When you’re getting ready to launch your own business, there are few things more important than giving yourself the foundation you need to compete in a crowded marketplace. There’s a lot to do, and missing one major step can leave you trying to catch up with your competitors. The good news is, there’s no shortage of material from the experts out there to give you the edge you need, and one of the best advantages you can give yourself is to read the best books for starting a business written by the people who have succeeded before you.

An intimidating statistic many small businesses face is that twenty percent of small businesses don’t survive their first year – but that also means that eighty percent of small businesses clear that hurdle. The best books for starting a business take a two-fold approach to helping new businesses survive – first they teach readers how to avoid the most common mistakes and survive, and then they teach readers how to stand out from the crowd and dominate their field.

The self-help business category is growing by the year, as we live in a start-up nation and many people want their piece of the dream. It can be challenging to find the best books for starting a business that will help you the most, so we will help you narrow down the list. Here at Overhead Watch, we’ve put together a list of the ten best books for starting a business on the market today, so read on and find the book that will help you take your business from start-up to smash.

Best Books For Starting A Business FAQ

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How We Reviewed

The following list of the best books for starting a business were reviewed based on the following parameters – cost, available formats, ease of reading and organization, practical advice, entertainment value, and applicability to different fields of start-up business.

Overall Price Range

The ten books on this list are available in print for between $ and $$$ in hardcover or paperback formats. Digital copies are available for all books for between $ and $$, with one available for free with a Kindle Unlimited trial. Eight of the ten offer free audiobook versions with an Audible trial.

Comparison Table

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What We Reviewed

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About

Ideal for beginning entrepreneurs, this book by Michael E. Gerber follows up his first best-seller “The E-Myth” by looking at the reasons many small businesses don’t catch on and what new businesses can do differently. “E-Myth” stands for “Entrepreneurial Myth,” which states that all you need to succeed is skill and hard work. Gerber looks at a business’ typical lifespan and shows the steps a founder needs to take for the best chance at success in this quick, easy read.

Price

$$

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About

Steven Pressfield’s popular business book is a take on the famous Sun Tzu military strategy book “The Art of War,” and expands that book’s lessons to explore the war each of us has going on in our soul. It looks at the forces keeping us from reaching our full potential like self-doubt and self-sabotage. Pressfield believes the biggest opponent any small business owner faces is themselves, and outlines a battle plan for overcoming what’s holding you back.

Price

$$

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About

Pat Flynn is known as a guru of passive income, advocating a lifestyle where your money works for you rather than the opposite. Now he turns his focus to offering practical advice on testing out business ideas before committing to the startup costs of a new business. He details five different steps that every entrepreneur should take before investing in a new business idea – making sure your business aligns with your goals, analyzing details, assessing your market, testing your idea, and deciding to invest.

Price

$$

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About

No matter what business you’re starting, a business can only succeed if it has a great salesperson at its helm. This book by Jeffrey Gitomer has become a bible for selling since its publication in 2004 and delivers an all-purpose guide to selling across industries. It’s fast, easy to read, and provides practical advice for honing your selling skills whether you’re talking to a potential buyer or a potential investor.

Price

$$

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About

Small businesses face a variety of hiccups in their early years, and while most are minor, every business will face some key decisions that could derail their progress. Gino Wickman’s book asks the essential question of whether you’re leading your business or it’s leading you. Offering an “Entrepreneurial Operating System” to get you past the hardest points, it gives you simple tools to prevent burnout and move past common problems and is praised for its easy-to-read style.

Price

$$

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About

One of the most controversial and popular books on the list, Timothy Ferriss’ has been on the New York Times’ bestseller list for seven years and has gained a loyal audience thanks to its guide to aggressively outsourcing the day-to-day drudgery of work. Urging people to eschew the traditional “work until retirement” approach, it focuses on making your money work for you and creating a passive income stream. While much of the advice isn’t workable for many people working traditional jobs, it provides an important guide to setting up an independent business.

Price

$$$

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About

The difference between a forgotten business and a breakout business is often as simple as branding, and influencer Gary Vaynerchuk’s book shows the tricks of pre-launch brand building so you have a head-start. Being able to connect with your audience and make sales before you even have a product is the key to long-term success. This modern book also shows how to use digital marketing and social media to boost your brand and attract a younger audience.

Price

$$$

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About

Written by Alex Rovira and Fernando Trias de Bes, this book straddles the line between a how-to business book and a short novel. Focusing on a pair of old men, Max and Jim, who reunite fifty years after their first meeting and compare notes on how their lives turned out, it features a simple secret to business success. Focusing on seizing opportunity when it presents itself, “Good Luck” offers inspiration and entertainment if not detailed advice.

Price

$

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About

Written by Clate Mask and Scott Martineau, this book on growing a successful small business has an irreverent tone and focuses on the small, everyday problems you’ll encounter. It takes the approach that the buck stops with the business owner and is geared towards beginners. Emphasizing that it’s easier to solve a problem when it’s small, it packs a lot of laughs and some sensible advice into a small, easy-to-read package.

Price

$

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About

Marketing guru Seth Godin looks at the traditional “P”s of marketing – product, price, promotion, and place – and explores how they’ve changed in recent years because of the x-factor that he calls the “Purple Cow.” This is the ability of phenomena and disruptors to shake up the industry quickly. Godin claims that in the current market, a business is either remarkable or generic, and he looks at case studies of extraordinary businesses and gives advice on how to follow in their footsteps.

Price

$$

The Verdict

All ten of these books offer solid advice to small business owners, giving tips on both starting out and on surviving the bumps in the road. However, one stood out due to its essential advice for starting a business and making sure your core idea is workable. Because a good start is the most important step to success, we give “Will it Fly?” our endorsement for the best book for starting a business on the market today.