When it comes to growing your business online, getting advice from experts in the field is highly valuable. The first place to look for these nuggets of wisdom is your local bookstore. There are hundreds of business books written every year to generate insight from.
It’s been said that most CEOs read four to five books per month. If you don’t have that much time to devote to reading but are still interested in finding some engaging books to add to your arsenal, there are some “must-reads” to tackle.
Read on to discover some of the best small business books that entrepreneurs should pay attention to in 2019.
1. What If It Does Work Out? How a Side Hustle Can Change Your Life
Looking to generate revenue from your passion? Written by Susie Moore, an advisor and performance coach to many startups in Silicon Valley and New York City, this book offers advice and inspiration to those looking to turn their passion into a side hustle. It offers guidance on taking the first steps and offers valuable tips to help you turn your hobby into a full-time business. This book covers:
- All the necessary planning stages of the process
- Tips on how to overcome potential obstacles and pitfalls along the way
- How to face your fear and overcome hesitation
- How to create multiple revenue streams
- Case studies and stores from other successful side hustlers
2. Company of One: Why Staying Small is the Next Big Thing in Business
While we all have dreams of owning a large business and making millions of dollars, sometimes less really is more. In this book, author Paul Jarvis looks at how being a solopreneur may be the key to a richer, more rewarding and fulfilling career. Jarvis further suggests that the key to success might not be growing your business, but staying small, determining your own hours, and working for yourself. The book explains:
- The benefits of staying small
- How to set up your business
- How to overcome potential hurdles
- How to determine your revenue stream
- How to keep customers happy
- How to keep your business small while still generating revenue
3. Contagious: Why Things Catch On
Ever wondered what makes certain videos, social posts, or articles go viral? Jonah Berger might have the answer. In his book, Berger reveals the science behind word-of-mouth advertising and social transmission. He covers the six basic principles that make things contagious, whether online through viral videos and posts or consumer products. Berger includes a range of case studies and anecdotes to further illustrate his points. This is a great addition to your arsenal if you’re a small business owner, entrepreneur, or marketer.
4. Sales and Marketing: The Definitive Guide to Working Less and Making More
Another book tapping into the potential of the side hustle, author Perry Marshall looks at the Pareto Principle and how to integrate it into your sales and marketing strategy to grow your business.
The principle speaks about saving 80% of your efforts by concentrating on the right 20% of your market. The chapters are short and sweet, and, while the concept sounds complicated, it’s an easy read. From seasoned entrepreneurs to startups and side hustlers, this is a must-read for all those wanting to work less and make more. The book includes:
- Access to online tools and one-page cheat sheets
- Tips on how to reduce costs, locate the right audience, and stand out from your competitors
- Advice on how to be more efficient and gain authority in your industry
- Actionable insight on how to use email, AdWords, split testing, and content in your marketing efforts
- How to make a profit and grow your business
5. The Start-up Owner’s Manual: The Step-by-Step Guide to Building a Great Company
While most business books cover the strategic elements to growing your business, this book tackles the most important question: how to start.
Author Steve Blank has created a manual that every startup owner should possess. Consider it the entrepreneur’s essential guide to reaching business success. This book will guide you through the first steps to setting up your side hustle as a legitimate, money-making business. It offers detailed, step-by-step instructions on building your business, including:
- Some of the biggest mistakes that could severely impact your chances of success
- How to find your audience, engage, and get conversions
- How to create sustainable revenue and profit
This book should be on every entrepreneur’s must-read list.
6. 1-Page Marketing Plan: Get New Customers, Make More Money, and Stand Out from the Crowd
Starting a side hustle over and above your day job takes time and dedication. It also requires planning, scheduling, and working efficiently. Without proper planning, your side hustle plans can fizzle out before they’ve even left the ground. But entrepreneur Allan Dib is here to help.
In this book, Dib offers expert advice on how to create and use a one-page plan to grow your business in the fastest, most efficient way possible. Other tips covered include:
- How to convert your current audience into new customers or clients
- How to increase your profit from existing customers
- How to overcome hurdles, misconceptions, and challenges related to small businesses
- How to focus on business strategies that work for you
- How to stand out from the competition
- How to create an easy, effective one-page marketing plan
- How to grow your business and stay on track
7. The Personal MBA: Master the Art of Business
This is an insightful business book that offers expert advice on business management information. It is easy to read and concise. The book carefully summarizes the most important business principles that any serious entrepreneur should know. More specifically, the book covers several important elements like:
- Marketing, sales, finance, and value creation
- The human aspect of business
- Analytics and optimization of a working system
8. Failing Forward: Turning Mistakes Into Stepping Stones for Success
This one is different from the rest—instead of offering tips on how to start or grow your business, it gives insightful tips on how to conquer your fear of failure. The book covers the stories of some of the most successful individuals, many of whom failed miserably before becoming who they are today. This is a great read to help people prevent fear from holding them back from achieving business success.
9. Rise and Grind: Outperform, Outwork, and Outhustle Your Way to a More Successful and Rewarding Life
Written by New York Times bestselling author Daymond John, the founder of FUBU who started his clothing line on a $40 budget. Rise and Grind is the highly anticipated follow-up to his bestselling first book, The Power of Broke. In this book, John reflects on how persistence, grit, and hard work helped him overcome his obstacles and fueled his success.
10. This is Marketing: You Can’t Be Seen Until You Learn to See
Written by marketing guru Seth Godin, this book is a culmination of his history and experience. He offers a complete overview of current thinking and tackles some of the oldest assumptions in the marketing world and questions their relevancy in today’s world. If you consider yourself a serious marketer, this is a must-read.
11. 500 Social Media Marketing Tips
As a business owner, getting social media to work for you can be tough. From generating a strong following to getting enough clicks, shares, comments, and conversions, things can get frustrating very quickly. If you want to know the secret to winning over the social media crowd, this book is for you.
The book covers the keys to social media success and how to build an audience and a consistent social media marketing plan. The book offers actionable ideas to help you increase traffic, generate brand awareness, leads, and conversions across all the most popular social platforms.
Honorable Mention: The Art of War
Written around 500 B.C, The Art of War by Sun Tzu, is a timeless book that remains relevant today. This book on military strategy offers fundamental skills that can be brought into the business world and, if you have not read it yet, get a copy today.
The book features just 13 short chapters, each of which explores a different facet of warfare, although there are several takeaways to use in your business—particularly the advice to keep your plans secret and building a team full of talented people and treating them right.
We’re well into the year, but with some of the persistence and dedication mentioned in many of these small business books, perhaps you can tick a few off your 2019 reading list.
- Getting expert industry advice is highly valuable when growing your business.
- CEOs read four or five books per month.
- Your local bookstore is a good place to look for small business books from industry experts.
- This is a roundup of what we think are the 11 (plus an honorable mention) must-read small business books for 2019.