The weak economy does not have to make our industry buckle under price pressures. We've forgotten that polished concrete is already the best bargain in the flooring industry, and what's more, we've allowed the formulaic installation to become entrenched in specifications.
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.
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?
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.
It all starts with a call. It doesnt matter how talented or artistic or expensive or cheap you are, all new business starts with a call. New work is the lifeblood business growth.
Beauty may only be skin deep, but the performance qualities of an MQ Whiteman SlabArmor concrete surface are just as impressive as the strikingly good looks the SlabArmor system delivers.
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.
Let’s face it. People who go into the trades aren’t the types who want to spend time sitting in an office in front of a computer. It’s no surprise that construction, along with agriculture, has been one of the slowest segments to adopt technological innovations into the workplace.
Three more men joined the ranks of the prestigious Decorative Concrete Hall of Fame established in 2010 by Professional Trade Publications, parent company of Concrete Decormagazine. Chris Sullivan and Michael Murray will be inducted and presented plaques.
Concrete Industry Management (CIM) Programs are teaching decorative concrete in universities across the country.
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.
As a polishing consultant I get to wear several different hats, but by far the largest amount of my time is spent managing polished concrete programs for retailers. Polished concrete is an aesthetically beautiful and valuable flooring solution, but it is fairly specialized.
We all wish that we could tell our customers, “Screw you! I did the work. Pay me!” I know that in my career I have gotten just about every excuse in the book as to why I wasn’t getting paid for my work. By its very nature, the decorative concrete industry that we love so much allows customers to play with our money.
Business strategy is the conscience you need for effective decision-making as you wade through the ambiguous waters of entrepreneurship. You face a lot of uncertainty as a decorative concrete business owner, and having a coherent business strategy is fundamental to minimizing that uncertainty.
The time will come when a general contractor, architect or another flooring contractor will ask you to bid on polishing floors in a new construction project.
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.
A research team has created a form of concrete that, remarkably, can be made without water and using materials that are widely available on Mars.
Architecture and Design announced last week that a carbon-based concrete additive won the Civil Contractors Federation environment award. The technology uses carbon nanotubes to give concrete a flexural strength 200 to 300 times that of steel.
How 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?
An Australian company is harvesting blast furnace waste and converting it into a new product to make cement in China, where 60% of the world’s iron waste is found.
A successful presentation requires more than just showing up with lunch and a slide show. A successful presentation requires knowing your audience, offering them value, preparation, passion, focus, visual aids and follow-up.
Concrete contractors often tell me that they don't have any input in the green aspects of the jobs they work on. By the time the concrete sub is hired, those decisions have been made, so what's the use of even bothering?
The one universal truth about the polished concrete industry is that, sadly enough, there is no universal truth. We don’t agree about what defines polished concrete, what steps are important, or what is the best way to steer the industry.
The 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.
When 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.