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Developing Effective Polishing Specifications for a School

A schoolhouse on a gray background.Recently an architect who was writing the polished concrete specification for a school district contacted me when he recognized that he did not know enough. The good news is that he asked for help in crafting an informative and realistic specification that allows educated bids with room for profit.

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.

Sorting Out Responsibility When New Work Fails

Problems with stamped concrete can be a challenge for contractors.When a problem occurs with a recently installed decorative concrete job, who is responsible? I understand that this is a loaded question, and there are lots of factors to consider, but the question still stands.

10 Business Tips to Help Your Concrete Business Be More Successful

We invited some business leaders and our Facebook friends to share with us their tips for running a successful business. What we considered to be the 10 best tips were printed in the July 2015 issue of Concrete Decor Magazine, which happened to be our 100th issue which we celebrated with 10 lists of 10 items to make up 100.We invited some business leaders and our Facebook friends to share with us their tips for running a successful business. What we considered to be the 10 best tips were printed in the July 2015 issue of Concrete Decor Magazine, which happened to be our 100th issue which we celebrated with 10 lists of 10 items to make up 100.

Grow Your Concrete Business with Customer Service

A red pen that is about to fill out a check.Referrals from satisfied customers will propel you to the top.

New Faces: Fall 2013
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.

Profitable Concrete Stamping in Five Steps

The final stamped concrete job that has a red color on it.Profit is the byproduct of a high-quality decorative job. There is a big difference between learning to stamp concrete and learning to stamp profitable concrete. In this article we will discuss how to set your job up, as well as the installation process.

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.

How to Find the Right Salesperson

Silhouette of two businessmen with brightly colored ties in orange and red.A few in the decorative concrete industry are good at the trade and great salespeople as well, but not many. If sales are not your thing, then now is the time to push ahead of the competition and find the right person.

Concrete's Structure is Now Known

Microscopic Cement StructureThe website Phys.org revealed new research into whether the structure that forms when water, gravel, sand and cement powder are combined is a continuous solid, like metal or stone, or an aggregate of small particles.

You Owe It to Yourself to Make Time for Training

training course at the Solomon decorative concrete fairGrowth, increased profits, value and quality are a few words I hear thrown around in the decorative concrete industry these days. It seems, and rightly so, many want to grow their business and increase their value and sustainability in the marketplace by providing quality work.

Materials Scientists Make Martian Concrete

Martian ConcreteA research team has created a form of concrete that, remarkably, can be made without water and using materials that are widely available on Mars.

Nine Tips for Not Getting Lost in Translation

image of the earthToday’s global economy means companies are doing business all over the world, which often requires marketing materials or websites to be available in multiple languages and producing content in several languages may help attract clients who don’t speak English as their primary language.

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.

Making and Keeping Great Hires in an Employee Drought

Finding and keeping good employees from Concrete Decor magazineIn desperation we post employment opportunities on social media sites, in local newspapers and on online job listing pages. We even purchase radio spots, hoping to pick up the one or two rock-star employees left looking for new employment. But the reality is, there truly is a labor shortage out there.

Protecting Your Business in Today's Market

A padlock with a key on top of a pile of chains.Unless you are willing to go door to door and give each potential customer a hug of reassurance, you must be willing to adapt and weather the craziness. The bottom line in what we do in decorative concrete requires folks to spend and invest in their properties.

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.

Why Mock-ups of Polished Concrete Overlays Matter

Shiny, white, polished concrete floor reflect the lights from abovePolishable overlays are a popular alternative to polished concrete where the existing concrete slab isn’t a good candidate to be polished. Infilling trenches, patching, spalling and removing existing modular floor coverings often result in a concrete surface that doesn’t meet with customer approval.

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.

Concrete Saws for the Job Site

Diamond Products now offers a new Core Cut CC150-EE early-entry walk-behind saw.An overview of the different concrete saws on the market and which might be the best fit for your job.

Large Designs are a Top Trend in Decorative Concrete

A large stained concrete driveway in front of a large hotel.The first time I delivered “Trends in Decorative Concrete” was at the Concrete Decor Show in Fort Worth, Texas, in February 2014. It was initially created to present a quick snapshot of what was trending in our industry, targeting primarily the design community. At the time, I never anticipated the presentation would grow into the program it is today.

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.

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.

Keep Concrete Simple!

Concrete contractor giving a concrete countertop a final inspection.We have staining over stamping, stamping over overlay, stamped walls, stained walls. It's crazy — who keeps raising the bar? The answer is THE MARKET. This explosion of decorative concrete is market-driven. Folks want it, and it's more than just a fad. It must be a little overwhelming to contractors just entering this exciting business.

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