Big Growth in Small Business
Read the full article published in the Georgia Trend Magazine, and annual publication of the SBDC Georgia.
Charlie Cichetti, owner of Sustainable Investment Group (SIG) is recognized this year for successfully growing his business through learning opportunities with the University of Georgia’s Small Business Development Center (UGA SBDC). As part of the national network of SBDCs, UGA offers a public service and outreach mission for small business owners. Small business owners are invited to contact the SBDC for training and consulting assistance in starting or growing their businesses. Charlie first participated in the GrowSmart training program to expand SIG in 2010. “The course gave me MBA knowledge in just eight days,” said Cichetti. He made invaluable connections and business breakthroughs.
Within the first three years of operations, SIG employed five full time staff and increased sales every year. When the firm had grown to where one partner wanted to step down, and new owners step-up, Charlie again looked to the SBDC for their guidance in negotiations. A couple of months of strategizing with the SDBC secured a win-win for all parties and continued the pace for SIG’s growth.
In 2014, a unique opportunity presented itself to once again create more jobs and provide more services. Charlie had the opportunity to acquire an online education business that had worked closely with SIG in the past. The SBDC proved to be a helpful resource by working through projections, conference calling with lenders, and opening up the best path for acquisition. Today, SIG has 17 full time employees and additional part-time contractors.
Despite being a small business, SIG is fast becoming a force to be reckoned within the green building industry.