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Niche Markets Help Keep the Recession in Check

Running a business has become more like a chess game, trying to maneuver yourself into the best position to keep the cash flow moving forward.Nothing, and I mean nothing, keeps a person up at night like worry over finding the next job or project. Running a business has become more like a chess game, trying to maneuver yourself into the best position to keep the cash flow moving forward.

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.

Recognize and Respect the Value of a Good Concrete Worker

Keep a good concrete crew going - Between the money you dole out each week on wages, payroll taxes, insurance and worker's comp, you spend more on employees than all your other assets combined. Even though this is a fact, most contractors have a hard time recognizing employees as assets. Why is this and how can you remedy that situation?Between the money you dole out each week on wages, payroll taxes, insurance and worker’s comp, you spend more on employees than all your other assets combined. Even though this is a fact, most contractors have a hard time recognizing employees as assets. Why is this and how can you remedy that situation?

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.

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.

Marketing for Concrete Contractors

Concrete can't sell itself, contractors must depend upon a bit of marketing too. Image from http://historycooperative.org/ Many contractors believe that their workmanship will sell itself, but too often, they depend on referrals. Decorative concrete contractors are artisans, not necessarily salespeople.

Seven Fundamental Ways to Improve Your Sales

Fundamental building blocks.Making sales is arguably the most fundamental function of business. Maintaining an effective and relevant sales strategy is absolutely critical since it directly impacts your top-line (gross sales) growth more than any other function. Here are seven actions you can implement today to win more decorative concrete jobs and increase sales.

International Decorative Concrete Industry Evolves

For those of us who work in the U.S., Canada and Western Europe, we take for granted the quality of our everyday materials, let alone how easy they are to obtain. In developing countries, the amount of time and cost involved in getting everything needed for a job can be staggering. But staggering to who?For those of us who work in the U.S., Canada and Western Europe, we take for granted the quality of our everyday materials, let alone how easy they are to obtain. In developing countries, the amount of time and cost involved in getting everything needed for a job can be staggering. But staggering to who?

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.

Decorative Concrete Dangers, Part 1: Surviving the Slowdown

Caution - "Decorative Dangers": The housing market slowdown, and how to survive it.  Keeping your decorative concrete business profitable during periods of economic slowdown."Decorative Dangers": The housing market slowdown, and how to survive it. Keeping your decorative concrete business profitable during periods of economic slowdown.

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.

How to Make Maintenance Work for You to Increase Profitability

guy on ride on polishing machineConsumers, often blown away with the low prices of desktop inkjet printers, forget to consider the additional cost of ink cartridges which put many of them on a first name basis with the folks at the office supply store.

Public Works Projects: Start Your Bidding

Hands bidding at an auctionTo bid or not to bid? That is the question. And it’s one more and more contractors have been asking themselves lately, especially as public works departments are increasingly incorporating decorative concrete into municipal plans. But where does one begin?

Marketing Your Work With Photos

Bank entrance stained with images of coinsIn today’s world, we tend not to listen anymore. There are so many of us, we are all talking, and our words have become background noises for the stimuli that really distract us. If you want to say something today, you have to use the language that transcends culture, geography, and time. You have to use imagery.

CPAA Adopts New Position on Measurement of Polished Concrete Floors' Slip-Resistance

polished concrete floor slip resistanceIn April 2015 the Concrete Polishing Association of America (CPAA) adopted a new position on the measurement of slip resistance of bonded-abrasive polished concrete floors.

New Formula for High-Strength Shotcrete to Protect Tunnels from Fires and Terrorist Attacks

Fire-proof shotcrete Concrete Decor Magazine Phys.org reported that the science magazine Rubin published research conducted by engineers at Germany's Ruhr-Universit√§t Bochum who have developed a shotcrete that can render tunnels, bridges and other structures more resistant against fires and explosions. The new formula enhances concrete with 140 kilograms of steel fibers per cubic meter, a figure that was thought to be impossible for shotcrete. The science magazine Rubin reports that engineers at Germany's Ruhr-Universität Bochum have developed a shotcrete that can render tunnels, bridges and other structures more resistant against fires and explosions.

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.

Last chance! Enter WOC Decorative Concrete Demos, Cheng contest
How Do Successful Concrete Contractors Choose the Right Manufacturers?

Concrete Warehouse FloorChoosing the right manufacturer is a dilemma every contractor in our industry faces every day. I’ve heard many analogies used to describe the decorative concrete industry over the years, but two comparisons have always resonated the most: “Polished Concrete is part Art and part Construction,” and “The polishing industry is still the Wild West.”

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?

PCA says U.S. cement consumption increased in 2013
Expectation Management Should Be Part of Conversation with Customers

Have you ever been in the process of completing or had just completed what to you was an amazing architectural concrete project only to be told by your client:Have you ever been in the process of completing or had just completed what to you was an amazing architectural concrete project only to be told by your client:
“It’s not what I was expecting.”
“Meh! It looks kind of ‘blah.’ I thought the color would ‘pop’ more.”
“I don’t like it.”

What You Need to Know about Life-cycle Assessments When Building Green

Green door pn a white building with a green window as well.The U.S. Green Building Council's research suggests that a quarter of new buildings that have been certified in the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program do not save as much energy as their designs predicted, and most do not track ongoing energy consumption. These findings don't generate a lot of confidence among the public in green building.

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.

Disorganization Is Hurting Your Contracting Business

Paper clips scattered.When you put in years perfecting your decorative concrete craft , you start to consider yourself an expert in your field. Past customers appreciate your skill, courtesy and professionalism, and they refer friends and relatives to your services. But recently you have noticed something is changing, and this change makes you uneasy.

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