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How to Get the Job Without Being the Low Bid

swimming pool surrounded by beautiful concrete floorWe’ve all had the phone call with a client where he lets you down gently, saying thanks, but some other contractor came in with a lower number. Sometimes it’s best to just write off those lost jobs, but how do you get the jobs you really want without having to be the lowest price?

Surviving the Game of Business By Capitalizing on Every Opportunity

Football players playing the sport they love.Our industry, like football, has seen advancements. One visit to the World of Concrete conference will confirm this. But think about this for a second. Every job, whether in Texas or Dubai, has at least one thing in common. Finishing the job still comes down to a human and a shovel. As complex as our industry is, it still comes down to a tool that sits in every work truck across the globe.

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?

Strengthen Your Friendships with Architects and Designers

drawing of building with architecture Being a successful concrete professional requires more than skill with trowels, colors and coatings. You also need to network. Networking requires investments in both time and infrastructure, but you will almost definitely see an increase in your business if you are thoughtful about your approach.

How to Go Green in Decorative Concrete

Workers apply Prosoco's Consolideck surface hardener.Decorative concrete often appeals to designers and building owners who want to minimize their impact on the environment, because polished, stamped or textured surfaces eliminate the need for coverings that perpetually need replacement.

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.

New Faces: Fall 2013
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.

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.

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.

Harnessing the Advantages of Your Small Company

A set of binoculars rests on a ledge at sunset.A leader with a vision and a visionary leader are not the same. It is not enough to simply have a vision and convey the vision to a group of people. You must be emotionally intelligent to understand how to emotionally convey a vision.

Small companiess are better equipped to be successful in this way and its time to harness it.

Small Marketing Tactics Make a Big Difference In your Concrete Business

Photo courtesy of Tamryn Doolan Once you complete a job and you know the client is happy, follow up over the phone or through email to ask for a testimonial or quote for your website or a brochure. To make things even more convenient, send a stamped postcard they can easily mail back to you.

Decorative Contractors and LEED Standards: Why You Should Take Notice

Green building website screenshotGreen building has been making a lot of headlines lately — it seems as if you can’t turn on the TV, read a magazine or attend a conference without hearing about it. You have probably heard the buzz about LEED and wondered how this building rating system applies to you. Green building is the next step for the decorative contractor industry, and LEED will help you and your business take that step

Ten Tips For Setting Up a Concrete Countertop Fabrication Business

A workbench with tools lit up with an overhead lamp.Getting started in concrete fabrication can be overwhelming. Here are 10 solid pieces of advice that veterans from across the country have for artisans who are setting up shop.

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?

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.

Teaching Decorative Concrete in Universities

Concrete Industry Management (CIM) Programs are teaching decorative concrete in universities across the country.Concrete Industry Management (CIM) Programs are teaching decorative concrete in universities across the country.

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.

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.

Beat the Heat with Evaporation Retarders

Doug Carlton using evaporation retarder on a concrete slabWinning the battle with Mother Nature becomes a little challenging when the weather heats up. This is also the same time our services are in highest demand. There are ways to combat the heat and the challenges it creates, but few are profitable.

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.

For Bomanite Personal Relationships are Part of the Plan

Dan Sieben, Mike Bernath, Brad Bowman and John Wilcox pose at a social dinner in the late '80s.A good marketing strategy was only part of the overall picture. Just as crucial to Bomanite’s long-term franchising game plan was the networking — the sharing of expertise and innovations among the highly diverse and widely dispersed franchisees.

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?

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.

Processes that Ensure Quality Work Are Needed Now More Than Ever

Four stars on a concrete background.The lack of communication between owners and designers at the top of the building process and the workers at the production end, as well as the training needed for a seamless transition from client's conception to finished project can create a dysfunction in the industry that is in desperate need of fixing.

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