Small Business Tips and Tools

6 of the Best Books for Starting a Business

Looking for inspiration and guidance in your entrepreneur journey? Read your way to confidence with these books about starting a business.

January 19, 2022 · 4 min read
RiverRun Bookstore in Portsmouth, NH

Looking for inspiration and guidance in your entrepreneur journey? Read your way to confidence with our picks of the best books for starting a business.

When it comes to being a business owner, there is no official manual that guarantees success. In fact, the road to entrepreneurship looks vastly different for everyone. (Just ask around in the Hello Alice community!) On top of running your day-to-day business, staying relevant requires being a lifetime learner. You’ll want to adapt to new ideas, innovation, technology and marketing constantly. There are strategies, plans, and processes, that you can develop. There are skills to sharpen and fresh perspectives to consider. All of which could take your company and leadership to the next level. 

We rounded up a fresh mix of manuals and memoirs that are some of the best books for starting a business. They’ll give you skills, tips, and gems you need to help guide you. Whether you are building your business, looking to scale, increase your ROI, or improve your leadership skills, we have you covered. 

Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action by Simon Sinek

First in our roundup of the best books for starting a business, author Simon Sinek ignited a movement with this bestselling book. In fact, it is one of the most popular TED Talks of all time! With more than 56 million views and counting, it’s since caught the attention of millions on TikTok. For more than a decade, Sinek has been inspiring business owners, leaders, and employees to dig deep into the purpose of their organizations. Sinek believes that the root of lasting success is for customers to understand the why behind a product, service, or idea in order to buy it. Sinek then provides a framework for how to build your organization and inspire people by starting with the fundamental question: Why?

Best for: Passionate business owners, leaders, innovators, and Ted Talk enthusiasts.

Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future by Peter Thiel and Blake Masters

Forget trying to replicate the success of CEOs, companies, and products that already exist and compete in your marketplace. Sure, it’s easier to copy a model than make something new. But, that means you aren’t learning. Plus, even if you improve upon it, it’s still familiar. However, when you do something original — and better than anybody else — you are free of competition.

Zero to One is about how to build companies that create new things: “Something fresh and strange.” Author Peter Thiel is a co-founder of PayPal and investor in hundreds of startups, including Facebook and SpaceX. In his book, he unveils that successful people find value in unexpected places. By thinking about business from principles instead of formulas, this book inspires you to challenge yourself.

Best for: Experienced entrepreneurs, business owners, and visionaries.

We Should All Be Millionaires: A Woman’s Guide to Earning More, Building Wealth, and Gaining Economic Power by Rachel Rodgers

According to author Rachel Rodgers, “only 10 percent of the world’s millionaires are women, making it difficult for women to wield the economic power that will create lasting equality.” Well, that didn’t stop Rodgers from hitting seven figures. Now, she’s here to guide you on wealth-building strategies. The book includes tell-it-like-it-is advice and lessons. Rodgers — a Black woman, mother of four, attorney, business owner, and self-made millionaire — gives you all the reasons why the time is now, no matter your obligations. She’ll explain why women need to aim higher than $100K per year. Plus, how to use strategies to bring in more money immediately. Her accompanying PDF and $10K in 10 Days Challenge might light a fire in you. 

Best for: Women looking to be coached on how to step up their money mindset.

Scaling Up Simplified: Unlock the Master Code to Explosive Business Growth by Recruiting a Powerful Team, Attracting Loyal Customers, and Building a Life of Freedom by Shannon Teague

Serious about growing and scaling your small business in 2022? This book is for small business owners who want to scale up and thrive in the marketplace. Author Shannon Teague knows all the obstacles: struggling to acquire new clients, wearing multiple hats, and facing issues launching projects among others. Teague outlines practical steps that can serve as your own unique roadmap for growing your business efficiently and strategically. Learn to set up time-saving systems and processes, simplify accounting, and recruit a high-achieving team. Then, how to align on your company’s core value and vision to develop loyal, raving fans who will stick with you. 

Best for: Small business owners seriously looking to grow and scale quickly.

Mind Your Business: A Workbook to Grow Your Creative Passion Into a Full-time Gig by Ilana Griffo

A comprehensive guide that will walk you from passion projects to profitable business. All so you can enjoy a life you love. From initial planning to long-term business strategy, the author shares the formula she used to turn her hobby into a six-figure business. Even established small business owners will appreciate the guidance of practical sections. This book will help you identify your ideal market and customer, select budget and forecast tools, and better understand legal guidelines to help you protect your assets. Plus, how to manage online platforms, social media, and SEO to scale and grow.

Best for: Aspiring entrepreneurs and small business owners.

Big Lucky: Serial Entrepreneur Jim Markham’s Secret Formula for Success by Jim Markham

This book is a hybrid: part memoir, part entrepreneurial self-help book. Serial entrepreneur Jim Markham describes how he built five successful companies to his name and over $1.2 billion in combined retail sales in the hair care industry. The book’s title comes from his celebrity client, the late actor Paul Newman. Starting as a hairstylist, Jim Markham forged a new path to corporate multimillionaire without any playbook to follow.

Best for: Serial entrepreneurs or hair and beauty business owners.

We hope you’ll check out some of these best books for starting a business! For more inspiration and guidance in starting a business, join Hello Alice and/or subscribe to our weekly newsletter.