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Why the Formula Approach for Polished Concrete Hurts Our Industry

A picture of a graphing calculatorThe weak economy does not have to make our industry buckle under price pressures. We've forgotten that polished concrete is already the best bargain in the flooring industry, and what's more, we've allowed the formulaic installation to become entrenched in specifications.

Giving Your Concrete Business the Flexibility It Needs to Thrive

Contractor using a power trowel to finish a concrete slab.In the free enterprise system, competition selects out businesses that don’t adapt to change or events they can’t plan on. To thrive within this system, your decorative concrete business must maintain a high degree of flexibility.

Carlton's Corner: Provide Free Extras Instead of Dropping Your Prices

Apples, give free extras instead of dropping prices.As more competition fights for fewer pieces of the pie, it will become increasingly tempting to lower your prices in order to stay competitive. I understand this completely, because I operate a decorative concrete company in one of the most competitive and hard-hit housing economies in our nation.

Concrete Contractor Finds Ways to Balance Family Life and Work

Child walking in a park over impressions in the concrete made from stains.A concrete contractor discusses how to balance between being a contractor and family life.

Halifax Startup Recycles Carbon Dioxide for Greener Concrete Products

Carbon CureCarbonCure Technologies, a Halifax-based startup that has developed the technology to recycle carbon dioxide gas back into solid concrete.

Customer Service Continues Long After the Concrete Dries

three river rocks dressed upProblems two years later? The timeline for customer service has no limits.
In this age of customer service, you should never turn your back on a client with a problem.

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.

Concrete Contractors' Show-Stopping Showrooms

Decorative Concrete Professionals Need ShowroomsIn today’s digital age, many contractors are increasingly using the Internet, social media and iPads to highlight their portfolios and suggest options to potential clients.

Hot New Markets in Decorative Concrete

New markets in decorative concrete are open and ready for business.The best training and the best products mean nothing if we can't find projects to prove our talent, right? I'm not going to sugarcoat our plight - I have been peddling decorative concrete for nearly 20 years and have never seen as many challenges as the ones we face today. Having said that, my goal is to have the best year possible, and I'm going to let you in on a secret as to how this will be done.

Accurate Project Records Today Get You Work Tomorrow

A person holding a pile of papers. Some things in life a person can bluff their way through but, unfortunately, decorative concrete is not one. When a previous customer called asking to add more decorative stamping, I learned the hard way. She loved the work previously installed, and now wanted to add a pool deck to match, right down to the colors and pattern. No problem, right? Wrong.

Marketing and Selling Concrete Countertops

Concrete countertops are countertops. They just happen to be made out of concrete.Concrete countertops are countertops. They just happen to be made out of concrete.

This should affect your marketing and selling techniques. If you understand how countertops are most commonly and most effectively marketed and sold, you will be much more successful at marketing and selling concrete countertops.

Full-Time Marketing with Part-Time Resources

Colorado Hardscapes mean lean construction crew.When people compliment Colorado Hardscapes Inc.’s marketing department, I tend to smile just a bit. People often mistakenly think our decorative concrete company operates like a large corporation, with multiple staff just waiting for their next task.

Concrete Industry Offers Lucrative Career Path for Women

Concrete industry offers lucrative career path for womenWomen CEOs of concrete companies are smashing glass ceilings and bucking trends that have emerged for women in other nontraditional occupations. While women CEOs only comprise 2 percent in the basic and infrastructure sectors according to World Economic Forum and Bureau of Labor Statistics data.

The Importance of Managing Expectations in Polished Concrete

An ipad and a piece of paper tracking business progress.Possibly one of the most-discussed topics in the concrete polishing industry today is managing the customer’s expectations. Many an instance has occurred in which the floor has been ground, honed and polished within a hair’s thickness of perfection in the contractor’s eyes, only for him to be informed at collection time that it isn’t what the customer had in mind.

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!

Training and Education is Good for One and All

Decorative Concrete Trainer talking with an attendee at a trade show at Brickform last summer.Decorative concrete done well, and properly maintained, is long-term free advertising. It’s like having a huge billboard on the side of the road showcasing your work.

L. M. Scofield Co.'s 2014 Decorative Concrete Awards

turtle stained into concrete

Public Works Projects: Start Your Bidding

Hands bidding at an auctionTo bid or not to bid? That is the question. And it’s one more and more contractors have been asking themselves lately, especially as public works departments are increasingly incorporating decorative concrete into municipal plans. But where does one begin?

Six Fresh Ways Decorative Concrete Contractors Can Sell Themselves

man with an ipadNo matter what industry you’re in, whether it’s massage therapy, concrete staining or stamped concrete, you have to consider yourself as being in sales.

Stepping up from Decorative Concrete to General Contracting

Concrete Form installation using reusable forms, a level and a plastic mallet.Are you content with installing decorative concrete countertops, overlays and stamped concrete, or do you have what it takes to rise to the occasion?

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.

Strengthen Your Friendships with Architects and Designers

drawing of building with architecture

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.

UV Cured Coatings for Concrete are Back in the Mix

 UV Cure Coatings for ConcreteConcrete artisans and contractors are always searching for the ideal coating, but end-users and equipment manufacturers are behind the latest push for one specific coating formulation — UV-cure.

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.

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