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Centuries-old Trade Association Welcomes Decorative Concrete

decorative concrete apprenticeship - Apprenticeships, or a system of training new generations of skilled craftsmen, have a long and rich history in many countries of the world, though it never caught on with much fervor in the United States.Apprenticeships, or a system of training new generations of skilled craftsmen, have a long and rich history in many countries of the world, though it never caught on with much fervor in the United States.

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.

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.

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!

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.

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.

Solar Film Affixed to Concrete in Europe

solar film on concreteEurope's first solar concrete wall appears at Reckli's headquarter in Herne, Germany. The structure's smart facade combines various concrete structures and a solar energy generating film.

Marketing and Selling Concrete Countertops

Concrete countertops are countertops. They just happen to be made out of concrete.Concrete countertops are countertops. They just happen to be made out of concrete.

This should affect your marketing and selling techniques. If you understand how countertops are most commonly and most effectively marketed and sold, you will be much more successful at marketing and selling concrete countertops.

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.

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.

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.

Insights on What Helps Concrete Contractors Succeed

Contractors across the country share insights on what helps them succeedWhile surveying my peers, I discovered that contractors approach projects differently and require a great variety of tools to get the job done. Perhaps this is why our industry is so innovative and unique.

PCA says U.S. cement consumption increased in 2013
Field Recon App Makes Quick Work of Jobsite Data

Workforce Recon job site app screen shotIs your business losing money by employees not documenting the work they are doing? Here is an app that can help.

The Top 7 Mistakes that Can Make or Break Your Concrete Countertop Business

concrete countertop at catch kitchen and barAvoiding certain pitfalls can mean the difference between a struggling hobby and a thriving business. When it comes to countertops, here are a few of the most common mistakes we at the Concrete Countertop Institute think are the biggest stumbling blocks for aspiring concrete countertop contractors.

Controlling Customers' Reactions to Reactive Stains

happy customers after a good transactionExpectations of what a floor should look like will vary from client to client. A client’s views will be shaped by other stained floors seen in person or in photographs. Although all of these things can affect a client’s expectations, the greatest influence on their flooring decision should come from the concrete professional.

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.

Small Marketing Tactics Make a Big Difference In your Concrete Business

Photo courtesy of Tamryn Doolan Once you complete a job and you know the client is happy, follow up over the phone or through email to ask for a testimonial or quote for your website or a brochure. To make things even more convenient, send a stamped postcard they can easily mail back to you.

Dying for Decorative Concrete

Man dumping concrete mix into a hopper with a dust mask on.There is not a comforting way to say the word “cancer.” Even in this day of strong chances of recovery and survival, it is a word that gets our attention every time. Although the products we use turn normal concrete into extraordinary works of art, some of those products are carcinogenic. Are you taking the proper measures to be safe?

Customer Service Continues Long After the Concrete Dries

three river rocks dressed upProblems 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.

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.

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.

How the Polished Concrete Market is Shifting

grey polished concrete in warehouseOver the last few years, I’ve noticed a shift in the polished concrete market. As the industry has grown, there has always been three sizes of contractors.

How to Keep Your Business Up in a Down Market

A graph of arrows going up and down.Analysts have been dissecting the residential and commercial construction industry for months, and though some predict a rebound soon, no clear end to the rollercoaster ride is in sight. But as many in the decorative concrete sector have discovered, a change in the market doesn’t necessarily mean a dramatic decline in business.

How to Take Jobs Beyond Decorative Concrete

concrete contractors installing water featuresThe phrase “decorative concrete” means many things. Depending on your operation, it may mean specializing in one facet, such as concrete countertops, or it may mean everything from stamped concrete to polished concrete.

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