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How to Get the Job Without Being the Low Bid

Calming swimming pool, surrounded by a brushed finished concrete deck, white pool balls, and a wood platform at the end. How to talk with a client about a concrete work estimateWe’ve all had the phone call with a client where he lets you down gently, saying thanks, but some other contractor came in with a lower number. Sometimes it’s best to just write off those lost jobs, but how do you get the jobs you really want without having to be the lowest price? 

Strengthen your decorative concrete business friendships with architects and designers

drawing of building with architecture

Centuries-old Trade Association Welcomes Decorative Concrete

decorative concrete apprenticeship

Successful Email Marketing for Concrete Businesses

email marketing concrete businesses

Black Magic Concrete and Metal Sculpture Called Stealth

red truck with construction

New Products at World of Concrete 2016

new concrete products from World of Concrete 2016

The numbers were up for World of Concrete 2016, although not in the temperature department, as nearly 1,550 exhibitors displayed their wares Feb. 2-5 in the expansive Las Vegas Convention Center. Occupying more than 740,000 square feet in three halls and spilling out into the surrounding parking lots.

LEED Points and Decorative Concrete

Whether you realize it or not, the decorative concrete industry is firmly involved in the green building movement. Manufacturers are developing more water-based stains, sealers and color systems. Installers are offering low-VOC options to clients.Whether you realize it or not, the decorative concrete industry is firmly involved in the green building movement. Manufacturers are developing more water-based stains, sealers and color systems. Installers are offering low-VOC options to clients.

Go Green with Decorative Concrete

Workers apply Prosoco's Consolideck surface hardener.

Decorative concrete often appeals to designers and building owners who want to minimize their impact on the environment, because polished, stamped or textured surfaces eliminate the need for coverings that perpetually need replacement.

Concrete Contractors across the country share insights on what helps them succeed

Contractors across the country share insights on what helps them succeedWhile surveying my peers, I discovered that contractors approach projects differently and require a great variety of tools to get the job done. Perhaps this is why our industry is so innovative and unique.

Nine Tips for Not Getting Lost in Translation

image of the earth

How You Can Grow Your Concrete Business Beyond Your Local Area

Muted yellow stained concrete overlay in a long hallway with a black swirl design prominently down the center.Veteran contractor Rick Smith shares his expertise on how you can grow your business beyond your local area.

Concrete Artisan Reflects on Series Focused On Design Elements

concrete countertop top with textured back wallThis represents the last column in my design-focused series, “The Elements of Style for Contractors.” Before I bid you all good-bye, I’ll summarize the main points. Concrete Decor posts complete archives of past issues, so you can check out the topics of the previous 10 articles. The series kicked off in January 2015 when I described the five composition ‘tools’ concrete artisans should have in their tool kits — Line, Shape, Value, Color and Texture.

Making Safety a Priority on the Job Site

For years I’ve enjoyed learning from the pages of Concrete Decor. The pictures of amazing design and craftsmanship, detailed techniques, new products and sound advice on how to improve business have all helped me stay connected to the decorative concrete industry. So, it was with great anticipation that I packed up my 2001 Ford Escape, promised my kids I’d bring them back something cool (concrete Star Wars figures courtesy of Blueconcrete) and headed to the 2015 Concrete Decor Show in Indianapolis to take part in some very hands-on workshops.

What Considerations To Make When Purchasing A Vacuum

large vacuum with dust collecting featureThe philosophy behind purchasing industrial vacuums for controlling airborne dust is changing in the concrete industry, especially with new federal rules now in place concerning worker exposure to these particles (see sidebar). The industry’s top manufacturers of dust-collecting vacuum systems are more than capable of helping folks meet regulations, advising what equipment is best for a job, and providing top-notch warranties, customer service and training.

How To Make Maintenance Work For You To Increase Profitability

guy on ride on polishing machineConsumers, often blown away with the low prices of desktop inkjet printers, forget to consider the additional cost of ink cartridges which put many of them on a first name basis with the folks at the office supply store. If you’re selling decorative concrete as no-maintenance, you could be missing out on tapping into the same sort of profit center those cartridges represent, either through selling products or providing maintenance services — or both.

Trade Shows: What's in Them for You?

man at tradeshow with attendeeThe decorative concrete industry is a niche market with a lot of players competing for work. An internet search for “decorative concrete contractor” will bring up nearly 3 million entries, and “concrete artisan” generates nearly 1 million. In local phone books, however, there are typically no such entries. Instead, potential customers must look up “concrete contractors” or “concrete products” and hope to find an ad or two detailing services among the dozens of company names.

Keep Basic Design Layout Simple

drawing a basic design in a large roomLately, I feel the industry has created a very busy design world. Many times I think people do too much design and they need to simplify things. Many interior designers want simple stain-and-seal floors because they want to focus on the furniture, lights and wall decor.

How The Polished Concrete Market is Shifting

grey polished concrete in warehouseOver the last few years, I’ve noticed a shift in the polished concrete market. As the industry has grown, there has always been three sizes of contractors.

Reasons for Safety are Manyfold

As we approach the 2016 Concrete Decor show, the reality is hitting me that I will no longer be a casual observer to the amazing creations at the workshops or learning in the classroom but instead will be playing an active role as a resource for anyone who has questions regarding construction safety.

Is College Really Necessary?

Time and again, today’s youth have been told that going to college is extremely important to their futures. It’s been drilled into their heads that without a degree, they can only hope to attain low-level employment with low pay.

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