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Learn How One Dental Practice Navigated the COVID19 Locked Down and Reopening



Capitalist Sage Podcast

Today on the Capitalist Sage, Karl Barham and Rico Figliolini are joined by Aristo Shyn DMD, the owner of Link Dental Care in Peachtree Corners. Dr. Shyn has been working hard to make sure that his clients and patients, as well as his staff, remain safe during this COVID time. Listen in to hear how he has re-imagined what his dental practice does.

Phone: 770-448-1977
Website: LinkDentalCare.com
Social Media: @linkdentalcare

“I think it’s so important for people to have confidence in you, whether that’s your own staff or the patients. And I’m not talking about just dental treatment, but you know, during these times they need to have confidence in you that they’re safe and that you’re being transparent… And people having trust and confidence in you, I mean it’s not a responsibility that I take lightly.”

Aristo Shyn, DMD

Where in the show is that topic:
[00:00:30] – Intro
[00:01:59] – About Dr. Shyn and Link Dental Care
[00:04:59] – Advantages of Private Practice
[00:05:31] – First Impressions
[00:06:55] – Safety
[00:09:40] – Other Challenges
[00:13:01] – What Went Well
[00:15:45] – Staying Healthy
[00:19:20] – Future of Dentistry
[00:26:02] – Industry Help
[00:27:30] – Closing

Podcast Transcript:

Karl: [00:00:30] Welcome to the Capitalist Sage Podcast. We’re here to bring you advice and tips from seasoned pros and expert to help you improve your business. I’m Karl Barham with Transworld Business Advisors and my cohost is Rico Figliolini with Mighty Rockets, Digital Marketing and the publisher of the Peachtree Corner Magazine. Hey Rico, how are you doing today?

Rico: [00:00:48] Hey, Karl, very good. You’re doing well?

Karl: [00:00:52] We’re doing well. It’s Friday, so we’re getting into the weekend. And we have a bonus episode of the podcast today, but first, why don’t we introduce our sponsors?

Rico: [00:01:02] Sure. So our lead sponsor is Hargray Fiber. Hargray Fiber is a large Southeast company providing fiber optic solutions to small businesses and large enterprise businesses. As well as bundle services and even tools like smart office that helps with tele-working. It helps with companies and their employees either onsite or offsite. So they’re a big partner with businesses, as well as the communities like here in Peachtree Corners. They’re involved with Curiosity Labs at Peachtree Corners, with the city, with a lot of organizations like Atlanta Tech Park. They’ve been a sponsor of the cyber health tech event that just recently happened. So they’re involved in the community. They’re not the cable guy. They’re the company that provides real good service to you and they are right in your community. So check them out at HargrayFiber.com or Hargray.com/Business. And you’ll be able to see what they can do for you.

Karl: [00:01:59] Fabulous. Well, fiber optics and everyone that’s doing all this homeschooling. And even as we’re broadcasting virtually, it’s becoming a critical part of everybody’s life. So, please do check out Hargray Fiber if you need fiber-optic and internet service in Peachtree Corners and surrounding areas. Today we’re continuing in our series talking to local business owners that are reopened, that are operating their businesses and being successful in navigating keeping people safe yet still providing them the services that they can. And today we’re honored to have as our guest, Dr. Shyn, the owner of Link Dental Care right here in Peachtree Corners, in Gwinnett County. And he’ll talk to us a little bit about how he’s been navigating his business and his team and his clients through the COVID-19 pandemic. From before, what had happened and through the reopening and how he’s keeping people safe and just, you know, being a small business owner in the community, helping us serve the clients. Thank you Dr. Shyn, and why don’t you start off by introducing yourself to everyone?

Dr. Shyn: [00:03:14] Absolutely. Before I start, I wanna say it’s an honor to be on a podcast whether I be on Joe Rogan.

Rico: [00:03:25] I only wish.

Dr. Shyn: [00:03:28] Yeah, but my name is Aristo Shyn. I’m the owner of Link Dental Care. We’re currently in our eighth year of business. And we offer comprehensive dentistry to our patients, meaning that we’re ready for your routine dental cleaning and fillings all the way to
more involved procedures having to do with cosmetic or implant dentistry. As far as a little bit about myself, I was born in Kansas City, Missouri. I grew up in Alaska pursuing a golf career. And then moved to Florida to finish my dental training. So, luckily my dentistry turned out better than my short game. And I’ve been in Georgia since 2012. And, you know, as it says on my bio on the website, I am very happy to be away from grizzly bears and hurricanes.

Karl: [00:04:22] Fabulous. And so since you came to Georgia, what made you think of opening a practice here in the Peachtree Corner area of Georgia?

Dr. Shyn: [00:04:31] Well, I was looking for, looking to go into private practice in the Metro Atlanta area. I kind of lucked out ending up in Peachtree Corners. It turned out to be a good move, I love the area. And you know, for me personally, I had to you know, get out of corporate dentistry and start my own private practice.

Karl: [00:04:59] What are some of the things that you’ve enjoyed about, private practice, things that have been, that you liked about that?

Dr. Shyn: [00:05:08] Well, you have autonomy. You’re able to offer your own set of standards and define your standard of care. And, you know, it does come with, you know, responsibilities and some stress as I think all business owners experienced this year. But you know, for me, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Karl: [00:05:31] No, that’s fine. I find that with a lot of small business owners that there is a freedom and it’s also fulfilling because you could be more connected into your community very often here locally when you’re a small business owners. And I think a lot of people like that, it’s being able to support small businesses. Well, this year has been a really tough year for small business owners, but I’m curious, when did you first hear about COVID-19 and what were your first thoughts when you started hearing about it and how it might impact you and your clients and your business?

Dr. Shyn: [00:06:10] Well, I mean, this is a bit of a blur, but I think we first heard about it, I first heard about it early in the year. Maybe January, February. And I didn’t really put much thought into it. And then, it became a very real situation very quickly.

Karl: [00:06:30] Yeah.

Dr. Shyn: [00:06:31] Yeah. You know, overall, I think we’re still on a roller coaster. I’m not sure if this ride is over yet, you know. But, you know, overall I’m very grateful to be working, thankful to have a staff so well prepared, and very thankful to our patients who have been some of the most loyal people you can ask for.

Karl: [00:06:55] I’ve got, so a family member that work in healthcare and hospitals and different. And I remember early on there was a lot of guidance through the CDC and other public health
services to help them be prepared to protect themselves and their clients. I was wondering, what were some of the things, as you started to learn about it that you had to do differently to keep yourself and your employees safe as well as your clients?

Dr. Shyn: [00:07:25] Well, we’ve had, we’ve expanded on protocols that we’ve already had in place. I mean, us being a healthcare setting, a medical setting. We were already familiar with OSHA guidelines. But you know, in addition to that, we have modified how patients check in. For example, you know, your parking lot is the new reception room and we’ve, I mean, we’ve taken out, you know, most of the chairs in our reception area, we’ve taken out all magazines. We’ve taken temperatures for everyone that’s walked in the reception area. We have, I forget how many air purifiers we’ve installed, but we’ve installed a bunch of them. We’ve been monitoring how many people are in the practice at one time. So we’ve set a cap on maximum capacity. We’ve installed high speed suction systems, and all additional high speed suction systems and all offertories. Disinfectants all over the place and obviously a PPE vent. You know, everyone’s talking about how we’ve lucked out a little bit with PPE. So I think, I’m pretty sure I left out a few items, but that’s yeah. It’s been, that’s been, that’s what’s been happening.

Rico: [00:08:47] You know, just for transparency, I am a patient of Dr. Shyn’s. Just recently although my family has been going to Dr. Shyn for a little while. So I can attest to some of the things that Dr. Shyn is saying. So I walk in, you know, I get, I have to call, I have to before I even come in, I get temperature checked. And, you know, the staff is there to be able to make you feel comfortable. And I certainly felt that. And certainly Dr. Shyn has made me feel comfortable there as well. So, I think you’re doing the right thing. I certainly saw a big difference between, you know a normal pre-COVID dental practice and then the post-COVID dental practice. And all the safety precautions. So the air purifiers are the biggest thing that stood out to me along with, you know, the M-95s and the other stuff that, you know, everyone has to wear, you know, in the medical profession, so.

Karl: [00:09:40] I’m curious about some of the challenges that you faced besides having to implement more safety procedures. What about for clients’ behaviors? Communication? What have been some of the challenges getting people comfortable with rescheduling their appointments and starting to meet. Probably you might’ve experienced some pent up demands.

Dr. Shyn: [00:10:03] Sure. Well, you know, we had two phases of challenges. The first one was during the actual, you know, we were shut down for almost two months. That, we had that phase and then we had the challenge of getting everyone caught up and you know, scheduled after we reopened. So I mean, during the shutdown phase, I was really focused on what’s gonna happen with my staff, my existing patients and how we’re going to deal with dental emergencies. And you know, we always kept the phone lines open, even during the shutdown. I kept in touch with my staff. We kept in touch with our patients, whether that was over the phones, or through emails. And, you know, I think we did pretty good accommodating dental emergencies during that phase. It wasn’t easy, but you know, we don’t take dental emergencies lightly. And another thing that I did during the shutdown was I actually opened, I actually did
virtual and telephone consultations for anyone who had a dental emergency or dental question. And, I even gave out my contact information to the Norcross cooperative industry and even our local church. So that was a pretty cool thing. And we didn’t take a penny for that obviously. I mean during, after opening, you know, we extended hours. We extended, we expanded staff. We expanded hours and now we’ve been, pretty much as busy as ever.

Karl: [00:11:47] Okay. I’m curious, sometimes you go through something like that. And most people have never experienced, an event like this. But you do the best you can with the information and the resources that are provided to you both local level, government level, et cetera. Looking back in hindsight, you could play armchair quarterback. Are there things you think, you saw other businesses doing or you might’ve considered that if you knew what you knew now you could have done quicker or better before to kind of prepare. And if something were to happen in the future, any learnings from that?

Dr. Shyn: [00:12:28] You know, besides, you know, picking up more PPE before this. Yeah. You know, honestly, given what we’ve had to deal with, how, you know, all of us got blindsided. I don’t know if there’s a whole lot I’d do differently. I think our team pulled through it and did a decent job in handling this.

Karl: [00:13:01] What about the flip side? What do you think, you know, this sometimes through things like this, it creates opportunity, in multiple levels. What are, are there anything that you think that went right and either during and now looking forward, what are some of the things that make, might have helped both the business, your clients, your staff.

Dr. Shyn: [00:13:25] Well, I want to say that it’s, I think it’s so important for people to have confidence in you, whether that’s your own staff or the patients. And I’m not talking about just dental treatment, but you know, during these times they need to have confidence in you that they’re safe and that you’re being transparent. And I mean, a lot of these can apply, I think to us, you know, not just during this period, but you know, during all times, but right now I think it’s more important than ever. And people having trust and confidence in you, I mean it’s not a responsibility that I take lightly.

Karl: [00:14:14] Yeah. I think you’re hitting on something really key there. When we collectively go through times like 2020, bringing, coming together as a community, both business community and the local community is really important. And it’s times like that, where you could actually build more trust. Because people need each other and people are trying to find ways to help. And I’ve been so impressed what the local community has done. The schools are providing food for kids, people helping with learning. I see, pod groups of students now where with distant learning, people are helping each other. You’re seeing drop-offs happening at neighbors houses. But even if you think about it in your practice and so on, it’s figuring out ways to communicate with folks and help continue to build a trust when people are uncomfortable. I’m curious, if somebody was really still uncomfortable with going to get health care, dental or others, any advice you have for people that might at home still be really uncomfortable. They
may feel that they’re more vulnerable than others. Is there any advice you can give to those folks? And as far as that, they’re trying to make that decision on seeking help and care and doing some of the things like going to a dentist eye doctor, et cetera.

Dr. Shyn: [00:15:45] You know, it’s, the data is all over the place right now. And I don’t think anyone really has a firm grasp on how transmissible this is and what the do’s and don’ts are. But, I mean, I can speak. You know, where a mask, have hand sanitizer on you. And you know, I can speak for our office in that, I mean, we’ve taken every reasonable, feasible, option there is in order to make sure you’re safe inside the office. So, yeah. That’s, that’s all I have.

Karl: [00:16:26] Yeah. You know, I think you’re hitting, you know, reminding people of that. Social distance when they can, wear a mask. I recently saw something where it talked about the transmission rate when both people are wearing a mask, drops down to single digits, two, three, four, 5% versus both people not wearing mask. And it’s a hard change for people to implement. But what, I know, for my family and I, and folks that we talked to. We’re looking at the community good at this. And the sooner we can get the transmission rate down and whatever tactics it takes, the masks, the social distancing, the hygiene. To do that, allows people that may not be comfortable to go back and see their dentist and kids to go back to school and people to continue to live their lives and support local businesses. And so we’re in a challenging environment because I know everyone isn’t on the same page with that. But, it’s been shown as people started implementing that you can continue to get back into normal activity, normalized activity. Sure, it’s awkward, because you may have to wear a mask more then you like, but I think it’s so important that we try to protect folks like yourself and your staff by doing what we can as a community to lower the transmission rates. So you could do and serve your clients as well as we can. So that’s always something that’s good to remind people of.

Dr. Shyn: [00:18:12] Long story short, we’re going overboard until this thing is completely cleared out. So that’s, that keeps things simple.

Rico: [00:18:24] You know, it’s interesting because especially in your profession versus any other right? Pizza place that delivers pizza, you do the curbside pickup, whole different animal than, than even a doctor’s office, a physician that’s where both patients are wearing masks unless there’s a temperature check. You know, an oral temperature check, I guess. In your place, you know, you have to feel comfortable a patient with opening their mouth while they’re sitting on that chair to be able to do that. You know?

Dr. Shyn: [00:18:54] Sure, sure.

Rico: [00:18:55] So, you know, I had that…

Dr. Shyn: [00:18:57] I’ve tried to do dentistry with a mask on it’s, when the patient has a mask on it doesn’t work out too well.

Karl: [00:19:05] A little innovation, right?

Rico: [00:19:10] I’m thankful that you guys go overboard though.

Dr. Shyn: [00:19:13] I’m good, but not, not that good.

Karl: [00:19:20] Now, I’m just curious about your thoughts on the future of dentistry. If you’re thinking into the future, this will pass at some point. Do you think this will have a lasting impact in any aspect of dentistry in general, in your practice in particular?

Dr. Shyn: [00:19:38] Well, I think going forward, we’re going to be more aware than ever regarding, I mean, our industry and any healthcare industry, we’ve been dealing with, I mean the Common Flu, HIV TB. So, you know, this is another virus that we’re dealing with. But I think after this phase most, if not all, dental practices are going to be safer and more aware of safety guidelines than ever before. I think that that’s going to be at least one positive effect from this year.

Rico: [00:20:20] Let me ask you, you just brought up a good point. I was at a physician’s office a few weeks ago, actually my wife was. And, you know, the front staff is always the first to be exposed to anything. And you brought up like TB and flu and stuff like that. You know, before this, I just never thought about it. You know, a patient walks in, who knows what they have? That’s why they’re there because they’re not feeling well. And they’re in there because they want to find out what’s wrong with them. They could have that. They could have TB, they could have the flu, they could have COVID, they could have anything right? So changing the way we, I guess COVID has really helped to look at that.

Dr. Shyn: [00:21:02] I think it’s brought on a lot more awareness across the board outside of healthcare. But you know, there are some rules that we’ve always followed and that’s to treat every patient as if they’re infectious. So, like I said, I think you know, it’s something that our industry has been dealing with. But I think, you know, we’re gonna, I mean, we spent a great deal of time focusing on this and I think, you know, we’re gonna come out, you know, more refined and more aware of these issues than ever before.

Karl: [00:21:38] When I look around the world, other parts of the world that have dealt with viruses before, it was interesting to see when this happened, the response time to it, and the people were more prepared because there’s a memory. I know our children are growing up in this 2020 we’re wearing masks and social distancings and washing their hands is becoming a very normalized part of life. And I could see this experience will prepare us in the future if other things like this, you know, I’m sure people will always have masks now in their house and we’ll be able to start implementing it. I think people will look at cleaning hands, which helps with the flu anyway, and so many other things as a more regular thing that they do in their daily practice. And so sometime these types of experiences who forces us to prepare for the future, not just individually, but I’m pretty sure the government and local authority, they’re having protocols and
they’re rewriting playbooks and stockpiling certain things so that they can, you know, if there was a surge they can respond to it quicker. I think we were collectively, you know, we just never thought that this would be a problem, but once you get stung by something like this, I don’t know if that we can, we could forget it.

Rico: [00:23:11] Yeah. And you know, I haven’t spoken to a lot of different businesses. It’s really interesting to see how everyone has looked at COVID-19 through the lens of their business, their industry, and how they’ve all been and able to succeed. Maybe to pivot a little bit, I mean, in your business, it is a business, right healthcare, you haven’t had a need to pivot. You just have had to challenge on how to progress. How to step forward through this, whereas other businesses may have had to pivot. They may have had to change the way they do business or even change their business entirely because they’re not making it. Restaurants that are closing, restaurants that become ghost kitchens all of a sudden, because you know, they’re just doing deliveries. I don’t think I’ve, I mean, there’s certainly restaurants open now with dining rooms, for example. But there are restaurants that are still closed dining rooms. Chick-fil-A still only does curbside and drive through pickups. They don’t do dining room. So you have, to me your business is way more challenging because there is no other way to do this like you said.

Karl: [00:24:18] Right.

Rico: [00:24:19] Have to step right through it. And you have to find that and meet those challenges head on and do it well.

Dr. Shyn: [00:24:25] We can’t do virtual either.

Rico: [00:24:28] No, you can’t. You can do a little tele-health, like you said, but you can’t reach through the screen, right?

Karl: [00:24:34] But, you know, even if it involves all the adjustment, the fact that people are more sensitive with symptoms, coughing and fevers and these types of symptoms. Self screening at home, I suspect most people, if they knew they had a fever in 2019, they might still show up for their dental appointment. And today, you know, that would be something that people would even before you have to screen them self select and say, I’m not feeling well. Let me reschedule my appointment. So I don’t impact your employees and others. And that behavior shift could help us keep healthier in general. You would argue that would’ve probably been the right thing to do. I remember people being, road warriors and proud of showing up to work every day, whether they were sick or not. That was 1980. That was a pride thing for people to do that. And now over the years, it started dying away. No, if you’re sick, it’s okay if you stay home. Jump on your computer and protect the rest of the office. And so maybe some of that becomes a legacy of this, where people are just taking more responsibility of protecting others because this COVID-19 dealing with a very immediate instant where that was necessary. But, I think hopefully that helps as we go into the future.

Rico: [00:26:02] Have you gone through anymore, you know, the industry has conferences and such. Conventions and seminars and stuff. Have you, obviously now it would be virtual. Have you seen any or taken any that has helped at all?

Dr. Shyn: [00:26:20] As far as?

Rico: [00:26:22] Any, any industry wide.

Dr. Shyn: [00:26:28] Oh yeah, sure. I mean, yeah, I mean, we, I had a lot of free time for a while. So, you know, we took a lot of, I think a lot of CE, virtual courses on dentistry itself, managing, you know, COVID. But you know, we, I mean, we’re still, we’re constantly getting bombarded with information from the CDC, world health organization, American dental association, Georgia dental association. So, you know, we’re keeping up with those guidelines on a regular basis.

Karl: [00:26:59] That’s excellent. So I’m curious, one of the things during the time when you were closed down, I wondered if you got to play much golf during that time or that an activity that you can do and stay social distance.

Dr. Shyn: [00:27:15] I thought that was going to happen. There’s no chance with a newborn.

Karl: [00:27:22] Oh, you have a newborn?

Dr. Shyn: [00:27:24] Yeah. I think, thank you. I think golf is gonna be on standby for awhile.

Karl: [00:27:30] No I understand. Well, I wanted to at least, thank you so much for joining us today. And, if folks wanted to reach out and talk to you some more and, what’s the best way for someone to reach you?

Dr. Shyn: [00:27:45] Best way would be by phone. My number is 770-448-1977. And our website is LinkDentalCare.com and you can find it on there as well.

Karl: [00:27:59] Excellent. Well, we’ll put those in the show notes. I’m curious you know, going into the fall season and I know you’re probably super busy catching up. Do you have anything going on? What do you have going on over the next several months?

Dr. Shyn: [00:28:13] Well, we’re gonna, you know, my focus is to keep doing what we’ve been doing. What’s worked for us, not just this year but for the past several years. And I want to highlight that we are focusing on not just new patients, but also making sure that all of our existing patients are taken care of. And I also want to make sure my staff is taken care of as well so I will continue to invest in the patient experience. I will continue to invest in my staff and continue to be involved and give back to the local community as I have been.

Karl: [00:29:04] Well, I just want to thank you small business owner, helping to protect the community and serve the people here in Peachtree Corners and Gwinnett County. And the many others like yourself that are doing that is what really continues to drive our economy as well as really help us navigate through this. So thank you so much for all that you’re doing and we want make sure that you’re successful. So thanks for joining us today. Our pleasure, our pleasure

Rico: [00:29:36] Hang in there as we sign off too.

Karl: [00:29:39] I’d like to thank Dr. Shyn, the owner of Link Dental Care here at Peachtree Corners for sharing your experience, going through 2020 and everything else that we’ve done, that we’ve been doing over this past year in the community and just being one of those business leaders that are, that is out there doing their part. So thank you for that. I’m Karl Barham with Transworld Business Advisors of Atlanta Peachtree. What we do every day is work with business owners to help them with either evaluations on their business, helping them grow through acquisition in purchasing other businesses, or when they’re ready helping them with finding a buyer and selling their business. Transworld Businesses Advisors you could reach us at www.TWorld.com/AtlantaPeachtree, office here at Atlanta Tech Park. If you want to stop by and say hi, we do see people by appointments still. But we try to keep everyone safe. Rico, why don’t you tell us a little bit about what you’ve got going on?

Rico: [00:30:38] Sure. So I’m Rico Figliolini, I published Peachtree Corners magazine. We do that six times a year. We’re working on the next issue now, which should be fun. It’s a pets and their people pull out center spread. So, if you’ve got pictures of you and your pets, you know, we’re doing a giveaway starting out next week, you know, feel free to participate and we’ll be pulling pictures from that, for that center fold pullout spread. We’re doing an article about backyard retreats, you know, everyone’s sort of stuck at home to a degree still. You may not be traveling. So maybe that backyard fire pit and stuff like that could be of interest. So we’re exploring some other people’s backyards to see how they’ve done theirs. And we’re going to be doing something we’re going to be calling curating together, things that people are thankful for this year. Cause even with COVID-19 Karl, I mean, we were all thankful, certainly for our families. Friends, things that we do in life. So just want to be able to see what individuals are thankful for maybe beyond their family and friends and what they see as positives and thankful for. So we’re going to be covering some of that. Mighty Rockets is my company. You can find me at MightyRockets.com. You can look me up on LinkedIn at Rico Figliolini. If you can spell that out, I think you will get quite there almost. I do, I handle companies and corporations that need social media content work, product videos, podcast productions, and such. So feel free to reach out to me. And one last thing I just want to say thank you again to our lead sponsor Hargray Fiber that helps make these family of podcasts happen.

Karl: [00:32:16] And what about the last Peachtree Corners magazine? It’s out there people can check it out.

Rico: [00:32:22] My goodness, yes. I think I’ve had calls for this publication, you know, we’ve mailed more copies than ever before. So we’ve mailed 19,700 copies on this last issue. And because of COVID, we’ve had to contract the amount of places that we can place this. So I have people calling me up, where can I find copies? I mean, literally, I just like, can’t put out enough copies. I don’t have any more copies to put out and people are still calling me cause they can’t find the copies that we’ve put out. They’re gone already. So I’m happy. It was a great issue. Karl you’re a good subject matter as well, you’re in there. So we’ve covered diversity in this issue, along with health and wellness in Amber field community. And so a lot of good stuff in here, so.

Karl: [00:33:12] Excellent. And you can also find online at…

Rico: [00:33:14] Yes, LivingInPeachtreeCorners.com. If you go there, not only will you find the family of podcasts in the tabs at the top, but you’ll be able to read the digital edition as well.

Karl: [00:33:26] Fabulous. Well, Rico continue doing what you’re doing. It’s great to see, all these stories and meeting our, learning a little bit more about our community and the people that live here, that work here, people that play here. And in the upcoming months we’re going to see a bridge be finished in Peachtree Corners. So folks get to go explore more parts of Peachtree corners. So thank you everyone. Stay tuned for the next episode of the Capitalist Sage. Take care.

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CMX CinéBistro Reopens. Popcorn time!



As if the holidays aren’t enough to look forward to, CMX CinéBistro at Peachtree Corners Town Center reopens on November 24! With precautionary measures in place and new policies implemented, CMX CinéBistro is excited to welcome you back from a safe distance.

The nostalgic experience of movie date nights, box office releases, the smell of movie theatre popcorn and the announcement to “sit back and enjoy the show” are all waiting for you. The lineup of movies you don’t want to miss include Let Him Go, Tenet, Freaky, War with Grandpa, Honest Thief, and Elf. CMX is offering new releases and holiday classics to make your return one to remember.

While you enjoy your movie, you can kick back with a classic meal or cocktail from CinéBistro’s new limited menu. As previews are shown, start with an appetizer such as the popcorn chicken or truffle tots. Once the movie begins, move on to your main course of a 14oz NY Strip featured meal or the house-made veggie burger paired with a mojito or beer on draft. As the movie comes to an end, end your night with bottomless traditional popcorn or fan-favorite movie candy.

Enjoy the magic of cinema with special savings! Come on Tuesdays to experience Tempting Tuesdays and save with $5 movie tickets and chef-crafted combos for $18. As a token of appreciation for all medical heroes, free movie tickets on Sundays are offered to all front-line workers. Can’t make it on Tuesdays or Sundays? Special prices for all weekdays are offered.

New age policies are in place such as guests 17 and under must be accompanied by a parent or guardian for R-rated films with ID required and children 12 and under must be accompanied by a parent or guardian at all times when visiting the theater. CMX CinéBistro is also offering private screenings to make your experience back feel as safe as possible. Bookings for a private screening for you and your loved ones to celebrate the latest occasion are available as part of CMX CinéBistro’s efforts to make you feel comfortable upon your return. You can begin booking now!

Join us for an experience we know you’ve missed this holiday season! To receive more information and details about the precautionary measures in place, click here.

Source– Press Release by Peachtree Corners Town Center

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City of Peachtree Corners Receives Silver Award for its Business Newsletter



The city of Peachtree Corners won a silver category award for its Peachtree Corners Business Newsletter project in the Magazine and Newsletter category of the International Economic Development Council’s 2020 Excellence in Economic Development Awards Program. The honor was presented recently at an awards ceremony during the IEDC Annual Conference.

IEDC’s Excellence in Economic Development Awards recognize the world’s best economic development programs and partnerships, marketing materials, and the year’s most influential leaders. Thirty-five award categories honor organizations and individuals for their efforts in creating positive change in urban, suburban, and rural communities. Awards are judged by a diverse panel of economic and community developers from around the world, following a nomination process held earlier this year. IEDC received over 500 submissions from four countries.

The city of Peachtree Corners started a monthly business newsletter in April 2020 during the
COVID-19 crisis to establish 2-way communication with the business community. The publication is in its fifth month and has already increased communication between the business community and the city. It is sent via email to approximately 4,000 business people in the city. People have taken the opportunity to ask questions about a variety of topics from alcohol licenses to special events at the Town Center.

“These challenging times require extraordinary effort to support the business community,
especially small businesses,” said Mayor Mike Mason. “The Peachtree Corners’ Business Newsletter was developed to address the current crisis and the city’s critical concern for the local business community. Kudos to Economic Development Manager Jennifer Howard for creating a very timely and highly informative resource that, we believe, has contributed to the sustainability of the local economy.

The newsletter highlights job growth, company expansions, and new businesses coming to town. In his column, the mayor speaks directly to the businesses, providing data, and some reassurance that the local governments are working to assist them.

“The winners of IEDC’s Excellence in Economic Development awards represent the very best of
economic development and exemplify the ingenuity, integrity, and leadership that our profession strives for each and every day,” said 2020 IEDC Board Chair and One Columbus CEO Kenny McDonald. “We’re honored to recognize the more than 100 communities whose marketing campaigns, projects and partnerships have measurably improved regional quality of life.”

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Choosing, planning and Growing a Business, with Barry Adams, owner of Peachtree Awnings



The Capitalist Sage podcast

What to consider when starting a business. How to choose the business for you. How to consider when planning your first three years of business. In this episode of the Capitalist Sage Podcast, Karl Barham and Rico Figliolini talk with Barry Adams, founder, and owner of Peachtree Awnings and Tennessee Awnings about his experience in the business world. Barry shares some insightful tips and tricks to help any small or large business owner through their journey through entrepreneurship.

Related Links:

Peachtree Awnings
Tennessee Awnings
Phone Number: (770) 409-8372

Where to find the topic in the show – Timestamp:

[00:00:30] – Intro
[00:01:58] – About Barry and Peachtree Awnings
[00:07:36] – Learning from Experience
[00:10:20] – Making Business Decisions
[00:12:26] – Impact of a Formal Education
[00:14:59] – Business Impact of COVID
[00:17:31] – How to Make Your Business Thrive
[00:23:08] – Making a Business Plan
[00:25:31] – Learning New Things
[00:30:19] – Looking to the Future
[00:32:44] – Innovations
[00:34:17] – Growing Through People
[00:36:55] – Helping the Community
[00:41:23] – Closing

Podcast Transcript:

Karl: [00:00:30] Welcome to the Capitalist Sage Podcast. We’re here to bring you advice and
tips from seasoned pros and experts to help you improve your business. I’m Karl Barham with
Transworld Business Advisors and my co-host is Rico Figliolini with Mighty Rockets Digital
Marketing and the publisher of the Peachtree Corners magazine. Hey Rico, how’re you doing
Rico: [00:00:49] Hey Karl. Pretty good, beautiful day. Thank God the power’s on versus last
week. Before we get into the show, let me introduce our lead sponsor Hargray Fiber. They’re a
great Southeast company that works in fiber optics and IT management working to make you a
business sound and be able to communicate with the rest of the world. Whether it’s, you’re at
home teleworking employees or in office, cause COVID is still going on, right? So many different
people are working it differently. And here in Peachtree Corners, they’re very involved. They’re
involved with Curiosity Lab that Peachtree Corners. They’re involved with the city. They’re really
in tune with the community and that’s how they are with every community they’re in. So unlike
the cable guy, these guys are here right in the community that they’re working in. If you need
them, they’re there for you. So any business, whether you’re small or enterprise size, they can
work the systems for you, provide the office tools that you can work with as well. So visit them at
HargrayFiber.com and find out a little bit more about our lead sponsor. We’re thankful for them.
So cool.
Karl: [00:01:58] Sounds good. Well, thank you Rico for introducing our sponsor. Today’s guest is
Barry Adams, CEO, and founder of Peachtree Awnings. Local, small business that’s located
here in Gwinnett County and one of the business leaders in the community that we’re glad to
have as a guest with us today. Hey Barry, how are you doing?
Barry: [00:02:20] Great Karl. It’s good to be here.
Karl: [00:02:23] Good. Why don’t you introduce yourself a little bit? Tell a little bit about yourself
and what you do.
Barry: [00:02:29] Yeah. I’m Barry Adams the owner of Peachtree Awnings and Canopies I own
the local shop and also Tennessee Awnings up in Nashville service and middle Tennessee up
in the Nashville area. So we are a manufacturer of custom commercial and residential awnings
of all shapes and sizes. We serve the local Atlanta area, but we go outside of Atlanta too. So
we’ve got a pretty good reach. And we’ve been in business for 15 years. I started the company
in 2005. And then acquired an existing awning company in Nashville in 2012. So I’ve had that
shop up there in Nashville for eight years now, and 15 years here in Atlanta. So it’s been a labor
of love. I can tell you that any small business owner, I think, would say the same thing is that,
you know, you do it and you do it because you really are passionate about your product or your
service and whatever you do. You gotta dig in everyday in kind of the same way.
Karl: [00:03:40] So I’m curious, did you grow up in a small business family? What was, what did
you do before?
Barry: [00:03:46] Well, that’s great question, Karl. Actually, my grandfather had the
entrepreneurial spirit because I think he had four or five businesses by the time he was in his
mid forties. A couple of restaurants to his name, ended up having a landfill. And this is all in the
Southern California area. And so he definitely had the entrepreneurial spirit. You know, my
mother’s side, my grandfather on my mother’s side owned a grocery store in the Southern part
of Illinois. And so he was a, both a farmer and a grocer. And so I think I come by it naturally, the
Apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. So it definitely was in my genes, I think, to be a small
business owner.
Karl: [00:04:33] So when you were deciding to start off, what were you considering and how did
you come to that decision? What were some of the factors that you considered?
Barry: [00:04:40] Yeah, I was, it was 2005 and I was in my MBA program, executive MBA
program at Kennesaw state and I knew I wanted to start a business and wasn’t sure exactly
what I wanted to do. I was working with a business consultant that was pointing me in different
directions. I ended up buying, actually buying a franchise business. I got close with several
businesses. I looked at sign businesses. I really tried to give myself a lot of green space, a lot of
greenfields to look at a lot of different businesses. I looked at non-invasive skin procedures. I
looked at a lot of different things and got very close with sign businesses, but I wanted
something a little bit more differentiated. And so they said, how about awnings? And I had never
thought about awnings, never had really even looked at awnings. But I’m an engineer by
education. And so the more I looked at it, I said, I think I can, I think I could do this because you
design the product that you end up building and installing. And so it fit my skillset particularly
well. And so there in January of 2005, we kind of set sail having never built an awning or never
installed an awning. I bought into a franchise business and they educated me about how to build
awnings and how to install awnings. We climbed that learning curve very, very, very fast. So it
was really a challenging time, that first three years of being in business. Of course, the
recession started at like two double ’09. So shortly after that it was, you know, it was a little bit of
tough sledding.
Rico: [00:06:27] Well, I’ve got to give a little testimonial shout out to Barry because I must have
been one of the first of the half dozen of regional clients that Barry had. And it was beautiful. I
think it was a summer. It was definitely a summer day. And you put in the awning that I still have
15 years later. Still working, retractable working, and I’m not a maintenance type of guy. So the
cables might be a little rusted and stuff and the fabric might be a little bit dull, but it’s working
fine 15 years later.
Barry: [00:07:04] I can’t tell you how much we appreciate that too Rico, because at that stage in
our career, we, you know, in our business development, I didn’t have any orders and I didn’t
have any customers. So you were, you know, every time I came back to the shop and I had an
order, you know, it was time for celebration really. Because we didn’t, we did not have any
customers at that time. And every time we added one to our, you know, to our stable of
customers, we were really excited. So great times. Thanks for that.
Karl: [00:07:36] So I’m curious about that first year. Is there anything that you’ve learned that if
you wish you knew someone told you about in that first two to three years, about business,
about being a small business owner that you’d pass on to someone else starting on?
Barry: [00:07:54] Well, yeah, a couple of things come to mind Karl, one of the things is, I think
you can plan to be big, but think small starting out. Think small. I bought used office furniture. I
bought used trucks. People want to go, a lot of times they want to, you know, want to buy, have
the biggest, best or newest anyway, the newest and best of everything. And I would say think
small, plan to be bigger, but think to start out think small. Because you can always scale it up
from there. Based on your success or your, you know, your volume. The other thing is of
course, be a planner and I can’t emphasize that enough on the small business side. Be a
planner and always be thinking about that next step that you want to take. It doesn’t have to be
five years out there, but it definitely has to be 12 to 18 months out there. And then think about
that next step. Think about it like you’re, you know, crossing a river, a very, very turbulent river
and you have to step across those rocks very carefully as you cross from one bank to the other
bank. Now, once you start to cross the river, you can’t go back to the other bank, right? You
know, that’s not an option. So, you know, I often say it’s not about making all the right decisions.
It’s about making the decisions that you make right. Once you make a decision. Don’t worry
about whether you, well, have I made rights, make it, try to make it right. You know, and you’re
not going to make every decision 100% right. But I can tell you that if you’re making eight,
seven, eight, nine decisions out of 10 or 80 out of a hundred or 90 out of a hundred correctly,
you’re going to be in rarified air, right? You’re going to be among those small business owners
that are really, really super successful. So it’s not about making all the right decisions and don’t
agonize over. Wow, you know, once you have the information that you have and frequently it’s
incomplete, right. And we don’t have the benefit of having the whole, all the puzzle pieces in
front of us. But once you’ve got enough information to make that, make the decision and then go
about making it right.
Karl: [00:10:20] It’s actually, I can talk about decision-making even at the beginning. What would
you advise people that are struggling with making decisions. To get it right or wrong. But you
know, a lot of folks can’t even make the decision to buy that business, start that business grow,
invest, make that hiring choice. How do you get through that?
Barry: [00:10:42] Yeah, it’s that, you’re right. That is probably the toughest decision because
you’re now, you may be leaving something that’s safe and secure. You may be leaving an
income that’s a known quantity. Which I was leaving something that was very insulated and
insular and embarking on something that’s very uncertain and very unknown. And that’s a very
scary thing. You know, I think it’s important to make sure, obviously that you’re wall capitalized,
you know, that you are not embarking on something that you can’t sustain through the most
difficult period of your business tenure or your business career. And you got to make it through
that first year years. And I can tell you factually that I did take a plug nickel out of my business
the first three years that I was in business. Now that’s a very, very difficult you’re like, well, how
did you do that? Well, make sure you’re well-capitalized and that you can sustain yourself. You
can get real skinny, you know, for a period of time, but you’ve got, you still have to put food on
your table. You still have to pay your mortgage. And so you have to from a personal standpoint,
make sure that you can sustain yourself through those first three years. And plan, really, almost
to the effect that you’re not maybe not going to take an income for that first three years. What
does that look like? Can you sustain yourself through that first three years without taking any
money out of your businesses? There’s a likelihood that you’re going to have to, anything that
you make, you’re going to have to plow back into the business, particularly in that first three year
period of time.
Karl: [00:12:26] That makes a lot of sense. And that’s good advice for folks. You mentioned that
you got an MBA, what effect and impact do you think that that had? A lot of small business
owners don’t get that formal business education. Do you think that’s impacted how you
approach your business?
Barry: [00:12:45] Well, first of all, you know getting my executive MBA at Kennesaw was
definitely a catalyst to me starting my business. I think the Genesis of me starting my business
began as I embarked on that program. And so it was definitely a catalyst for me. I think you
know, I pull some parts or pieces of my MBA program every day, sometimes unknowingly. You
know, but I draw on that experience. You know, I think that the best life experiences, combine
that kind of formal education that you got in the classroom and you can go back as far as you
want, with the practical knowledge that you gained when you’re in the field or when you’re
practicing. And that goes for everything from, the first job that you may have ever had in a fast
food restaurant or cutting lawns. And so you learned something when you were in the
classroom, but that’s formal education without practical experience is almost useless, right? It’s
very antiseptic. It’s very institutional. And so you’ve got to combine the formalized, the education
and instruction that you get with practical knowledge. If you only have practical knowledge, then
it had no frame, right? It had no real design to it and it had no organization. It didn’t step you
through things sequentially. So I always like to think that my best, you know, my best
experience comes from the formalized education that I got and then the practical things that I’m
learning out in the field or through the school of hard knocks.
Karl: [00:14:33] I agree. I notice that a lot of folks, and I meet different types of business owners,
the ones that have formal education. What I notice is they’ve got, they avoid some basic mistake
things that helps kind of guide them. But also they also feel more confident and have a handle
on unknowns being thrown at them. So take 2020.
Barry: [00:14:57] Right. You know, you’re right.
Karl: [00:14:59] You’re running the business, things are going good. And then, how soon did you
know something was happening related to coronavirus and so on. And when did you start
thinking about the possible impact on your business?
Barry: [00:15:13] Well, I think everybody, you know, kind of woke up in mid March and said, my
gosh, what’s, you know, what’s happening? What’s happening here? And it was very uncertain.
We wanted to protect our associate base. We want to protect our families. And then early on, I
guess I would say, you know, in the first couple of weeks in April, about 30 days after we’d
gotten into the Corona or pandemic environment that we. You know, I pulled the audience, I
pulled my associates and I found that they really wanted to work. I mean, of course they really
wanted to work because they knew that their livelihood and income was at risk if we were to
stop, you know, stop work for any reason. We were fortunate that we had projects, orders to fill.
And so we had work that needed to be done. And so I can’t say it was business as usual, but
the word that I kind of continue to use with my team and with the people that I talk to is balance,
you know. I try not to be fearful of the current environment in that we still have a job to do, and
we try to press forward. But neither can we be cavalier about the threats and the things that are
happening out in the marketplace. And so we have to have our head up all the time. Just like
you’re on a ball field, you have to have your head up and on a swivel sometimes to make sure
you’re not going to get hit broadside from somewhere. But nor can you be redisant or you can’t
be fearful or tentative. And so we’ve tried to strike that balance. We’ve tried to protect our
associate base when we go out to projects, certainly for sure residential projects. You know, we
mask up and we go, when we’re in people’s homes or around people’s homes, we make sure
that we’re taking the proper precautions. It’s not business as usual. But we’re pressed forward
and it’s not easy. But I think that it’s suited my associate population that people really, really
want to work. And we’ve been able to make a lot of progress this year and that’s not been easy,
Karl: [00:17:31] We noticed a lot of, this year, at the beginning we talked a lot about a bridge
plan. And it was just simply when this hit a lot of businesses. What do you do to get through this
and empower through and excel? And in the bridge plan, it talked about, you know, making sure
you knew what your break even was and reducing expenses. How do we figure out ways to
pivot and increase income with your business as well as how do you communicate and stay
contact with your customers? But the last two, G and E, was around get working. Like just get
out there and start, you know, when other people are wondering what to do the strong, they’re
gonna figure out a way to do that. And hopefully it leads you to excelling. When you understood
what was happening, what were some of the things you decided to do in your business to try to
not just survive this, but actually to thrive?
Barry: [00:18:23] Well, you know, we did talk, we moved, actually moved our shop in this
environment. We moved up to Lawrenceville. We moved our shop from Norcross to the
Lawrenceville. And so we, there was an opportunity there. The SBA has been helpful. Gave us
a little bit of tailwind. I always say it’s all about the hustle. You know, it’s all about the hustle. You
know, and, I like to think when other people are at home with their feet up on the coffee table,
I’m making that last sales call of the day. And my team is making that last sales call today or
Friday when some people are knocking off at three o’clock, you know, I’m going from whistle to
whistle, you know, and I’m going to go all the way to five o’clock in the evening. And, it’s all
about work and hard work and sweat equity. And the gritty and gutty people in this world
survive. And that’s, I’m a grinder and I just don’t know any other way around that. And so, and in
this environment, I think you can just need to, you need to retrench and look for opportunities.
I’ve tried to be an opportunist and that’s a hallmark, I think of my business career is just trying to
be an opportunist. And so when other people, other businesses may be retreating, you know,
that’s a great time to forge ahead because they may be either pulling back from a marketing
standpoint or a sales standpoint. And so going forward, really charging forward or finding that
pathway is really, really important.
Karl: [00:20:04] It’s interesting. As you said that, I was suggesting to some business associates,
they had strong businesses going in, that it was a time to double down and reinvest and there
were some simple things. It might be training people. If you were shut down for a month, what
training did you never have time to do before that you could implement? Marketing. What a
better time to go talk to more customers, communicate, launch campaigns cause those
customers are out there. But when everybody was quiet, looking at charts every day, you know,
what messages were they thinking about as far as, you know, ways to have shade in backyards
and different things like that. And who’s communicating to them through that. What are some
other things you see people that have really thrived through this and are really poised for
breaking out in the future?
Barry: [00:21:00] Yeah. And you brought up some great, great things, Karl. You know, training
and education and reinvesting equipment. Of course, if I go back in my business career now,
this is not, I say this is not the first difficult economic time that I’ve encountered in the lifespan of
my business. Because as I said earlier, 2009, 10 and 11, we were in the throws of a real, you
know, real recession. And so, again, while other people were pulling back on marketing dollars,
I never cut my marketing budget, not one dime. You know, when other people were looking to
reduce head count, we never reduced. We never reduced head count. Take those people and
see where they’re going to be best utilized in your business. Be a planner, I’d make a plan.
Every single, business year I do not go into the ensuing year without a business plan. And so
this time of year it is the heart of my business planning period. And so November, December,
when I put my plan together for 2021. So I will not go into the ensuing year without a business
plan. And once I make that plan, while I do make some adjustments, some small minor
adjustments and tweak it, the plan is the plan is the plan. And I don’t very much for my plan
when I embark on a direction and I will tweak it, but I won’t make wholesale changes. I will not
slash dollars. You know, if I had set those aside, there has to be a real catastrophic event for
me to change my direction, based on my plan. And so I try to stick to the plan that I’ve created
and we’ll make some adjustments, but the plan is the plan is the plan. And I think to the extent
that you’re able to really stick to that, and that’s a discipline, by the way. It’s really, you gotta
have the discipline to stick to your plan. Especially when things get a little bit Rocky.
Rico: [00:23:08] Can I ask you Barry, what, you know, just to get into the weeds a little bit, just
the meat of it, if you will. So this way, because people hear plans and they’re not sure what does
that mean? You know, what’s involved? What’s actually in the plan, let’s say for example. So
could you give an idea of what that, you know, two or three points, what that means as what’s in
a plan for you? Is it a sales goal? Is it a dollar amount? Is it adding a truck? What’s in a plan for
Karl: [00:23:34] If somebody were to look at your plan, how would you describe that?
Barry: [00:23:39] No question. I mean, I think it starts with you know, it really does start with your
marketing and sales planning conjunction. You’re either going to, you’re going to look for
geographic extensions. You’re going to look for product extensions. So that’s going to drive your
marketing. So I’m going to advertise, or I’m going to push this product forward with my sales
team or with my marketing dollars. And then, so out of that marketing plan that comes from your
strategic goals that I want to grow in this geographic area, I want to grow in this product group, I
wanna, you know, I want to reach these customers, this and then you create a, you know, out of
that kind of marketing plan comes your sales plan, you know? And so now you’ve got, you’ve
kind of fleshed that out with your team. You know, these people are going to produce this
amount, you know, in terms of selling or sales dollars. And then rolling down from that,
obviously your expense model. And for us I say there’s not a lot of moving parts and pieces. It’s
gotten bigger. At first there was not a lot of moving parts and pieces. There’s more than there
was, but your expense model flows out of that. And so then, you know, this is not a difficult
equation, right? You have sales and you have expenses and that produces profits. You know, I
think Bill Gates said that originally, you know, it’s like, let’s not overthink this. The sales
expenses, the bottom line is profits. And that’s what we’re, you know, that’s what we’re trying to
drive. And so, but it kind of starts out of your marketing ideas and where you want to go
strategically. And then you can decide, you know, what kind of revenue, what kind of volume
you’re going to create from there and what kind of expenses you’re going to take on.
Karl: [00:25:31] I’m curious in your industry, typically I sort of look at where to market. How do
you learn what’s going on in your industry, your market, how do you know what’s going to be
things that you need to react to or things where there’s opportunities? How do you as you and
your team learn things?
Barry: [00:25:51] Well, I think you gotta be in touch with your sales team. First of all, it was to
start out with, it was just me. And so I had to be head up all the time active in my community,
active in the business community, active in my trade association, looking for changes. You
know, I really do think about it as a business owners, like a ship and I’m in the wheel house and
you know, I’m in the wheelhouse and I’m guiding the ship or the captain has gotta be
responsible to be looking out there and seeing what kind of weather conditions are changing,
you know? What’s changing and the tack of the ship and that kind of thing. And so as a
business owner, I have to have my head up and I have to be aware of industry changes, market
conditions and market changes and opportunities for us to, you know, to make hay while the
sun shines. And so, as an example, like home improvement in this COVID environment has
fared very, very well. People were home for months at a time, and they were not spending
money on vacations and going out to eat. Theater and concerts and ball games. And so they
looked for opportunities to improve their homes. And so as a result, that part of our business
has as flourished in this environment. So, as the captain, you have to be head up, looking
around, you know, active in your community. So many people, I think so many business owners,
they get stuck with their head on the desk, you know. Head up off the desk and eyes forward
and see what’s going on and being very much in contact with what is going on around me.
Karl: [00:27:45] There must have been a point in your business when you were doing
everything. And for you to start being able to work on the business and do that and keep your
head up. There was a inflection point where that sort of happened. Can you tell us what that
was like and how does someone else know when that’s happening and how to navigate that?
Barry: [00:28:05] Yeah, that’s great. That’s great Karl cause it takes me back to like 2007, eight
and nine. And I was literally on the ladder. I was on the ladder installing. You know, I think that
first year of 2005, I know I did 110, 109 or 110 jobs. And I installed all hundred nine or a
hundred and ten in that year. And I was on those first three or four years, I was on the ladder
installing the stuff that I sold, you know. I think Rico, I think I installed your awning as well. But,
you know, at some point I think it was long about probably 2008 and nine. I said, I can’t run my
business from the top of the ladder. And so, there’s that continuum, right? It starts out, operator
there’s operator on one side and there’s owner on the other side. And there’s this continuum
from operator, owner operator to owner. So many small business owners get stuck at that
operator phase. They never even, they can never even push the needle toward owner operator,
right. They just get stuck in that operator phase. And around 2008, nine was like, I can’t run my
business from the top of the ladder. And so I started to add head count. I added a sales guy, I
added an installer. And so instead of three of us, there was now five of us. And those are, you
know, those are steps that you make and you’ve got your plan. You’re planning for it though in
your business plan, you’re still like, do you know what. I think by the end of this year, I’m going
to get to five, you know, by the end of 2009. And it was at five people, you know, and I realized,
you know, with a drill in my hand, you know, and screws and hanging an awning over my head,
I was like, I can’t. It worked for the first three years that I was in business, but then about eight,
nine, 10, I was like, I need more help. And then you make those steps, but I can tell you that
that was that adding those heads was a part of my plan for that year.
Karl: [00:30:19] But that’s an important insight that it did definitely be highlight the first part that,
that strikes the rings so true. Those first three years. Let’s make no illusion right? It’s work.
You’re an operator. You’re doing all those. If you are operating a small business, that comes
with the territory of it. But then you have to have a plan to move away. It doesn’t happen
magically. Like people didn’t just drop into your lap and they changed. The best, make a plan to
scale that and start shifting through that. I’m curious, what does the future look like now that
you’ve gone this far along? How far do you look out and how do you start to figure out, you
know, what do you want to do? And what do you want it to be in five years, 10 years?
Barry: [00:31:05] Right, yeah. Right. Well, even in this environment, we moved into a brand new
30,000 square foot facility in Lawrenceville, Georgia. A lot of our product now has shifted from
fabric linings, which is what people think about when they think about awnings and canopies.
Though a lot of our work now is actually metal. We do a lot of metal architectural canopies. We
serve the general contractor trade now. A lot more of our work is B to B and not business, B to
C business to consumer, but B to B. And so, you know, we’ve migrated a good bit in the 15
years we’ve been in business, but we’re a brand new 30,000 square foot facility. We’re going to
add powder coating. I won’t get into the weeds with that industrial process, but it’s a painting
process. We have a lot of our product, metal product is powder-coated. We’re going to start a
powder coating operation, here in Atlanta anyway, into 2021. So that’s going to be a big part of
our 2021 plan is a separate business unit, Peachtree Powder Coating. It’s complimentary, it
dovetails in with Peachtree Awnings and Canopies as well as the operation that we have up in
Tennessee Awnings. So, we’re going to have a real robust plan and I’m not going to, I’m not
planning to retreat in 2021. We’re going to keep forging ahead. This will be a product extension
as opposed to the geographic, you know, organic growth that we, you know, we’ve talked about.
Karl: [00:32:44] I’m curious about technology and how is technology impacting your business
and how do you, you know, how do you incorporate some new technologies? When people
think of awnings, has there been a lot of innovation that we’re not aware of that’s happening and
is there more to come?
Barry: [00:33:01] Not a lot of, you know, our product is a very, very old tried and true product. I
mean, you know, awnings and coverage, it goes back to the time when somebody, you know,
made an umbrella or threw a bare cloth over their head to protect themselves from the
elements. And so our product has been around for a very, very long time. As I said a lot of the
changes and a lot of changes in the products and the materials that we’re using in our products.
A lot of the product, fabric is still is used, still widely used and you’ll still see that product out in
the marketplace. But a lot of it is now architectural metals. There’s been a lot of changes though
on the shop floor, things that help us become more efficient. Job costing pieces of software
there’s been a lot of software, you know, we do a lot of rendering now to help people visualize
that awning or canopy on their home or business. So we’re utilizing rendering software on the
sales side, we’re using the software on the shop floor to help us be more efficient and that’s
going to help us, I think, in the next year to a couple of years.
Karl: [00:34:17] Well, one more question. When you see most businesses grow, there’s an
element that they can’t be ignored when it comes to people. And what’s constraints growth very
often as people. How do you manage through that dynamic and grow your business with
Barry: [00:34:36] Yeah. That’s, you know, recruiting and selecting, I think is really at the heart
lifeblood of just about every business. Not just small business, but every business. And so, I’ve
tried to always make a part of my plan the people plan, the recruiting and selecting being a large
part of that. We were fortunate when we moved up to Lawrenceville now. There you go, we’re
five minutes away from Gwinnett tech. You know, Gwinnett tech is a great source of fabricators,
welders, people with technical skills and expertise. And so what did I do? First thing, you know,
within three weeks of landing up there. I was on the phone with the people in their fabrication,
welding department. And we had the first, I say student graduate, start this week. You know,
and I have another one lined up that’s gonna start in three weeks, so right before Thanksgiving.
So, recruiting and selecting, extremely important, not just at small business, but every business.
And that’s proved to be very difficult in this environment.
Karl: [00:35:47] So specifically, how do you find the right people in your organization?
Barry: [00:35:54] I always will say that the best people in our company will continue to come
from other people in our company, they’re already our company. So quite frequently, I think the
best people in our company come from referrals from associates that are already working for us.
That’s a tough sell. People are doing their jobs and they, you know, but if you could help them
for information. This young man who came to us from Gwinnett tech came from one of the guys
who works for us, who is a student at Gwinnett tech. He helped recruit this guy, helped us
create that little pipeline now. And so that’s going to be very helpful for us. I mean, you know, we
use some of the traditional methods too, like Indeed.com just to give them a plug. We use
Indeed.com and we get a lot, you know, we have a funnel. But we, I still think that the best
people in our company come from other people already in our company.
Karl: [00:36:55] So one last thing I wanted to ask you about just in the context, I know you get
involved in the community a lot. And what role as a business leader, are there things that you’re
passionate about or things that you get involved with? Just to help the community in general.
Barry: [00:37:13] Yeah, I can’t stress enough the importance of being a good corporate citizen
and pay it forward. And I think that we have responsibility as business owners to give freely to
others what’s freely given to us as a baseline. And so, I always try to approach my, I say my
philanthropic efforts, my, you know, my nonprofit efforts, with that as a backdrop. And it’s
important that you pick two or three things that your people can get behind. It doesn’t matter
whether it’s, you know, toys for tots or the Atlanta community food bank or the local chamber,
which will funnel you into a number of non-profit areas. But pick two or three and make a
difference, you know. You might say, well, I’m a small business what difference can I make. But
you can. You can make a difference and you can make a difference at a level that’s really
grassroots. Whether it’s a church or a school, one of the things that’s near and dear to my heart
is a school called the special needs school of Gwinnett. My youngest daughter, Megan has got
special needs. And so up in Lawrenceville is the special needs school of Gwinnett. And they just
built a brand new school, we’re providing coverage of their playground equipment, because a lot
of the kids that go to school there, they take medicine that’s sun sensitive and that may be, you
know, an issue for them. And so we are providing cover for their playground equipment and
that’s something that we’re doing.
Karl: [00:38:59] Well, you know, I want to say, thank you. You being part of community. And
when I see you, you’re always willing to give time and you’ll mentor in other businesses. Your
involvement in the Southwest Gwinnett chamber over the years has been, if there was one
thing, if you look at like, Southwest Gwinnett, some of the business that you think, as a
collective, businesses can do better to help the community. Is there anything collectively that
comes to mind that they could be a bigger role in the community?
Barry: [00:39:29] You know, get involved. Yeah, it doesn’t matter. I know that the large Gwinnett
chamber can be a little bit intimidating. It’s a big, that’s a big organization, you know, and I’m a
member of the Gwinnett chamber of commerce, but I’m also a member of the Southwest
Gwinnett chamber as you pointed out. And you know, get involved. It’s, I have a saying, you
know, it’s never too late to become what you might’ve been. You know, and we’re not dogs and
these are tricks, you know, that’s what I like to say that at work, you know. So we have a
responsibility to our communities. Give, get involved. Don’t sit on the sideline and say I’m too
busy to give back to my community or to be involved or to be active. And so I started that at a
very early part in my business career to see and be seen. And that’s not easy when you’re, you
know, we’re already working 12 hour days. But I carve out that hour and a half for the first, you
know, the Southwest Gwinnett chambers first Friday, which is this week, you know. And so I’m
gonna always make time for those community activities and those organizations, which actually
help you become more visible in the community that you serve. Before you can be a big deal
outside of your community, you’ve gotta be a big deal inside your community. Or you have to
get a little feel inside of your community. And if you’re active and looking for those opportunities
to get involved, you know, look for your local chamber. Look for your, you know, look for church.
You know, here in Norcross, Norcross cooperative ministry, you know, there’s lots and lots of
places. Lots of places to get involved, and that’s gonna help your networking overall as well, so.
Karl: [00:41:23] Well, I want to thank you for that. I’m curious, so coming into the holiday
season, the end of the year, do you have much going on either professionally or personally, how
do you plan on closing out this year?
Barry: [00:41:35] Well, we, you know, the fourth quarter is typically our slowest quarter of the
year, but we’re still blessed to have a lot of project business, and a lot of orders to fill. We’re
winding down. I think, you know, the city of Atlanta looks for any reason to take a holiday or take
a break. And so the, you know, that block of time, you know, right around Thanksgiving is a nice
period of respite for everybody. Certainly the end of the year, you know, we think of December
as having one holiday, but in fact it almost has two holidays because you take Christmas and
than immediately is New Year’s a week after that. So that the city slows down a lot between
Christmas and New Year’s and we’ll probably close down that week between Christmas and
New Year’s. I like to give our associates that time off paid and give them a chance to rekindle,
you know, restrike and refresh, and spend time with their families.
Karl: [00:42:35] Amen, after 2020 folks could be ready for that. How do folks reach out to you if
they wanted to contact with more of you know, what you do, and what’s the best way to get in
touch with you?
Absolutely. Karl it’s, you know www.PeachtreeAwnings.com or www.TennesseeAwnings.com.
Barry: [00:43:01] Both companies have independent websites. You can find us on Facebook at
facebook.com/peachtreeawnings or /TennesseeAwnings. You’ll find that we have a social media
presence there and you can see lots of pictures of our current projects. You know, we’re
obviously, you can find us, call us up at our new location. It’s 770-409-8372.
Karl: [00:43:27] Well, I want to thank you so much for, you know, just carving out time to just
share with The Capitalist Sage. Barry Adams, founder and owner of Peachtree Awnings, and
Tennessee Awnings. And you’ll always see him at our local Southwest Gwinnett chamber
event. You know, stop by say hi, see him there. And I just want to thank you so much for
sharing some of the insight on your journey to entrepreneurship.
Barry: [00:43:54] Thanks, Karl. Thanks, Rico it’s good to be able to spend some time with you.
Karl: [00:44:00] We want to thank everybody on with the Capitalist Sage podcast today, we’re
continuing to bring you local business owners, local leaders, people in the community that
impact the business community and be a place. I’m Karl Barham with Transworld Business
Advisors of Atlanta Peachtree. Our business is available to consult with business owners,
whether you’re looking to improve and grow your business through acquisition, through
franchising, or you’re working on planning your exit strategy, finding someone that could take
the reins of the business into the future. Feel free to schedule a council with us. I can be
reached at KBarham@TWorld.com or www.TWorld.com/AtlantaPeachtree. Rico, what have you
got coming up?
Rico: [00:44:49] Sure. Peachtree Corners magazine, we’re working on the next issue and the
cover story is actually going to be faces of Peachtree Corners. So we’re working through a list of
people and students and educators that’ll be on that cover story. And like every other issue,
there’s going to be a bunch of things. So we’re covering a variety of things that you can look
forward to. You can find out more about Peachtree Corners and what we’re doing at
LivingInPeachtreeCorners.com. Follow us on social media. We’re really big on Instagram and
Facebook. Just look for the Peachtree Corners Magazine or Peachtree Corners Life and
Capitalist Sage, where you can find the podcast on Instagram as well as our website. So, you
know, go out and look for that. We also have Mighty Rockets, so we do a lot of digital marketing,
I’m the creative director for several different companies. I have lots of things I do. So if you’re
looking for video marketing, photography, content online, podcast production, I was engineering
today’s podcast. Feel free to reach out to me, go to MightyRockets.com. So it’s easy enough.
Karl: [00:46:00] Alright. Well, thank you everybody for tuning in for the Capitalist Sage podcast,
stay tuned for more episodes. Have a great day.

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