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Carlton's Corner: Provide Free Extras Instead of Dropping Your Prices

Apples, give free extras instead of dropping prices.As more competition fights for fewer pieces of the pie, it will become increasingly tempting to lower your prices in order to stay competitive. I understand this completely, because I operate a decorative concrete company in one of the most competitive and hard-hit housing economies in our nation.

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.

The Right Mix of Digital Tools for Decorative Concrete

decorative concrete roadwayWhether you are a paleo-pencil-pusher or digital native, in today’s market you have to ask, what are the best digital tools for my business?

What Considerations To Make When Purchasing A Vacuum

large vacuum with dust collecting featureThe philosophy behind purchasing industrial vacuums for controlling airborne dust is changing in the concrete industry, especially with new federal rules now in place concerning worker exposure to these particles.

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.

Stepping up from Decorative Concrete to General Contracting

Concrete Form installation using reusable forms, a level and a plastic mallet.Are you content with installing decorative concrete countertops, overlays and stamped concrete, or do you have what it takes to rise to the occasion?

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.

A New Technology Turns Iron Ore Waste Into Cement

Dry Slag Granulation (DSG)An Australian company is harvesting blast furnace waste and converting it into a new product to make cement in China, where 60% of the world’s iron waste is found.

ModaCrete releases Pamako CCS concrete countertop sealer
Experts Weigh In on What's Coming in the Decorative Concrete Industry

Concrete Industry Forecast red door on blank concrete wall indicating where is decorative concrete going.We asked everyone the same set of questions. It wasn’t easy to approach this, given our friends’ varied experiences and applications. Perhaps the first challenge to looking ahead this way is defining the industry in general.

Which Type of Decorative Concrete is Right for You?

Which type of decorative concrete fits you best.You have, are or will make decisions on your decorative journey, and they will affect you and your family. Our industry, decorative concrete, has so many layers and many types of overlap. This magazine makes it obvious your choices are vast, but make no mistake, each decorative type requires different kinds of training, investment and manpower.

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.

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.

Carbon-based Concrete Additive Wins Civil Contractors Federation (CCF) Environment Award

Eden concrete additive made from carbon nanotubes Architecture and Design announced last week that a carbon-based concrete additive won the Civil Contractors Federation environment award. The technology uses carbon nanotubes to give concrete a flexural strength 200 to 300 times that of steel.

Lead Generation SaaS: A New Method to Find Customers

Lead Generation SaaS: A new method to find customersFinding potential customers and successfully reaching them is a long and difficult process for most companies. Marketing actions businesses can take to create and build interest in a product or service make up lead-generation strategies.

Three Critical Components to Effectively Market Decorative Concrete

Drawing a stencil for concrete.Let’s take a look at three critical challenges to marketing your business effectively and how you can resolve them.

Decorative Concrete Calls for Innovative Safety Management

TB Penick construction workers placing an American Flag made of Terrazzo on a slanted concrete surface.Decorative concrete is a highly specialized form of construction. The product itself is unique, the tools, materials and construction methodologies employed are specialized, and the people who produce construction art are creative, dedicated artisans.

Whiteboard Videos Draw Attention to Your Message

White Board Video infographic, marketing & business development for the concrete contractor.If a picture is worth a thousand words, what is a video worth?

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.

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?

Concrete Products Work Best When Applied as a System

Concrete Products Work Best When Applied as a System Why use a concrete system, concrete products made by same manufacturer, advantages of concrete system, systems approach for concrete, reduce risks of concrete work with system, concrete benefits with system, using a systems approach, what works best for concrete products. Photo courtesy of Townescapes, Batavia, OhioProducts made by same manufacturer for concrete projects work best as a system.

Does Marketing Green Concrete Work?

Contractor planting trees to call attention to their green practices.All across the country leading decorative concrete contractors are going green — no matter what colors their clients request. Some contractors are emphasizing green marketing messages in their advertising, brochures, Web sites and sales presentations. This article examines two leading contractors to answer the question: Does green marketing give you a competitive advantage that wins business?

5 Things Decorative Concrete Contractors Wish Architects Would Do

things decorative concrete contractors wish architects would doAll joking aside, the designer-contractor experience very often does prove to be positive and stimulating. But contractors can have hopes and dreams for a world where they are more in sync with designers.

When Contractors Assume the Role of a Design Consultant

A wooden desk with an orange chair sitting at it.Savvy contractors can gain greater project input and can secure more work for their companies by becoming involved with design professionals during the early stages of project design.

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?

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