The cold truth is that our industry has seen its share of truly talented decorative concrete individuals fail, and it’s not because they weren’t good at their craft. Today’s artisans must be more than talented — they must be capable of overlaying talent with an entrepreneurial spirit. That's where training and education comes in.
Problems two years later? The timeline for customer service has no limits.
In this age of customer service, you should never turn your back on a client with a problem.
Consumers, 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.
Decorative concrete often appeals to designers and building owners who want to minimize their impact on the environment, because polished, stamped or textured surfaces eliminate the need for coverings that perpetually need replacement.
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?
Time and again, today’s youth have been told that going to college is extremely important to their futures. It’s been drilled into their heads that without a degree, they can only hope to attain low-level employment with low pay.
As more competition fights for fewer pieces of the pie, it will become increasingly tempting to lower your prices in order to stay competitive. I understand this completely, because I operate a decorative concrete company in one of the most competitive and hard-hit housing economies in our nation.
The 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.
Membership in an industry association or society offers numerous opportunities for education, peer networking, and accessing a wealth of information that helps us grow professionally. There are several organizations that support concrete contractors and concrete construction.
The way to homeowners' hearts is through their kids. So why not market decorative concrete to second graders?
The success of your decorative concrete future hinges on one word: anticipation. The ability to anticipate where to find the potential buyers of services over the next year or two is one few professionals even consider.
Many years in the making and rigorously reviewed by dozens of experts in the field, the much-anticipated 310R-13 Guide to Decorative Concrete was officially published by the American Concrete Institute in December 2013.
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.
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.”
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.
Today's trend has less to do with any certain product and more to do with a weak economy and saving money. Just like people are finding ways to make their cars go another year to save money, so too are they are looking for ways to make their existing concrete work another year.
For years I’ve enjoyed learning from the pages of Concrete Decor. The pictures of amazing design and craftsmanship, detailed techniques, new products and sound advice on how to improve business have all helped me stay connected to the decorative concrete industry.
This is where the seven steps to success before you start come into play. Problems with architectural concrete projects, real or perceived, can all be traced back to a breakdown of one or more of these seven steps.
The air temperature is 97 degrees F, the concrete arrives late and it turns out it’s a hot load. A set retarder is added, which only makes matters worse. The concrete now sits for eight hours before you can do anything with it. Now what?
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.
Battelle scientists have developed a tiny bead, the Battelle Smart Corrosion Detector bead, that not only detects corrosion but delivers a payload to help heal the microscopic cracks that rust creates.
Taking concrete to another level with the introduction of a new television show called "Concrete Nation" that will begin airing on Fox television stations in October. The goal of "Concrete Nation" is to document the building of a house made mostly of concrete. The intent is to show the world the beauty of concrete when put into the hands of artists.
Adjusting the way you do business from this day forward is as important as accepting the fact that the "new normal" is very real. It has nothing to do with giving up. I have been lucky enough to be a decorative contractor for many years, and the new normal as I see it is as follows.
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.
When Depiction Software LLC adapted two standard types of construction software to fit the needs of decorative concrete contractors, it brought decorative concrete planning into the 21st century.