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Giving Your Concrete Business the Flexibility It Needs to Thrive

Contractor using a power trowel to finish a concrete slab.In the free enterprise system, competition selects out businesses that don’t adapt to change or events they can’t plan on. To thrive within this system, your decorative concrete business must maintain a high degree of flexibility.

Decorative Contractors and LEED Standards: Why You Should Take Notice

Green building website screenshotGreen building has been making a lot of headlines lately — it seems as if you can’t turn on the TV, read a magazine or attend a conference without hearing about it. You have probably heard the buzz about LEED and wondered how this building rating system applies to you. Green building is the next step for the decorative contractor industry, and LEED will help you and your business take that step

Smart Cement Revolutionizes Well Casings

concrete in borhole drillingsA researcher is trying to give cement sensing properties with applications in the oil industry.

Using the Four P's of Marketing to Sell Concrete

Modern gray concrete countertop.Marketing activities exist in multiple forms. In 1960, marketer E. Jerome McCarthy identified four distinctive types of marketing, often referred to as the “four P’s”: product, price, place and promotion. This marketing mix provides a standard framework for a decorative concrete professional to communicate and deliver lasting value to customers.

When and How to Expand Your Concrete Contracting Business

Looking at a bridge from the under side imagining how to grow your concrete contracting business.Concrete contracting companies, no matter the size or specialty, have to deal with many of the same challenges. It’s important to address some of these before trying to expand your business, so you're sure the foundation you're about to build on is solid.

Relationship Marketing to Grow Your Business

relationship marketing venn diagramDecades ago our country moved from an industrial economy to a service-based economy. More recently, that service-based economy has further evolved into an experience-based economy. Customers are wanting — and businesses are providing — an added experience and feel to compliment customer service.

Pricing a Polished Concrete Job

Two people doing paperwork at a desk with computersPricing a polished concrete job is hardly cut and dried. There are many things to consider. There are more obvious factors, such as labor, fuel (diesel will probably be your largest expense next to labor), tooling, and travel expenses. There are also various factors about the floor itself that must be considered.

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.

How To Navigate the Craziness of Troubleshooting

Troubleshooting questionsInformation has become the currency of the 21st century. Just look at how fast and easy obtaining information has become. Most of us can access the world from a hand-held phone or PDA. In contrast, it seems like providing basic information when you're the one asking the question can be like pulling teeth.

Nine Tips for Not Getting Lost in Translation

image of the earthToday’s global economy means companies are doing business all over the world, which often requires marketing materials or websites to be available in multiple languages and producing content in several languages may help attract clients who don’t speak English as their primary language.

CCNY Team Researches Unique Glass Powder for Concrete Production

CCNY Team of ResearchersIn potentially transformative research for both the recycling and concrete industries, a City College of New York civil engineering team is developing a glass powder to replace cement in the production of concrete.

Expectation Management Should Be Part of Conversation with Customers

Have you ever been in the process of completing or had just completed what to you was an amazing architectural concrete project only to be told by your client:Have you ever been in the process of completing or had just completed what to you was an amazing architectural concrete project only to be told by your client:
“It’s not what I was expecting.”
“Meh! It looks kind of ‘blah.’ I thought the color would ‘pop’ more.”
“I don’t like it.”

Researcher Uses Microwave to 'Bake' Concrete

Concrete thermography is a way to "bake" concrete with MicrowavesAn electrical engineer at Missouri University of Science and Technology is using microwave energy to test concrete and rehabilitated aluminum, and in the future her work could lead to safer bridges and aircraft parts.

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.

The Complete Decorative Concrete Contractor

The colors were stains and tinted sealers from Increte, and metal inlay was used on the perimeter.Five veteran contractors and artisans provide insight by explaining where their decorative concrete journeys began, how their skill sets grew and how diversification has affected their careers.

Choosing a Nonslip Additive for Your Floor Coating
Are You Ready to Be a Project Manager?

Concrete installation project managerYou’ve worked hard, become skilled at making things, developed relationships with architects, gotten specified on a commercial project, bid to all of the generals involved and been told the winning bidder is going to go with you. Now what?

Managing Your Decorative Concrete Business for Profit

Manage Your Decorative Concrete Business for ProfitBy my estimation, nearly 80 percent of all decorative concrete businesses fail to reach full earning potential, thanks to some form of mismanagement. Don’t feel bad. This percentage elevates when we combine all other construction trades into the equation.

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.

What To Do When A Customer Is Unhappy With the Result

Pink piggy bank with coins around it.You will get complaint calls regarding your contracting, and this day needs to be planned for. Your customer may have a legitimate complaint or may need some educating. Nevertheless, not responding to the complaint will only aggravate the situation.

How to Market Your Decorative Concrete Services to General Contractors

How to Market Your Services to General ContractorsPitching to the GC is relatively direct — enjoy a free lunch and explain what decorative concrete is all about. A sampling of opinion from a handful of other contractors turns up some interesting — you might even say unorthodox — approaches to this matter of communication with the general contractor.

CIM College Program Graduates Can Land Good-Paying Construction Jobs

students working on a concrete block - Collaboration between industry and academia has created a mix of in-class learning and hands-on experience that is helping to solve an ongoing challenge for the concrete sector -- adding youth to the workforce.Collaboration between industry and academia has created a mix of in-class learning and hands-on experience that is helping to solve an ongoing challenge for the concrete sector — adding youth to the workforce.

New Ways to Sell Decorative Concrete

A sealed pool deck can be sold to a customer with a proper explanation of the process and outcome.As adults we learn to communicate using our words when we want and need something. The use of certain words can change the entire intention of what someone is trying to say. For those who sell and install decorative concrete, when was the last time you thought about how words influence your client's thought process regarding their decision to buy your products or services?

The Art of Bidding and Estimating a Decorative Concrete Job

If you do quality decorative concrete work, more work is sure to come your way. But what should you be charging?Protect your business with these proven techniques for pricing jobs.

Improve Your Sales and Customer Relations with a Decorative Concrete Design Center

Colorado Hardscape's Concrete Design Center Showroom - In 2001, Colorado Hardscapes made a move that forever changed its approach to sales and marketing. The company moved into a new concrete design center, the first of its kind in Colorado.In 2001, Colorado Hardscapes made a move that forever changed its approach to sales and marketing. The company moved into a new concrete design center, the first of its kind in Colorado.

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