The article presents an analysis of the specifics of small and medium-sized business development in Russian Federation. The importance and role of small and medium-sized businesses in the European countries is described. The authors analyze the tools for small and medium-sized business support and the criteria for small enterprise identification used by the developed countries. A specific feature of Russian small and medium-sized businesses is an industrial structure dominated by commercial and trade companies. The investigation carried out by the authors allowed to identify the main barriers for developing small industrial enterprises and to formulate the recommendations for small industrial business development. The barriers define unstable financial results and ratios of small industrial enterprises, their low payment ability. The main tool to improve the situation is to establish the criteria for small enterprise performance. The most reasonable criterion for performance evaluation is the economic efficiency. This criterion allows to create a transparent trajectory for the growth and stable development of small businesses. According to modern approaches, the indicator reflecting the economic efficiency criterion is the value of a business or a company. The company value depends on the quality of management at the first rate. To formulate an optimal model of small enterprise development, it is necessary to identify the correlation between the company value and the business growth.