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Small Business Books to Read in 2023: The Must Have Collection

Running an independent business requires skills, smart decision-making, and extensive knowledge.

Moreover, finding valuable resources that will prepare you for the responsibilities and tasks you need to take on is important.

Many books cover business topics, talk about marketing strategies and discuss how to stay motivated and up-to-date with the industry.

However, finding the right one for you can make a big difference. In this post, I have gathered a list of the must-have small business books to read in 2023, which might assist you throughout your business journey.

16 Small Business Books Every Business Owner Should Read in 2023

A book on becoming a great business leader

1. Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone

Written by: Simon Sinek

Start With Why is a book for entrepreneurs, inspiring them to determine and focus on the reason why they venture into the business world.

According to the author, successful companies have a sense of purpose and a clear path. As a result, they know what products and services to use and how to market and brand them the right way.

The book also mentions that developing strong leadership skills is key to growing a business. It states that a strong leader should inspire, motivate employees and communicate by sending clear messages to help the team and the business grow.

Key takeaways

  • Focusing on why you run a business will give you a clear path to success.
  • Developing leadership and communication skills is the key to growing an independent business.
  • Employees perform best when they are inspired, motivated, and work in an organizational environment.

A book for improving your marketing skills

2. The 1-Page Marketing Plan

Written by: Allan Dib

The 1-Page Marketing Plan is a thorough book for business owners that want to stand out from their competitors. Dib’s book is very straightforward, providing a plan for developing the right marketing strategy.

In this book, the author gives insights into attracting more customers as a startup company, growing your income, and selling products without overwhelming your customers.

The book also covers how to properly market your products, depending on your budget.

Key takeaways

  • Developing marketing skills is crucial for success.
  • A successful business needs to stand out from the others.
  • Staying connected with the customers and clients is important.

A book on human psychology and personal growth

3. Mindset: The New Psychology of Success

Written by: Dr. Carol Dweck, PhD

Every business owner should have the right mindset and perceptions to be successful. The author, a professor at Stanford, has been studying the power of the mindset and believes it influences our behavior.

The book guides the readers on how to reach their full potential in every aspect of their life. It also mentions two mindset types: a fixed and a growth mindset.

Dweck’s book teaches readers how to improve themselves every day, which is important for business owners.

Key takeaways

  • Having the right mindset is crucial for reaching success.
  • Every person should strive to become better.
  • Adopting a growth mindset is necessary for a fulfilled life and success.

A book for upgrading business storytelling skills

4. Sell with a Story: How to Capture Attention, Build Trust, and Close the Sale

Written by: Paul Smith

In this book, the author Paul Smith discusses how to properly apply sales principles to storytelling. The book covers how stories can meet sales goals and how they should be structured.

The book's second part involves preparing stories using templates and real-life stories of successful entrepreneurs. By implementing a sales method such as storytelling, your profit can increase.

In the same way as other skills, storytelling is a skill that business owners can significantly improve with deliberate practice.

Key takeaways

  • Stories can help business owners capture customers' attention and build a connection.
  • Storytelling includes time, place, main character, obstacle, goal, and events.
  • Don’t give away too many details and the ending at the start; give the listener a chance to respond.

A book for strategic thinking

5. Elevate: The Three Disciplines of Advanced Strategic Thinking

Written by: Rich Horwath

Every entrepreneur needs to know how to execute strategies. This book teaches how elite strategists outperform their competitors. It also discusses how the right behavior and mindset enable you to develop strategies and grow your business.

The book offers the leaders a framework and toolkits on how to implement advanced thinking strategies and practical tools and techniques to help business owners become strategic leaders.

This book will explain why strategy is important and what components make a good strategy. In the book, the author focuses on advanced strategic thinking that drives results in both short-term and long-term.

Key takeaways

  • Strategic thinking requires practicing disciplines known as coalesce, compete, and champion.
  • Identifying the business goal and implementing the right strategy are key components for success.
  • Advanced strategic thinking will provide long-term results.

A book about the influence of persuasion

6. Influence - The Psychology of Persuasion

Written by: Dr. Robert. B. Cialdini

Cialdini’s classic book on persuasion talks about the psychology behind people saying ‘yes’ and teaches how to apply such understandings to your professional life.

The expert has researched what makes people change their minds and teaches how to become a skillful persuader.

The act of persuasion can be beneficial for business owners as they can use it to create products the users will accept. It can also help you make the right decision and defend yourself from the influence that is not beneficial for your business.

Key takeaways

  • The seven primary principles of persuasion are weapons of influence, reciprocation, commitment & consistency, social proof, liking, authority, and scarcity.
  • The companies should provide free trials and samples for potential customers.
  • Apply influence principles in business settings and everyday situations.

A money management book.

7. Rich Dad, Poor Dad

Written by: Robert Kiyosaki

This book is intended for readers who want to learn how to make the right business decisions to gain wealth. The author compares his father, who was working class, with the wealthy parents of his childhood friend.

The purpose of the comparison in the book is to showcase how investing and taking calculated risks can allow you to stay wealthy. Both fathers taught the author how to reach success but with completely different approaches.

Throughout the book, Kiyosaki compares their principles, financial decisions and practices and focuses on the importance of financial literacy. Rich Dad, Poor Dad also contains leadership lessons about business growth.

Key takeaways

  • Successful people make smart decisions and learn from their mistakes.
  • One needs to be financially literate to become wealthy and successful.
  • Develop your path to success and gain financial freedom.

A book for having a business mindset

8. The Way of the Spiritual Entrepreneur

Written by: Pauline Nguyen

The main goal of many people is to live a happy and wealthy life. The book by Pauline Nguyen teaches business leaders and entrepreneurs to strive for success and fulfillment. This is a book to help you transform your life struggles into peace and harmony.

The Way of the Spiritual Entrepreneur combines science and spirituality and provides secrets to discover the source of your confidence, inspiration, and motivation. This book also features tools and strategies to become fearless, a characteristic of successful business people.

In the book, the author discusses that as a spiritual entrepreneur, it is important that your profession aligns with your life principles. A key to great work is loving what you do and being confident in your abilities.

Key takeaway

  • Becoming a fearless and stress-free leader is beneficial for success.
  • Business leaders should strive for success and make the right decisions.
  • Discovering the source of your confidence and motivation is necessary for living a fulfilled life.

A book for developing your business

9. Side Hustle

Written by: Chris Guillebeau

Given that plenty of small businesses start as a side hustle, this book teaches aspiring business leaders how to make their side jobs profitable.

The Side Hustle features an actionable plan, including taking a business idea and transforming it into a steady source of income and a full-time job.

This book gives the readers daily tasks and illustrates how to brainstorm ideas and turn their business goals into a reality. It has a step-to-step guide on how to start a business and become a successful entrepreneur in a short time.

Key takeaways

  • Focus on your customers and business growth to receive a steady income.
  • To succeed, you need to develop a growth mindset and be willing to act.
  • Create an additional side hustle for additional income.

A book for improving productivity

10. Smarter Faster Better

Written by: Charles Duhigg

A key to having a successful business is staying productive. Smarter Faster Better is a book focusing on productivity concepts such as setting goals, motivation, and decision-making.

The author uses research and anecdotal experiences to showcase how productive people get things done and what inspires their productivity.

By giving insights and tools, Duhigg teaches the readers how to be productive and make better life decisions. It includes stories about professionals in their field and teaches how to do things more efficiently.

Key takeaways

  • Staying motivated and focused on long-term goals is crucial for success.
  • Avoid distractions and make the right decisions to achieve your goals.
  • Learn how to be productive on a personal and professional level.

A book about implementing the right business strategy

11. The Art of War

Written by: Sun Tzu

The Art of War is a well-known classic book written in 500 B.C. However, the military strategy represented in the book is still relevant today in the business world.

The book consists of short chapters and gives valuable lessons. The author recommends keeping your plans a secret from competitors.

In the book, Tzu mentions how it is important to create a team of talented people for training, which is the same with small businesses.

The book’s synopsis is to know when to fight to get a victory, and the same applies when you are starting a business and competing with other competitors.

Key takeaways

  • One should not go into a battle to participate but to win; the same applies to successful companies.
  • Get your products and services on the market before your competitors do.
  • Find the weaknesses of your competitors, and outperform them while capitalizing during the process.

A book for developing productive habits

12. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

Written by: Stephen Covey

To maintain a business, a business leader must find the right balance between their personal life and work. The self-improvement book teaches the readers how to take free time and spend it with their loved ones without affecting the business.

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People also teaches individuals how to change their perceptions and develop habits that will make them more productive.

If you are looking for habits to help you stay organized and motivated as a business leader, the book by Convey might be the right choice for you.

Key takeaways

  • Adopt the habits of effective people to improve your life.
  • Change your mindset by adopting perceptions that lead to action.
  • Becoming proactive and focusing on important tasks is important for business success.

A book about inspiration and motivation

13. The Magic of Thinking Big

Written by: David J. Schwartz

This book teaches readers that if they don’t dream big, their aspirations and desires will remain dreams. It is an inspirational book about how fears often prevent us from reaching our goals.

The author states that the only way to success is to go after what we want and overcome problems. This book focuses on positive thinking and helps the readers enhance their personal and professional lives.

Key takeaways

  • It is important to believe that success is possible and to overcome fear.
  • Surround yourself with positive people and develop a positive mindset.
  • Replace thinking about failure with thinking about success.

A book about developing tactics, routines, and habits

14. Tools Of Titans

Written by: Tim Ferriss

In Tools Of Titans, Tim Ferriss breaks down more than 100 interviews with some of the world's most successful and influential people. The author gives insights into their careers and provides advice on working productively based on their personal experiences.

The book contains habits and tools that you need as a business person. It is divided into three sections which are healthy, wealthy, and wise. He mentions that having a passion for what you do, getting things done, and branding yourself is beneficial for businesses.

Key takeaways

  • Find a way to get things done effectively.
  • Implement a modern way of marketing instead of traditional marketing styles.
  • Interacting with your customers or clients who love your products and services is necessary as a business owner.

A book about successfully running a business

15. The E-Myth

Written by: Michael E. Gerber

The book discusses the myths which might dissuade people from starting and running their own businesses. The main goal of The E-Myth is to provide insights and guide business owners through their entrepreneurial journey.

The author talks about the mindset and attitude entrepreneurs need to have in order to set up their businesses for success. It is considered one of the best small business books as it discusses the whole process of running a new business, from developing a business idea and hiring employees to building a business strategy.

Key takeaways

  • Work hard and focus on building a business.
  • Consider the customer’s desires and needs and create valuable products they will like.
  • Create your business principles while you learn from other business models from successful business owners.

A book about start-up businesses

16. Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future

Written by: Peter Thiel and Blake Masters

Zero to One is a book by the entrepreneur and investor Peter Thiel and the venture capitalist and author Blake Masters, discussing how to build the future of your startup.

The book talks about developing the right strategy and philosophy and making your business successful and is inspired by the authors' personal experience.

The authors mention the importance of startups because new businesses bring new products and services to the market. This popular book also talks about how the authors approach business and teach the readers how to choose the target market and offer something unique.

Key takeaways

  • Stand out from the competitors and offer something different.
  • Business founders need to have a clear vision to grow their business in a short period of time.
  • Take advantage of every opportunity, as each moment in the business happens only once.


Building a successful business is not easy; it requires knowledge, skills, time, and effort. That said, small business books can be beneficial for business owners as they teach business and marketing strategies, how to stay productive and motivated, what decisions to make, and more.

The books in this post vary in length and style but provide valuable guides and information on becoming a successful entrepreneur.

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