early on, so mistakes don't slow you down as your business grows. The book features Kawasaki's hard-won practical advice on everything from marketing and social media to crowdfunding and cloud computing.

Amidst all this practical advice, Kawasaki helps readers internalize his advice that "entrepreneur is a mindset, not a job title."

2. “The Founder's Dilemmas: Anticipating and Avoiding the Pitfalls That Can Sail a Startup,” by Noam Wasserman

12 Books You Must Read Before Starting a Business (3)

Courtesy of Amazon

You can learn a lot by studying the experiences of founders who came before you. Noam Wasserman, Professor of Clinical Entrepreneurship at the University of Southern California, provides a comprehensive analysis of how founders succeed and fail.

Using real-life examples, Wasserman vividly illustrates why certain approaches to entrepreneurship are better than others. Throughout the process, he focuses his advice on figuring out when to stay in control and when to bring in outside resources.

3. "Become Your Own Boss in 12 Months: A Monthly Guide to Running a Business" by Melinda F. Emerson

12 Books You Must Read Before Starting a Business (4)

Courtesy of Amazon

Emerson, founder and CEO of Quintessence Multimedia, describes how to get a business off the ground in a series of monthly steps.

(Video) TOP 5 BOOKS YOU MUST READ BEFORE STARTING A BUSINESS

This handy guide outlines the tasks you need to do to get your business off the ground, from contacting venture capitalists and planning a year-long marketing strategy to sourcing the right software and investing in graphic design.

If you're going from 0 to 60 and want to know exactly how it works, this book is a great book to have on your bookshelf.

4. “The Lean Startup: How Today's Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses,” by Eric Ries

12 Books You Must Read Before Starting a Business (5)

Courtesy of Amazon

Entrepreneur, blogger and author Eric Ries wants entrepreneurs to think differently. Leave the complicated business plan behind and embrace agile management, increased efficiency and rapid prototyping.

The management approach associated with the book, Ries' Lean Startup methodology, has become something of a movement, spurring organizations to look at their usual practices with fresh eyes.

5. "Are you going to fly? How to Know If Your New Business Idea Has Wings...Before You Take the Leap' by Thomas K. McKnight

12 Books You Must Read Before Starting a Business (6)

Courtesy of Amazon

McKnight has helped hundreds of companies get started and draws on his experience to create a comprehensive checklist to determine if your idea has legs.

The 44-point score covers everything from your mindset to your exit strategy, touching on questions like whether you have proven customers and how tough your competition is.

Starting a business can be exciting, but also extremely stressful if you are not properly prepared. This book will help you prepare.

6. „You Entrepreneur: Monetarize Your Experience, Create Multiple Income Streams, and Thrive“ von Dorie Clark

12 Books You Must Read Before Starting a Business (7)

Courtesy of Amazon

It's one thing to dream of being an entrepreneur, but quite another to hone your skills, make a name for yourself, create multiple revenue streams, and keep bringing in new clients month after month.

Marketing and strategy expert Dorie Clark offers insightful advice and an effective blueprint to achieve your dreams, coupled with stories from successful entrepreneurs of all stripes. Like all his books, this one is clearly written and convincingly argued - a revelation for those who dream of self-employment.

(Video) Top 10 Books To Read Before Starting A Business

7. "Jab, Jab, Jab, righter Haken", by Gary Vaynerchuk

12 Books You Must Read Before Starting a Business (8)

Courtesy of Amazon

marketer andNew York TimesBestselling author Gary Vee offers hard-hitting advice on how to make your voice heard online. The key isn't telling your customers what you want them to hear, but figuring out what they want and giving it to them.

It's not just about adding value through quality content, but targeting that content to specific people through specific social media platforms. To grab attention online, content needs to be constantly updated, but knowing how to tailor your message to each platform will put you ahead of the competition.

8. „32 Ways to Be a Champion in Business“ von Earvin „Magic“ Johnson

12 Books You Must Read Before Starting a Business (9)

Courtesy of Amazon

Former Los Angeles Laker Magic Johnson has accomplished a lot since retiring from basketball: he is CEO ofMagic Johnson Enterprises(MJE), a multi-billion dollar investment firm, and has become a force in entrepreneurship by empowering urban communities through economic development.

Her book shows practical steps to starting a successful business, how to create a business plan, build your brand, and hire the right people. The in-depth content includes best practices and common mistakes, anecdotes and case studies, and plenty of motivational rhetoric.

Johnson's positive, winning attitude shines through every page, making this book even more entertaining.

9. "Setting the Table" by Danny Meyer

12 Books You Must Read Before Starting a Business (10)

Courtesy of Amazon

Danny Meyer is a successful restaurateur and his book is in part a memoir of his life on the New York food scene, but his advice applies to any business owner.

Meyer lays out the most important hospitality lessons that are also management lessons. For example, hire employees not just for their skills, but also for their attitude and care. Be open and receptive to feedback from customers, critics, and your own team.

Meyer's advice applies especially to customer service: If you take the time to know your customers' data, you can serve them better.

10. "Big Numbers, Plain Words, Big Wins!: 4 Keys to Unlocking Your Business Potential" by Greg Crabtree

12 Books You Must Read Before Starting a Business (11)

Courtesy of Amazon

Crabtree makes small business financing easy with step-by-step guides and lots of real-world examples.

The book sheds light on key financial metrics, including human resource, tax and business growth issues. His guiding principle is that entrepreneurs should see the big picture when it comes to finance.

Business owners who are wary of bookkeeping should start in Crabtree's capable hands.

(Video) 12 Business Books Everyone Should Read

11. "One Page Business Plan for the Creative Entrepreneur" by Jim Horan

12 Books You Must Read Before Starting a Business (12)

Courtesy of Amazon

When you are at the beginning of your entrepreneurial journey, massive and complex business plans could be overkill. But it can still be very helpful to outline the why and how of your business. Author Jim Horan guides readers through simple exercises in a concise document to clarify his approach to business.

Horan argues that writing a business plan -- big or small -- is especially important if you're doing business with other people and/or using other people's money to operate. Once you reach that level of complexity, don't leave things to chance or impulse.

12. "Think Big, Act Bigger: The Rewards of Being Relentless," by Jeffrey W. Hayzlett

12 Books You Must Read Before Starting a Business (13)

Courtesy of Amazon

Bloomberg Television host Jeffrey Hayzlett delivers a simple but powerful message that applies to startups and large corporations alike: Take action. There are so many obstacles to progress that the essential element of success is simply to keep moving toward your goals.

"The most dangerous move in business is never to move," he writes.

The most successful entrepreneurs break free from conventional thinking, find new ways to push their boundaries, and don't let obstacles stop them. Hayzlett's seasoned advice will help readers to join them.

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(Video) 📚📚Books Every Successful Business Person Should Read [12 BOOKS]

FAQs

What are 10 things someone should consider before starting their own business? ›

  • Conduct market research. Market research will tell you if there's an opportunity to turn your idea into a successful business. ...
  • Write your business plan. ...
  • Fund your business. ...
  • Pick your business location. ...
  • Choose a business structure. ...
  • Choose your business name. ...
  • Register your business. ...
  • Get federal and state tax IDs.

What is the first thing to remember in starting up a business? ›

1. Choose the right legal structure. Before you open up your doors, you first need to decide on a business structure. You should consider the right business structure very carefully for your enterprise as it can affect your personal liability, taxes, profits, and more.

How do I create a business mindset book? ›

11 Best Books on Mindset and Success for Small Businesses
  1. Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol Dweck.
  2. The Lean Startup: How Today's Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses by Eric Ries.
  3. Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance by Angela Duckworth.
14 Feb 2018

What are the 20 steps to starting a business? ›

Ready, Set, Startup Checklist: 20 Steps to Starting a New...
  1. Test your concept. ...
  2. Build a business plan. ...
  3. Work on your sales pitch. ...
  4. Find funding. ...
  5. Decide on a business structure. ...
  6. Get the right licenses and permits. ...
  7. Open a business bank account. ...
  8. Organize your accounting.
5 Apr 2021

What are the top 5 things you need to start a business? ›

What Are 5 Things You Need to Start a Business?
  • A Well-Written Business Plan. Starting a business takes a lot of planning. ...
  • Funding. It may sound cliché, but it really does take money to make money. ...
  • A Business Name and Management Structure. ...
  • An Employer Identification Number (EIN) ...
  • Federal and Local Licensing.
12 May 2022

What are the 6 simplest and most effective way before you start a business? ›

The key to a successful small business, especially in the startup phase, is to keep things simple and costs low.
...
Write a one-page business plan.
  • Define your vision. ...
  • Define your mission. ...
  • Define your objectives. ...
  • Outline your basic strategies. ...
  • Write a simple action plan.
19 Feb 2019

What makes a business successful? ›

“One thing successful businesses have in common is … a strong customer focus,” said John Stevenson, marketing specialist at My GRE Exam Preparation. “They create a culture that is centered around their customers and focus their processes, products and services around their services needs.

What are the best preparation for starting a business Why? ›

15 Things to Consider Before Starting a Business
  • Nature of the business. The first you need to think about is what will you offer. ...
  • Target Customer. ...
  • Location. ...
  • Formation. ...
  • Capital. ...
  • Asset Requirements. ...
  • Lease, Renovation and Improvements. ...
  • Suppliers.

What's the most important thing in business? ›

Provide Great Service. There are many successful businesses that forget that providing great customer service is important. If you provide better service for your customers, they'll be more inclined to come to you the next time they need something instead of going to your competition.

What is most important in a business? ›

Your customers are the lifeblood of your business. Without them, you would not be able to survive. It is important to focus on providing excellent customer service and creating a positive experience for your customers. Satisfied customers will return and recommend your business to others.

What are the 7 Mindsets of success? ›

Here are the 7 mindsets of highly successful (and happy) people.
  • Ditch the Fixed Mindset and Go For Growth. ...
  • Adopt An Abundance Mentality, Not Scarcity Mentality. ...
  • Stop Fearing Failure. ...
  • Create a Long-Term Vision Instead of Only Short-Term Goals. ...
  • Don't Be Afraid to Break the Rules. ...
  • Listen to Your Gut.
23 Aug 2017

What are the 15 steps to starting a business? ›

How to start a business
  1. Brainstorm and refine your business idea.
  2. Pick a business name.
  3. Create a professional website.
  4. Conduct market research.
  5. Write up a business plan.
  6. Build a pitch deck.
  7. Choose a legal structure.
  8. Secure capital and cash flow.
8 Jun 2021

What are the 8 steps to starting a business? ›

8 Steps to Starting a Small Business
  1. Come Up with a Viable Idea. Every great business started with a great idea. ...
  2. Write a Business Plan. ...
  3. Plan Your Finances and Budget. ...
  4. Decide on the Structure. ...
  5. Find and Set Up a Location. ...
  6. Create Your Brand. ...
  7. Build Your Team. ...
  8. Launch Your Small Business.
12 May 2018

What are the 3 most important things in business? ›

No matter how bold or ambitious your plans are to grow your business, the key to your business's success lies in three critical, interdependent components: operational excellence, customer relations/communications and financial management.

What are the 4 ways to start a business? ›

4 Ways to Start a Business
  • Independently Sell for a Brand.
  • Freelance or Consult.
  • Franchise.
  • Start a Service Business in Your Community.
17 Jan 2022

What are the 4 things you need to be successful in business? ›

4 Things You Must do to Succeed in Business
  • Commit to ongoing learning. The business world is evolving at a rapid pace and entrepreneurs must remain up to date with the latest advancements. ...
  • Provide exceptional service. ...
  • Learn good financial habits. ...
  • Accept failures.
1 Dec 2021

What are 10 small businesses? ›

Top 10 Startup and Small Business Ideas to Try in 2022
  • Cleaning service. Consider starting a cleaning business if you don't mind doing the dirty work others cannot do for themselves. ...
  • Freelance Writing Business. ...
  • Amazon Kindle Publishing. ...
  • Daycare. ...
  • Pet Grooming. ...
  • Aerial Photography. ...
  • Build and Sell Themes Online. ...
  • Blogging.
17 Nov 2022

What are the 9 steps to start a business? ›

9 Steps to Help You Start a Startup
  • Start with a Great Idea. ...
  • Make a Business Plan. ...
  • Secure Funding for Your Startup. ...
  • Surround Yourself With the Right People. ...
  • Make Sure You're Following All the Legal Steps. ...
  • Establish a Location (Physical and Online) ...
  • Develop a Marketing Plan. ...
  • Build a Customer Base.

What are the basic rules of business? ›

3 essential rules for running a business
  • Meet the needs of consumers.
  • Be true to what you sell.
  • Don't stick to the number 'one'
6 Apr 2017

How can I improve my business knowledge? ›

Here are a few ways you can improve your business knowledge.
  1. Online conferences. One silver lining to running a business during a pandemic is that instead of in-person conferences and events, everything's been moved online. ...
  2. Books. Remember these? ...
  3. Blogs. ...
  4. Company resource pages. ...
  5. Learning platforms. ...
  6. Making time to learn.
15 Feb 2021

How can I improve my small business? ›

Although growing your small business will take time and energy, there are 10 strategies you can use to help accelerate business growth.
  1. Do Your Research. ...
  2. Build a Sales Funnel. ...
  3. Increase Customer Retention. ...
  4. Participate in Networking Events. ...
  5. Practice Corporate Social Responsibility. ...
  6. Form Strategic Partnerships.

What is the most important factor in starting a business? ›

Capital and Finance

The financing pattern is one of the most important factors to consider before starting a business. This generally includes the capital that you can introduce from your savings as well as the funds that you can borrow.

What are the top 10 successful businesses? ›

Top 10 most successful businesses to start
  • Social media management. ...
  • Cleaning service. ...
  • Business consulting. ...
  • Copywriting. ...
  • Graphic design. ...
  • Real estate brokers. ...
  • Online courses. ...
  • Pet services. For those who love our furry friends, starting a pet service business may sound like a dream job.
4 Mar 2022

How do you build success? ›

Tips for how to become successful
  1. Be committed. Through commitment, you can gain motivation to pursue success. ...
  2. Learn from the journey. ...
  3. Have fun along the way. ...
  4. Think positively. ...
  5. Change your perspective. ...
  6. Be honest with yourself. ...
  7. Take away distractions. ...
  8. Count on yourself.

What makes a good business owner? ›

Most successful business owners take great pride in being their own bosses, creating something of value and having control over how much money they make. The ability to be self-fulfilled by “doing your own thing” is one of the traits that drives many towards business ownership.

What are the 5 key success factors for a successful business? ›

As a reminder, the 5 Key Success Factors are:
  • Strategic Focus (Leadership, Management, Planning)
  • People (Personnel, Staff, Learning, Development)
  • Operations (Processes, Work)
  • Marketing (Customer Relations, Sales, Responsiveness)
  • Finances (Assets, Facilities, Equipment)
1 Apr 2015

What's the most profitable business? ›

Most Profitable Business Ideas
  • Business Consulting. If you're an expert in your industry and have been working at it for years, you should consider consulting. ...
  • IT Support, Technology Consulting, and Repair. ...
  • Cleaning Services. ...
  • Accounting and Tax Preparation. ...
  • Auto Repair. ...
  • Real Estate. ...
  • Online courses. ...
  • Marketing and PR Services.

What are the 3 keys to success? ›

'” There they are. Three Keys for Career Success: communication, confidence, and character.

What are the 4 steps to success? ›

Rohn: 4 Straightforward Steps to Success
  • Collect good ideas. My mentor taught me to keep a journal when I was 25 years old. ...
  • Have good plans. Building a life, building anything, is like building a house; you need to have a plan. ...
  • Give yourself time. It takes time to build a career. ...
  • Change yourself.
31 Mar 2015

Can a shy person become businessman? ›

Shyness doesn't have to be debilitating nor does it disqualify you from becoming successful. In fact, shy entrepreneurs have one big advantage over their extraverted counterparts: they almost never overtalk or overshare.

What skills should a businessman have? ›

Essential business skills
  • Financial management. Being able to effectively manage your finances is critical. ...
  • Marketing, sales and customer service. ...
  • Communication and negotiation. ...
  • Leadership. ...
  • Project management and planning. ...
  • Delegation and time management. ...
  • Problem solving. ...
  • Networking.

How do smart people think in business? ›

The 5 Keys to Making Smart Business Decisions
  1. Set Clear Objectives. Using the SMART mentality, you should be able to set clear business goals and objectives. ...
  2. Rely on Evidence. ...
  3. Understand Your Audience. ...
  4. Learn from Your Mistakes. ...
  5. Create Contingency Plans.

How can I be professionally happy? ›

10 Tips for Staying Happy at Work
  1. Keep Personal Problems Personal. ...
  2. Create an Office Nest. ...
  3. Develop an Office Support System. ...
  4. Eat Healthy and Drink Lots of Water. ...
  5. Be Organized. ...
  6. Move Around. ...
  7. Don't Try to Change Your Coworkers. ...
  8. Reward Yourself.

How can I clear my mind and be happy? ›

8 Ways to Give Your Mind a Deep Cleaning
  1. Be mindful.
  2. Start writing.
  3. Put on music.
  4. Get some sleep.
  5. Take a walk.
  6. Tidy up.
  7. Unfocus.
  8. Talk about it.
10 Nov 2020

What are the 4 basics to a start up business? ›

Requirements for Starting a Business
  • A business plan.
  • A business name.
  • An ownership or business structure.
  • A business registration certificate.
  • A legal license or seller's permit (as well as other legal documents)
  • A source of funding.
9 Nov 2022

What are the 3 key things needed before starting a business? ›

3 Things You Must Do Before Starting a New Business
  • Take a business or entrepreneur training class. Take a business class or workshop before you start a business. ...
  • Create a business plan. Yes, you really do need a business plan. ...
  • Conduct real research. ...
  • Let's review:
  • Take the next step.
29 Aug 2018

How can I be successful in business? ›

10 Essential Things Successful Businesses Have in Common. Does Yours?
  1. Willingness to take chances. Business owners who are willing to take chances tend to achieve more than those who play it safe. ...
  2. Unique value. ...
  3. Tenacity. ...
  4. Customer-centric approach. ...
  5. Good marketing. ...
  6. Strong vision. ...
  7. Passionate leaders. ...
  8. Empowered employees.
2 Feb 2021

What are 5 key things to running a successful business? ›

  • Get Organized. To achieve business success you need to be organized. ...
  • Keep Detailed Records. All successful businesses keep detailed records. ...
  • Analyze Your Competition. Competition breeds the best results. ...
  • Understand the Risks and Rewards. ...
  • Be Creative. ...
  • Stay Focused. ...
  • Prepare to Make Sacrifices. ...
  • Provide Great Service.

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