Five of the best business books for startups

Written on 07 April, 2015 by Verity Meagher
Categories Small BusinessTags best books for start upsbusiness bookscontentreadsmall business

Starting a new business can be an uphill struggle at times, so arm yourself with hints, tips and information to help you along the way. Gain valuable insights by immersing yourself in some of the most inspirational business books around.

1. Socialnomics, Erik Qualman

Social media is now an integral part of the business plan for any startup. Understand its impact on the professional field and get to know more about the way it affects our daily lives with this fascinating book. Qualman explains how businesses can harness the power of social media to drive sales, reduce marketing costs and find ways to engage with clients and consumers directly – ideal advice for any startup.

2. The Little Red Book of Selling, Jeffrey Gitomer

Maybe you’re planning to hire salespeople first and thus believe a book about selling isn’t necessary reading. If anything, the exact opposite is true. Every entrepreneur needs to know how to sell. Whether it's pitching the business to investors or selling your company vision to new employees, understanding the sales cycle is crucial. This short book will have you well versed in an industry-generic sales cycle that you can use in all manner of settings.

3. Losing my Virginity, Richard Branson

How-to books are great for teaching you methods and tricks, but a good biography can offer some real insight into the mindset of someone successful and the lessons they learnt along the way. Branson'sstory is an amazing one, and this autobiography showcases his “screw it, let’s do it” philosophy and his belief that you only get ahead by being a risk-taker. The trick is to ensure you are also always protected from the downside.

4. 3D Negotiation, David A. Lax and James K. Sebenius

You need to have well-honed negotiation skills when investing in a startup. Learning how and when to negotiate forcefully and when to use softer, more considered tactics is incredibly useful for any entrepreneur. The authors of this book suggest that most negotiation teaching focuses only on the first dimension, while Lax and Sebenius provide advice on how you can move beyond standard win-lose debates and move on to higher levels of negotiation.

5. Good to Great, Jim Collins

How can a good company become a great one? That’s the question Collins tackles in this book, and it's something every startup should be asking itself during its formative years. It isn’t enough to simply get your business up and running – you should be constantly seeking improvement. Based on extensive research and unusual angles and approaches to solving problems, Good to Great is a must-read for all entrepreneurs looking to get ahead.

Whether you are looking for advice on how to get your business idea off the ground or you’re simply intrigued by how other entrepreneurs achieved success, you may be surprised by how much these books can teach you.