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Compete for Work, But Do It Respectfully

Football players practicing in the sunset.One of the major issues that I have noticed in the decorative concrete industry is that most contractors in our business do not seem to have any respect for each other. There are a few exceptions, but for the most part this statement is true across the board.

Identify Goals and Tactics to Marketing on a Budget

yellow and black target with bullseyeIt’s time to plan and put together the marketing plan and budget. While you may be trained in the latest technologies, processes and equipment, chances are you don’t have any formal education in the latest marketing trends and techniques.

Adjusting Your Business and Mindset to the New Normal

Adjusting to the new normal of businessAdjusting the way you do business from this day forward is as important as accepting the fact that the "new normal" is very real. It has nothing to do with giving up. I have been lucky enough to be a decorative contractor for many years, and the new normal as I see it is as follows.

Turn a Connection into a Decorative Concrete Sale

Making good connections with people earn you higher numbers in sales.The decorative concrete industry is driven by fascination. Inspiring this fascination in customers is only possible when you connect first and foremost. Unfortunately, this is the number one aspect I see missing within our talented artisans today. Just like your ability to create with color and concrete, there is an art to connecting with architects, designers and owners.

Making and Keeping Great Hires in an Employee Drought

Finding and keeping good employees from Concrete Decor magazineIn desperation we post employment opportunities on social media sites, in local newspapers and on online job listing pages. We even purchase radio spots, hoping to pick up the one or two rock-star employees left looking for new employment. But the reality is, there truly is a labor shortage out there.

Building Relationships with Architects

Building relationships with architects in the construction industryAn underutilized opportunity for potentially creating more jobs and visibility for your company exists within the design community. Architects and landscape architects are key members of the project team for commercial and high-end residential installations.

5 Things Decorative Concrete Contractors Wish Architects Would Do

things decorative concrete contractors wish architects would doAll joking aside, the designer-contractor experience very often does prove to be positive and stimulating. But contractors can have hopes and dreams for a world where they are more in sync with designers.

Beat the Heat with Evaporation Retarders

Doug Carlton using evaporation retarder on a concrete slabWinning the battle with Mother Nature becomes a little challenging when the weather heats up. This is also the same time our services are in highest demand. There are ways to combat the heat and the challenges it creates, but few are profitable.

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.

Taking Your Polishing Business on the Road

When to add traveling to your business model for concrete polishingI went through this transition as a polishing contractor, so I thought that I would give you a few helpful tips and things to think about before you embark on this journey.

Processes that Ensure Quality Work Are Needed Now More Than Ever

Four stars on a concrete background.The lack of communication between owners and designers at the top of the building process and the workers at the production end, as well as the training needed for a seamless transition from client's conception to finished project can create a dysfunction in the industry that is in desperate need of fixing.

Settling on a Design For Your Job Ahead of Time

Coming up with a design idea.You don’t need me to tell you how tough today’s market is for contractors, and few will disagree that the ball is in our customers’ court. Razor-thin margins allow no room for error in one of the many things we used to pay little attention to.

Tips for Polishing Preexisting Concrete Floors Profitably

Tips for polishing concrete and how to be profitable.If I were a contractor I would take “preexisting” projects over new projects every day of the week and twice on Sunday.

Taking Great Project Photos with Your Smartphone

Taking Great Project Photos with Your Phone CameraIphoneography — or “i4neography” — is a term that has been around for a few years, and as you may have guessed, it pertains to photography via iPhones.

Concrete Professionals Should Mind Their Manners While on Mobile Phones

Iphone in rose gold sitting on a concrete countertop.While on mobile phones, concrete contractors should conduct themselves professionally to make a good impression wherever they may be.

A New Technology Turns Iron Ore Waste Into Cement

Dry Slag Granulation (DSG)An Australian company is harvesting blast furnace waste and converting it into a new product to make cement in China, where 60% of the world’s iron waste is found.

Field Recon App Makes Quick Work of Jobsite Data

Workforce Recon job site app screen shotIs your business losing money by employees not documenting the work they are doing? Here is an app that can help.

Generating New Business Relies on Making the Phone Ring

Making the phone ring is essential to business growth.It all starts with a call. It doesnt matter how talented or artistic or expensive or cheap you are, all new business starts with a call. New work is the lifeblood business growth.

Expectation Management Should Be Part of Conversation with Customers

Have you ever been in the process of completing or had just completed what to you was an amazing architectural concrete project only to be told by your client:Have you ever been in the process of completing or had just completed what to you was an amazing architectural concrete project only to be told by your client:
“It’s not what I was expecting.”
“Meh! It looks kind of ‘blah.’ I thought the color would ‘pop’ more.”
“I don’t like it.”

How to Go Green in 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.

Which Type of Decorative Concrete is Right for You?

Which type of decorative concrete fits you best.You have, are or will make decisions on your decorative journey, and they will affect you and your family. Our industry, decorative concrete, has so many layers and many types of overlap. This magazine makes it obvious your choices are vast, but make no mistake, each decorative type requires different kinds of training, investment and manpower.

Concrete Decor announces changes in magazine sales force
Decorative Concrete Dangers, Part 1: Surviving the Slowdown

Caution - "Decorative Dangers": The housing market slowdown, and how to survive it.  Keeping your decorative concrete business profitable during periods of economic slowdown."Decorative Dangers": The housing market slowdown, and how to survive it.  Keeping your decorative concrete business profitable during periods of economic slowdown.

Trends and Problems in a Weak Decorative Concrete Economy

The number of questions dealing with low cost and easy ways to turn a gray slab into something decorative has increased significantly over the last few months.Today's trend has less to do with any certain product and more to do with a weak economy and saving money. Just like people are finding ways to make their cars go another year to save money, so too are they are looking for ways to make their existing concrete work another year.

The Art of a Successful Concrete Business Rebranding Campaign

removing stencil backing from a decalsLike people, businesses often need a reset of sorts to re-energize and better position themselves for the future. For concrete contractors and suppliers, rebranding their company name or product logo can provide this fresh start.

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