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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.

World of Concrete 2014 Most Innovative Products Award winners announced
How the Polished Concrete Market is Shifting

grey polished concrete in warehouseOver the last few years, I’ve noticed a shift in the polished concrete market. As the industry has grown, there has always been three sizes of contractors.

Taking Your Polishing Business on the Road

When to add traveling to your business model for concrete polishingI went through this transition as a polishing contractor, so I thought that I would give you a few helpful tips and things to think about before you embark on this journey.

How Do Successful Concrete Contractors Choose the Right Manufacturers?

Concrete Warehouse FloorChoosing the right manufacturer is a dilemma every contractor in our industry faces every day. I’ve heard many analogies used to describe the decorative concrete industry over the years, but two comparisons have always resonated the most: “Polished Concrete is part Art and part Construction,” and “The polishing industry is still the Wild West.”

Marketing and Selling Decorative Concrete

Two people shaking handsIt’s not your imagination — the construction market is currently much more competitive. When opportunities exist, beating the odds to win the job and the increase of price pressures require more marketing tools and salesmanship than at any time in the last decade

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.”

A concrete solution to climate change?

A better understanding of how carbon dioxide is absorbed by concreteA better understanding of how carbon dioxide is absorbed by concrete.

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.

Teaching Maintenance to Your Customers is Key

A contractor seals the concrete with a roller.From presale to reseal, educating customers in how to maintain their decorative concrete is a lengthy process.

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.

A Canadian Perspective of Concrete Countertops

Canadian flag with a concrete treatmentIf you’re a concrete contractor in Canada and are considering expanding your business to include countertops, you may appreciate the insights shared by Judy Mead of Concrete Countertops Canada.

How to Win a Decorative Concrete Contest: Take Great Photos

Contests that showcase handsome decorative concrete projects are helpful twofold -- they promote quality craftspeople and they provide bona fide examples for companies that make or distribute the products. Either way, they're good for business.Contests that showcase handsome decorative concrete projects are helpful twofold — they promote quality craftspeople and they provide bona fide examples for companies that make or distribute the products. Either way, they’re good for business.

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.

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.

Data Loggers Available to Track Relative Humidity and Temperature

Both data loggers use Bluetooth technology and an app that works with Apple or Android smart devices.In an effort to help contractors resolve moisture-related problems in concrete, Wagner Meters and Tramex are introducing new monitoring devices to track and document relative humidity and temperatures at a job site.

Researchers File Patent for Fire-resistant Concrete

fire resistant concreteScientists at the Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology (EMPA) have added polypropylene (PP) fiber to a concrete mix. The technique allows water vapor to escape, preventing pressure from building inside the concrete, making it more fire-proof.

A Breakdown of the Polished Concrete Industry and Where It Is Going

Running a polishing machine on some dyed concrete.Polished concrete has a large learning curve. It is important to know what you are up against and how different techniques can result in different outcomes. This article is a great place to start when learning your craft.

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.

When and How to Expand Your Concrete Contracting Business

Looking at a bridge from the under side imagining how to grow your concrete contracting business.Concrete contracting companies, no matter the size or specialty, have to deal with many of the same challenges. It’s important to address some of these before trying to expand your business, so you're sure the foundation you're about to build on is solid.

A New Technology Turns Iron Ore Waste Into Cement

Dry Slag Granulation (DSG)An Australian company is harvesting blast furnace waste and converting it into a new product to make cement in China, where 60% of the world’s iron waste is found.

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.

5 Ways to Effectively Utilize Your Decorative Concrete Awards

Concrete awards laid out on tableA stack of award submission requests are sitting on my desk staring me down and deadlines are popping up all over my calendar. Many associations and local, regional and national companies and groups in the decorative concrete realm host award programs to help recognize the best of the best.

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.

Concrete Professionals Gather to Discuss Decorative Concrete Makeover

A group of people listening to a presentation.Concrete professionals, including architects, interior designers, landscape architects, artisans and students from the Concrete Industry Management (CIM) Program came to a day-long session where they envisioned and designed decorative concrete walls, floors, seating, counters and more for the 33,000-square-foot facility, which occupies a former industrial building.

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