A guide to navigating the five stages of small business growth.

Small (and micro) businesses have common growth stages and, to be successful in business, you have to focus on the right things at the right time. The Small Business Life Cycle is like "What to Expect When You're Expecting" for small business owners and entrepreneurs.


"Excellent primer on how to grow your small business. No matter what stage you are in, this is a worthy read so that you can understand where you are and where you need to go. More importantly, Charlie lays out the specifics steps you need to take and what to focus on. I highly recommend it."

John Corcoran

"Insightful and easy to understand overview of small business stages. As a small business owner, it was incredibly easy to identify where I am right now and what stage is next. After reading the book I have ideas on how to maximize where I am now as well as laying the foundation for the next step. A must read!"

Michelle Mangen

More about The Small Business Life Cycle

Small businesses have much different growth patterns than large corporations. Small business owners who look to large corporations for insight and guidance on how to grow their own businesses often feel overwhelmed and demotivated. The Small Business Life Cycle lays out the five stages of small business growth and explains how you can navigate each stage in your business. To be successful, you have to take the right steps at the right time.

Each stage has different challenges, strengths, inconvenient truths, and ways forward. This guide shows you where to focus your resources in each stage so you can grow your business efficiently.

Whether you're thinking about starting a small business or you've been in business for a while, The Small Business Life Cycle will give you a better gauge to evaluate where you are and what you need to do next. If you're growing fast and want to keep growing, this book will show you how to do it strategically. And if you're stuck and don't know what to do, you can determine what stage your business is in now and figure out what you need to do next to get unstuck.

This guide will specifically help you work through:

  • Questions to ask before you start your own small business

  • How to get a foothold in the market and why you should be marketing fewer things to fewer audiences

  • Why some "successful" products and services will cause you to get stuck and lose momentum

  • What four things must be in place to grow your business

  • How not to break a successful, scalable small business once you've got it there

This no-fluff guide will lay out the foundation upon which you can grow your small business. While it won't give you a specific business strategy — no business book can do that — it'll show you what needs to be done so you can determine the right strategy for your business.

This guide is succinct and very accessible; you don't need another long, hard-to-understand business book. No prior business education or experience is required to understand it, though prior education and experience will give you a deeper understanding of the insights in this book. You've got a business to grow, and this book is written to get you realigned, focused, and gaining momentum.

"All substance, no fluff. The Small Business Life Cycle does the best job I've seen of pointing out the key opportunities and potential pitfalls that make up the daily reality of self-employment for professional service providers like me. I wish that I'd had this book when I first launched my company in 2000." 

Stephen Lahey

"As a business coach specializing in working with the self employed, I know a lot of the 'failures' in small business is because owners get bogged down on the details. The Small Business Lifecycle helps address that. It takes you off the shop floor and up to the board room - and higher."

Brett Jarman

Kickstart the momentum in your small business.