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Be a Salesman not a Talesman and Sell More Concrete

There are many stereotypes associated with sales professionals. There's the slick-dealing used-car salesman type who makes people feel suspicious. There's the natural-born salesman who walks into the room and is instantly everyone's new best friend, with talents in every area and the best jokes. Then, there's the talesman, the unknowingly annoying salesman.There are many stereotypes associated with sales professionals. There's the slick-dealing used-car salesman type who makes people feel suspicious. There's the natural-born salesman who walks into the room and is instantly everyone's new best friend, with talents in every area and the best jokes. Then, there's the talesman, the unknowingly annoying salesman.

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

A Decorative Concrete Supply Store That Helps Its Customers Make Money

hardrock developments showroomHow Canadian construction supply retailer, Hard Rock Developments promotes decorative concrete and helps its customers make money, too.

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.

New Faces: Fall 2013
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.

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.

Six Issues to Keep in Mind When Working with Decorative Concrete Abroad

John Anderson in a tank top using a power trowel on a concrete slab abroad.The cultural practices and business models from country to country are unique in every way possible: techniques, materials, tools and construction practice regulations.

Solar Film Affixed to Concrete in Europe

solar film on concreteEurope's first solar concrete wall appears at Reckli's headquarter in Herne, Germany. The structure's smart facade combines various concrete structures and a solar energy generating film.

Using the Four P's of Marketing to Sell Concrete

Modern gray concrete countertop.Marketing activities exist in multiple forms. In 1960, marketer E. Jerome McCarthy identified four distinctive types of marketing, often referred to as the “four P’s”: product, price, place and promotion. This marketing mix provides a standard framework for a decorative concrete professional to communicate and deliver lasting value to customers.

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.

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.

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.

Are You Ready to Be a Project Manager?

Concrete installation project managerYou’ve worked hard, become skilled at making things, developed relationships with architects, gotten specified on a commercial project, bid to all of the generals involved and been told the winning bidder is going to go with you. Now what?

Reaching your Business Goals

As a business leader, your primary objective is to see through the fog and identify where you want your company to go. I like to use a vision point that is three years away.Reaching the "summit" for your business takes forethought and daily attention.

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.

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.

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.

Treating and Preventing Concrete Burns

Todd Rose's wedding-day photo shows his acid-scabbed hand underneath that of his bride, Sarah.If you work with concrete you already know how abrasive, alkaline and caustic it is.

To put it simply, as portland cement dries, it will absorb water from any source in order to harden. That means it will suck the moisture from your skin as well.

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?

Marketing Your Work With Photos

Bank entrance stained with images of coinsIn today’s world, we tend not to listen anymore. There are so many of us, we are all talking, and our words have become background noises for the stimuli that really distract us. If you want to say something today, you have to use the language that transcends culture, geography, and time. You have to use imagery.

Atomic Placement of Elements Makes for Strong Concrete

atomic placement of elements in concreteThe reason concrete is so strong is elemental. According to researchers at Rice University, studying friction on materials such as concrete has provided the answer.

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.

Public Works Projects: Start Your Bidding

Hands bidding at an auctionTo bid or not to bid? That is the question. And it’s one more and more contractors have been asking themselves lately, especially as public works departments are increasingly incorporating decorative concrete into municipal plans. But where does one begin?

Your Profit Margin and How to Know if You're Really Making Money

Making sense of your profit margins.The value to your business is best determined on a per-unit basis. However, many contractors don’t exactly make widgets for their customers. So if your primary business is something like concrete staining, polishing or stamping, I recommend you calculate your margins on a per-square-foot or per-project basis.

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