Consulting

Business Consulting

The SBDC offer access to confidential, no-cost, one-on-one professional business consulting for Georgia small business owners who want to grow or start their business. Our consultants have earned advanced degrees in business or management and have extensive practical experience to help both emerging and growing businesses design strategies to make better business decisions and reach their goals.

Our consulting expertise focuses on areas that are vital to accelerating the growth of businesses. Some of these areas are:

Our consultants can help you:

Have Questions?

Is there a cost?

No, consulting is provided at no cost to Georgia small business owners. All clients, their businesses, and related information are kept strictly confidential – we will not provide your information to anyone without your permission.

How do I get started?

  1. To get started, contact a local SBDC office. We have 17 locations across the state of Georgia. If you are a new business, a Business Development Questionnaire (BDQ) may be required. The quickest way for a new business to get in touch with a consultant is to take our “Starting a Business” course. To register for this course, CLICK HERE.
  2. If your business is already established, call your local SBDC office and speak with the Program Coordinator or Administrative Assistant. They can answer any questions you may have and guide you in the right direction to meet with one of our consultants.
  3. After you have completed the BDQ, or, have completed the Request for Consulting Application, you will be contacted by one of our consultants to get started on your path to success.

Click to download “cheat sheet.”

Ready to get started?

Click the button to your right to complete our Business Profile questionnaire that assists us in pairing you with the correct tools/resources and consultant.

FAQ's

Have a question? Click the button below to view the most frequently asked questions by our clients.

What Our Clients Say

Sound Business Planning Produces Runaway Sales In Global Markets

  • Posted by Ashley Panter
  • On April 22, 2019
Roswell equipment makers Andal and Balu Balasubramanian are feeding the foodie revolution now raging from coffee shops to craft breweries: an explosion of bean-to-bar dark chocolates. And their equipment empowers chocolate makers to control the process every step along the way, from the single origin, ethically traded cocoa bean to the final chocolate bar. After […]
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UGA Professor Teams Up With SBDC to Help Clean Up Explosives

  • Posted by Ashley Panter
  • On March 12, 2019
Mining, construction, the oil industry and other civil uses account for about 90 percent of the explosives manufactured globally. The defense industry uses about 10 percent. All have a similar need: to eliminate the threat of explosive byproducts and those no longer in use. UGA geology Professor Valentine Nzengung helps bases eliminate these threats using a […]
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Certification Leads to Larger Orders, Greater Growth for Macon Fabrication Shop

  • Posted by Ashley Panter
  • On February 13, 2019
Stan Greene, owner of Greene Machine and Manufacturing, was ready to retire when he asked Larry Collins, who had worked with Greene since the late 1990s, if he would be interested in purchasing the business.  Before making a decision, Larry and his wife, Gwen, attended a class for start-ups offered by the University of Georgia […]
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Knowledge, Networking and Persistence Bring Disaster Relief to Mid-Georgia Manufacturer

  • Posted by Ashley Panter
  • On February 13, 2019
MF&H Textiles is Taylor County’s largest single-point private employer with nearly 50 employees. Its 19-acre campus between Columbus and Macon was dead in the path of Hurricane Irma on September 11, 2017. Irma’s gale force winds damaged the roof surface of MF&H’s main production facility. “Irma ripped off 20 percent of the synthetic roofing membrane […]
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A UGA-Assisted Doggy Day Care and Dog Treat Bakery in Savannah is Thriving

  • Posted by Ashley Panter
  • On January 23, 2019
When Tonya and Nick Rintye decided to open a day care and boarding facility for dogs, they went to the UGA Small Business Development Center (UGA SBDC) in Savannah for assistance. They learned right away that they needed more than an idea to start a business. “I didn’t have any money to put down on a […]
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Dogged Determination Results in Veterinary Practice for UGA Graduate

  • Posted by Ashley Panter
  • On January 3, 2019
When Jennifer Peterson was young, her father, an architect, would draw designs for the veterinary practice she hoped to own someday. While enrolled in the UGA College of Veterinary Medicine, she participated in what was then a new program—an entrepreneurial rotation that teaches teach future vets how to run a business. Peterson was among the first […]
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Finance And Marketing Assistance Put Tour Operator On The Path To Rapid Growth

  • Posted by Sara Bertolini
  • On July 30, 2018
VIP Tours president Christina Ernst is a seasoned travel agent who grew up in White County. So when the chamber of commerce leadership, county commissioners and local winery owners were looking at how to attract visitors to the region, they invited her to join their meeting. “They wanted advice on what was possible and how […]
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Updated Financials, Better Data Land Loan for Valdosta Wake Compound

  • Posted by Sara Bertolini
  • On July 30, 2018
Valdosta State University students Luke Tilt and Quinn Silvernale competed together on the university’s wake boarding team. Tilt was required for his business class to develop a plan for an imaginary new company. So he wrote a plan modeled after the cable parks they had visited in Europe and Florida. Wake boarding, for the uninitiated, […]
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Best Practices in Business Help Dunwoody-based Special Education Practice Expand

  • Posted by Sara Bertolini
  • On July 30, 2018
Becky Lamont dedicated the first 17 years of her career serving public school districts as a special education teacher and administrator, rising to program manager in the Fairfax County Public Schools in Virginia. The district—the size of Georgia’s DeKalb and Gwinnett school systems combined—had 300 autism classrooms in the program she managed using research-based practices […]
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Creative Approach Restores Bank’s Interest in Hephzibah Automotive Shop

  • Posted by Sara Bertolini
  • On July 30, 2018
Muscle cars are Doug Springer’s passion. A registered nurse who sells medical devices from Augusta, he admits he has owned almost every make and model of hot rod made in the last 30 years. Those vintage beauties are often in need of restoration, but that only drives his passion further. “I grew up in Oklahoma, […]
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Targeted Marketing Campaign Leads Atlanta Video Marketer to New Heights

  • Posted by Ashley Panter
  • On May 31, 2018
Creative Internet Authority is more than a name for Montina Portis’s Roswell-based video marketing business. Establishing one’s authority and creating a reputation for knowledge and opinions that are respected by one’s peers has been so essential to her success that she speaks on the topic at industry conferences around the country. Portis knew she’d need […]
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Financial Future Secure for Ellijay Family Orchard

  • Posted by Ashley Panter
  • On May 30, 2018
Ellijay farmer John Reece can see the house he grew up in from the Apple House at his Ellijay business, BJ Reece Orchards. John and his wife Rachel have grown the business his father started with 30 acres into a popular 130-acre agribusiness attraction known for its “world-famous” fried apple pies, so named by their […]
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Improved Understanding of Financials Helps Atlanta Aviation Company Soar

  • Posted by Ashley Panter
  • On May 25, 2018
Dan Casey was looking for a location for a new business after selling his Oxnard, California-based helicopter tour company. His brother Sean was closing his 10-year-old residential real estate business in Atlanta after the recession hit the industry hard. They chose to land in metro Atlanta. “When people think of Georgia, they think of peaches […]
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Lending and Marketing Assistance Help Put Augusta Meat Market on the Map

  • Posted by Sara Bertolini
  • On April 6, 2018
Meat markets and butcher shops nationwide are losing more and more customers to competition from traditional grocery stores, super centers and nontraditional food retailers like Target. But don’t tell Wayne Lanier’s customers in Augusta. They wouldn’t believe it. In fact, they know if you don’t get to Lanier’s Meat Market early enough, you’ll have to […]
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ExportGA Expands Woodstock Business’s Global Reach

  • Posted by Sara Bertolini
  • On April 6, 2018
Georgia’s 2016 SBA Exporter of the Year for 2016, Carl Hazenberg, enjoys telling potential customers that his Woodstock Company, Everlast Synthetic Products, has done business on six of the seven continents. When someone asks where they haven’t sold their seawall product, the joke is on. “We haven’t been able to find a client in Antarctica,” […]
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Improved Accountability Drives Success For Middle Georgia Retailer

  • Posted by Sara Bertolini
  • On April 6, 2018
Savings and sustainability go hand-in-hand in Brad Bishoff’s Cartridge World. Any business that uses printer toner or ink –from retailers to legal offices and hospitals– can save up to a third of their costs on these items at his three stores. His customers also help the environment by recycling toner and printer cartridges that would […]
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Improved Financials Position Savannah BBQ Owner for Rapid Growth

  • Posted by Sara Bertolini
  • On March 2, 2018
Bryan Furman was a laser operator at the JCB manufacturing plant in Pooler, GA when he decided to start a small BBQ business on the side.   “I have a passion for cooking and felt like there was no good BBQ where we stayed. And I wanted to be able to leave something for our kids.”  He tried to open a small place in Savannah in 2012, […]
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GrowSmart® Brings The Business Long View To An Atlanta Production Company

  • Posted by Sara Bertolini
  • On March 2, 2018
Wendy Eley Jackson possesses the creative credentials eagerly sought by film and television production companies. She developed her artistry while working at TriStar, Sony and TBS. After a while in the industry, though, 60-hour weeks and a desire for a balanced lifestyle led her to form her own company, Golden Street Entertainment, in 1999. She had […]
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Learning Business Basics Leads To Success For New Winder Medical Practice

  • Posted by Sara Bertolini
  • On March 2, 2018
Dr. Maria Clarissa Visitacion moved from Buffalo, New York, to Winder in 2011, recently graduated from residency training. She joined the local hospital and began sharing her ideas for better patient care with management, but a steady rotation of new CEOs made it difficult for any idea to gain traction. “Dr. Claire,” as her patients call her, listed […]
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New Management Practices Promise A Bright Future For Established Middle Georgia Business

  • Posted by Sara Bertolini
  • On March 2, 2018
Small, start-up businesses are not the only type of company that can learn from experts at the University of Georgia’s Small Business Development Center.   Associated Paper is a case in point. A successful family-owned distributor of industrial packaging, shipping, janitorial and sanitary maintenance supplies, Associated Paper serves more than 3,000 clients in middle Georgia, South […]
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New Processes Recharge Profits For Cornelia Business

  • Posted by Sara Bertolini
  • On March 2, 2018
A&A Electric has supported the needs of Cornelia and the town’s surrounding counties since Herschel and Runette Ansley opened it in 1969. When Hershel retired in 1991, the next generation of Ansleys stepped in, running the multi-pronged business while their mom continued as comptroller. Greg Ansley took over as general manager of A&A Electric’s HVAC […]
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Grass-Fed Beef Producer Revives Old Business Model and Creates New Jobs

  • Posted by Ashley Panter
  • On March 1, 2018
Will Harris’s day starts much like his father’s and his grandfather’s and his great-grandfather’s did: with his boots planted firmly in the same fresh-smelling, fertile soil of his ancestral farm in Early County, Georgia. Like a cherished family tradition, the natural cattle-raising method Harris follows at White Oak Pastures resembles that practiced a hundred years […]
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Aid in Securing USDA Loan Places Southwest Georgia Product in Stores Across the U.S.

  • Posted by Ashley Panter
  • On February 23, 2018
Ray Crosby knows his bees and honey. A third-generation farmer who lives with his family in the rural southwest Georgia town of Omega, he understands what makes his product—packaged as pure, unfiltered raw honey—unique. His knowledge, in fact, resonates with the customers from coast-to-coast who buy Weeks Honey. “Working with Ray, I’ve learned a lot […]
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From Model to Medical Practice

  • Posted by Ashley Panter
  • On February 23, 2018
Solid financial planning turns unique vision into thriving middle Georgia practice. After several years of working in other practices, Dr. Jeff Langford, a specialist in allergy and immunology, wanted to drive quality control himself. He also knew much of Middle Georgia’s population lacked easy access to his specialty. So he developed a new practices model […]
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An Elf’s Success

  • Posted by Ashley Panter
  • On December 21, 2017
The UGA SBDC helped catapult “The Elf on the Shelf” to stardom. Here’s how:   Since helping Carol Aebersold and her twins, Christa Pitts and Chanda Bell launch the best-selling holiday book in 2004, the UGA Small Business Development Center has continued to provide support and guidance to the Kennesaw-based company. “The Elf on the […]
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Campaign Approach to Marketing Feeds Sales at Atlanta Pizzeria

  • Posted by Ashley Panter
  • On September 5, 2017
Slice Pizzeria, tucked away on Poplar Street in downtown Atlanta, celebrated its tenth anniversary in November 2016. Its business partners Brian Agee and Karen Smiley moved from their first pizzeria in the West End to Georgia State University’s western boundary in 2006, hoping to serve more students, tourists and conventioneers. “It was a very slow […]
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Full Knowledge of Funding Options Helps Launch New Macon Brewpub

  • Posted by Ashley Panter
  • On June 15, 2017
“I found out that Josh and the SBDC were resources small businesses could use, for free. I thought, ‘Wow, here’s a guy who’s like an extension of my staff. Why wouldn’t I go to him?’ We got to talking, and he told me about the financing, market analysis and other help he could provide."
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Digital Entrepreneur Sharpens Own Business Practices By Teaching

  • Posted by Molly Knight
  • On May 30, 2017
Garrett Massey’s web development start-up, Eyesore Inc., is in its fourth office since its 2007 launch, a historic Coca-Cola bottling facility in downtown Griffin. With nine full-time staff and annual sales shaping up to 50 percent growth for 2015, the company would seem to consume all of his time and energy. It does not. Massey […]
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Careful Planning Gives Award-Winning Savannah Dessert Bar Owners Room to Expand

  • Posted by Ashley Panter
  • On May 15, 2017
From their beginning, Janine Finn and Rebecca Radovich had the right ingredients for a successful dessert enterprise, mixing Finn’s solid business experience with Radovich’s creative food and catering expertise. Starting small with an online cake business in 2006, the business partners quickly decided to sell their confections out of a storefront in downtown Savannah. “We […]
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New Model Adds Greater Value to Celebrated South Georgia Winery

  • Posted by Ashley Panter
  • On November 2, 2016
“The Cowarts were already successfully producing a value-added product in the winery. You could see the potential for adding another business,” says Finney. “We put together all the pieces that showed how the distillery would work and how they would use more of their wine in the product.”
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Strong Financials Realize Vision for Clarkston Educational Center Owner

  • Posted by Ashley Panter
  • On September 13, 2016
Alex Cesar knew from an early age that she’d run a school. Inspired by her grandmother, a principal, Alex would sometimes join her in the classroom. She eventually taught special education in the public schools, but felt stuck in the system. “I always had a vision of running a child-care center that would emphasize learning, […]
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Financial Projections Expand and Support a Savannah Tradition

  • Posted by Ashley Panter
  • On September 13, 2016
By all accounts, the Gretchen Greene School of Dance is a Savannah tradition. Founded in 1969 by a Savannah native who danced as a Radio City Music Hall Rockette, the school now teaches the children and grandchildren of many an aspiring young ballerina and tap dancer who first graced its studios. So many new young […]
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Business Essentials Steer Cumming Auto Parts Company into the Fast Lane

  • Posted by Ashley Panter
  • On May 5, 2016
Brothers Kevin and Randy Redd make Ford and Chevy street cars both fast and “fly.” Their uniquely designed Concept One high performance pulley systems mount on an engine and drive all of its belts, improving power and maximizing performance. In 2001 they began selling their systems and other product lines to hot rod muscle car […]
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Careful Pre-Planning Helps Complex Industrial Business Secure an SBA Loan

  • Posted by Ashley Panter
  • On May 4, 2016
Rod Meyer had worked in Minneapolis 25 years with the market-leading industrial x-ray imaging equipment company, rising to vice president of sales and leading a tenfold increase in capital sales, before the company was sold and narrowed its product line. “The new company decided to focus on standard x-ray imaging systems. This decision opened an […]
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Lessons Learned In Practice Rotation Help Pooler Veterinarian Open Own Practice

  • Posted by Ashley Panter
  • On April 29, 2016
Veterinarian Mike Ammermon was a senior in the University of Georgia’s College of Veterinary Medicine when UGA Small Business Development Center consultant Jeff Sanford started teaching fourth-year vet students a new curriculum on core business principles in 2008. The program, still going strong, includes a practice management rotation that brings these students together with veterinarians […]
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Sound Business Practices Help Athens Medical Practice Expand Into Underserved Areas

  • Posted by Ashley Panter
  • On April 29, 2016
Dr. Ram K. and Aru Reddy are in the business of “helping people feel better when they need it the most.” Partners in an enterprise that adds urgently needed medical care to underserved communities in northeast Georgia, this husband and wife team is also steadily adding to the employment rolls of the small cities and towns they serve.
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SBDC Clients Earns 2016 Small Business Person of the Year

  • Posted by Ashley Panter
  • On April 26, 2016
Catherine Downey didn’t find an easy way to success. She did find what works: hard work and dedication to a vision. Catherine Downey started her first business with “a pen and a legal pad” so she could work at home after her first child was born. Today, she has four grown children and one of the fastest growing companies in Atlanta. She’s also garnered a hard-earned honor: she […]
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Dead-On Financial Projections Lead to Success for Atlanta Movie Tours Start-Up

  • Posted by Ashley Panter
  • On April 19, 2016
Moving a small business from start-up to growth mode requires a leap of faith, hard work and difficult, strategic decision-making. Carrie Sagel Burns has the” leap of faith” part down, regularly suspending disbelief in thousands of visitors who ride around Atlanta in buses guided by former zombie extras, an actress portraying author Margaret Mitchell or character actors from The Hunger Games.
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Passion for Pets Pays Off

  • Posted by Ashley Panter
  • On March 23, 2016
Crook acquired the loan and opened her business. About five years later, she approached McDonell for help obtaining a $1 million SBA 504 loan, which she used to purchase land and build the first Pawtropolis. Five years after that, with 25 employees and trainers, an award-winning business and a facility filled to capacity, Crook again turned to the SBDC. After attending the GrowSmart™ program, she asked McDonell to help her create projections for a $2.2 million loan she received and will use to build a second, larger facility on land she had purchased.
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McDonough Business Consultant Benefits from Expert Georgia SBDC Consulting

  • Posted by Ashley Panter
  • On January 29, 2016
Former Army executive Annette O’Banion spent several years consulting with top brass in the Pentagon on issues such as recruiting and retaining talent for the Army Reserve. Her expertise in strategic planning and implementation often had her partnering on projects outsourced to national defense consulting firms. Captain O’Banion, USA, Retired, now uses her experience to […]
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Market Research Eases Expansion for Midtown Atlanta Industrial Firm

  • Posted by Ashley Panter
  • On January 26, 2016
Dhiren Patel is a seasoned business owner. An electrical engineer who started his career in the innovative AT&T Bell Labs, his first solo venture was AmTech Electronics India Limited, which he launched in India in 1991. When he decided to expand into the U.S. market, he and his family moved to Atlanta and opened an […]
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Economic Impact of The UGA SBDC

  • Posted by Ashley Panter
  • On December 21, 2015
The annual economic impact study of the University of Georgia SBDC, published in August of 2015, provides solid evidence that entrepreneurs utilizing SBDC assistance experience employment growth significantly greater than the state average. All clients who received five or more hours of consulting in 2013 received a questionnaire that inquired as to the benefit of […]
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Sound Business Practices Move Georgia Peach Retailer from Stands to Stores

  • Posted by Ashley Panter
  • On December 21, 2015
Travelers driving north and south on Interstate 95 will pass 24 billboards inviting them to stop and purchase mouth-watering products like “Fresh Georgia Peaches — Exit 58” and “Georgia Peach Ice Cream” at Georgia Peach World and the Eulonia Country Store in Townsend. The young entrepreneur behind the bold, simple marketing campaign, Jason Reott, is […]
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Finding the Right Ingredients

  • Posted by Ashley Panter
  • On November 5, 2015
Chef Doug Turbush has garnered more than 15 years of experience and rave reviews in the restaurant industry. But the kitchen wasn’t his end goal when he began earning a degree in hotel management. “I’d been working in restaurants since I was 15, and there was no order or discipline. It was complete chaos,” he […]
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Versatile Mold and Design

  • Posted by Ashley Panter
  • On October 15, 2015
Strategic Planning Expands Markets for Rutledge Mold and Tooling Manufacturer Inventiveness and responsiveness have long been trademarks of the Heusser family business, Versatile Mold and Design. But like many small businesses, this Rutledge mold and tooling manufacturer’s management – led by siblings Bob, Tim, Frank and Suzanne Brown – was so busy working in the […]
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Dreaming Cow

  • Posted by Ashley Panter
  • On October 5, 2015
Expansion Financing Essential for Rapidly Growing Thomasville Producer Kyle and Janelle Wehner started Dreaming Cow in 2009 to test whether their yogurt concept could be built into a national brand. Using an all-natural recipe derived from the South Island of Janelle’s native New Zealand, they make Dreaming Cow yogurt on Kyle’s parents’ Thomasville farm. Kyle […]
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Market and Banking Advice Aid Dairy Expansion into Agri-Tourism Destination

  • Posted by Marketing Intern
  • On May 22, 2015
It is rare to see a young family in Georgia make a business out of a small dairy farm. The around-the-clock work and competition from big corporate dairies has stopped many who desire such a lifestyle dead in their tracks. Not so for fourth-generation dairy farmer Scott Glover and his wife, Jennifer, who have built […]
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Janie Davis, Children Unique Christian Daycare Center, Inc.

  • Posted by Marketing Intern
  • On January 14, 2015
Growing Pains Send Augusta Day Care Operator to the SBDC Shortly after opening a licensed childcare service in her home, Janie Davis needed to expand. “We started in 1996 with six children in my home, but received so many calls that we knew we had to grow,” say Davis, founder and CEO of Children Unique Christian Daycare Center, Inc., in […]
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Mary Hester, LAN Systems

  • Posted by Marketing Intern
  • On January 14, 2015
Strategic Planning Leads Norcross Technology Firm to Greater Profits After leading an IT department that had won several awards for another technical firm, Mary Hester acquired LAN Systems in January 2008 “We did the kind of IT work people needed,” says Hester, who sports both an M.B.A. and a degree in electrical engineering. “I wanted to take that experience and philosophy and […]
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