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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.

Myth-Perceptions in Polished Concrete: Setting Up For Success or Failure

Microsoft campus in Washington state polished and colored with water-based dyes.The one universal truth about the polished concrete industry is that, sadly enough, there is no universal truth. We don’t agree about what defines polished concrete, what steps are important, or what is the best way to steer the industry.

Marketing for Concrete Contractors

Concrete can't sell itself, contractors must depend upon a bit of marketing too. Image from http://historycooperative.org/ Many contractors believe that their workmanship will sell itself, but too often, they depend on referrals. Decorative concrete contractors are artisans, not necessarily salespeople.

Concrete Decor Show: I'll be there ... will you?

Is there value in having a dedicated trade show for the decorative concrete industry? The short answer is yes. There’s tremendous value in having an industry-focused show. While there are decorative-devoted pavilions at other shows, they are just that — areas within other events.

How Did the Extreme Winter Affect Exterior Decorative Concrete?

Affects of extreme winter weather on decorative concreteLarge parts of the United States recently experienced a brutal winter of cold temperatures and record snow and ice accumulations.

Your Next Client Is Shopping Online

Computer with a shopping cartYour business may have the upper hand in finding new projects, at least if you’re willing to step up to online marketing.

The way this decorative concrete contractor sees it, the only way to land more projects is to increase your number of strong leads. Let’s take a look at exactly how you can add more solid leads immediately.

L. M. Scofield Co.'s 2014 Decorative Concrete Awards

turtle stained into concreteThe sixth annual Decorative Concrete Awards were announced recently by sponsor L. M. Scofield Co. The contest honors contractors and designers who use Scofield decorative concrete materials.

This year, for the first time, the contest was divided into six categories.

4 Tips for More Effective Portfolio Images on Your Website

PC showing recent work on the screen and hands on the keyboardLooks are just about everything when it comes to a decorative concrete company’s website, so make sure you have quality images that will help drum up business.

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.

Reaching your Business Goals

As a business leader, your primary objective is to see through the fog and identify where you want your company to go. I like to use a vision point that is three years away.Reaching the "summit" for your business takes forethought and daily attention.

10 Milestones in the History of Concrete

As Southern California contractors,
Rod Sadleir and his brother, Gerry,
were among the first to resurface concrete
with a very thin polymer-cement overlay.Concrete is a remarkable material with origins stretching back to antiquity. Concrete and its primary ingredient, cement, have changed a lot over the years, but the following timeline helps bring the history of this important material into the present day.

New Formula for High-Strength Shotcrete to Protect Tunnels from Fires and Terrorist Attacks

Fire-proof shotcrete Concrete Decor Magazine Phys.org reported that the science magazine Rubin published research conducted by engineers at Germany's Ruhr-Universität Bochum who have developed a shotcrete that can render tunnels, bridges and other structures more resistant against fires and explosions. The new formula enhances concrete with 140 kilograms of steel fibers per cubic meter, a figure that was thought to be impossible for shotcrete. The science magazine Rubin reports that engineers at Germany's Ruhr-Universität Bochum have developed a shotcrete that can render tunnels, bridges and other structures more resistant against fires and explosions.

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?

Surviving the Game of Business By Capitalizing on Every Opportunity

Football players playing the sport they love.Our industry, like football, has seen advancements. One visit to the World of Concrete conference will confirm this. But think about this for a second. Every job, whether in Texas or Dubai, has at least one thing in common. Finishing the job still comes down to a human and a shovel. As complex as our industry is, it still comes down to a tool that sits in every work truck across the globe.

How to Get the Job Without Being the Low Bid

swimming pool surrounded by beautiful concrete floorWe’ve all had the phone call with a client where he lets you down gently, saying thanks, but some other contractor came in with a lower number. Sometimes it’s best to just write off those lost jobs, but how do you get the jobs you really want without having to be the lowest price?

Six Issues to Keep in Mind When Working with Decorative Concrete Abroad

John Anderson in a tank top using a power trowel on a concrete slab abroad.The cultural practices and business models from country to country are unique in every way possible: techniques, materials, tools and construction practice regulations.

7 Basic Steps to Consider Before Starting any Concrete Project

The basic steps are as follows. Male lead in first bar: left foot forward step, right foot replace weight at same point, left foot back again to step beside from http://salsafundance.blogspot.com/2011/01/basic-step-in-salsa.htmlThis is where the seven steps to success before you start come into play. Problems with architectural concrete projects, real or perceived, can all be traced back to a breakdown of one or more of these seven steps.

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.

Hot New Markets in Decorative Concrete

New markets in decorative concrete are open and ready for business.The best training and the best products mean nothing if we can't find projects to prove our talent, right? I'm not going to sugarcoat our plight - I have been peddling decorative concrete for nearly 20 years and have never seen as many challenges as the ones we face today. Having said that, my goal is to have the best year possible, and I'm going to let you in on a secret as to how this will be done.

Geopolymer Concrete Shows Extreme Fire-Proof Qualities

Fire-proof concreteConcrete made using an industrial by-product has shown better fire endurance than traditional concrete when exposed to fires of nearly 1000 degrees Celsius.

Making Money with Decorative Concrete Curbing

Decorative concrete curbing can take on the look of brick pavers around a planter box without the concern of weeds growing between.When it comes to edging that pleases the eye, decorative concrete curbs have no competition.

Railroad ties rot, bender board breaks and brick mortar crumbles. But decorative curbing is permanent.

7 Strategies for Managing Working Capital in a Concrete Business

A purple ball point pen next to a blank check.When business is slow and credit is tight, you must do all you can do to preserve working capital, also referred to as operating capital. It’s an important financial metric calculated as current assets minus current liabilities. It’s the difference between the money you’ve been paid and the cash you owe.

CPAA Adopts New Position on Measurement of Polished Concrete Floors' Slip-Resistance

polished concrete floor slip resistanceIn April 2015 the Concrete Polishing Association of America (CPAA) adopted a new position on the measurement of slip resistance of bonded-abrasive polished concrete floors.

Last chance! Enter WOC Decorative Concrete Demos, Cheng contest
Planning for Success in Polished Concrete

Planning for success in the future with a clock face.There are new profit opportunities in polished concrete for the decorative concrete contractor. This is a fact, and every decorative concrete contractor should look into polished concrete. However, nothing ever caused more people to go broke than too much optimism and too little planning.

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