Best Books for Small Business Owners – Boost Your Entrepreneurial Journey

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links from Amazon and/or others, and we may receive a referral fee (at no extra cost to you) if you sign up or purchase products or services mentioned.

Whether you’re already a small business owner or are just watching from the sidelines ready to take the leap, acquiring know-how, best practices, and industry leads is crucial.

Here are 6 books addressing various small business-related subjects, including establishing a solid foundation, designing growth strategies, implementing effective systems, and so much more.

It’s important to note that while all these books are specifically targeted at small business owners, they still offer valuable insights for anyone involved or interested in entrepreneurship.

To make the hunt for the best small business-related books easier, we’ve created the freelance book finder! Choose a genre, rating, publishing year, or keyword of interest, and you’ll be given options to choose from for your next great read.

The Lean Startup – Eric Ries

The question is not Can this product be built? In the modern economy, almost any product that can be imagined can be built. The more pertinent questions are Should this product be built? and Can we build a sustainable business around this set of products and services?

Eric Ries

The Lean Startup presents a new approach to building businesses and launching products, with a focus on rapid experimentation, validated learning, and iterative development. By concentrating on minimizing waste and maximizing customer value, this approach can help small business owners make better decisions, faster.

The book introduces the “Build-Measure-Learn” feedback loop, a process that encourages small business owners to continuously develop and test their products in response to customer feedback. Eric Ries explains how to develop a minimal viable product (MVP) and use customer feedback to iterate and improve it, thus minimizing the risk of failure.

Ries also discusses the importance of pivoting when necessary, allowing businesses to adapt quickly to changing market conditions and customer needs. By applying the principles of The Lean Startup, small business owners and other entrepreneurs can create a more efficient, customer-centric business model that increases the likelihood of success.

To sum up, the book focuses on the importance of staying lean, efficient, and adaptable to pivot whenever necessary, making it a must-read for small business owners who want to develop and launch new products or services with a focus on validated learning, rapid experimentation, and adaptability.

Who is it for?

Small business owners and entrepreneurs who want to learn how to build a successful, sustainable business by focusing on customer-driven innovation and continuous improvement, while minimizing risk and resource waste. For anybody who wants to start and grow their businesses with minimal resources.

Built to Sell: Creating a Business That Can Thrive Without You – John Warrillow

“Once you’ve isolated what is teachable, what your customers value, and what they need most often, document your process for delivering this type of product or service.”

John Warrillow

Built to Sell provides a clear roadmap for small business owners who want to create a valuable, scalable, and sellable business. The book shares practical strategies for standardizing processes, delegating tasks, and creating a business model that can be easily replicated.

Built to Sell also offers insights on how to effectively manage and train a team, ensuring that the business can continue to thrive even without the owner’s direct supervision. By implementing the principles outlined in the book, you can create a more valuable and attractive business that not only appeals to potential buyers but also allows them to enjoy a better work-life balance.

John Warrillow highlights the importance of building a business that can operate independently, without the constant involvement of the owner, with systems and processes in place that allow it to thrive without constant oversight.

John Warrillow shares the story of a fictional business owner who learns how to turn his struggling service-based company into a valuable, sellable business. He also emphasizes the need to focus on a niche market, perfect a single product or service, and create a reliable system to generate recurring revenue.

All in all, the book provides practical advice on productizing services, creating scalable systems, and building a strong management team, all with the end goal of creating a business that can thrive without the owner. This is an essential read for small business owners who want to build a valuable company that can one day be sold or simply run without constant involvement.

Who is it for?

Small business owners who want to create a valuable, sellable business that can thrive independent of their constant involvement.

The Power of Broke – Daymond John & Daniel Paisner

“Learnability is the key to achieve success. One should learn from everywhere and every time and should not hesitate to learn new things.”

Daymond John & Daniel Paisner

The Power of Broke highlights the importance of using limited resources and creative thinking to build a successful business. Daymond John, the founder of FUBU and a Shark Tank investor, shares his journey and the stories of other entrepreneurs who have turned their financial constraints into a driving force for innovation and success.

Daymond John offers his lessons on harnessing the power of determination and creativity when faced with financial constraints. By sharing his own story and those of other successful entrepreneurs, he demonstrates that a lack of funds can sometimes lead to even greater innovation.

The book also emphasizes the significance of building relationships and networking, which can in some ways compensate for a lack of financial resources. It helps small business owners understand that resourcefulness, perseverance, and passion can be extremely important – not only deep pockets.

Who is it for?

Entrepreneurs and small business owners who are starting with limited capital and want to learn how to make the most of their situation and want to leverage limited resources and a “broke” mindset to fuel their creativity and drive success.

Start with Why – Simon Sinek

“Working hard for something we do not care about is called stress, working hard for something we love is called passion.

Simon Sinek

Start with Why emphasizes the importance of understanding and communicating the “why” behind your small business – the purpose, cause, or belief that drives you. Simon Sinek explains how focusing on your “why” can inspire and engage both employees and customers, leading to long-term success and a sustainable competitive advantage.

The book provides practical strategies for discovering your “why” and using it to inform every aspect of your small business, from product development to marketing and employee management. By focusing on your “why,” you can create a strong sense of purpose that resonates with both your team and your customers.

The author also discusses how leaders can use their “why” to inspire employees and foster a culture of innovation and collaboration. Start with Why is a thought-provoking read that encourages small business owners to look beyond the “what” and “how” of their businesses and focus on the deeper purpose that drives them.

Who is it for?

Small business owners who want to understand the importance of their “why” and leverage it to engage customers, inspire employees, and achieve long-term success.

Crush It!: Why Now Is the Time to Cash In on Your Passion – Gary Vaynerchuk

Even if your ambitions are huge, start slow, start small, build gradually, build smart.

Gary Vaynerchuk

Crush It! is an introductory guide for small business owners who want to leverage the power of social media to grow their businesses and make a lasting impact in their industries. It encourages you to embrace the power of social media and personal branding.

The book can help you navigate the ever-changing landscape of social media marketing, ensuring you stay up-to-date with trends and best practices. It provides insights into various social media platforms, offering tips on how to maximize engagement and reach on each platform.

Gary Vaynerchuk shares his insights on how to build a strong online presence, engage with customers, identify your unique strengths, and use them to create valuable content that resonates with the audience. He also stresses the importance of authenticity and passion when building a personal brand.

Who is it for?

Small business owners and entrepreneurs who want to harness the potential of social media and personal branding to expand their businesses.

The E-Myth Revisited – Michael E. Gerber

“A mature company is founded on a broader perspective, an entrepreneurial perspective, a more intelligent point of view. About building a business that works not because of you but without you.”

Michael E. Gerber

The E-Myth Revisited introduces the concept of working on your business, rather than working in your business. Gerber outlines strategies for effectively managing multiple roles, and navigating the various stages of growth of your enterprise.

The author emphasizes the importance of creating standardized systems and processes within the business that can be easily replicated, as well as the significance of adopting an entrepreneurial mindset, as opposed to a purely technical or managerial perspective.

By doing so, small business owners can concentrate on strategic planning and create a business that operates independently and scales effectively.

You can read our more detailed The E-myth Revisited quick review here. The E-Myth is also on our best books for freelancers list, alongside other books covering essential topics like establishing your solo enterprise, cultivating the right mindset, boosting productivity, and much more.

Who is it for?

Small business owners who find it hard to stop themselves from being hands-on in every step of their business and want to learn how to work on their business rather than just in their business.

If you’re embracing the digital nomad lifestyle or simply envisioning a remote, location-independent career, explore our best books for digital nomads and remote workers, discussing a variety of topics such as launching your remote career, fostering productivity, adjusting to diverse cultures, and more.