Nehemiah Business Life Cycle

The Nehemiah Business Life Cycle is a training and coaching system designed to help entrepreneurs and business leaders recognize which stage their business is in and how to move efficiently to the next stage with Kingdom impact.

Our tested and proven coaching and training system serves you from Discovery (when you are considering launching a business) to Succession (when you are ready to transition your business to your family, staff, or a third party). Whatever stage you are in, we have a customized training and coaching program for you. We’ve helped over 20,000 entrepreneurs advance their business with Kingdom impact since 1999.

Each transitional stage requires you to think and act differently.

“To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck what is planted.” Ecclesiastes 3:1-2

Business Life Cycle Course Image - Nehemiah Entrepreneurship Community

Discovery is when you are clarifying your calling and idea while preparing for the launch.


  • Moments of intimacy with God
  • Training and education
  • Research and testing
  • Financial preparation
  • May be working a full-time job
  • Make sure you are fully prepared before going past this stage

Start-up is the period between the official launch of the business and Breakeven.


  • The ideal length for the Start-Up stage is between 1 to 3 years
  • Could last 10 years or more
  • Idea formation and proof of concept
  • Wilderness period – character building, value formation
  • An absolute unless you buy or inherit a business beyond this stage
  • Should self-fund as much as possible
    • Leverage vendor line of credit if necessary
    • Have an aggressive collection policy
    • Minimize fixed cost
  • The business could die or the entrepreneur could quit
    • 80% do not survive this stage

Breakeven is when your net revenue equals your fixed and variable costs.


  • The ideal length for the Breakeven stage is between 3 to 5 years from the start of the business
  • Could take longer
  • The idea is formed and the concept is proved
  • Must distinguish between cash flow breakeven versus income
  • You no longer have to capitalize the business through outside financing
  • More confident in the business and self
  • Could still be reliant on external capital

Profitability is the season when the business is creating margins with consistency and generating a quadruple bottom line. You are constantly making more than you spend.


  • The ideal length for the Profitability stage is 5 years from the start of the business
  • Could take longer
  • Build reserves
  • Have money to reinvest in the business
  • Have money to give
  • Poverty mentality is being dealt with
  • The margin percentage is based on the type of business and industry standard
  • The business could be a prison

Sustainability is the season when the business has the people and systems to operate without the day-to-day tactical involvement of the entrepreneur.


  • The ideal length for the Sustainability stage is between 7 to 10 years from the start of the business
  • Could take longer
  • The entrepreneur is working more on the business versus in it
  • Must be able to hire the right people and have them in the right positions
  • Systems and processes operate the business versus the entrepreneur’s self-efforts
  • Make room for managerial leadership
  • Able to create a margin of time
  • The stage where outside capital can be necessary and appropriate
  • Appropriate stage for diversification
  • Requires entrepreneur to give up control
  • Can be expensive
  • Mistakes could jeopardize profitability

Scalability is the season when the business is able to expand regionally, nationally, or internationally without losing its margins.


  • The ideal length for the Scalability stage is between 10 to 20 years from the start of the business
  • Could take longer
  • Not suitable for every entrepreneur or every business
  • Idea stage for equity financing
  • Must have a good balance between managerial leadership and entrepreneurial leadership
  • The entrepreneur must be willing to focus energy on vision, strategy, systems, and people rather than working in the business
  • Have a clear exit strategy
  • Could lose margins, compromise kingdom values, or lose the business
  • Beware of opportunity cost
  • Can become over-leveraged

Succession is the season when the business is able to transition from the current leadership and ownership to the next leadership and ownership.


  • The ideal length for the Succession stage is between 20 to 30 years from the start of the business
  • Could take longer
  • There is a distinction between ownership transition and leadership transition
  • The business could transition to family, employees, or third party
  • Ensure that assets and values are transitioning
  • Capture appropriate value
  • Designed to preserve the business for at least three generations
  • Entrepreneur must repurpose
    • Make sure the entrepreneur has a clear vision for the next season of their lives
  • Must be willing to lay down your life
  • Legacy could be compromised
  • Most businesses do not make it beyond the second generation

Which business stage are you in?

Find out by taking the Nehemiah Business Life Cycle Assessment.

Rate each statement from 0 to 5. Zero = not true at all. 5 = Very true.
I'm not sure if business is for me
I have launched my business
I have built or able to build business financial reserve
I face cash flow or could face cash flow challenges if sales and collections do not improve
I have yet to complete the proof of concept
I have identified who the successor will be
The business is not consistently profitable
Entrepreneur able to delegate major responsibility to others
I do not have a business yet
I have a clear business idea
I'm 65 years old or older
I'm no longer relying on external financing to keep the business in operation
Business may need expansion capital
I'm able to give from the business more comfortably
My business has not launch yet
My business is less than 5 years old
Business operating procedures are in place
My business has market potential beyond current local market
The business may face cash flow challenges
Entrepreneur working on the business versus in
Cash from sales able to cover expenses
I'm still financing the business from outside capital
I feel called to scale the business
I'm ready to sell or transition from the business
My business is generating a profit
My business idea is still being developed
Business systems are in place
Operating revenue is able to cover operating expenses
Business expanding regionally, nationally or internationally
I have an exit strategy
I have a business line of credit
My business has not broken even yet
I have been in the same business for 30 years or more
Business has the right staff, in the right positions
I have the right team and systems to expand
This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.