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Why the Formula Approach for Polished Concrete Hurts Our Industry

A picture of a graphing calculatorThe 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.

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.

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?

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.

Generating New Business Relies on Making the Phone Ring

Making the phone ring is essential to business growth.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.

New Technology Delivers the Shine to Concrete Without the Grind

Multiquip's SlabArmor process showing a concrete construction working riding on a concrete polishing machine.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.

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.

Concrete Industry Slowly Incorporating Software Programs

Concrete industry slowly incorporating software programsLet’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.

Decorative Concrete Hall of Fame Grows by Three

Concrete Decor Decorative Concrete Hall of FameThree 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.

Teaching Decorative Concrete in Universities

Concrete Industry Management (CIM) Programs are teaching decorative concrete in universities across the country.Concrete Industry Management (CIM) Programs are teaching decorative concrete in universities across the country.

Be a Salesman not a Talesman and Sell More Concrete

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.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.

The Pros and Cons of Taking On Military Concrete Polishing Projects

AAFES (Army & Air Force Exchange Service) showcases polished concrete projects in many of its stores up to 150,000 square feet.

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.

Don't Get Pushed Around by Clients - Get Paid
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A family pushing a car.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.

The Four Fundamentals of Any Business Strategy

Ideas and brainstorming on paper.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.

Mastering Polishing Specifications for Success and Profit

Mastering polishing specs graphic.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.

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.

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.

Carbon-based Concrete Additive Wins Civil Contractors Federation (CCF) Environment Award

Eden concrete additive made from carbon nanotubes 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 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?

A New Technology Turns Iron Ore Waste Into Cement

Dry Slag Granulation (DSG)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.

Presenting to Architects? How to Get Their Attention and Keep It

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.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.

Greening Your Decorative Concrete Business

One way to demonstrate your commitment, and incidentally, to cut some expenses, is to green up your own internal operations by looking at your office procedures, transportation practices and on-site operations.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?

Myth-Perceptions in Polished Concrete: Setting Up For Success or Failure

Microsoft campus in Washington state polished and colored with water-based dyes.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.

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.

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.

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