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For Bomanite Personal Relationships are Part of the Plan

Dan Sieben, Mike Bernath, Brad Bowman and John Wilcox pose at a social dinner in the late '80s.A good marketing strategy was only part of the overall picture. Just as crucial to Bomanite’s long-term franchising game plan was the networking — the sharing of expertise and innovations among the highly diverse and widely dispersed franchisees.

Decorative Contractors and LEED Standards: Why You Should Take Notice

Green building website screenshotGreen building has been making a lot of headlines lately — it seems as if you can’t turn on the TV, read a magazine or attend a conference without hearing about it. You have probably heard the buzz about LEED and wondered how this building rating system applies to you. Green building is the next step for the decorative contractor industry, and LEED will help you and your business take that step

Marketing and Selling Concrete Countertops

Concrete countertops are countertops. They just happen to be made out of concrete.Concrete countertops are countertops. They just happen to be made out of concrete.

This should affect your marketing and selling techniques. If you understand how countertops are most commonly and most effectively marketed and sold, you will be much more successful at marketing and selling concrete countertops.

Are You Afraid to Seal Concrete?

Serene setting at a upscale hotel where luxurious lounge chair sit atop a stamped concrete pool deck.I firmly believe that the lifeblood of our industry is new and innovative products that continue to move the decorative market forward. A close second, the oxygen of our industry, is word-of-mouth advertising by satisfied clients who have had their expectations met.

Customers Who Need Special Handling

Two hands shaking We all need new business, but distinguishing between reasonable and unreasonable buyers is important. The difference between a deal breaker and an issue that is merely an obstacle can be a loss or profit of thousands of dollars.

Six Ways to Make Sure More People Find Your Website

Remember the days when you could simply name your company Remember the days when you could simply name your company “AAA Concrete” to ensure your business would appear first in the local directory? Those days are behind us. We now live in an era when “Google” is a verb.

Settling on a Design For Your Job Ahead of Time

Coming up with a design idea.You don’t need me to tell you how tough today’s market is for contractors, and few will disagree that the ball is in our customers’ court. Razor-thin margins allow no room for error in one of the many things we used to pay little attention to.

What Considerations To Make When Purchasing A Vacuum

large vacuum with dust collecting featureThe philosophy behind purchasing industrial vacuums for controlling airborne dust is changing in the concrete industry, especially with new federal rules now in place concerning worker exposure to these particles.

Making International Travel and Shipping Plans for Concrete Projects

Preparing a shipment for loading onto a truck.While in the course of business these days, you will sometimes be asked to travel outside the United States to do decorative concrete work. The pitfalls are many, but the windfalls can be huge.

Two Money-Making Alternatives for Polishing Contractors

Dollar bills lying on top of each other.As business owners, as soon as we open our eyes each day, we begin to think and search. Where are we going to find more work for our crews? Besides the usual options of bidding on new construction projects, refurbishing old polish jobs or removing epoxy coatings, there must be other ways to make money with our equipment and skills.

Listening to Your Customers Pays Off in the End

Listening to your audienceBeing successful in business, as in life, is knowing when to be right, and when to allow the other person their thoughts and views, especially when the “other” person is a potential or existing customer.

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.

Which Type of Decorative Concrete is Right for You?

Which type of decorative concrete fits you best.You have, are or will make decisions on your decorative journey, and they will affect you and your family. Our industry, decorative concrete, has so many layers and many types of overlap. This magazine makes it obvious your choices are vast, but make no mistake, each decorative type requires different kinds of training, investment and manpower.

Stepping up from Decorative Concrete to General Contracting

Concrete Form installation using reusable forms, a level and a plastic mallet.Are you content with installing decorative concrete countertops, overlays and stamped concrete, or do you have what it takes to rise to the occasion?

Compete for Work, But Do It Respectfully

Football players practicing in the sunset.One of the major issues that I have noticed in the decorative concrete industry is that most contractors in our business do not seem to have any respect for each other. There are a few exceptions, but for the most part this statement is true across the board.

Floor Flatness and Levelness Can Severely Affect Polished Concrete Pricing

shimmery grey floor with shelves on sideFloor flatness (FF) and floor levelness (FL) are measurements by which architects can hold concrete placement contractors accountable and provide a quality control level during the initial placement of concrete slabs.

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.

10 Simple Ways to Efficiently Grow Your Company

concrete stamping crewGrowing your business on limited resources can seem daunting or nearly impossible, but it is achievable over time with hard work and a clear plan of action. Adding employees can be a tough idea to grasp, when considering additional payroll and human resources.

Successful Email Marketing for Concrete Businesses

email marketing concrete businessesIn the world of email marketing, the “e-blast” can be a highly successful vehicle for connecting with your customers. But all too often, decorative concrete contractors underuse this vital marketing strategy.

Decorative Concrete Booms Across the Atlantic

Colored concrete medusa sculpture vertical placement on wallThe interest for decorative concrete is reaching new heights all over the world, and with this comes a need for education and training. Many countries are looking to the United States for products, information and support.

How can we help the concrete industry thrive?

How can we help the concrete industry thrive?Years ago, there was a Kevin Costner movie, “Field of Dreams,” which has now become a classic. While this movie was full of overarching plots and subplots, the main takeaway was: “If you build it, they will come.”

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.

Tips and Hints from the Concrete Pros

A well trained dog holding a ball on his nose. a small sampling of helpful hints shared at demonstrations sponsored by the Decorative Concrete Council during the recent annual meeting of the American Society of Concrete Contractors.A small sampling of helpful hints shared at demonstrations sponsored by the Decorative Concrete Council during the recent annual meeting of the American Society of Concrete Contractors.

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.

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.

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