Small Business CEO by Jenny Stilwell

Want to know the right strategy for business growth, right now?


As business owners, most of us learn by trial and error, not always certain that our actions or strategies are the right ones at the time. We don’t always have the confidence or the experience to know how to move forward through challenges.

This book is for business owners who want to grow a business and learn essential business skills along the way.


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Small Business CEO is designed to remove the uncertainty over what to do when, to help you tackle the challenges of growth. It breaks down the entrepreneurial business journey into four different stages, to help give you clarity and direction – and the right strategies – at each stage.

Each stage of growth is set out in an easy to understand format, with case studies, templates, checklists and worksheets to help guide you through.

‘Small Business CEO’ tackles the two biggest challenges standing between most business owners and their ability to grow a successful company. The first is the unwillingness to let go and step up – becoming less operational and more strategic along the way – so their business can continue to grow.

The second is lack of clarity around what strategic priorities need focus at different stages in the company’s life cycle. The wrong strategic focus at the wrong time can severely impede your progress or even be the downfall of a business.

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This book will make it clear which stage of growth your business is in, and clearly lay out the strategies that will enable you to shift from operational business owner to strategic CEO of a successful business.

‘Small Business CEO’ covers very clear and easy to follow strategies for each stage of business growth:

Chapter 1: Making the Shift to CEO – includes the key differences between a CEO focus and business owner approach and why a shift in perspective is important; outlines the four stages of growth

Chapter 2: Business Models and Scalability – outlines different business models and key considerations for each in terms of making money, scaling up and marketing.

Chapter 3: Stage 1 – Foundation. This chapter explains what a Stage 1 business is, the typical challenges facing these businesses, and they key strategies to focus on in Foundation. At this stage, business owners often struggle to find the right strategies to grow their business, and are constantly derailed by ‘bright shiny object syndrome’, shifting from one idea to the next trying to get a foothold with their marketing. There are examples throughout to provide more indepth understanding of what strategies work well and what doesn’t work in a Foundation business.

Chapter 4: Stage 1 Action Plan – this chapter heads straight into the action plan for Foundation businesses. The top three strategies are easy to follow and provide examples, worksheets and templates, all of which can also be downloaded from the website.

Chapter 5: Stage 2 – Build Structure – this is a very challenging stage for many businesses as they grow in size and complexity, stretching the capacity of the business owner. This chapter details these challenges, and identifies what they keys to success are in Stage 2.

Chapter 6: Stage 2 Action Plan – this will be extremely useful for many business owners at this stage. The strategies and how-to advice will help develop skills to shift their focus to being more strategic and less operational as they grow a team and structure.

Chapter 7: Stage 3 – Business Expansion. What does a company in this stage look like? What are the big challenges? What are the keys to success in navigating through this stage? The answers to these questions are all in this chapter!

Chapter 8: Stage 3 Action Plan – this chapter provides you with core skills for developing strategies for your business, and teaches you how to develop and use a strategic decision making framework. This is a very easy tool to create and use once you know how, and can be used by you and your team for years.

Chapter 9: Stage 4 – Optimise Value. Thinking about selling your business one day? You’ve spent years working hard to build a successful company so now is the time to optimize the value you’ve built up in this asset. The key success factors at this stage are critical for your future!

Chapter 10: Stage 4 Action Plan – this chapter takes you through the priorities you need to focus on at this stage in order to optimize the returns you get for your business. Don’t make the mistakes that many business owners make! Be prepared with this action plan.

Chapter 11: Staying on Track – this chapter provides some useful management tools and strategies to keep you on track as your business grows.


This book is for business owners who want to grow a business and learn essential business skills along the way.

Jenny Stilwell is an authority on creating the right strategy and structure for small businesses to grow and thrive. Having built her own consulting practices, and had CEO roles leading small and medium sized companies herself, including a publicly listed company, she understands the challenges involved with growing pains and managing expansion.

Jenny has mentored hundreds of business owners through her advice, programs and resources and has the credentials to help you successfully navigate different challenges through the four stages of growth.