One of the best ways to learn is by reading.
Books are wonderful teachers, no matter what kind of knowledge you want to obtain — and that includes learning the ins and outs of running a small business. From business management to real-world case studies on hard work and hustle, the right novel can take you on an entrepreneurial journey and teach you new skills.
Whether you own a thriving business or are just starting out, there’s always room to learn. Check out our guide to the must-read books for business owners.
How does reading help entrepreneurs?
Reading is more than a great habit — it can also level up your professional life. Here are a few ways reading about entrepreneurship benefits you:
- Expand your vocabulary: Reading opens you up to unfamiliar words. And when you expose yourself to new words and phrases (especially industry-specific jargon), you increase your understanding and communicate your ideas more effectively.
- Discover new business strategies: Books about small business operations provide a peek into real-life scenarios, and authors describe how to tackle issues with innovative approaches and ideas. You can learn practical methods to apply to your business and use tried-and-tested techniques that work for other entrepreneurs.
- Enhance your memory: Reading is an opportunity to enhance memory, improve concentration, and reduce stress. As an entrepreneur, you'll benefit from heightened memory and focus (and an opportunity to relax).
- Learn while you unwind: Making reading a part of your routine is a great way to make your free time productive. Instead of watching a show before bed, read a few pages of a book and watch your business knowledge improve.
- Avoid common mistakes: Authors often write about the pitfalls they stumbled into when first starting out. Absorbing their advice and learning from their mistakes empowers you to avoid the same route.
5 excellent books for small business owners
Eager to read, but not sure where to start? Here are five great reads from talented and successful authors:
1. “Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us” by Daniel H. Pink
“Drive” is a fantastic read that can teach you to balance each aspect of personal and professional life so they work in tandem.
A bestselling author, Pink writes about life at work, school, and home, suggesting it's human nature to find fulfillment and satisfaction when we improve ourselves. This constant striving for excellence makes life worthwhile — there’s never an endpoint. Spoiler alert: the same logic applies to business growth.
2. “Strategize to Win” by Carla Harris
“Strategize to Win” is an excellent book for new business owners and professionals considering changing careers or starting new ventures. Harris teaches readers to define goals and build fruitful relationships to attract professional opportunities. Then, she explains how to grab those opportunities with both hands.
Harris also provides helpful guidance for dealing with personal conflict and persevering through tough times tied to real-world examples. It’s a well-rounded read.
3. “How To Win Friends and Influence People” by Dale Carnegie
This is a must-read book for small business and startup owners. Carnegie preaches that strong connections are the foundation of any successful enterprise and that no organization is more than the ability of its people. He offers learning techniques and methods that help build conviction and interpersonal relationships.
The book is perfect for solopreneurs needing guidance before kickstarting their businesses. Carnegie explains how to reach out to resourceful and knowledgeable people, build fruitful connections, and improve the odds of success.
4. “Start with Why” by Simon Sinek
Alongside being a successful author, Sinek is also one of the world's foremost inspirational speakers. His motivational musings shape “Start with Why” and his writings about effective leadership. He suggests a great leader inspires people to accomplish things instead of telling them what to do.
According to Sinek, the most successful entrepreneurs are also effective communicators and attract people who share their values. Part of what makes them so inspiring is their capacity to uplift people and make them feel special, safe, and secure.
There's a lot to learn from this book in terms of leadership, communication, and relationships. Sinek teaches readers how to use impactful and encouraging words — an essential trait all business owners should possess.
5. “Dare To Lead” by Brené Brown
Brown discusses the importance of fostering a supportive work environment and creating a positive atmosphere for team members.
Brown's words motivate and teach readers how to establish a work culture that ultimately brings out the best in human creativity and ingenuity. She asserts that business leaders should allow themselves to be approachable, vulnerable, and honest in trying circumstances. Having these qualities isn't meant to bring anyone down — it's about being courageous enough to stand tall in the face of adversity and take the best course of action.
The book doesn't encourage failure but suggests leaders accept it as a natural part of the learning journey. The objective is to learn from those mistakes, consistently improve, and set an example for others.
Tips for choosing a book about small business
There are thousands of books about entrepreneurship, each with its merits. But chances are you’re not going to page through every single one. So how do you choose the right read for you?
Here are some quick pointers to help you grab the perfect book:
- Stick to your interests and objectives: It’s easy to get lost in the sea of options or carried away by big-name authors. Avoid flashy titles and covers and focus on your unique business needs. Are you running a catering company? Building a tutoring service from the ground up? Hiring your first team members? Pick a book that discusses your interests and aligns with your company’s objectives.
- Browse before buying: Don’t take home a book before you know what you can expect to learn. Flip through the pages, look at chapter titles, and read the synopsis to understand what a book offers. It’s also good practice to read reviews and see what others think.
- Listen to your gut: The most important rule is to choose a book that appeals to you. Ultimately, there’s nothing more important than the urge to pick up the book and read it — you don’t want it to gather dust on your shelf. Don’t shy away from a title that interests you just because New York Times bestselling author didn’t write it.
Expand your knowledge with Practice
As a small business owner, books are your friend. They can teach you the necessary skills and knowledge to grow your company. Practice can help in that area, too.
Plus, we offer tools to support your business. Our customer relationship management (CRM) platform allows you to safely and securely communicate with clients, file important documents, and receive payments — all in one place.