Setting Up10 books every small business owner should read

10 books every small business owner should read

Business books are a great way to learn and gain inspiration from others – some business books are as exciting as a thriller novel, some are packed with practical advice for entrepreneurs, and others are inspiring stories of how someone succeeded in their chosen business.

Business books help broaden your vision and help you towards being a successful entrepreneur from startup to learning organisational management of a growing business – all by reading business books. Moreover, they promote self-education and improve your business management skills. 

If you follow a good business book, there is less chance of failure because successful entrepreneurs and businesspersons write most business books. So, it doesn’t matter if you have been running a business for decades or thinking about opening a small business, you’ll learn by reading a business-related books as they inspire and lead you to a successful business.

Our pick of the 10 best business books for entrepreneurs and small business owners

I read a lot and had fun picking out ten of my favourite books that I think any small business owner will enjoy. You can learn about how to run a successful business and the people who have been running a successful business for decades.

Books are a great way to learn. They can help you avoid mistakes, get inspiration and motivation, or even get ideas for your business. The problem is there’s a huge choice, so which ones should you read? Here are ten of our favourites:

  1. The E-Myth Revisited
  2. The Art of the Start 2.0
  3. Start with Why
  4. Strengthsfinder 2.0
  5. Business Model Generation
  6. Good to Great
  7. Traction
  8. Rework
  9. How to Win Friends and Influence People
  10. Think and Grow Rich

1. The E-Myth Revisited

The E-Myth Revisited is a book about the difference between working in a business and running a business. It addresses that most people fail in business because of bad advice and misconceptions.

In this book, Michael Gerber writes about how one should start or run their own company because one needs to learn how to do so. He suggests that people should take this time off from their current jobs and start something else—like becoming an entrepreneur!

Gerber also talks about balancing three personalities to run a successful small business. Technician, entrepreneur, and manager are the three personalities stated by Gerber. 

A technician is an expert in the industry, the entrepreneur sees things from a wide angle, and the manager knows how to deal with the team and keep an eye on details. Collectively, these three personalities make a balance to run a successful small business.

2. The Art of the Start 2.0

The Art of the Start 2.0 is a great guide for first-time entrepreneurs, and Guy Kawasaki, from Silicon Valley, is a well-known entrepreneur who has started several companies. He knows what he’s talking about when starting a business.

This book covers the basics of starting your own small business. The Art of the Start 2.0 is easy to read and full of useful tips for small business owners who want to get started on their path toward success.

It is a guide that makes a compelling vision while starting a new company, organisation, or division. The author has written hundreds of business books that guide about making money, hiring the right people, defining positions, creating brands, and much more.

3. Start With Why

Starting a business can take time to figure out what to do. You might be tempted to jump in and start making money, but that can be dangerous. The best way to ensure your business succeeds is by getting people on board with your vision and developing a plan for how you want things to go.

That’s where this book comes in. Start With Why by Simon Sinek will help you understand why people buy from you, how they make decisions about products or services (and what makes them different), and how those factors affect the future success of your company.

“Start With Why” gives direct advice to entrepreneurs on what they should launch with their company and how they should brand it. Moreover, the author provides different ideas for the growth of small businesses in this book.

4. Strengthsfinder 2.0

Strengthsfinder 2.0 is a book that helps you understand your strengths and weaknesses and how to work with others. It can help you understand what job you should be doing according to your mindset.

The first Strengthsfinder looked at your top five talents and passions. However, this new version goes further by looking at all 26 areas where we want to grow in our careers, including leadership and communication skills. 

It helps people identify their talents which is the step towards the growth and success of a business. Tom Rath, the author of the book, published it in 2007. He says that if we don’t work in the domain where our strengths are useful, we probably won’t make a great and creative living.

This book is perfect for identifying your niche and starting a successful small business according to your strengths and weaknesses.

5. Business Model Generation

Business Model Generation, written by Alexander Osterwalder and Yves Pigneur, is a book that helps you create your business model. The authors teach you how to think like an entrepreneur and get into the nitty-gritty of developing a business model from scratch.

The book has been used in several business schools worldwide, including The Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania and INSEAD’s MBA program. You must read this book to start a small business and run it successfully.

6. Good to Great

Good to Great is a book about how to turn a good company into a great one. It was written by Jim Collins and his colleague, Jerry Porras. The authors are students of business management who have studied this topic for years and have also conducted research on it.

The book provides an objective look at what makes companies successful over time through case studies from companies that were “good, not great” at various historical points.

The years of research on different companies by Jim Collins turned into a book that helps people get insight and make a long-term sustained performance for a successful company. The findings of “Good to Great” have shed light on every area of management strategies and practice.

7. Traction

Traction is a book about how to get customers and grow your business. It’s written by Gabriel Weinberg, founder of DuckDuckGo — one of the best-known search engines.

Traction tells you how to find product-market fit (PMF), build a business model, and measure growth to scale effectively from zero to millions or even billions of users.

The book covers all these topics in detail:

  • How do I know if I have PMF? 
  • What does it look like? 
  • What does it sound like? 
  • How do I know if my solution solves someone’s problem? 
  • How can I tell if my solution will succeed because others want me to succeed?

This book addresses the stress and anxiety that small business owners go through. It works on focus with less frustration and helps people overcome challenges. Moreover, it tells the tools and techniques for a successful start-up. The readers can learn to regain control over the business through strategic thinking. 

8. Rework

Rework is the perfect book for small business owners who want to improve their productivity and find a better balance between work and life. The author, Jason Fried, shares many of his experiences working as an entrepreneur, which he learned from hiring people as part of his team.

Fried’s advice is simple: don’t try harder and think about what’s important for your business. He addresses to learn what are the things you need in your business. Then focus on those tasks when you have time (like during lunch breaks). 

That way, you can spend less time doing unnecessary things like checking email and replying to every text message sent by customers who want something now. The book guides you about smarter ways to consume less time and energy. Moreover, it emphasises the fact that every person has expertise. Therefore, to take full advantage of the expertise, one should know them first and then work on them.

9. How to Win Friends and Influence People

How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie is a famous book among successful business people. Do you want to be liked? Do you want people to do what you want without asking them? If so, read this book.

This book is about getting others on your side and will help improve your relationships with clients and employees. The author shares his personal experiences as well as a lot of great advice on how not only to get along with others but also how the best way for them is around yourself in business situations such as meetings or presentations.

The author has sold 30 million copies of “How to Win Friends and Influence People.” He has shared his experiences and advice in the book. Moreover, the book guides you on the management of a critical business. 

10.Think and Grow Rich

Think and Grow Rich is a book by Napoleon Hill. It was published in 1937 and became a bestseller overnight. It’s been called “the best-selling business book of all time,” It has influenced many successful people, including Bill Gates and Donald Trump.

The premise behind this book is simple: if you want to be successful at anything, whether it’s business or personal life, you need to understand how your mind works. In his writing style (and in the process of becoming rich himself), Hill offers advice on how your thoughts work so they can lead you toward success by focusing on what matters most. 

He also addresses what gets what done rather than how much money is made or lost (or even who gets rich). This book can help every small business owner in their day-to-day decisions and big-picture ideas.


We’re big fans of books (yes, even though we write for an online website!) and business books are a wonderful resource for entrepreneurs and businesspeople. You can find motivation and learn new strategies for your business by reading the experiences of others.

We hope that you’ve found our list of the 10 best books for small business owners helpful. If you don’t know where to start and feel overwhelmed, these bestsellers will provide inspiration and advice for any entrepreneur or business owner who’s starting out or looking to grow their business.

Written by

Mark Hodgson
Mark Hodgson
Mark Hodgson is one of our expert writers. Mark is our lead researcher and editor who writes our main guides and expert topic coverage. He’s passionate about helping entrepreneurs, startups and small businesses with practical advice delivered clearly. Mark’s worked for a number of business magazines and titles and has started two small businesses himself, so has first-hand experience in setting up, managing and growing a small business and shares his expertise with our readers.

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