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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.

Using Bacteria to Help "Heal" Concrete

self-healing concrete with bacteriaScientists in the UK develop a self-healing concrete that uses bacteria to plug cracks.

Cement Makers Test Cleaner Concrete for Carbon Capture

Clean cementCement production contributes an estimated 6 percent of global greenhouse-gas emissions, and some scientists are trying to chip away at that pollution problem. Two start-ups, one in Canada and another in Arizona, are among the newer entries in the effort to produce cleaner cement and concrete.

Successful Contractors Offer Good Customer Service

Man jumping on a graph with an upward arrow of improvement.Turning a profit in today’s construction industry is no accident. This is why it is essential — now more than ever — to practice the strong fundamentals that every successful business is built on. I witnessed a perfect example of such a business this fall and it made me rethink my effort as a decorative concrete professional.

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.

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.

Customers Who Need Special Handling

Two hands shaking We all need new business, but distinguishing between reasonable and unreasonable buyers is important. The difference between a deal breaker and an issue that is merely an obstacle can be a loss or profit of thousands of dollars.

Researcher Uses Microwave to 'Bake' Concrete

Concrete thermography is a way to "bake" concrete with MicrowavesAn electrical engineer at Missouri University of Science and Technology is using microwave energy to test concrete and rehabilitated aluminum, and in the future her work could lead to safer bridges and aircraft parts.

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.

Communicating Standards Through Industry Specifications

Writing on parchment with two pencils and an eraser.Too often we take the written word as gospel, but is that truly smart? Do we know what, or who, stands behind the words we read? After all, paper will not refuse ink. Our industry is growing, and as the industry grows, so do the misrepresentations and misunderstandings.

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.

Light-emitting Cement Could Light Roads Without Electricity

Light emitting cement Phys.org announced research that could lead to a way to light roads, highways or bicycle lanes without electricity.

Getting an Early Start on a Profitable Spring

Cherry blossoms on a sky blue backdrop.For some in the decorative concrete industry, this spring can’t come too early. The doldrums of winter take a toll not only on the pocketbook, but also on our creative juices as artists and promoters.

Relationship Marketing to Grow Your Business

relationship marketing venn diagramDecades ago our country moved from an industrial economy to a service-based economy. More recently, that service-based economy has further evolved into an experience-based economy. Customers are wanting — and businesses are providing — an added experience and feel to compliment customer service.

Don't Get Pushed Around by Clients - Get Paid
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A family pushing a car.We all wish that we could tell our customers, “Screw you! I did the work. Pay me!” I know that in my career I have gotten just about every excuse in the book as to why I wasn’t getting paid for my work. By its very nature, the decorative concrete industry that we love so much allows customers to play with our money.

Solid Tips for Improving Your Bid's Chances

If you've been in business for even a short while, you've invested your time and efforts in identifying bid opportunities. You diligently filled out all the necessary documents, put the insurance and bond requirements in place, met the time restrictions, obtained the correct license and so on.If you've been in business for even a short while, you've invested your time and efforts in identifying bid opportunities. You diligently filled out all the necessary documents, put the insurance and bond requirements in place, met the time restrictions, obtained the correct license and so on. Then you sit back waiting to hear if you were the one who was awarded the project.

The Top 7 Mistakes that Can Make or Break Your Concrete Countertop Business

concrete countertop at catch kitchen and barAvoiding certain pitfalls can mean the difference between a struggling hobby and a thriving business. When it comes to countertops, here are a few of the most common mistakes we at the Concrete Countertop Institute think are the biggest stumbling blocks for aspiring concrete countertop contractors.

Six Ways to Make Sure More People Find Your Website

Remember the days when you could simply name your company Remember the days when you could simply name your company “AAA Concrete” to ensure your business would appear first in the local directory? Those days are behind us. We now live in an era when “Google” is a verb.

How to Take Jobs Beyond Decorative Concrete

concrete contractors installing water featuresThe phrase “decorative concrete” means many things. Depending on your operation, it may mean specializing in one facet, such as concrete countertops, or it may mean everything from stamped concrete to polished concrete.

Case Studies Anchor a New Approach to Product Training

Almost all manufacturers of decorative concrete systems and equipment offer some sort of training on their products. Almost all manufacturers of decorative concrete systems and equipment offer some sort of training on their products. Whether it is a one-hour watch-and-learn or a three-day hands-on class that people pay to attend, these programs have become mainstream in our industry.

The Four Fundamentals of Any Business Strategy

Ideas and brainstorming on paper.Business strategy is the conscience you need for effective decision-making as you wade through the ambiguous waters of entrepreneurship. You face a lot of uncertainty as a decorative concrete business owner, and having a coherent business strategy is fundamental to minimizing that uncertainty.

PCA says U.S. cement consumption increased in 2013
Concrete Polishing Pitfalls to Avoid When Bidding

Lucas Oil Stadium, home of the Indianapolis Colts pro football team, as polished by American Concrete Concepts inc., of Springdale, Ark.Arenas and stadiums are a market that is gaining momentum in polished concrete. Between high schools, colleges and professional sports teams, there are a lot of these venues around the country. As they come up for remodel, polished concrete is a great option for the flooring on concourses and even under seats.

Scientific Principles of Concrete

Schematic illustration of the pores in calcium silicate through different stages of hydration.The importance of concrete in modern society cannot be overestimated. Look around you and you will find concrete structures everywhere such as buildings, roads, bridges, and dams. There is no escaping the impact concrete makes on your everyday life. So what is it?

Transitioning Your Concrete Business into Pool Construction

Pouring concrete pool decksThe success of your decorative concrete future hinges on one word: anticipation. The ability to anticipate where to find the potential buyers of services over the next year or two is one few professionals even consider.

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