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Decorative Concrete, Terminology Worth Talking About

Decorative concrete is a term I stumbled upon 18 years ago after coming across a job site where concrete stains were being used to color the concrete inside a new salon in the mountain town of Murphy's, CaliforniaDecorative concrete is a term I stumbled upon 18 years ago after coming across a job site where concrete stains were being used to color the concrete inside a new salon in the mountain town of Murphy’s, California

To Succeed in Decorative Concrete: Be Your Best

Stenciled concrete on an exposed aggregateTo be your best doesn’t mean you have to always do the most difficult concrete projects. It simply means you do your best work on every concrete project.

Retirement Benefits Aid Employee Retention

People enjoying a sunset in chairs under the tree.Even at its best, owning a business offers a host of challenges. One of the latest: how to get and keep good employees.

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.

Two Types of Business Competitors and How to Beat Them Both

Business people competing in a foot race.Close your eyes. Think of your business. Imagine you operate in a world without competitors. Imagine you’re the only one that customers can hire to install decorative concrete. Visualize yourself winning bid after bid without anything or anyone to stand in your way. Now, open your eyes. Welcome back to reality.

Large Designs are a Top Trend in Decorative Concrete

A large stained concrete driveway in front of a large hotel.What is a trend, especially when it comes to the decorative industry? How do trends in decorative concrete start? Where do trends come from and how have the internet and social media “flattened the world” in regard to how new ideas “go viral” to become the next hot product, color or finish? 

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.

Why Search Engine Algorithms Change and How to Capitalize on the Changes

How Google paved the way for UX-based algorithm changes.In the early days of social media marketing, you could post virtually any piece of content and, realistically, expect to see engagement from about 15 to 20 percent of your followers, fans or friends — depending on the day and just how many were online at that time.

Getting an Early Start on a Profitable Spring

Cherry blossoms on a sky blue backdrop.For some in the decorative concrete industry, this spring can’t come too early. The doldrums of winter take a toll not only on the pocketbook, but also on our creative juices as artists and promoters.

Battelle Develops Self-Healing Smart Beads that Detect and Repair Corrosion

Battelle corrosion detecting microbeadsBattelle 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.

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.

Solid Tips for Improving Your Bid's Chances

If you've been in business for even a short while, you've invested your time and efforts in identifying bid opportunities. You diligently filled out all the necessary documents, put the insurance and bond requirements in place, met the time restrictions, obtained the correct license and so on.If you've been in business for even a short while, you've invested your time and efforts in identifying bid opportunities. You diligently filled out all the necessary documents, put the insurance and bond requirements in place, met the time restrictions, obtained the correct license and so on. Then you sit back waiting to hear if you were the one who was awarded the project.

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.

10 Business Tips to Help Your Concrete Business Be More Successful

We invited some business leaders and our Facebook friends to share with us their tips for running a successful business. What we considered to be the 10 best tips were printed in the July 2015 issue of Concrete Decor Magazine, which happened to be our 100th issue which we celebrated with 10 lists of 10 items to make up 100.We invited some business leaders and our Facebook friends to share with us their tips for running a successful business. What we considered to be the 10 best tips were printed in the July 2015 issue of Concrete Decor Magazine, which happened to be our 100th issue which we celebrated with 10 lists of 10 items to make up 100.

New Technique Could Make Cement Manufacturing Carbon Neutral

carbon neutral cement productionThe manufacturing process which produces ordinary portland cement, the ubiquitous ingredient in the concrete used around the world, is a major contributor to greenhouse gas emissions. New research suggests that portland cement can be produced with no carbon dioxide emissions.

Concrete Decor announces changes in magazine sales force
How to Justify the Price for Decorative Concrete

Quality concrete in a designer finish is worth the price.I wish I had 10 cents a square foot for every time I've been asked this question. And other questions such as: How much more does stamping cost compared to regular concrete? Are stained floors more than tile? I've realized over the years that all the above questions are legitimate and deserve an honest answer.

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.

Building Relationships with Architects

Building relationships with architects in the construction industryAn underutilized opportunity for potentially creating more jobs and visibility for your company exists within the design community. Architects and landscape architects are key members of the project team for commercial and high-end residential installations.

Settling on a Design For Your Job Ahead of Time

Coming up with a design idea.You don’t need me to tell you how tough today’s market is for contractors, and few will disagree that the ball is in our customers’ court. Razor-thin margins allow no room for error in one of the many things we used to pay little attention to.

Cement Has Now Been Successfully Reinforced Using Plastic Waste

plastic-reinforced concreteResearchers have successfully reinforced concrete with plastic waste, paving way for the first large-scale sustainable construction practice.

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.

Why You Should Integrate Infographics Into Your Marketing

Lately, it seems that you can't read an online article or browse social media without coming across an infographic.Lately, it seems that you can’t read an online article or browse social media without coming across an infographic. Considered one of the most powerful marketing tools in use today, is it just a trend that will soon be on the way out or is there more than meets the eye to this form of visual media?

Developing Effective Polishing Specifications for a School

A schoolhouse on a gray background.Recently an architect who was writing the polished concrete specification for a school district contacted me when he recognized that he did not know enough. The good news is that he asked for help in crafting an informative and realistic specification that allows educated bids with room for profit.

Two Reasons Concrete Artisans Struggle in Business

How to say no.Our industry of decorative concrete is full of amazing and talented artists who have taken our trade to a level I truly never thought I would see in my lifetime. Every issue of this magazine is proof of it. But.

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