Welcome to the New & Improved:
“Augusta’s Choice: Tour of Augusta”
This week’s Tour of Augusta is sponsored by Reading Success Plus, providing academic support for students from K-5 to adults.
The Tour of Augusta for this week started with a networking event. Featuring one business & one organization. The BNI Breakfast & The Garlic Clove!
Breaking into the business world can often times be just as difficult as breaking into show business. There are plenty of opportunities for new/small business owners to reach a new client whether it be by billboards, radio spots, print ads, or internet marketing. But the age old saying that “There’s nothing better than word of mouth advertising” couldn’t be any more truer in this day in age. And for those unaware, there are organizations that have banded together to, in a way, become ambassadors for your business while you do the same for them. This one in particular is called BNI. BNI stands for Business Networking International, and touts over 5.6 million referrals passed among it’s members last year alone. And they are a firm believer in no cold calls. So our first stop was at a BNI Breakfast held at The Garlic Clove. BNI has multiple chapters here in Augusta that business owners can partake of. The camaraderie, support, & encouragement that comes from the group is far above most anything I’ve experienced. The breakfast I attended meets every Wednesday morning at The Garlic Clove to discuss community initiatives, warm/hot leads, strategies, and encouragement among their group. There is only one person per industry aloud in each group to help maximize the referral system. For detailed information for how you can benefit from BNI as a business owner, contact Amy Kilpatrick, Executive Director for BNI in Augusta and Owner of NSpired Networking: firstname.lastname@example.org. She’s a tremendous asset to the CSRA!
After the meeting was over, I actually had a moment to speak to Chef Jeff Freehof, the owner of The Garlic Clove Italian Eatery, located at 4461 Washington Rd, Evans, GA. After moving to Columbia County, handing over Cutie Pies, and focusing on The Garlic Clove (all the while ministering at Dunn’s Chapel United Methodist Church), this is a man of many talents. Chef Jeff has a passion for customer service and it shows. The Eatery is quaint with a warm inviting atmosphere. My only regret is that I did not have a chance to experience the restaurant during their dinner service. But that didn’t mean that they weren’t already prepping for the day. The kitchen was already bustling, preparing for the meal services of the day and Chef Freehof took a moment to talk with me about the importance on spreading the word about your business during difficult economic times. “This isn’t the time to throw in the towel, this is the time to keep the word of mouth going.” And I couldn’t agree more. Garlic Clove Italian Eatery begins serving customers at 11 a.m. until 9 p.m., Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. until 9:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday, and Sunday, 11 a.m. until 8 p.m. Go out and visit, have a great meal, and tell them Augusta’s Choice sent you!
My next stop took me to Street and Trail Motorsports, located at 4277 Washington Rd, Evans, GA. I had a some time to sit down with Doug, one of the sales associates. Being a very large fan of motorcycles, 4 wheelers, jet skis, and all the other vehicles you see on vacation & recreation brochures, I was in heaven. Street and Trail is a locally owned dealership that is affiliated with Honda, Yamaha, Kymco, Kawasaki, & Suzuki. All of their service technicians are certified with all five manufacturers. The staff at Street and Trail were exceptionally friendly, and it’s more than evident that the love what they do. The enthusiasm for their niche glows. But lets step away from that for a moment and speak about what they have on their showroom floor. I don’t know if I’ve ever seen as many shiny things in one location. The quality of the vehicles they have are absolutely amazing. Pristine craftsman ship, and prices that are more than reasonable. While speaking with Doug, I would occasionally point out a street bike, or a cruiser, or the beautiful jet ski that kept calling my name as if it were a puppy whimpering at a pet shop asking to be taken home. Each time I spoke of one, Doug instantly knew the make, model, or detailed information of each piece. And the education that one can receive here is worth the visit alone! An example is, if you are a motorcycle owner, and you want to go on Fort Gordon for any reason, there is a special certification that you need or you WILL be turned away. And it just so happened that the instructor that is Certified by the government to teach the class that will gain you the certification frequents Street and Trail. Byron Sylvester is the Lead Instructor for CFPS and he happened to be in Street and Trail during my Tour. If that itch for a new motorcycle, four wheeler, or jet ski is in need of scratching. Or if your motorcycle is in need of servicing. Go see Doug over at Street and Trail Motorsports. The service you’ll receive is impeccable. Tell them Augusta’s Choice sent you!
My last stop took me to Accent Carpet and Hardwood, Shutters & Blinds, located at 3626 Old Petersburg Rd, Martinez, GA. Before I could even get in the door I was warmly greeted by Tom Henderson, Co-owner with his wife Debbie. Inside their showroom, I quickly learned about the history, passion, & reason that Accent exists. Like most business owners, Tom had worked a job that required extended hours away from home. Yearning for the ability to be with his family, the decision was made by Tom & Debbie in 2004 to go into business for themselves. And Accent was born, along with a level of customer service experience that unfortunately, has become a lost art in the industry. Providing the CSRA with more than Carpet, Hardwood, Shutters, & Blinds, Accent also provides expert advice, service, and premium materials. And they are also one of the only distributor of the Kathy Ireland “Alta” line of Window Blinds. The services they provide range from installing carpeting, hardwood floors, tile, shudders, & blinds for builders and general consumers. The type of service you’ll receive is on a personal level you won’t find at mega chains. “We care about the work we do as it reflects not only on our business, but on us as individuals.” stated Debbie on the pride her and her husband have in the work they do. And they are now running a 10% Discount on Hardwood & Laminate flooring! If you are ever in need of expert service that’s local, honest, kind, and with your best interest in mind, go visit Tom & Debbie at Accent. Tell them Augusta’s Choice sent you, you won’t regret it!
This week brought about some great contacts, and we are glad to share that with all of you. Please use our Tour’s to build your database and personal address book of businesses that you may want to visit. There are so many great things here in the CSRA that more people need to know about. If you would like a visit by Augusta’s Choice to your business, Contact Us HERE. If you are interested in sponsoring one of our Tour’s, email us at email@example.com. And remember, everyone has a choice. And if you’re passionate about your business, Augusta’s Choice may choose you!