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Two Reasons Concrete Artisans Struggle in Business

How to say no.Our industry of decorative concrete is full of amazing and talented artists who have taken our trade to a level I truly never thought I would see in my lifetime. Every issue of this magazine is proof of it. But.

CCNY Team Researches Unique Glass Powder for Concrete Production

CCNY Team of ResearchersIn potentially transformative research for both the recycling and concrete industries, a City College of New York civil engineering team is developing a glass powder to replace cement in the production of concrete.

Disorganization Is Hurting Your Contracting Business

Paper clips scattered.When you put in years perfecting your decorative concrete craft , you start to consider yourself an expert in your field. Past customers appreciate your skill, courtesy and professionalism, and they refer friends and relatives to your services. But recently you have noticed something is changing, and this change makes you uneasy.

Controlling Customers' Reactions to Reactive Stains

happy customers after a good transactionExpectations of what a floor should look like will vary from client to client. A client’s views will be shaped by other stained floors seen in person or in photographs. Although all of these things can affect a client’s expectations, the greatest influence on their flooring decision should come from the concrete professional.

Successful Construction Training Requires Commitment and a Plan

smoothing out concrete with a trowelTraining in the construction industry seems more daunting than some other professions. With all of the moving parts of our industry, we not only need to train on skill and leadership, but also safety and technology.

7 Strategies for Managing Working Capital in a Concrete Business

A purple ball point pen next to a blank check.When business is slow and credit is tight, you must do all you can do to preserve working capital, also referred to as operating capital. It’s an important financial metric calculated as current assets minus current liabilities. It’s the difference between the money you’ve been paid and the cash you owe.

Marketing for Concrete Contractors

Concrete can't sell itself, contractors must depend upon a bit of marketing too. Image from http://historycooperative.org/ Many contractors believe that their workmanship will sell itself, but too often, they depend on referrals. Decorative concrete contractors are artisans, not necessarily salespeople.

Good Customer Service Goes Far Beyond the Initial Sale

A service sign on a black backround.If you are truly committed to service, not just the initial sale, then you're not through when you're done.

Experts Weigh In on What's Coming in the Decorative Concrete Industry

Concrete Industry Forecast red door on blank concrete wall indicating where is decorative concrete going.We asked everyone the same set of questions. It wasn’t easy to approach this, given our friends’ varied experiences and applications. Perhaps the first challenge to looking ahead this way is defining the industry in general.

Battelle Develops Self-Healing Smart Beads that Detect and Repair Corrosion

Battelle corrosion detecting microbeadsBattelle scientists have developed a tiny bead, the Battelle Smart Corrosion Detector bead, that not only detects corrosion but delivers a payload to help heal the microscopic cracks that rust creates.

Improve Your Sales and Customer Relations with a Decorative Concrete Design Center

Colorado Hardscape's Concrete Design Center Showroom - In 2001, Colorado Hardscapes made a move that forever changed its approach to sales and marketing. The company moved into a new concrete design center, the first of its kind in Colorado.In 2001, Colorado Hardscapes made a move that forever changed its approach to sales and marketing. The company moved into a new concrete design center, the first of its kind in Colorado.

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.

International Decorative Concrete Industry Evolves

For those of us who work in the U.S., Canada and Western Europe, we take for granted the quality of our everyday materials, let alone how easy they are to obtain. In developing countries, the amount of time and cost involved in getting everything needed for a job can be staggering. But staggering to who?For those of us who work in the U.S., Canada and Western Europe, we take for granted the quality of our everyday materials, let alone how easy they are to obtain. In developing countries, the amount of time and cost involved in getting everything needed for a job can be staggering. But staggering to who?

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.

Diversify with Direction When Expanding Your Business

A nice patio set on a stamped concrete patio that has been stained a tan color.There are a lot of questions that don’t always have easy answers. Fortunately, plenty of people have headed out in different directions within the concrete industry and found the journey has taken them to a pretty good place.

New Formula for High-Strength Shotcrete to Protect Tunnels from Fires and Terrorist Attacks

Fire-proof shotcrete Concrete Decor Magazine Phys.org reported that the science magazine Rubin published research conducted by engineers at Germany's Ruhr-Universit├Ąt Bochum who have developed a shotcrete that can render tunnels, bridges and other structures more resistant against fires and explosions. The new formula enhances concrete with 140 kilograms of steel fibers per cubic meter, a figure that was thought to be impossible for shotcrete. The science magazine Rubin reports that engineers at Germany's Ruhr-Universität Bochum have developed a shotcrete that can render tunnels, bridges and other structures more resistant against fires and explosions.

When Downtime Must Be Minimal, Polyaspartics are Paramount to the Job

When fire stations are upgraded, contractors must complete improvements while minimally disrupting operations and firefighters' access to equipment. Oftentimes, the return-to-service window of products used is paramount to completing this task, especially when coating and sealing concrete apparatus bays.When fire stations are upgraded, contractors must complete improvements while minimally disrupting operations and firefighters’ access to equipment. Oftentimes, the return-to-service window of products used is paramount to completing this task, especially when coating and sealing concrete apparatus bays.

Strong Relationships Within Concrete Industry are Key to Successful Ventures

Strong Relationships Within Concrete Industry are Key to Successful Ventures We live in a time where so much of our business, for better or worse, is conducted electronically. On the positive side of the ledger is the fact that information can be searched and retrieved at the speed of a simple mouse click.

Grow Engagement with Quote Images

 infographics, photographs and videosYou have likely heard by now that sharing visual content — infographics, photographs and videos — on social media garners attention, builds brand awareness and increases audience engagement better than text-only posts.

Three Ways to Drum Up New Concrete Work

Gain more jobs by marketing to the local crown.Eight times per year I look at this magazine from cover to cover, amazed at how our industry has been hijacked by true artists. This level of skill, along with a few creative marketing ideas, should keep fresh money coming into your bank account.

5 Ways to Effectively Utilize Your Decorative Concrete Awards

Concrete awards laid out on tableA stack of award submission requests are sitting on my desk staring me down and deadlines are popping up all over my calendar. Many associations and local, regional and national companies and groups in the decorative concrete realm host award programs to help recognize the best of the best.

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.”

5 Things Architects Wish Decorative Concrete Contractors Would Do

Architects and decorative concrete contractorsThere’s one key point on which architects and decorative concrete contractors agree: “The architect needs to have a contractor who knows what he’s doing,” says Marley Porter, AIA, who operates Living Architecture & Construction Management, located in Texas Hill Country at Cottonwood Shores.

A concrete solution to climate change?

A better understanding of how carbon dioxide is absorbed by concreteA better understanding of how carbon dioxide is absorbed by concrete.

The Benefits Of Entering The Construction Industry

Time and again, today's youth have been told that going to college is extremely important to their futures. 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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