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Knowing When and Why to Say No to Clients

three older men discussing a serious matter concerning concreteAt first, everything seemed perfect as my salesman and I finished setting up our booth for the annual home design and remodeling show in Visalia, Calif. Our exhibit location was ideal, our stamp and stain samples strategically located. The weekend crowd was near maximum capacity and everything seemed ripe for booking plenty of new accounts.

10 Milestones in the History of Concrete

As Southern California contractors,
Rod Sadleir and his brother, Gerry,
were among the first to resurface concrete
with a very thin polymer-cement overlay.Concrete is a remarkable material with origins stretching back to antiquity. Concrete and its primary ingredient, cement, have changed a lot over the years, but the following timeline helps bring the history of this important material into the present day.

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.

Getting the Most Out of Decorative Concrete Educational Opportunities

Group of people learning from Fu-Tung Cheng in a training course.The cold truth is that our industry has seen its share of truly talented decorative concrete individuals fail, and it’s not because they weren’t good at their craft. Today’s artisans must be more than talented — they must be capable of overlaying talent with an entrepreneurial spirit. That's where training and education comes in.

7 Basic Steps to Consider Before Starting any Concrete Project

The basic steps are as follows. Male lead in first bar: left foot forward step, right foot replace weight at same point, left foot back again to step beside from http://salsafundance.blogspot.com/2011/01/basic-step-in-salsa.htmlThis is where the seven steps to success before you start come into play. Problems with architectural concrete projects, real or perceived, can all be traced back to a breakdown of one or more of these seven steps.

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.

Are You Afraid to Seal Concrete?

Serene setting at a upscale hotel where luxurious lounge chair sit atop a stamped concrete pool deck.I firmly believe that the lifeblood of our industry is new and innovative products that continue to move the decorative market forward. A close second, the oxygen of our industry, is word-of-mouth advertising by satisfied clients who have had their expectations met.

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.

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.

A Tool to Help Visualize Decorative Concrete by Depiction Software

Deco-con wizard screen shot.Potential clients often struggle with visualizing what decorative concrete will look like at their home or business. The new Deco-Con Wizard from Depiction Software can help remove the mystery by quickly and easily showing them what selected decorative concrete patterns will look like on their property.

How the LEED Program Works and Getting Certified

Whether you realize it or not, the decorative concrete industry is firmly involved in the green building movement. Manufacturers are developing more water-based stains, sealers and color systems. Installers are offering low-VOC options to clients.Whether you realize it or not, the decorative concrete industry is firmly involved in the green building movement. Manufacturers are developing more water-based stains, sealers and color systems. Installers are offering low-VOC options to clients.

Q&A with Todd Scharich, ASCC's New Decorative Concrete Specialist

World questions and answers, paper, pencil and eraser. Todd Scharich was recently appointed decorative concrete specialist for the American Society of Concrete Contractors and its Decorative Concrete Council. The ASCC already had a concrete hotline, but with Scharich aboard since October 2012, it now has a dedicated Decorative Concrete Hotline available to members on a 24/7 basis.

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.

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.”

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Contractor Gives Tips On Different Ways To Manage Your Customer's Expectations

make a concrete sample board -As a former contractor, manufacturer and now basically an owner's representative on most projects, I'd like to share a relatively simple formula that will handle this issue for 90 percent of your projects.As a former contractor, manufacturer and now basically an owner’s representative on most projects, I’d like to share a relatively simple formula that will handle this issue for 90 percent of your projects.

Second Graders Love Decorative Concrete

Second Graders Love Decorative ConcreteThe way to homeowners' hearts is through their kids. So why not market decorative concrete to second graders?

How to Make Maintenance Work for You to Increase Profitability

guy on ride on polishing machineConsumers, often blown away with the low prices of desktop inkjet printers, forget to consider the additional cost of ink cartridges which put many of them on a first name basis with the folks at the office supply store.

Challenges of Working with Concrete in the Winter

A stained concrete floor in a high-traffic area can be affected by inclement weather, even indoors.If you live above the Mason-Dixon line, chances are your winter months are cold and snowy. It’s great weather for skiing, but not so much for those who work with concrete.

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.

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.

Product Warranties Can Be a Boost for Business

This key is pointing to an imperfection in the concrete that voids its warranty per the manufacturer.Peace of mind seems to be a rare commodity these days. So, if you could become involved in a program that helps offer that to you and your clients— and possibly helps grow your business, as well— wouldn’t you leap at the opportunity?

How to Use Samples, Mock-ups and Models to Your Best Advantage

Creating models of concrete jobs - Samples, mock-ups and models take the guesswork out of decorative concrete finishes and offer a sense of security for the owner, designer and contractor. They quickly get everyone on the same page before crews permanently place any concrete on the site.Samples, mock-ups and models take the guesswork out of decorative concrete finishes and offer a sense of security for the owner, designer and contractor. They quickly get everyone on the same page before crews permanently place any concrete on the site.

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.

Four Ways to Grow Your Decorative Concrete Business While Staying Solvent

concrete business financial aspectsConcrete contractors are inundated with small tips and tricks that hopefully one day will help them out in specific situations. Very rarely does anyone talk about business or industry growth as it relates to your specific company.

Here are four things that will help you and your polishing business today.

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