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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.

Marketing for Concrete Contractors

Concrete can't sell itself, contractors must depend upon a bit of marketing too. Image from http://historycooperative.org/ Many contractors believe that their workmanship will sell itself, but too often, they depend on referrals. Decorative concrete contractors are artisans, not necessarily salespeople.

Concrete Contractors' Show-Stopping Showrooms

Decorative Concrete Professionals Need ShowroomsIn today’s digital age, many contractors are increasingly using the Internet, social media and iPads to highlight their portfolios and suggest options to potential clients.

Contractors Should Have a Resource Network in Place

Unrepaired concrete that is in desperate need of improvement.The air temperature is 97 degrees F, the concrete arrives late and it turns out it’s a hot load. A set retarder is added, which only makes matters worse. The concrete now sits for eight hours before you can do anything with it. Now what?

Concrete Industry Offers Lucrative Career Path for Women

Concrete industry offers lucrative career path for womenWomen CEOs of concrete companies are smashing glass ceilings and bucking trends that have emerged for women in other nontraditional occupations. While women CEOs only comprise 2 percent in the basic and infrastructure sectors according to World Economic Forum and Bureau of Labor Statistics data.

Two Types of Business Competitors and How to Beat Them Both

Business people competing in a foot race.Close your eyes. Think of your business. Imagine you operate in a world without competitors. Imagine you’re the only one that customers can hire to install decorative concrete. Visualize yourself winning bid after bid without anything or anyone to stand in your way. Now, open your eyes. Welcome back to reality.

Re-ignite Your Spark of Passion for Decorative Concrete

Decorative concrete aggregateThe fear that we may lose touch with the concrete artistry in our industry is a legitimate feeling. It seems like more and more projects require firm decisions and designs before they ever reach our eyes. Are we losing the chance to add our expertise, advice and artistic touch to decorative projects?

Geopolymer Concrete Shows Extreme Fire-Proof Qualities

Fire-proof concreteConcrete made using an industrial by-product has shown better fire endurance than traditional concrete when exposed to fires of nearly 1000 degrees Celsius.

Full-Time Marketing with Part-Time Resources

Colorado Hardscapes mean lean construction crew.When people compliment Colorado Hardscapes Inc.’s marketing department, I tend to smile just a bit. People often mistakenly think our decorative concrete company operates like a large corporation, with multiple staff just waiting for their next task.

ACI Releases Long-Awaited Decorative Concrete Standards Guide

ACI Decorative Concrete Standards GuideMany years in the making and rigorously reviewed by dozens of experts in the field, the much-anticipated 310R-13 Guide to Decorative Concrete was officially published by the American Concrete Institute in December 2013.

Communicating Standards Through Industry Specifications

Writing on parchment with two pencils and an eraser.Too often we take the written word as gospel, but is that truly smart? Do we know what, or who, stands behind the words we read? After all, paper will not refuse ink. Our industry is growing, and as the industry grows, so do the misrepresentations and misunderstandings.

Last chance! Enter WOC Decorative Concrete Demos, Cheng contest
What You Need to Know about Life-cycle Assessments When Building Green

Green door pn a white building with a green window as well.The U.S. Green Building Council's research suggests that a quarter of new buildings that have been certified in the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program do not save as much energy as their designs predicted, and most do not track ongoing energy consumption. These findings don't generate a lot of confidence among the public in green building.

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.

How to Measure RH in Concrete

RH measurements in concreteHow valuable is 48 hours to you and your business? Can you put a price on it?

And does the price go up if you run into a moisture-related problem with a concrete slab in the later phases of a project?

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.”

A Decorative Concrete Supply Store Dazzles With Its New Showroom

The front entrance of The Rental Branch has been transformed with decorative concrete.Mike Branch, owner of The Rental Branch in St. Joseph, Mich., had a vision to create the most concentrated display of decorative concrete anywhere. Mission accomplished. Mostly finished as of late 2010, it’s been nearly a year in the making, though it felt more like 10 years.

Concrete Calculator

Quickly calculate your concrete pours by entering the length, width and thickness or height to find the number of cubic feet, yards or meters or bags of concrete needed for your project.  You can also calculate home, column or round concrete footings as well as circular concrete slabs or tubes. Once you have your amounts, you can give them to your ready-mix provider or to the person purchasing your bags and you will be ready to pour!

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.

How to Market Your Decorative Concrete Services to General Contractors

How to Market Your Services to General ContractorsPitching to the GC is relatively direct — enjoy a free lunch and explain what decorative concrete is all about. A sampling of opinion from a handful of other contractors turns up some interesting — you might even say unorthodox — approaches to this matter of communication with the general contractor.

Three Ways to Drum Up New Concrete Work

Gain more jobs by marketing to the local crown.Eight times per year I look at this magazine from cover to cover, amazed at how our industry has been hijacked by true artists. This level of skill, along with a few creative marketing ideas, should keep fresh money coming into your bank account.

New Ways to Sell Decorative Concrete

A sealed pool deck can be sold to a customer with a proper explanation of the process and outcome.As adults we learn to communicate using our words when we want and need something. The use of certain words can change the entire intention of what someone is trying to say. For those who sell and install decorative concrete, when was the last time you thought about how words influence your client's thought process regarding their decision to buy your products or services?

Harness the Power of an Effective E-newsletter

harness the power of an effective newsletterWhen it comes to communicating with your customers, electronic newsletters are a powerful tool to highlight your expertise and experience. Since we live in a society in which most of us are glued to our phones even when we are out of the office, a well-designed newsletter can be an effective means to quickly continue to strengthen your brand.

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.

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.

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