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Your Profit Margin and How to Know if You're Really Making Money

Making sense of your profit margins.The value to your business is best determined on a per-unit basis. However, many contractors don’t exactly make widgets for their customers. So if your primary business is something like concrete staining, polishing or stamping, I recommend you calculate your margins on a per-square-foot or per-project basis.

Three Ways to Drum Up New Concrete Work

Gain more jobs by marketing to the local crown.Eight times per year I look at this magazine from cover to cover, amazed at how our industry has been hijacked by true artists. This level of skill, along with a few creative marketing ideas, should keep fresh money coming into your bank account.

Managing Slack is a Business Fundamental

Slacking man on concrete stenciling jobThere is a big hairy monster lurking around your business. He’s not easy to detect and he has a real nasty habit of stealing from you. The monster I speak of is called “slack.”

Case Studies Anchor a New Approach to Product Training

Almost all manufacturers of decorative concrete systems and equipment offer some sort of training on their products. Almost all manufacturers of decorative concrete systems and equipment offer some sort of training on their products. Whether it is a one-hour watch-and-learn or a three-day hands-on class that people pay to attend, these programs have become mainstream in our industry.

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?

Concrete Calculator

Quickly calculate your concrete pours by entering the length, width and thickness or height to find the number of cubic feet, yards or meters or bags of concrete needed for your project.  You can also calculate home, column or round concrete footings as well as circular concrete slabs or tubes. Once you have your amounts, you can give them to your ready-mix provider or to the person purchasing your bags and you will be ready to pour!

Diversify with Direction When Expanding Your Business

A nice patio set on a stamped concrete patio that has been stained a tan color.There are a lot of questions that don’t always have easy answers. Fortunately, plenty of people have headed out in different directions within the concrete industry and found the journey has taken them to a pretty good place.

How Joining Forces with Other Construction Companies Can Boost Your Bottom Line

Boosting your bottom lineYou basically have two ways to make more money in decorative concrete — you can increase sales or reduce the cost of doing business. Businesses in times like these have a tendency to become paralyzed when becoming proactive would be the best option. One good way to become proactive is to consider a team approach.

Cannabis Construction: Entrepreneurs Using Hemp for Home-Building

House made of hempcreteThe New York Times recently reported that hemp fibers are being worked into concrete to form a mixture called hempcrete. While no one would want to smoke this stuff, it does seem particularly useful as a building material.

How to Win a Decorative Concrete Contest: Take Great Photos

Contests that showcase handsome decorative concrete projects are helpful twofold -- they promote quality craftspeople and they provide bona fide examples for companies that make or distribute the products. Either way, they're good for business.Contests that showcase handsome decorative concrete projects are helpful twofold — they promote quality craftspeople and they provide bona fide examples for companies that make or distribute the products. Either way, they’re good for business.

Strong Relationships Within Concrete Industry are Key to Successful Ventures

Strong Relationships Within Concrete Industry are Key to Successful Ventures We live in a time where so much of our business, for better or worse, is conducted electronically. On the positive side of the ledger is the fact that information can be searched and retrieved at the speed of a simple mouse click.

The Benefits Of Entering The Construction Industry

Time and again, today's youth have been told that going to college is extremely important to their futures. 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.

Beat the Heat with Evaporation Retarders

Doug Carlton using evaporation retarder on a concrete slabWinning the battle with Mother Nature becomes a little challenging when the weather heats up. This is also the same time our services are in highest demand. There are ways to combat the heat and the challenges it creates, but few are profitable.

Knowing When and Why to Say No to Clients

three older men discussing a serious matter concerning concreteAt first, everything seemed perfect as my salesman and I finished setting up our booth for the annual home design and remodeling show in Visalia, Calif. Our exhibit location was ideal, our stamp and stain samples strategically located. The weekend crowd was near maximum capacity and everything seemed ripe for booking plenty of new accounts.

Net Benefit and Increasing Your Value to Customers

Valuable products get your customers to see thatYour product is valuable. You know it. You hope your customers know it. But how can you be sure? How can you ensure that your product benefits your customers and, in so doing, benefits your company?

How Reading the Specifications Can Help Your Wallet

Increase profits by reading specifications.The specification is the best protection that you have, other than the contract itself, to keep from getting taken advantage of by the customer. If you know the specifications forward and backward you are in excellent shape if any conflict arises.

Concrete Contractors' Show-Stopping Showrooms

Decorative Concrete Professionals Need ShowroomsIn today’s digital age, many contractors are increasingly using the Internet, social media and iPads to highlight their portfolios and suggest options to potential clients.

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.

How Long Should You Guarantee Your Concrete Work?

How long should you guarantee your work? It all depends on who you ask. Four successful contractors from California to New York share their philosophy on warrantiesHow long should you guarantee your work? It all depends on who you ask. Four successful contractors from California to New York share their philosophy on warranties.

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.

Atomic Placement of Elements Makes for Strong Concrete

atomic placement of elements in concreteThe reason concrete is so strong is elemental. According to researchers at Rice University, studying friction on materials such as concrete has provided the answer.

Influential concrete writer-editor Mary "M.K." Hurd passes away
PCA says U.S. cement consumption increased in 2013
Build Your Business on a Foundation of Innovation

Two people shaking hands at the Concrete Decor Show.For your decorative concrete business to grow, it must be built on a foundation of innovation. If you don’t do so, you will find it increasingly difficult to create lasting value for your business and your customers.

Challenges of Working with Concrete in the Winter

A stained concrete floor in a high-traffic area can be affected by inclement weather, even indoors.If you live above the Mason-Dixon line, chances are your winter months are cold and snowy. It’s great weather for skiing, but not so much for those who work with concrete.

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