5 Best Books on Starting a Business for Success

5 Best Books on Starting a Business for Success | Entrepreneurship | Emeritus

According to Forbes, the number of applications to start a business reached an all-time high of 551,657 00 in July 2020, representing a 95% increase from 2019. While starting a business is no mean feat requiring tremendous effort and determination, many successful businesses and entrepreneurs will tell you it’s worth the hard work. Our list of the best books on starting a business focuses on five critical aspects for excelling in a new business endeavor:

  • Consistent execution of ideas 
  • Branding new businesses
  • Judicious investment
  • Teamwork and leadership
  • Constant improvisation

Back to the Basics: What is Entrepreneurship?

Each book delves into one of the five building blocks. Let’s check them out! 

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Best Books on Starting a Business

1. Making Ideas Happen: Overcoming the Obstacles Between Vision and Reality by Scott Belsky

Best Suited For: Entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, CEOs, and creative artists
Goodreads Rating: 4.01

In this book, productivity expert and the founder of social media network Behance, Scott Belsky, offers a rich capsule of experiential knowledge on the consistent execution of ideas and creative organization. Belsky crystallized six years’ worth of interviews to map the underlying principles and techniques that drive the effective implementation of ideas. He offers a practical ‘How To’ recipe that will maximize your creative efficiency in a world cluttered with ingenious ideas. 

2. Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products by Nir Eyal

Best Suited For: Entrepreneurs, venture capitalists, CEOs, and creative artists
Goodreads Rating: 4.01

All entrepreneurs need to showcase the magic their product or service wields. In marketing terms, this is called branding. How do you make the customer believe in you? Branding works subliminally and is often the result of consistent habits arising from repetitive fun-inducing stimuli. Think of how Meta works as a product alongside our habit of scrolling its feed whenever we are bored. This is exactly what Eyal talks about in this book and offers practical strategies on how to cement people and products with habit-forming strategies. 

It’s a must-read for all young entrepreneurs since competition among small businesses is only increasing with each passing day!  

3. The Art of Startup Fundraising by Alejandro Cremades

Best Suited For: Fundraisers, entrepreneurs, and startup founders
Goodreads Rating: 4.02

Responsible investment is the surest path to sustainable business development and growth. A steady supply of funds not only streamlines the business, it also allows you to take leaps you previously couldn’t think of. 

Cremades brings home the best solutions to this mammoth task in The Art of Startup Fundraising, starting right from the basics. From crafting sharp product pitches to identifying the right investors, this book crystallizes insights on the best possible means to ensure a stable financial backing for your business. This makes it a must read for all the people sitting on a brilliant idea but lacking the resources to actualize their aim.

In a world of pivoting changes in online fundraising, Cremades offers a thoroughly researched and lucid manual that can anchor your first few steps in this grand world.

4. Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action by Simon Sinek

Best Suited For: Academicians and entrepreneurs

Goodreads Rating: 4.2

The fourth aspect of starting a business is acquiring leadership skills. A leader is a sum total of a mighty vision, inspiring ideas, extensive collaborations, and comprehensive team building skills. 

Sinek takes the Belsky approach in ‘Start with Why’ to discover an all-encompassing stringent leadership formula. His theory of the ‘Golden Circle’ is a result of critically studying the thought processes of the world’s greatest leaders. In this seminal work, the author also proposes a neuroscientific recipe of success that depends on stimulating certain areas of the consumers’ minds to ensure strong engagement.

As the world grapples with inflation, customer-centric leadership and marketing strategies are the need of the hour, and this book offers you all of it!

5. The Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses by Eric Ries

Best Suited For: Startup founders, entrepreneurs, and investors
Goodreads Rating: 4.11

Lean is a modern business philosophy that focuses more on business models than the plan. It is all the more relevant after the pandemic when there is a predicted global recession in 2023. Business leaders who are just getting started will benefit a lot from this book. It highlights all the practical challenges related to understanding the flux of innovation we’re currently in, and replaces the older business regimes with shorter product cycles and constant efficiency tests of marketing tactics. 

Eric Ries marks a significant departure from others by fusing practical insights with a solid theoretical framework of lean startups, making it a must-read from our list of best books on starting a business.

Note: All ratings have been taken from Goodreads.com.

Radical theories meet revolutionizing change only when implemented in the real world. Likewise, entrepreneurship demands an ever-evolving gamut of skillsets, and only a balanced merger of theory and practice can help you upskill in this unique path. So arm yourself with the best courses in entrepreneurial strategies at Emeritus! Are you ready to take the leap and start your own business? In addition to these five books, make sure to read our recent article, how to become an entrepreneur, to set yourself up for the best chance at success. 

Write to us at content@emeritus.org

About the Author

Content Writer, Emeritus Blog
Mitaksh has an extensive background in journalism, focusing on various beats, including technology, education, and the environment, spanning over six years. He has previously actively monitored telecom, crypto, and online streaming developments for a notable news website. In his leisure time, you can often find Mitaksh at his local theatre, indulging in a multitude of movies.
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