Did you know that each year, more than 400,000 businesses are launched in the United States? That number may sound exaggerated or even impossible, but it's real.
The truth is, there are plenty of business ideas just waiting for you to discover. If you're having difficulty choosing your own business path, these 12 best books for business ideas will help you find the right one.
1. The Creative’s Guide to Starting a Business: How to Turn Your Talent Into a Career – by Harriet Kelsall
If you consider yourself creative and want to explore business ideas that involve your craft or your favorite medium, The Creative's Guide to Starting a Business by Harriet Kelsall is one resource you cannot miss.
This book not only covers everything you need to know about starting a business but also includes engaging activities that will stimulate your mind. Learn the basics of launching a business and complete exercises that help you develop your business plan from start to finish with this resourceful guide. If you are a creative seeking inspiration with a combination of humor and technical business guidance, this book is for you.
2. The Future Is Faster Than You Think: How Converging Technologies Are Transforming Business, Industries, and Our Lives – by Peter Diamandis and Steven Kotler
As an entrepreneur, staying informed about current and future projected trends in your industry is a must. To better understand what the future holds for your business and the technologies relevant to you, The Future is Faster Than You Think is a great book to pick up.
The Future Is Faster Than You Think is also useful for anyone entering the technology sector or pursuing a business involving STEM. In addition to covering a variety of industries and what the future holds, this book can also help determine which business models and ideas are viable in the future and which are unlikely to survive.
3. The Business Idea Factory: A World-Class System for Creating Successful Business Ideas – by Andrii Sedniev
So, you're tired of the same run-of-the-mill self-improvement books with vague and generic information. That's completely understandable. If this is you, you need to give The Business Idea Factory by Andrii Sedniev a chance. The Business Idea Factory covers numerous business idea-generating techniques well-known and promoted by today's top leaders, CEOs, and entrepreneurs in a wide range of industries.
If you are stuck in the brainstorming and development phase of your next business venture, The Business Idea Factory delivers more than 10 years of in-depth “idea-generation research” into one book. From anecdotal stories to exercises and practical strategies, there are plenty of valuable resources that will help you come up with business ideas.
4. Disrupt You – by Jay Samit
For many entrepreneurs, the transformation of self and the industry they are involved in is an integral part of their everyday lives. If you want to shake things up with your business idea and disrupt an entire industry, Disrupt You by Jay Samit is the book for you.
Disrupt You not only covers the dynamics of industry disruption but also provides in-depth guidance on how to achieve disruption goals you set for your own business. Rather than regurgitating the same inspirational taglines and sayings, Disrupt You strives to teach entrepreneurs how to clear their minds and begin thinking for themselves from the ground up. It also provides readers with a practical roadmap to creating successful, innovative, and disruptive businesses to the market.
5. Where to Play: 3 Steps for Discovering Your Most Valuable Market Opportunities – by Marc Gruber
One of the most important aspects of running a successful business is understanding the market you represent. If you are not familiar with the market you are selling in, you will find yourself struggling and not meeting your own expectations. Where to Play: 3 Steps for Discovering Your Most Valuable Market Opportunities by Marc Gruber outlines how to identify and pursue market opportunities at the right time.
When coming up with business ideas, this is crucial.
Where to Play covers various topics, from identifying traditional market opportunities to learning how to track future project market opportunities based on your current industry. It is an excellent resource for those interested in a practical tool and workbook to help them choose and launch of their next business idea.
6. Testing Business Ideas: A Field Guide for Rapid Experimentation – by David J. Bland
Do you have a seemingly endless number of business ideas you would love to see come to fruition? Are you finding it difficult to settle on an idea that will deliver the biggest ROI for you? If so, Testing Business Ideas: A Field Guide for Rapid Experimentation by David J. Bland is one book you should not skip.
Testing Business Ideas includes a colorful yet straightforward guide to help you systematically test your business ideas before wasting too much time and money. Quickly learn how to identify what strategies are viable and which ones provide the validation you're looking for.
7. Will It Fly? How to Test Your Next Business Idea So You Don't Waste Your Time and Money – by Pat Flynn
If you are new to living as an entrepreneur or desperately seeking practical startup and brainstorming advice that's not full of fluff, Will It Fly? How to Test Your Next Business Ideas So You Don't Waste Your Time and Money by Pat Flynn is one you should not miss.
Will It Fly covers everything you need to know when designing your mission as an entrepreneur and developing the idea(s) you wish to pursue. It will help you to better understand your target customers and to validate the concepts you settle on.
8. Yellow Pages and other business directories
If you are searching for endless ideas, using standard business directories and books such as the Yellow Pages (if you can find one) is one solution. Using the Yellow Pages can help you discover businesses in your local area and in specific states where you intend on launching your business.
Of course, you can also access the Yellow Pages online.
Use other online business directories as well to research competing businesses and business ideas that you are researching for your own venture.
9. Start With Why – by Simon Sinek
For the entrepreneur who has many business ideas but wants to know why some work and others do not, Simon Sinek's Start With Why covers everything you need to know. It helps to answer some of the most pressing questions an entrepreneur is likely to ponder at some point:
· Why do some companies work out and others do not?
· Why are some ideas more successful than others?
· Why do different leadership styles result in different outcomes?
Start With Why delivers for entrepreneurs who are genuinely interested in pursuing the “why” of their own business ideas.
10. Dying for a Paycheck – by Jeffrey Pfeffer
If you consider yourself an entrepreneur but find the hectic Western work lifestyle not right for you, Dying for a Paycheck by Jeffrey Pfeffer is a must-read. In Dying for a Paycheck, Pfeffer explores how today's modern way of life is physically draining, as well as mentally and emotionally painstaking, resulting in fewer creative and adventurous human beings.
This is an unconventional narrative among hustlers looking for business ideas, but it's not an uncommon sentiment among entrepreneurs. A life with less stress and more creativity is what many people are looking for, and they're looking for the right business idea that can give it to them.
So, if you are looking for a way to break free from the typical 9-5 rat race, Dying for a Paycheck can help you explore all of the possibilities and opportunities that await you. From learning how to work as a freelancer to launching a business with friendly company culture, this book provides a thorough outline of what it takes to be an entrepreneur searching for their next great business idea.
11. Zero to One – by Peter Thiel and Blake Masters
Do you find yourself brainstorming new business ideas only to discover they already exist, or have been done before many times? How can you innovate in a market that's already saturated? Should you start with a fresh idea or take from what already exists and works?
In Zero to One, Peter Thiel and Blake Masters cover just how important it is to get creative to be truly innovative and unique in today's world. Learn what not to do even if you already have a business plan in mind with this pick.
12. The $100 Dollar Startup – by Chris Guillebeau
Are you pursuing an unconventional lifestyle? Do you have dreams of starting your own business and being independent? If so, The $100 Dollar Startup by Chris Guillebeau is a great resource to help get you started on the right track.
Whether you're just looking for business ideas, discovering your passion, or learning how to launch a side gig, The $100 Dollar Startup covers the bases and helps you get where you want to go.
More Resources for Business Ideas
In addition to paper directories like the Yellow Pages, the web has endless lists of businesses that will help you come up with new and existing ideas. You can search through sites like Open Corporates, which has the largest open database of companies in the world.
Publications like Business Insider also have countless stories of successful entrepreneurs who started out with few resources, but a ton of ambition. There seems to be no end to the unique business ideas that people come up with, and if you're like me, more than a few will make you think, “I wish I had thought of that!”
Online Job boards like Indeed are another fantastic place to find business ideas. Just type a location into the search and for every job posting you see, there is a business idea behind it.