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Sustainable Construction Techniques Earning LEED

Simple decisions you make and little things your workers do, such as protecting the existing landscape, recycling or reusing materials, and choosing the right materials, can impact the site and the building for years to comeSustainable design is a big part of what makes a building green - especially in terms of earning LEED points - but sustainable construction techniques can add a few points and can also prove to an owner or designer that your company is serious about the issue.

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.

How to Survive and Thrive when Doing Decorative Concrete Overseas

In the United States, decorative concrete is advanced at a level that it is not at anywhere else. When you're overseas, be prepared to educate.In the United States, decorative concrete is advanced at a level that it is not at anywhere else. When you’re overseas, be prepared to educate.

Solid Branding: Tips on Video and Content

Context, in other words, is engagement. It's scaling interactions and associations with your company or product to a point where trust is developed with your brand. Decorative concrete can be complicated, and there is a lot that goes into a successful installation. But at each project’s finale, you move onto the next job where you’ll save the day for another customer.

Decorative Surface Solutions Group is First Buying Group for Flooring Industry

grey concrete floor in corridorSuppose your little decorative concrete flooring business suddenly could make deals as if it were a coast-to-coast firm?

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.

A Decorative Concrete Startup Raises Money on Kickstarter

Cast concrete cameraThe Kickstarter capital-raising website is being used succesfully by forward-thinking musicians, filmmakers and artists and entrepreneurs of every stripe. Let's see if it can help a newbie decorative concrete artisan raise $6,500 by August 4 for a new casting studio.

International Decorative Concrete Industry Evolves

For those of us who work in the U.S., Canada and Western Europe, we take for granted the quality of our everyday materials, let alone how easy they are to obtain. In developing countries, the amount of time and cost involved in getting everything needed for a job can be staggering. But staggering to who?For those of us who work in the U.S., Canada and Western Europe, we take for granted the quality of our everyday materials, let alone how easy they are to obtain. In developing countries, the amount of time and cost involved in getting everything needed for a job can be staggering. But staggering to who?

Disorganization Is Hurting Your Contracting Business

Paper clips scattered.When you put in years perfecting your decorative concrete craft , you start to consider yourself an expert in your field. Past customers appreciate your skill, courtesy and professionalism, and they refer friends and relatives to your services. But recently you have noticed something is changing, and this change makes you uneasy.

Vendors Bring New Concrete Products to Contractors

Vendors displaying their goods at a tradeshow for potential buyers.The more things change the more they stay the same. This is an adage I’ve heard my entire life without ever really giving it any serious thought. What does it even mean? Well, in the context of this article let’s take a closer look.

Researchers Uncover the Secret Ingredient to Roman Mortar's Strength

Why is Roman cement so strong?Interesting explanation for why ancient mortar has lasted long.

Recognize and Respect the Value of a Good Concrete Worker

Keep a good concrete crew going - Between the money you dole out each week on wages, payroll taxes, insurance and worker's comp, you spend more on employees than all your other assets combined. Even though this is a fact, most contractors have a hard time recognizing employees as assets. Why is this and how can you remedy that situation?Between the money you dole out each week on wages, payroll taxes, insurance and worker’s comp, you spend more on employees than all your other assets combined. Even though this is a fact, most contractors have a hard time recognizing employees as assets. Why is this and how can you remedy that situation?

Marketing and Selling Decorative Concrete

Two people shaking handsIt’s not your imagination — the construction market is currently much more competitive. When opportunities exist, beating the odds to win the job and the increase of price pressures require more marketing tools and salesmanship than at any time in the last decade

Identify Goals and Tactics to Marketing on a Budget

yellow and black target with bullseyeIt’s time to plan and put together the marketing plan and budget. While you may be trained in the latest technologies, processes and equipment, chances are you don’t have any formal education in the latest marketing trends and techniques.

Training and Education is Good for One and All

Decorative Concrete Trainer talking with an attendee at a trade show at Brickform last summer.Decorative concrete done well, and properly maintained, is long-term free advertising. It’s like having a huge billboard on the side of the road showcasing your work.

Six Fresh Ways Decorative Concrete Contractors Can Sell Themselves

man with an ipadNo matter what industry you’re in, whether it’s massage therapy, concrete staining or stamped concrete, you have to consider yourself as being in sales.

The CSDA's New Concrete Texture Standard and What it Means for Polished Concrete

ST115 is a new standard for the concrete polishing industry that was adopted in fall 2013 by the Concrete Sawing and Drilling Association (CSDA).ST115 is a new standard for the concrete polishing industry that was adopted in fall 2013 by the Concrete Sawing and Drilling Association (CSDA). The standard explains in detail how to measure the texture of a concrete surface by using a texture meter.

Making International Travel and Shipping Plans for Concrete Projects

Preparing a shipment for loading onto a truck.While in the course of business these days, you will sometimes be asked to travel outside the United States to do decorative concrete work. The pitfalls are many, but the windfalls can be huge.

How to Get Your Decorative Concrete Projects Noticed by Editors

Trade-magazine editors are always looking for great projects to cover and they love to hear from contractors who have a story -- and great photos -- to share.Trade-magazine editors are always looking for great projects to cover and they love to hear from contractors who have a story — and great photos — to share.

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.

Turn a Connection into a Decorative Concrete Sale

Making good connections with people earn you higher numbers in sales.The decorative concrete industry is driven by fascination. Inspiring this fascination in customers is only possible when you connect first and foremost. Unfortunately, this is the number one aspect I see missing within our talented artisans today. Just like your ability to create with color and concrete, there is an art to connecting with architects, designers and owners.

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.

Large Designs are a Top Trend in Decorative Concrete

The first time I delivered “Trends in Decorative Concrete” was at the Concrete Decor Show in Fort Worth, Texas, in February 2014. It was initially created to present a quick snapshot of what was trending in our industry, targeting primarily the design community. At the time, I never anticipated the presentation would grow into the program it is today.

Teaching Maintenance to Your Customers is Key

A contractor seals the concrete with a roller.From presale to reseal, educating customers in how to maintain their decorative concrete is a lengthy process.

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.

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