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Favorite Photos from World of Concrete 2005

Staining and coloring concrete making an image of a concrete contractor using a grinder at World of Concrete 2005A few of Concrete Decor's favortie photos from World of Concrete 2005

What's New for Today's Decorative Concrete Industry

Drainage structure installed in DenverSpreading the word about combining old techniques with new ideas continues to push the decorative concrete industry forward.

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 Decorative Concrete Startup Raises Money on Kickstarter

Cast concrete cameraThe Kickstarter capital-raising website is being used succesfully by forward-thinking musicians, filmmakers and artists and entrepreneurs of every stripe. Let's see if it can help a newbie decorative concrete artisan raise $6,500 by August 4 for a new casting studio.

Trade Shows: What's in Them for You?

man at tradeshow with attendeeThe decorative concrete industry is a niche market with a lot of players competing for work. An internet search for “decorative concrete contractor” will bring up nearly 3 million entries, and “concrete artisan” generates nearly 1 million. In local phone books, however, there are typically no such entries.

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.

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.

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.

How Did the Extreme Winter Affect Exterior Decorative Concrete?

Affects of extreme winter weather on decorative concreteLarge parts of the United States recently experienced a brutal winter of cold temperatures and record snow and ice accumulations.

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.

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.

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.

Two Reasons Concrete Artisans Struggle in Business

How to say no.Our industry of decorative concrete is full of amazing and talented artists who have taken our trade to a level I truly never thought I would see in my lifetime. Every issue of this magazine is proof of it. But.

Giving Your Concrete Business the Flexibility It Needs to Thrive

Contractor using a power trowel to finish a concrete slab.In the free enterprise system, competition selects out businesses that don’t adapt to change or events they can’t plan on. To thrive within this system, your decorative concrete business must maintain a high degree of flexibility.

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?

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?

Concrete Professionals Should Mind Their Manners While on Mobile Phones

Iphone in rose gold sitting on a concrete countertop.While on mobile phones, concrete contractors should conduct themselves professionally to make a good impression wherever they may be.

Researchers Uncover the Secret Ingredient to Roman Mortar's Strength

Why is Roman cement so strong?Interesting explanation for why ancient mortar has lasted long.

The Right Mix of Digital Tools for Decorative Concrete

decorative concrete roadwayWhether you are a paleo-pencil-pusher or digital native, in today’s market you have to ask, what are the best digital tools for my business?

Planning for Success in Polished Concrete

Planning for success in the future with a clock face.There are new profit opportunities in polished concrete for the decorative concrete contractor. This is a fact, and every decorative concrete contractor should look into polished concrete. However, nothing ever caused more people to go broke than too much optimism and too little planning.

Understanding Polished Concrete

A look at a polished concrete floor in a modern office with industrial stairs in the background.Our economy has taken a dive into the deep end, affecting some regions more than others, but generally affecting us all. So now is a good time to reflect on what exactly polished concrete is, and where polished concrete came from.

Retirement Benefits Aid Employee Retention

People enjoying a sunset in chairs under the tree.Even at its best, owning a business offers a host of challenges. One of the latest: how to get and keep good employees.

Five Pieces of Advice on Working with Retailers and Decorative Concrete

Five hands holding up one two three four five fingersIn recent years the decorative concrete and coatings market has made its way over to the retail market. Retailers have unique needs that they have to address, and decorative concrete and coatings are becoming a more and more popular method for filling those needs.

Q&A with Todd Scharich, ASCC's New Decorative Concrete Specialist

World questions and answers, paper, pencil and eraser. Todd Scharich was recently appointed decorative concrete specialist for the American Society of Concrete Contractors and its Decorative Concrete Council. The ASCC already had a concrete hotline, but with Scharich aboard since October 2012, it now has a dedicated Decorative Concrete Hotline available to members on a 24/7 basis.

Tips for Polishing Preexisting Concrete Floors Profitably

Tips for polishing concrete and how to be profitable.If I were a contractor I would take “preexisting” projects over new projects every day of the week and twice on Sunday.

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