The 20 Best Books for Starting a Business in Canada

By Arthur Dubois | Published on 20 Sep 2022

20 Best Books for Starting a Business

Fear not, go-getters, we’ve got your must-read list of the 20 best books for starting a business. While there is a growing risk of a global recession and uncertainty around the world, there are still plenty of opportunities for entrepreneurs to launch successful businesses. Rapid digitalization spurred by the global pandemic is creating new markets and opportunities for businesses to grow.

To help you make the most of these opportunities, we’ve compiled a list of the 20 best books for starting a business. These books cover everything from how to turn your idea into a reality, to building a great team, scaling your business, and even which business bank accounts and business credit cards to use for your business expenses.

1. The Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses


The Lean Startup is a bible for entrepreneurs who want to create successful businesses. The book provides a step-by-step guide on how to validate your business idea, build a minimum viable product, and then scale your business. The book is based on the premise that most startups fail because they don’t have a clear vision or understanding of their customers’ needs.

The Lean Startup provides a step-by-step guide to starting a business, from validation to product and market fit. It also includes case studies of startups that have used the “Lean Startup” methodology to achieve success.

Written by Eric Ries, the book has already helped thousands of entrepreneurs bring their businesses to life. If you’re looking for a practical, actionable guide to starting a business, then this is the book for you.

2. Lean Analytics: Use Data to Build a Better Startup Faster

Lean Analytics is part of the “Lean” series from O’Reilly Media. It is written by Canadian entrepreneur Alistair Croll and entrepreneur-turned-investor Benjamin Yoskovitz. It was also edited by Eric Ries, who wrote The Lean Startup, the previous book in the series that introduced the “Lean Startup” methodology.

This methodology has helped thousands of startups focus on the right thing, measure progress, and make data-driven decisions. In the new second edition of Lean Analytics, Croll and Yoskovitz update their framework for a new era of lean startups. They show how the right data can help you validate or invalidate your assumptions and business models, understand what customers want, and measure your progress.

3. Blue Ocean Strategy, Expanded Edition: How to Create Uncontested Market Space and Make the Competition Irrelevant

Blue Ocean Strategy is written by W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne, professors at INSEAD, known as “the business school for the world.”

It contends that companies have two choices in business: to compete in the red ocean of bloody competition, or to create uncontested market space they call a “blue ocean,” which means making the competition irrelevant.

One company that has successfully implemented the blue ocean strategy is Cirque du Soleil. By creating a new and unique experience for audiences, Cirque du Soleil was able to carve out a blue ocean of its own and achieve tremendous success. You can learn more about how you can apply the same principles to your business by reading the book.

4. Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap… and Others Don’t

Jim Collins’ Good to Great is a phenomenal book that discusses the distinguishing factors of companies that make the leap from good to great. Collins and his team of researchers analyzed over 1,400 companies over a span of forty years in order to identify specific practices that led to sustained greatness.

Collins’ findings may surprise you. He found that it’s not necessarily the most talented or innovative companies that achieve greatness. Rather, it’s the ones that are able to consistently execute “the right things” even when things get tough.

One of the key takeaways from Good to Great is the importance of having a culture of discipline. Collins calls this the “flywheel effect,” in which continuous small improvements eventually lead to dramatic results. This book is useful for both entrepreneurs and established businesses alike.

5. Billion Dollar Start-Up: The True Story of How a Couple of 29-Year-Olds Turned $35,000 into a $1,000,000,000 Cannabis Company

Billion Dollar Start-Up is a great read for anyone looking to start their own business. It follows the true story of two young entrepreneurs who turned a small investment into a billion-dollar cannabis company.

The book is full of helpful advice, tips, and provides a detailed roadmap for starting and running a successful business. The authors of this book, Adam Miron and Sébastien St-Louis, are among the most influential people in the Canadian cannabis industry, and their story is truly inspirational.

From financial hardships to life-changing moments, this book covers it all and is a must-read for any aspiring entrepreneur.

6. Business Model Generation: A Handbook for Visionaries, Game Changers, and Challengers

If you want to change the world, you need to read Business Model Generation. This book provides a framework for thinking up innovative business models and outlines the steps necessary to bring them to life. It’s written for visionaries, game changers, and challengers who want to shake things up and make a difference.

Business Model Generation is an essential read for anyone who wants to create something new and make a real impact in the world. The concepts it introduces are both insightful and inspiring, and the examples provide plenty of food for thought. If you’re looking to start your own business or just think outside the box, then this is the book for you.

7. The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers

Ben Horowitz, the co-founder and general partner of venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz, has written a book about his experiences as a CEO, and the lessons he learned. The Hard Thing About Hard Things is a great read for anyone interested in entrepreneurship or currently in the process of starting their own business.

Horowitz provides readers with an inside look at the challenges that come with being a CEO, and offers advice on how to overcome them. He also stresses the importance of having a good team in place, and gives tips on how to build one.

Overall, The Hard Thing About Hard Things is an informative and insightful book that will be beneficial to entrepreneurs and business owners alike.

8. The $100 Startup: Reinvent the Way You Make a Living, Do What You Love, and Create a New Future

The $100 Startup is a great book for people considering launching their own businesses. Chris Guillebeau provides a wealth of case studies and tips on how to bootstrap your new venture with very little money.

You’ll learn how to find what you’re good at and turn it into a successful business, how to get your first customers, and much more. Even if you’re not currently interested in starting your own business, The $100 Startup is still a great read. It will make you think about how you can create more freedom and independence in your life, no matter what your current job is.

9. Traction: Get a Grip on Your Business

If you’re looking for one of the best books for starting a business that will help you get a grip on what you’re doing, Traction: Get a Grip on Your Business is a perfect read. It offers a comprehensive overview of the tools and techniques you can use to measure and improve your business’ performance.

While it’s definitely aimed at entrepreneurs and business owners, there’s a lot of information in here that anyone can use to get their business on track. The book is well-written and easy to follow, and it includes case studies from a variety of businesses to illustrate the concepts it covers.

If you’re looking for a crash course in business improvement, Traction is a great place to start.

10. Straight Talk for Startups: 100 Insider Rules for Beating the Odds-from Mastering the Fundamentals to Selecting Investors, Fundraising, Managing Boards, and Achieving Liquidity

If you’re an entrepreneur, odds are you’ve read or at least heard of Straight Talk for Startups: 100 Insider Rules for Beating the Odds by David S. Rose. The book is a compilation of advice from successful startup entrepreneurs and investors. It’s a great read whether you’re starting up a new business or just trying to improve your odds of success.

One of the best things about Straight Talk for Startups is that it’s not just a one-time read. You can come back to it time and again as your business evolves and grows. While some of the advice might seem like common sense, it’s still worth reading and rereading every word.

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

Zero to One is a must-read for anyone starting a business. It will teach you how to think big and dream even bigger. In addition to talking about the importance of innovation, this book also provides helpful advice on how to raise capital, build a great team, and market your startup. These are essential topics for any startup founder, and this book will help you master them.

If you’re serious about starting a business, then you need to read this book. It will change the way you think about business, and help you build the best startup possible.

12. Traction: How Any Startup Can Achieve Explosive Customer Growth

A startup’s success depends on its ability to generate traction, that is, sustained customer growth. In Traction, Gabriel Weinberg and Justin Mares share the 19 channels you can use to build a customer base, and how to pick the right ones for your business. If you’re ready to get your startup on the path to success, this book is for you.

13. Rocket Fuel: The One Essential Combination That Will Get You More of What You Want from Your Business

This is another one of the best books for starting a business on our list by Gino Wickman. In Rocket Fuel, Wickman outlines the key roles and responsibilities that need to be in place for a business to scale successfully. It explains what it means to be a visionary and integrator, and how those two roles must work together to achieve success.

This book is a must-read for anyone who wants to take his business to the next level. As a serial entrepreneur, Wickman knows a thing or two about what it takes to make a business thrive. In Rocket Fuel, he shares his insights on what it takes to create a healthy, high-performing organization. 

14. Starting a Business QuickStart Guide: The Simplified Beginner’s Guide to Launching a Successful Small Business, Turning Your Vision into Reality, and Achieving Your Entrepreneurial Dream

Are you looking for a comprehensive guide that will walk you through all the steps of starting a business? If so, look no further than Starting a Business QuickStart Guide. This book is designed for anyone who wants to register a business.

It covers everything from researching your business idea and writing a business plan, to raising capital and launching your business. Whether you’re starting an online business or a brick-and-mortar store, Starting a Business QuickStart Guide will give you the information and tools you need to get your business up and running quickly and successfully.

15. The Art of the Start 2.0: The Time-Tested, Battle-Hardened Guide for Anyone Starting Anything

First published in 2004, Guy Kawasaki’s The Art of the Start 2.0 is a comprehensive guide to launching a successful business. It covers everything from developing your business idea to writing a business plan and marketing your product or service.

This updated edition includes new chapters on social media, crowdfunding, and building a great team. Hence, the information provided in this book remains relevant and useful in today’s business landscape. Read this book to learn how to turn your business idea into a reality.

16. Mind Your Business: a Workbook to Grow Your Creative Passion Into a Full-time Gig

If you’re looking for a workbook to help turn your creative passion into a full-time job, then Mind Your Business is definitely the book for you. The author, Ilana Griffo, provides readers with actionable advice and exercises for building successful businesses, including how to set goals, create a brand, market your business, and identify legal needs when you register your business in Canada.

This workbook is perfect for creative entrepreneurs who are ready to turn their passions into major sources of income.

17. How to Start a Business without Any Money

If you are on a budget and don’t have much money to start a business, this book is perfect for you. How to Start a Business without Any Money covers everything from how to come up with a great business idea, to building a website, marketing your business, and making sales.

The author provides step-by-step instructions on how to start a business with no money and very little risk. Based on the experiences of more than 100 successful entrepreneurs, the book is full of great tips and advice. If you are serious about starting a business on a tight budget, then this book is a must-read.

18. Starting and Running a Small Business for Canadians for Dummies All-in-One

If you’re thinking of starting your own business, this is the perfect book for you. It covers everything from registering a business, to marketing and financial planning. The authors provide clear and concise instructions, and their years of experience are evident throughout the book.

This is an excellent resource for anyone who wants to start a small business in Canada. The information is up-to-date and relevant, and it’s written in an easy-to-read style. Hence, if you’re a wannabe Canadian entrepreneur, Starting and Running a Small Business for Canadians for Dummies All-in-One is a must-read.

19. Business Plan Template and Example: How to Write a Business Plan: Business Planning Made Simple

Before starting a business, you need to develop an effective business plan. This book will give you a clear idea of your business goals, how you will achieve them, and what resources you will need.

Alex Genadinik’s book, Business Planning Made Simple, is an excellent resource for creating business plans. It will guide you through each step of the process and help you create professional documents that will impress potential investors. An effective business plan will help you to mitigate risk, secure financing, and increase your chances of starting a successful business.

20. Building a StoryBrand: Clarify Your Message so Customers Will Listen

If you’re looking to build a lasting successful business, then this book can offer you some valuable insight. Building a StoryBrand, by Donald Miller, lays out a step-by-step guide for crafting a message that customers will actually listen to.

Miller’s advice is based on the premise that all businesses are stories, and that it’s crucial for entrepreneurs to understand their own stories and the stories of their customers, in order to create a compelling message.

He provides templates and exercises to help business owners uncover their stories and offers guidance on how to craft marketing messages that will resonate with their target audiences. The book is filled with helpful tips and case studies, and Miller’s writing is engaging and easy to follow.

Arthur Dubois is a personal finance writer at Hardbacon. Since relocating to Canada, he has successfully built his credit score from scratch and begun investing in the stock market. In addition to his work at Hardbacon, Arthur has contributed to Metro newspaper and several other publications