Research is the first step to making sure your small business is successful, and there are many books available that you might find indispensable along the way. Here are some ideas for books on small business:

“The Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses” by Eric Ries
Entrepreneur Eric Ries heads three start-ups and is the writer behind the blog Startup Lessons Learned. Ries coined the term for a “lean startup” methodology in business — a two-pronged method that creates rapid prototypes to test market assumptions and then uses customer feedback to quickly evolve them. Ries’ book has received praise from professors at prestigious business schools and a number of other highly successful businesspeople. This is a good read if you want to try a strategy that puts you in direct contact with your customers and keeps you on the cutting edge.

“Crush It!: Why NOW Is the Time to Cash In on Your Passion” by Gary Vaynerchuk
The current recession has left many aspiring entrepreneurs too scared to start, but “Crush It” inspires readers toward finally acting on their dreams to build a business. Vaynerchuk is a public speaker on all things business, including brand building and online marketing. His latest book is an argument for why you should start the business of your dreams and how you can go about doing it. If you find yourself hesitating, give this work a look (or a listen, since it comes as an audio book).

“The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It” by Michael Gerber
Michael Gerber is a long-time consultant for small businesses, and now you can buy his services in the form of a book. “The E-Myth Revisited” offers a systematic approach to organizing your small business. One main strategy Gerber offers is to distinguish between your three working personalities, which are broken down into your entrepreneurial, technician and managerial styles. By adjusting the very structure of your management, you can create a more successful and efficient business model. Gerber offers helpful real-life examples. He looks at how different business models are organized and explores the lessons you can learn from each one.

“Successful Business Plan: Secrets & Strategies” by Rhonda Abrams and John Doerr
Putting together a business plan can feel like trying to map a territory you have never seen. With this step-by-step guide, you will find yourself tackling the challenge with ease. This book is rife with examples, worksheets to help you get yourself organized and tips from many industry experts. In over 400 pages of material, you will be walked through understanding the secrets of a small business — such as strategy position and risk assessment, marketing plans and financials. The book also offers a sample business plan for you to emulate. Once you have composed a plan, the final two chapters help you put the plan into action, so you can leave the page and start heading to profit.