We explore patterns of take-up of Business Link services in Northamptonshire, a county in the East Midlands region of the UK. Our findings indicate a relationship between small firm growth and use of Business Link. The results suggest that newer firms that are larger and experiencing growth are more likely to approach Business Link in order to 'cope with' rapid growth, whereas those seeking to internationalise are more likely to do so when stimulated by Business Link. On the basis of these findings we develop a framework for understanding different forms of engagement between small and medium-sized enterprises and Business Link service providers, and how these relationships develop and change over time. This framework highlights variations in the modes of engagement between these two parties and highlights the dynamic and evolving nature of interaction between small business and Business Link as an intrinsic driver of take-up of services.