Mon, April 22, 2024

Business owner credits upcoming UGA program for successful growth

Robin Baxley (pictured above at right) and co-owner Sandi Shields of Best Office Solution in Waynesboro, are celebrating the number 2 these days with a little champagne at their monthly TAB meeting (The Alternative Board peer-to-peer advisory group). They say education and training for themselves and employees is key.

They recently celebrated their 22nd anniversary in business. In the last 2 years they have increased their office supply and furniture business by 2x’s. Ms. Baxley said she wanted her business to grow, but she needed more training to make that happen.

Baxley completed StartSmart, a four-week intensive training course presented by the University of Georgia Small Business Development Center, in 2012. The course covers a variety of topics for small business owners, such as managing human resources, developing a business plan, mastering business concepts and creating successful marketing campaigns.


“I learned a lot about myself, and how I could do better at working on the business,” she said. “I was a weak link.”

Baxley recommends the course to other business leaders because it gave her the opportunity to reflect on her business. The next course will be held on Zoom from Tuesday, March 1 to Thursday, March 24. Attendees and instructors will meet Tuesday and Thursday evenings from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Baxley gained useful tips and tools from not only her instructors, but also other StartSmart attendees.

“It’s great to get outside input,” she said.

The course is designed for both budding entrepreneurs and those who have been in business for two years or less. The cost is $195, which also includes access to business planning software. The application and payment are due by Friday, Feb. 25. All applicants must be approved prior to enrolling in the course.

For more information or to apply for StartSmart, click on this link.

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