Business Boom

John McHenryTucker is undoubtedly one of the fastest-rising business destinations in the Metro Atlanta area.  Each month, the Business Boom will seek to show different examples of how Tucker’s business scene is flourishing.

I’ve worked in business and economic development for a long time. How long? Let’s just say a Bush was in the White House when I got started. While you try and figure out which Bush that was, I’ll tell you that business – and the way it’s conducted – has changed over the years. It used to be that you started each day by reading the business section of the paper, you never strayed too far from your pager and you always kept some change in your pocket for the payphone.

Today, things are different. We get our business news from Twitter and the internet. Cellphones have rendered pagers and payphones obsolete. Shoot, with smartphones we really don’t need a computer most of the time.

One thing I’ve found, though, that hasn’t changed is the value of a face-to-face meeting. Sure, we utilize Skype, GoToMeeting and other virtual options on a daily basis, but if I want to really connect with someone, it’s going to be in person. Fortunately, here in Tucker we have a lot of great places where folks in the business community can connect and “seal the deal”. You really can’t ever replace the benefits of a face-to-face meeting.

Smoke-Rise-GolfOne of my favorite places to do business has always been the golf course. While my golf game has never been confused with that of Tiger Woods and can be dangerous to local flora and fauna, golf offers you the unique opportunity to spend four hours with someone, just two people in a golf cart, enjoying a shared experience that can help develop the basis of a business relationship. Tucker has two venues for this type of meeting: Heritage Golf Links, which actually straddles the border between the City of Tucker and Gwinnett County, and Smoke Rise Country Club, a private club located within Tucker’s Smoke Rise community.

“Membership isn’t just for families. It’s for corporate meetings and events,” said Heath McDaniel, the Membership Director at Smoke Rise Country Club. In addition to teeing it up on the 6,800 yard, par 72 course, McDaniel said the club boasts “diverse space options from multiple private rooms to a formal boardroom” along with a veranda for meetings that occur on the 19th hole.

If you don’t have half a day to invest, simply sitting down to a business lunch or a cup of coffee can be an effective way to connect, as well. On any given weekday, restaurants like Local 7 are packed at lunchtime, much of the clientele there for a business meeting. Tucker’s Main Street scored a coup earlier this year when The Corner Cup opened and immediately became a meet-up place for morning business meetings.

“Right now, we are just adding seating because we have found that Tucker is a city where people like to gather,” said Corner Cup owner Michael Vordran, adding they have plans to add a conference room that can be used by the community.

It’s important to evolve with the times and use new technology to make you more efficient in what you do. It’s equally important to understand the level of trust developed by looking someone in the eye and offering them a firm handshake. For that reason, I don’t see the face-to-face meeting going away anytime soon.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to go update my day planner and organize my Rolodex.

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