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To Succeed in Decorative Concrete: Be Your Best

Stenciled concrete on an exposed aggregateTo be your best doesn’t mean you have to always do the most difficult concrete projects. It simply means you do your best work on every concrete project.

Three Critical Components to Effectively Market Decorative Concrete

Drawing a stencil for concrete.Let’s take a look at three critical challenges to marketing your business effectively and how you can resolve them.

What To Do When A Customer Is Unhappy With the Result

Pink piggy bank with coins around it.You will get complaint calls regarding your contracting, and this day needs to be planned for. Your customer may have a legitimate complaint or may need some educating. Nevertheless, not responding to the complaint will only aggravate the situation.

Building Relationships with Architects

Building relationships with architects in the construction industryAn underutilized opportunity for potentially creating more jobs and visibility for your company exists within the design community. Architects and landscape architects are key members of the project team for commercial and high-end residential installations.

Build Your Business on a Foundation of Innovation

Two people shaking hands at the Concrete Decor Show.For your decorative concrete business to grow, it must be built on a foundation of innovation. If you don’t do so, you will find it increasingly difficult to create lasting value for your business and your customers.

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.

Is it Right for Your Concrete Business to Market with Social Media?

blue epoxy concrete floorIf you look for advice about how to promote and grow your business, you’re bound to encounter how important it is to be using social media such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Pinterest and Instagram. I think this is a problem, because it’s simply not true for everyone.

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.

Scientific Principles of Concrete

Schematic illustration of the pores in calcium silicate through different stages of hydration.The importance of concrete in modern society cannot be overestimated. Look around you and you will find concrete structures everywhere such as buildings, roads, bridges, and dams. There is no escaping the impact concrete makes on your everyday life. So what is it?

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.

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.

Concrete Contractor's Guide to Getting Paid

Concrete worker with a hardhatNot getting paid is every contractor’s worst nightmare and there are plenty of reasons why some clients fail to pay. Whatever the reasons may be, it’s important that you take the right steps to exercise your right to get paid. Here are some ways you can ensure that you get paid on time and in full.

Diversify with Direction When Expanding Your Business

A nice patio set on a stamped concrete patio that has been stained a tan color.There are a lot of questions that don’t always have easy answers. Fortunately, plenty of people have headed out in different directions within the concrete industry and found the journey has taken them to a pretty good place.

The Concrete Decor Show's Legacy of Giving Back at The Julian Center

concrete sidewalk that looks like racetrack at a daycare center in IndianaSince the first Concrete Decor Show in Phoenix, Arizona, in 2010, the goal has been to provide world-class training opportunities for decorative concrete professionals while also leaving behind something tangible for the hosting community.

Pricing a Polished Concrete Job

Two people doing paperwork at a desk with computersPricing a polished concrete job is hardly cut and dried. There are many things to consider. There are more obvious factors, such as labor, fuel (diesel will probably be your largest expense next to labor), tooling, and travel expenses. There are also various factors about the floor itself that must be considered.

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?

Improve Your Sales and Customer Relations with a Decorative Concrete Design Center

Colorado Hardscape's Concrete Design Center Showroom - In 2001, Colorado Hardscapes made a move that forever changed its approach to sales and marketing. The company moved into a new concrete design center, the first of its kind in Colorado.In 2001, Colorado Hardscapes made a move that forever changed its approach to sales and marketing. The company moved into a new concrete design center, the first of its kind in Colorado.

5 Things Architects Wish Decorative Concrete Contractors Would Do

Architects and decorative concrete contractorsThere’s one key point on which architects and decorative concrete contractors agree: “The architect needs to have a contractor who knows what he’s doing,” says Marley Porter, AIA, who operates Living Architecture & Construction Management, located in Texas Hill Country at Cottonwood Shores.

Self-Cleaning Concrete using Photocatalysts

Strong sunlight or ultraviolet light decomposes many organic materials in a slow, natural process. You have seen this process, for example, in the way the plastic dashboard of your truck fades and gets brittle over time.This photocatalyst reacts to light and breaks down dirt, mold and pollution. It keeps concrete clean and cleans up the air at the same time!.

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.

L. M. Scofield Co.'s 2014 Decorative Concrete Awards

turtle stained into concreteThe sixth annual Decorative Concrete Awards were announced recently by sponsor L. M. Scofield Co. The contest honors contractors and designers who use Scofield decorative concrete materials.

This year, for the first time, the contest was divided into six categories.

The Science of Setting the Right Price for Your Services

A line graph showing cost vs productionThere’s a lot riding on your price. It’s a reflection of your brand value and the perceived quality of your work. Customers will even use heuristics to determine if your price per square foot is consistent with what they would expect to gain from hiring you.

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.

Using Muons from Cosmic Rays to Find Degrading Concrete

A new report from Phys.org explains how subatomic particles known as muons are being used to probe the structure of concrete.A new report from Phys.org explains how subatomic particles known as muons are being used to probe the structure of concrete. This is a useful ability because building materials such as pipes and concrete that are part of our energy infrastructure corrode and wear thin or degrade over time. Scientists were seeking a better way to be warned of infrastructure deterioration before it becomes a problem and found that these particles work.

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.

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