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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.

Involving Small Contractors is Big Business for Airport Authority

Airport involving small business makes the work better.In 2009, the San Diego County Regional Airport Authority Board adopted a small-business preference policy. Since then, “The airport has had a strong commitment to maximizing opportunities for small and local businesses to compete for contracts,” says Sonia Cruz, small-business development program manager for the airport authority.

For Bomanite Personal Relationships are Part of the Plan

Dan Sieben, Mike Bernath, Brad Bowman and John Wilcox pose at a social dinner in the late '80s.A good marketing strategy was only part of the overall picture. Just as crucial to Bomanite’s long-term franchising game plan was the networking — the sharing of expertise and innovations among the highly diverse and widely dispersed franchisees.

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.

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.

Porosity, Penetration and Adhesion of Decorative Concrete Finishes

Patio that has been stained and stamped with concrete taking into consideration the porosity and more before application.The world we live and work in moves so fast, just going through the motions seems to have become the norm. Taking time to really understand how or why a product works is not even on the radar screen.

A Canadian Perspective of Concrete Countertops

Canadian flag with a concrete treatmentIf you’re a concrete contractor in Canada and are considering expanding your business to include countertops, you may appreciate the insights shared by Judy Mead of Concrete Countertops Canada.

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?

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.

Colorful Advice for Your Next Concrete Project

He bought some salmon, sliced them in half and laid them in freshly poured concrete, even going so far as to arrange some of the fish so that they looked like they were swimming up the stairs.“Never hand a customer a color chart,” cautions Lee Levig, owner of Concrete Works in the San Francisco area. It not only may overwhelm them with choices but it may take away an advantage you may be unaware of.

5 Ways to Effectively Utilize Your Decorative Concrete Awards

Concrete awards laid out on tableA stack of award submission requests are sitting on my desk staring me down and deadlines are popping up all over my calendar. Many associations and local, regional and national companies and groups in the decorative concrete realm host award programs to help recognize the best of the best.

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.

Things to Remember When Designing Decorative Concrete

A floor that as been stained and stenciled with a bird sitting on ribbons of darker stained concrete.Designing decorative concrete is no different from any other process that has endless options. The first step is to ask the questions that define the project and guide the design.

Profitable Concrete Stamping in Five Steps

The final stamped concrete job that has a red color on it.Profit is the byproduct of a high-quality decorative job. There is a big difference between learning to stamp concrete and learning to stamp profitable concrete. In this article we will discuss how to set your job up, as well as the installation process.

Hashtags: What They Are and How to Use Them Effectively

Hashtags: What They Are and How to Use Them EffectivelyDo you remember the last time you saw a hashtag? Chances are it was in the last hour but at least sometime today, and it may not have even been on a social network. Hashtags are everywhere these days, from your favorite TV show to highway billboards. As such, they can and should be a part of your social media strategy. The key is using them effectively.

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!

Listening to Your Customers Pays Off in the End

Listening to your audienceBeing successful in business, as in life, is knowing when to be right, and when to allow the other person their thoughts and views, especially when the “other” person is a potential or existing customer.

Concrete Pool Embedded with LED Lights

swimming pool with LED lights in the copingThe pool, then, needed a finish worthy of the rest of the home. Luckily, her contractor-husband, Jeff Barger, handed their concrete contractor, William David Reynolds, a copy of Concrete Decor magazine that featured a patio embedded with fiber optics, providing the elegant touch the pool needed.

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.

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.

Five Pieces of Advice on Working with Retailers and Decorative Concrete

Five hands holding up one two three four five fingersIn recent years the decorative concrete and coatings market has made its way over to the retail market. Retailers have unique needs that they have to address, and decorative concrete and coatings are becoming a more and more popular method for filling those needs.

Seven Fundamental Ways to Improve Your Sales

Fundamental building blocks.Making sales is arguably the most fundamental function of business. Maintaining an effective and relevant sales strategy is absolutely critical since it directly impacts your top-line (gross sales) growth more than any other function. Here are seven actions you can implement today to win more decorative concrete jobs and increase sales.

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.

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.

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.

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