Luckily, when you decide to start a business, there are tons of resources available to you to help your journey. There are books out there that can help with every little thing imaginable, and it might even give you information that you don’t need. There are thousands and thousands of books that can help you start your own company, but it can be intimidating to figure out which one is the right one for you and is giving you quality information. Since your time is precious – you are starting a company after all! – here are the twelve books that are invaluable to read before starting a business.
1. The Little Red Book of Selling by Jeffrey Gitomer
No matter what line of business you are planning on going into, you will have to perfect the art of selling. You will have to sell your idea, a product, or even figure out how to market your abilities. Even if you are partnering with someone who is a great salesman, you will also need to learn the art of sales. This book is a great book to get you started on the basics, and is not geared towards any industry, making it perfect for any budding entrepreneur.
2. 3-D Negotiation by David A Lax and James K Sebenius
Yet another skill that entrepreneurs will need to perfect is the art of negotiation. Becoming a great negotiator is more than just bullying your way through talks or being overly aggressive. There is a reason why Harvard Business School uses this book in their executive level negotiation courses. It teaches their students that setting up the negotiation before the talks even begin is where the real skill comes into play, and any tactic you might use during negotiations becomes less critical.
3. Become Your Own Boss in 12 Months: A Month-By-Month Guide To A Business That Works by Melinda F Emerson
The founder and CEO of Quintessence Multimedia gives you an easy-to-follow plan that helps break down the odious task of starting a business. It sorts them into manageable tasks, such as reaching out to investors, to planning a marketing strategy, to making sure you are utilizing the proper technology and software. If you need help figuring out how to get started, this is the right book for you.
4. Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook by Gary Vaynerchuk
“Gary Vee” has made quite the name for himself in the business world. He is a marketing expert and New York Times bestseller, and his books deserve a place on this list. Having great content isn’t enough, you need to learn the tools to help you properly market that material, and this book can help to teach you the necessary tools.
5. The Fire Starter Sessions by Danielle LaPorte
If all you need is that last little push to encourage you to become an entrepreneur, then Danielle LaPorte’s book can give you the nudge in the right direction. This book is full of personal stories and motivational tidbits that will spur you into action. It can help get you fired up about becoming an entrepreneur.
6. Start Run & Grow a Successful Small Business by Toolkit Media Group
This book is the perfect one-stop shop for small businesses. It is another excellent resource that can walk you through the process of starting a business and covers everything, from accounting, staffing, and infrastructure. It even includes checklists, case studies, and model business plans so you can see what has worked – and what hasn’t worked – for others. If you are planning to employ others, this is a great reference book, because it includes tons of tips on HR-related topics, such as management strategies, how to handle employee benefits, and hiring and firing techniques.
7. The Art of the Start by Guy Kawasaki
The Art of the Start quickly became a classic thanks to insider information on how to prepare for owning a business. It is especially helpful for entrepreneurs who are looking for investors, because the book is full of nuggets of information. It helps you figure out what investors think of you, and how to convince them to back you.
8. Escape from Cubicle Nation by Pamela Slim
For those who are still in the beginning stages of planning the break from their 9-5, then this book can help motivate you and turn your dreams into a reality. If a lack of motivation and fear is what is holding you back, then Pamela Slim’s motivational stories can help get you moving again and to finally quit the corporate life.
9. The E-Myth Revisited by Michael Gerber
Michael Gerber initially received fame thanks to his pointing out the difference between working “on” and working “in” your business. If you don’t understand what the distinction is, then add this book to your reading list. He gives advice on how to navigate the beginning days of full-time entrepreneurship.
10. The Founder’s Dilemmas: Anticipating and Avoiding the Pitfalls That Can Sink A Startup by Noam Wasserman
No one wants to think about failure, but sometimes preparing for it can help you avoid it. Learn from the mistakes of entrepreneurs who have come before. As a professor of clinical entrepreneurship at the University of Southern California, Noam Wasserman has been studying for years why some founders succeed while others fail. In his book, he uses real-world examples to explain the different approaches to business, and how to pick the right one to stay in business.
11. Be Obsessed Or Be Average by Grant Cardone
Grant Cardone, a popular entrepreneur, tells his story to inspire and motivate other entrepreneurs. His book sells the message that you must demand what you want. Otherwise, it will never happen, and opportunities might pass you by. His philosophy is to set lofty goals for himself, so he is always reaching. Cardone teaches that instead of letting other people’s negativity weigh you down, you should instead use it to help lift you up to achieve your goals.
12. Who Moved My Cheese by Spencer Johnson
Quitting a corporate job can be terrifying. The fear of the unknown paralyzes many would-be entrepreneurs. Reading this book can teach you how to thrive in an evolving environment by showing you how to be afraid of the unknown. The book stresses that nothing will last forever, so you should be looking instead about how to improve. Who Moved My Cheese provides invaluable lessons to an entrepreneur who is nervous about making that next step.