There are hundreds of great (and not so great) books out there for entrepreneurs and small businesses. I’ve read a lot of them, so take my word for it: these are among the best!
1. The Entrepreneur Equation, by Carol Roth
Carol Roth’s The Entrepreneur Equation is unusual in that it forces the reader to really determine whether he’s cut out for being a small business owner. Some won’t have the stomach for it, but for those that will, they’ll be even more certain that entrepreneurship is their destiny.
2. Raising Eyebrows, by Dal LaMagna
Raising Eyebrows: A Failed Entrepreneur Finally Gets it Right by Dal LaMagna is enjoyable because of his storytelling. He uses his own (many) failed attempts at entrepreneurship to illustrate his own advice. LaMagna is quite a character.
3. Different: Escaping the Competitive Herd, by Youngme Moon
Different: Escaping the Competitive Herd by Youngme Moon is a great read if you’re looking for ways to stand out as a business. Rather than trying to improve on your weaknesses, Moon encourages readers to instead make their strengths even stronger.
4. Brains on Fire, by Robbin Phillips, Greg Cordell, Geno Church & Spike Jones
Brains on Fire is another great marketing book about standing out (yet totally different from #3). It gives examples of how companies use their own brand evangelists to create campaigns that customers can relate to.
5. Clients for Life by Jagdish Sheth and Andrew Sobel
If you’re a consultant, do yourself a favor and pick up Clients for Life. It will help you focus not on the transactional relationship but rather the long term one you really want.
6. The Connectors, by Maribeth Kuzmeski
We all know that referrals are the best way to get new business. Kuzmeski teaches you how to be a better connecter in The Connectors. She teaches readers how to focus on the value you can provide in a business relationship, instead of what’s in it for you.
7. Trust Agents, by Chris Brogan and Julien Smith
Chris Brogan and Julien Smith’s Trust Agents will stay on my shelf (that’s a sign of how much I love it). It’s a fantastic read on the human component of doing business, which so many of us forget so easily.
8. The Next Evolution of Marketing, by Bob Gilbreath
The Next Evolution of Marketing (yes I read a lot of marketing books) explains how marketing has shifted away from companies pounding messages into the heads of consumers. Now consumers want to trust companies, and Gilbreath explains how to make that happen.
9. Getting Things Done, by David Allen
Getting Things Done is a great book on productivity and organization for anyone, but especially entrepreneurs. He shows readers how to break tasks down into manageable chunks and how to prioritize work.
10. The New Community Rules: Marketing on the Social Web, by Tamar Weinberg
The New Community Rules: Marketing on the Social Web is a great book if you know little to nothing about social media. This book is an encyclopedia of practically every social media tool available. Weinberg even shows you how to get the most out of each of them.