At some point, all entrepreneurs need some sort of business advice or guidance. Business books offer insight into a broad range of topics and can provide helpful advice, no matter your business need. Here's a list of some of the best business books to read in order to hone your business skills and supplement your knowledge. Whether you're just starting out or looking for a new approach, these 10 books will help you become a better leader, craft a sound strategy, and empower yourself.
#10: Business Adventures by John Brooks
This business classic was first published in 1969. Written by financial journalist John Brooks, this book narrates twelve unprecedented stories of corporate and financial life. It examines several prominent events in the business landscape including the crash of 1929, the behemoth tech company Remington Rand, and Ford Motor Company’s Edsel brand.
This book gives readers a detailed insight into the ways a business is shaped and run. It emphasizes the importance of key decision-makers at a company and explores the tremendous impact of their decisions on the overall success of an organization.
Business Adventures is a fantastic compilation of stories to read when on the hunt for inspiration, as well as some sage advice from a highly successful businessperson. The lessons are applicable to any business—big or small—creating an invaluable read for anyone looking to get more insight about the business world.
#9: The Hard Thing About Hard Things by Ben Horowitz
This book offers insight into the world of business from one of Silicon Valley’s most respected entrepreneurs, Ben Horowitz. He brings his own personal experiences to the table, which makes for an entertaining read for anyone interested in the business world. Horowitz gets to the heart of the challenges business owners face and provides tangible guidance on how to tackle them. He also generously offers his own personal stories, which makes for a great read for anyone looking for lessons from an experienced business mind. By using his own experience and relatable stories, Horowitz helps business owners build the foundations of resilience, courage, and leadership.
#8: Good to Great by Jim Collins
Good to Great by Jim Collins is an amazing business book and a must read for anyone trying to achieve success in the world of business. The book was published in 2001, and in it Jim Collins dives deep into what it takes to make a good company great.
In Good to Great, Collins argues that there are certain core principles that successful companies abide by in order to become “great”. He heavily advocates for concepts such as being data-driven, having a clear but ambitious vision and mission, and understanding and adhering to the core values of the company. Collins also talks about how a company can cultivate the right culture for greatness and drive continuous improvement throughout the organization.
This book has since become a classic in the business world, with its core principles consistently referenced in conferences and books alike. If you are looking to take your business to the next level, then Good to Great is the perfect place to start.
#7: The Lean Startup by Eric Ries
In business, it’s all too easy to get caught up in the small details of running a company and overlook the bigger picture. In The Lean Startup, author Eric Ries brilliantly sorts out how to focus on sustainably growing a business. His concept of the Lean Startup is one of the must-read books for entrepreneurs – it encourages embracing flexibility and rigorous testing as part of the product development process.
This book doesn’t just focus on the process of developing a product; it also advises on how to best monitor progress and encourages entrepreneurs to capitalize on changing markets. Ries walks the reader through the steps of analyzing customer needs and the advantages of utilizing Minimum Viable Product (MVP) strategies for testing out products.
The Lean Startup is an exceptionally thorough yet concise examination of the challenges associated with launching a product. And what’s more, it’s an enjoyable read – every entrepreneur should check out this book!
#6: The Intelligent Investor by Benjamin Graham
Benjamin Graham's classic investment book is still highly regarded as a go-to resource by anyone looking to invest. The Intelligent Investor provides solid advice on how to identify good investments, why it’s important to diversify your portfolio, and the value of stock market discipline. Written in 1949, the book still offers forth inspiring advice on how to make smart investments, and Graham’s strategies remain relevant today.
For investors looking to maximize their returns while minimizing the risk, there is no better resource than The Intelligent Investor. Graham’s timeless lessons are the perfect starting point for any investor, and the book remains an essential read for any business person looking to confidently invest in their future.
#5: The Four Steps to the Epiphany by Steve Blank
Creating and launching a successful business is an incredibly complex process. The Four Steps to the Epiphany by Steve Blank is considered essential reading for entrepreneurs looking to develop a smart startup strategy. In it, Blank outlines four distinct customer development phases that businesses should go through in order to maximize their chances of success.
The book draws heavily on Blank’s own entrepreneurship experience. He talks at length about the customer development process, discussing topics such as building the right product, conducting customer interviews, and matching customer needs with customer features. The book also features valuable tips about securing financial backing and attracting the right talent.
The Four Steps to the Epiphany offers an invaluable roadmap to startup success. Whether you’re just starting a business or are looking to relaunch an existing company, it’s impossible to overestimate the value of having such an authoritative resource at your disposal.
#4: Zero to One by Peter Thiel
In this best-selling business book, PayPal co-founder and venture capitalist Peter Thiel argues that true innovation and prosperity come from creating something new and completely original. Rather than competing with other companies, successful business-people should strive to create unique new products, processes and services. According to Thiel, success comes from “going from zero to one” and thinking outside the box. He examines the importance of creating a culture in which the individual’s creativity is able to thrive and offers advice on how to make revolutionary changes in your industry.
This book covers a vast array of topics ranging from disruptive innovation to the importance of creating a good team culture. Zero To One is an essential read for entrepreneurs, startup founders and any budding business-person looking to make a real impact.
#3: The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey
In this timeless bestseller, Stephen Covey covers a wide range of topics, from setting personal goals to dealing with change. One of the premier business books of all time, "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People" provides readers with a comprehensive guide to approaching their personal and professional lives in an organized, ethical, and efficient way.
This book is broken up into three parts: dependence, independence, and interdependence. Covey emphasizes that those who strive for success must focus on the principles of effectiveness and make them part of their daily lives. He further examines how to be proactive, manage time, and build relationships to meet that success.
A must-read for anyone leading a team or running their own business, this book provides actionable advice you can use to achieve greater levels of personal and work-related effectiveness.
#2: The E-Myth Revisited by Michael Gerber
First published in 1995, the e-myth revisited by Michael Gerber is still widely regarded as one of the essential business reads. This book shows how small business owners can reinvent their businesses by focusing on structure, systems and processes instead of long hours of hard work. It stresses the importance of systems to measure, refine and track what it takes to create a successful business, allowing small business owners to leverage their time better and move closer to their goals.
As described by Michael Gerber, "The Entrepreneur Myth is the belief that most small businesses are started by entrepreneurs—that is, creative and decisive people who, having spotted a gap in the market, take the initiative to fill it and make their fortunes." He emphasizes that running a successful business shouldn't be about having a great idea, but rather about having a great system and process which allows for it to succeed.
This book includes many helpful insights and lessons for small business owners. For example, it stresses the importance of understanding customer needs in order to build a successful business. It also helps readers understand the reality of what it's like to be an entrepreneur, the importance of delegation and accountability, and the ability to proactively analyze and adjust your processes on a regular basis. It also offers advice on how to develop an effective team and build an appropriate business model.
Overall, this book is a great read for anyone looking to improve or develop their business or start a new one. It contains valuable advice and wisdom, delivered in an accessible format, that can help make sure small business owners have the best chance of long-term success.
#1: The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing by Al Ries & Jack Trout
Widely regarded as the godfathers of modern marketing, Al Ries and Jack Trout authored what became one of the best-selling books on marketing ever written.
The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing is a classic exploration of reasons for success and failure in the world of marketing. The impact of this book and its basic principles remain relevant today, from the smallest companies to large corporations.
The authors explain why good ideas often fail and bad ideas sometimes succeed and how marketing requires developing a corporate viewpoint – to focus your actions on the same immutable "laws of marketing" that guide the big players in the industry.
Written with wit and wisdom, this is the must-read book for anyone trying to understand the marketing and branding universe, and key for anyone interested in understanding the nuances of what it takes to succeed in the business world.
Don't just take our word for it - nearly 30 years later and The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing remains a marketing standard and bestseller.
No matter what kind of business book you're in the market for, you're sure to find something in this list that will help to enlighten and inform your business endeavours. From sound financial advice to inspiring success stories, the Top 10 Must-Read Business Books are sure to make a welcome addition to any business book collection.
Each book offers something unique to the reader and will help you to stay ahead of the competition. So why not give one of these great books a try? It just might be the best decision you ever make for your business!