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Successful Construction Training Requires Commitment and a Plan

smoothing out concrete with a trowelTraining in the construction industry seems more daunting than some other professions. With all of the moving parts of our industry, we not only need to train on skill and leadership, but also safety and technology.

Trade Shows: What's in Them for You?

man at tradeshow with attendeeThe decorative concrete industry is a niche market with a lot of players competing for work. An internet search for “decorative concrete contractor” will bring up nearly 3 million entries, and “concrete artisan” generates nearly 1 million. In local phone books, however, there are typically no such entries.

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.

Whiteboard Videos Draw Attention to Your Message

White Board Video infographic, marketing & business development for the concrete contractor.If a picture is worth a thousand words, what is a video worth?

Tips from Concrete Contractors who Embrace Customer Service

Emoji for smiling to frowning red, yellow, green, representing customer service. from https://www.keeping.com/customer-service/excellent-customer-service/Contractors share customer-service tips that help make their businesses successful.

A Decorative Concrete Supply Store Dazzles With Its New Showroom

The front entrance of The Rental Branch has been transformed with decorative concrete.Mike Branch, owner of The Rental Branch in St. Joseph, Mich., had a vision to create the most concentrated display of decorative concrete anywhere. Mission accomplished. Mostly finished as of late 2010, it’s been nearly a year in the making, though it felt more like 10 years.

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?

CCNY Team Researches Unique Glass Powder for Concrete Production

CCNY Team of ResearchersIn potentially transformative research for both the recycling and concrete industries, a City College of New York civil engineering team is developing a glass powder to replace cement in the production of concrete.

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.

Are You Ready to Be a Project Manager?

Concrete installation project managerYou’ve worked hard, become skilled at making things, developed relationships with architects, gotten specified on a commercial project, bid to all of the generals involved and been told the winning bidder is going to go with you. Now what?

Geopolymer Concrete Shows Extreme Fire-Proof Qualities

Fire-proof concreteConcrete made using an industrial by-product has shown better fire endurance than traditional concrete when exposed to fires of nearly 1000 degrees Celsius.

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.

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.

The Importance of Managing Expectations in Polished Concrete

An ipad and a piece of paper tracking business progress.Possibly one of the most-discussed topics in the concrete polishing industry today is managing the customer’s expectations. Many an instance has occurred in which the floor has been ground, honed and polished within a hair’s thickness of perfection in the contractor’s eyes, only for him to be informed at collection time that it isn’t what the customer had in mind.

Making Money with Decorative Concrete Curbing

Decorative concrete curbing can take on the look of brick pavers around a planter box without the concern of weeds growing between.When it comes to edging that pleases the eye, decorative concrete curbs have no competition.

Railroad ties rot, bender board breaks and brick mortar crumbles. But decorative curbing is permanent.

Polished Concrete Industry is not Sheltered from the Effects of Politics

Competitive pricing has forced this reality on most manufacturers to maintain their market share and stay relevant.As a consultant who works with contractors and manufacturers alike, I sometimes see things that aren’t typically discussed that I feel are important to share. So I’m going to attempt to tie together the various strings of thought on tax updates and how these will affect our industry specifically.

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.

How to Find the Right Salesperson

Silhouette of two businessmen with brightly colored ties in orange and red.A few in the decorative concrete industry are good at the trade and great salespeople as well, but not many. If sales are not your thing, then now is the time to push ahead of the competition and find the right person.

Making and Keeping Great Hires in an Employee Drought

Finding and keeping good employees from Concrete Decor magazineIn desperation we post employment opportunities on social media sites, in local newspapers and on online job listing pages. We even purchase radio spots, hoping to pick up the one or two rock-star employees left looking for new employment. But the reality is, there truly is a labor shortage out there.

ModaCrete releases Pamako CCS concrete countertop sealer
The 2016 Inductees

2016 Decorative Concrete Hall of Fame winners from Bomanite, Butterfield Colors, GLC3 Concrete, and Couture Concrete.Dan Sieben, one of the founders of Bomanite, along with his Bomanite cohort, John “Jack” Dryden, are among the 2016 honorees. Joe Garceau of Butterfield Colors and George Lacker of GLC3 Concrete and Couture Concrete Systems round out this year’s selection. Sieben and Garceau were honored with plaques at a dinner Sept. 26 during the Concrete Decor Show events in San Diego. Lacker and Dryden were inducted posthumously.

Strengthen Your Friendships with Architects and Designers

drawing of building with architecture Being a successful concrete professional requires more than skill with trowels, colors and coatings. You also need to network. Networking requires investments in both time and infrastructure, but you will almost definitely see an increase in your business if you are thoughtful about your approach.

Researchers File Patent for Fire-resistant Concrete

fire resistant concreteScientists at the Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology (EMPA) have added polypropylene (PP) fiber to a concrete mix. The technique allows water vapor to escape, preventing pressure from building inside the concrete, making it more fire-proof.

UV Cured Coatings for Concrete are Back in the Mix

 UV Cure Coatings for ConcreteConcrete artisans and contractors are always searching for the ideal coating, but end-users and equipment manufacturers are behind the latest push for one specific coating formulation — UV-cure.

Six Ways to Make Sure More People Find Your Website

Remember the days when you could simply name your company Remember the days when you could simply name your company “AAA Concrete” to ensure your business would appear first in the local directory? Those days are behind us. We now live in an era when “Google” is a verb.

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