New Program Helps Small Business Owners With Bottom Line

Twenty-three business leaders are making a huge impact in the Azalea City.

Brian Lacey has only been in Valdosta for five months. As a small business manager, Brian wasn't sure how he would make his medical services business a success.

Brian says, "Our primary customer base is the small physicians’ practices here in the community and also the hospitals in the region, and so getting near those customers is a difficult thing."

But thanks to the Professional Consultants Program, a man helped Brian find and develop the strong customer base he was looking for.

Walter Hobgood, a strategic planning specialist, says, "I believe most of the growth and employment that occurs in any community comes from existing businesses, and while we have a lot of big businesses that do that, we also have a lot of small businesses."

In addition to 22 other business specialists, Walter volunteers his time to help businesses like Brian's grow. He says it's a small service that he enjoys immensely.

Hobgood adds, "I enjoy helping people. It's really no more complex than that. I get to use 30 years of experience in business to help other people be successful. I love it and I like people."

The Professional Consultants Program has successfully helped more than 40 businesses this year. Chamber officials say the program is a free resource available to any business or entrepreneur in the Valdosta area.