When Charles “Chuck” Ansley and his siblings were looking to expand their family business, they knew they could turn to the University of Georgia Small Business Development for Assistance (UGA SBDC). ACG Solutions, a managed IT services provider in Cornelia, needed help building its marketing and search engine optimization (SEO) skills. Those marketing consultation meetings led them to discover other ways the UGA SBDC could assist their business. Since they started working with UGA SBDC, ACG Solutions’ revenue has increased approximately 17 percent. Employment has grown to 16 full-time staff with a new employee added in Gainesville. Read the full story below to see how the UGA SBDC has helped ACG Solutions along the way.
When Charles “Chuck” Ansley and his siblings were looking to expand their family business they knew they could turn to the UGA SBDC for assistance. ACG Solutions, a managed IT services provider in Cornelia, needed help building its marketing and search engine optimization (SEO) skills.
Ansley and his siblings, Don, Greg and Nan (Sisk), formed Ansley Turnkey Inc. in 1992 and renamed it Ansley Communications Group in 1999 as its sales in business telephone systems grew. In 2018, they rebranded the company as ACG Solutions to more clearly define and market the many solutions and products the company now offers.
The siblings saw marketing as a key piece to successfully growing sales for their services throughout North Georgia. So, in 2021, they sent their new account executive, Stephen Moore, to a UGA SBDC class on SEO taught by Robbie Parks, a business consultant at the UGA SBDC in Gainesville.
Afterwards, Moore emailed Parks to learn more about the UGA SBDC’s ongoing consultation services, with the goal of increasing ACG’s web presence. Parks guided him through an SEO audit using the SBDC’s marketing measurement tools.
Parks worked with ACG Solutions to improve SEO, optimize its Google business profile and identify new leads across northeast Georgia. She also introduced the Ansleys to Mark Lupo, a senior public service associate in the Information Technology Outreach Service division with the UGA Institute of Government. Lupo advised ACG Solutions about resources to ensure they had proper cybersecurity protocols and best practices in place, and Parks showed them how to use data protection as a differentiator in their marketing collateral. The company saw immediate results after implementing the changes.
Parks also showed the siblings the different business-to-business marketing platforms and started them on LinkedIn.
“Businesses don’t need to be on all platforms, just the one or two that make the best sense for a business and give it the best ROI,” Parks said. “This is the value consultants can bring you. We start with the capabilities of our clients.”
The results encouraged Ansley and his family to open an office in Gainesville in the summer of 2022. The new location allows ACG Solutions a larger presence in Hall County, its fastest-growing market, and serves as an area hub, positioning it to corner the northeast Georgia market.
Since working with the UGA SBDC, ACG Solutions’ revenue has increased approximately 17 percent. Employment has grown to 16 full-time staff with a new employee added in Gainesville.
“The UGA SBDC helped us with the marketing piece, which was the key piece we needed,” Ansley said. “They helped us in opening the office and making it successful. Out of that office our sales have already gone up 100 percent. We’ve also increased our territory a good 25 percent, overall.”
Looking ahead, Ansley and Parks plan to implement a human resources strategy and will next discuss updating the company’s financial analysis.
“ACG Solutions offers a case study in how small business owners can talk to us about one item, like SEO, and then allow the UGA SBDC to bring all the resources it has to serve all aspects of their business,” Parks said. “One of the most important keys to their success is their receptiveness. Instead of always doing things the same way, they’re willing to bring in outside experts and ask what they need to do to get to the next level. As a family-owned business, they are rooted in tradition—but also future focused.”
For More Information: University of Georgia SBDC | (706) 542-2762