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Insights on What Helps Concrete Contractors 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.

A Canadian Perspective of Concrete Countertops

Canadian flag with a concrete treatmentIf you’re a concrete contractor in Canada and are considering expanding your business to include countertops, you may appreciate the insights shared by Judy Mead of Concrete Countertops Canada.

Successful Email Marketing for Concrete Businesses

email marketing concrete businessesIn the world of email marketing, the “e-blast” can be a highly successful vehicle for connecting with your customers. But all too often, decorative concrete contractors underuse this vital marketing strategy.

A Breakdown of the Polished Concrete Industry and Where It Is Going

Running a polishing machine on some dyed concrete.Polished concrete has a large learning curve. It is important to know what you are up against and how different techniques can result in different outcomes. This article is a great place to start when learning your craft.

The Science of Setting the Right Price for Your Services

A line graph showing cost vs productionThere’s a lot riding on your price. It’s a reflection of your brand value and the perceived quality of your work. Customers will even use heuristics to determine if your price per square foot is consistent with what they would expect to gain from hiring you.

World of Concrete 2014 Most Innovative Products Award winners announced
10 Business Tips to Help Your Concrete Business Be More Successful

We invited some business leaders and our Facebook friends to share with us their tips for running a successful business. What we considered to be the 10 best tips were printed in the July 2015 issue of Concrete Decor Magazine, which happened to be our 100th issue which we celebrated with 10 lists of 10 items to make up 100.We invited some business leaders and our Facebook friends to share with us their tips for running a successful business. What we considered to be the 10 best tips were printed in the July 2015 issue of Concrete Decor Magazine, which happened to be our 100th issue which we celebrated with 10 lists of 10 items to make up 100.

Niche Markets Help Keep the Recession in Check

Running a business has become more like a chess game, trying to maneuver yourself into the best position to keep the cash flow moving forward.Nothing, and I mean nothing, keeps a person up at night like worry over finding the next job or project. Running a business has become more like a chess game, trying to maneuver yourself into the best position to keep the cash flow moving forward.

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.

Treating and Preventing Concrete Burns

Todd Rose's wedding-day photo shows his acid-scabbed hand underneath that of his bride, Sarah.If you work with concrete you already know how abrasive, alkaline and caustic it is.

To put it simply, as portland cement dries, it will absorb water from any source in order to harden. That means it will suck the moisture from your skin as well.

How to Keep Your Business Up in a Down Market

A graph of arrows going up and down.Analysts have been dissecting the residential and commercial construction industry for months, and though some predict a rebound soon, no clear end to the rollercoaster ride is in sight. But as many in the decorative concrete sector have discovered, a change in the market doesn’t necessarily mean a dramatic decline in business.

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.

How to Find the Right Salesperson

Silhouette of two businessmen with brightly colored ties in orange and red.A few in the decorative concrete industry are good at the trade and great salespeople as well, but not many. If sales are not your thing, then now is the time to push ahead of the competition and find the right person.

Making International Travel and Shipping Plans for Concrete Projects

Preparing a shipment for loading onto a truck.While in the course of business these days, you will sometimes be asked to travel outside the United States to do decorative concrete work. The pitfalls are many, but the windfalls can be huge.

WOC 2018: Mall of Concrete is Shaping Up

WOC 2018: Mall of Concrete is Shaping UpVisitors to World of Concrete 2018 in Las Vegas Jan. 23-26 will have a chance to get better acquainted with a unique form of, well … concrete forms. The Omaha, Nebraska-based Fox Blocks, a division of Airlite Plastics Co., will provide the wall system for the Mall of Concrete at Decorative Concrete LIVE!

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.

Concrete Maintenance Programs Can Cement Client Relationships

Concrete is a very durable material and some contractors and a lot of their clients believe itConcrete is a very durable material and some contractors and a lot of their clients believe it’s a maintenance-free product. But the reality is that no product lasts forever, not even concrete, without occasional maintenance.

Developing Effective Polishing Specifications for a School

A schoolhouse on a gray background.Recently an architect who was writing the polished concrete specification for a school district contacted me when he recognized that he did not know enough. The good news is that he asked for help in crafting an informative and realistic specification that allows educated bids with room for profit.

A Decorative Concrete Startup Raises Money on Kickstarter

Cast concrete cameraThe Kickstarter capital-raising website is being used succesfully by forward-thinking musicians, filmmakers and artists and entrepreneurs of every stripe. Let's see if it can help a newbie decorative concrete artisan raise $6,500 by August 4 for a new casting studio.

Finding and Keeping Quality Employees

Tom Ralston trowels concrete to teach his crew how he wants them to do it on the job site.Unless you can handle every decorative concrete job yourself, a skilled, reliable crew is one of the keys to staying in business.

Concrete Decor talked to several business owners and got some great advice about effective ways to train and keep a crew.

Pros and Cons of Specializing in Decorative Concrete

Part time or full time, should a concrete contractor provide decorative concrete, staining concrete, stamping concrete all the time?I have to guess some, maybe even most, of Concrete Decor’s readers enjoy the benefits of the decorative business as only a part of their contracting services. You may very well be one of the many who are wondering if you should make the leap to specialize in decorative work full time or simply offer it as one of many services.

Website Considerations for the Decorative Concrete Professional

How to make a better websiteWebsites have changed the relationships between businesses and customers. Having an attractive, purposeful and convenient website can make or break a company. A website is particularly useful for a decorative concrete artisan, because it allows you to visually showcase your work, publish testimonials and be easily found by potential customers.

How to Survive and Thrive when Doing Decorative Concrete Overseas

In the United States, decorative concrete is advanced at a level that it is not at anywhere else. When you're overseas, be prepared to educate.In the United States, decorative concrete is advanced at a level that it is not at anywhere else. When you’re overseas, be prepared to educate.

Concrete Saws for the Job Site

Diamond Products now offers a new Core Cut CC150-EE early-entry walk-behind saw.An overview of the different concrete saws on the market and which might be the best fit for your job.

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.

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