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Strong Relationships Within Concrete Industry are Key to Successful Ventures

Strong Relationships Within Concrete Industry are Key to Successful Ventures We live in a time where so much of our business, for better or worse, is conducted electronically. On the positive side of the ledger is the fact that information can be searched and retrieved at the speed of a simple mouse click.

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?

Making and Keeping Great Hires in an Employee Drought

Finding and keeping good employees from Concrete Decor magazineIn desperation we post employment opportunities on social media sites, in local newspapers and on online job listing pages. We even purchase radio spots, hoping to pick up the one or two rock-star employees left looking for new employment. But the reality is, there truly is a labor shortage out there.

Re-ignite Your Spark of Passion for Decorative Concrete

Decorative concrete aggregateThe fear that we may lose touch with the concrete artistry in our industry is a legitimate feeling. It seems like more and more projects require firm decisions and designs before they ever reach our eyes. Are we losing the chance to add our expertise, advice and artistic touch to decorative projects?

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?

Scientific Principles of Concrete

Schematic illustration of the pores in calcium silicate through different stages of hydration.The importance of concrete in modern society cannot be overestimated. Look around you and you will find concrete structures everywhere such as buildings, roads, bridges, and dams. There is no escaping the impact concrete makes on your everyday life. So what is it?

Communicating Standards Through Industry Specifications

Writing on parchment with two pencils and an eraser.Too often we take the written word as gospel, but is that truly smart? Do we know what, or who, stands behind the words we read? After all, paper will not refuse ink. Our industry is growing, and as the industry grows, so do the misrepresentations and misunderstandings.

Website Considerations for the Decorative Concrete Professional

How to make a better websiteWebsites have changed the relationships between businesses and customers. Having an attractive, purposeful and convenient website can make or break a company. A website is particularly useful for a decorative concrete artisan, because it allows you to visually showcase your work, publish testimonials and be easily found by potential customers.

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.

Atomic Placement of Elements Makes for Strong Concrete

atomic placement of elements in concreteThe reason concrete is so strong is elemental. According to researchers at Rice University, studying friction on materials such as concrete has provided the answer.

The Art of a Successful Concrete Business Rebranding Campaign

removing stencil backing from a decalsLike people, businesses often need a reset of sorts to re-energize and better position themselves for the future. For concrete contractors and suppliers, rebranding their company name or product logo can provide this fresh start.

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.

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?

Good Customer Service Goes Far Beyond the Initial Sale

A service sign on a black backround.If you are truly committed to service, not just the initial sale, then you're not through when you're done.

PCA says U.S. cement consumption increased in 2013
It's Time to CARE About Sales Silence

The sound of silence represents the ability to truly hear what prospects are saying. Small child drawing a chart with chalk on a blackboard.Shhhh… Close your eyes and don’t make a sound. The sound of silence is the sound of sales increasing substantially for you and your company. The sound of silence represents the ability to truly hear what prospects are saying, before worrying about your next statement. It also represents the lack of time salespeople spend honing their sales skills

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.

How to Keep Your Business Up in a Down Market

A graph of arrows going up and down.Analysts have been dissecting the residential and commercial construction industry for months, and though some predict a rebound soon, no clear end to the rollercoaster ride is in sight. But as many in the decorative concrete sector have discovered, a change in the market doesn’t necessarily mean a dramatic decline in business.

The Four Fundamentals of Any Business Strategy

Ideas and brainstorming on paper.Business strategy is the conscience you need for effective decision-making as you wade through the ambiguous waters of entrepreneurship. You face a lot of uncertainty as a decorative concrete business owner, and having a coherent business strategy is fundamental to minimizing that uncertainty.

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?

Adjusting Your Business and Mindset to the New Normal

Adjusting to the new normal of businessAdjusting the way you do business from this day forward is as important as accepting the fact that the "new normal" is very real. It has nothing to do with giving up. I have been lucky enough to be a decorative contractor for many years, and the new normal as I see it is as follows.

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.

Solid Tips for Improving Your Bid's Chances

If you've been in business for even a short while, you've invested your time and efforts in identifying bid opportunities. You diligently filled out all the necessary documents, put the insurance and bond requirements in place, met the time restrictions, obtained the correct license and so on.If you've been in business for even a short while, you've invested your time and efforts in identifying bid opportunities. You diligently filled out all the necessary documents, put the insurance and bond requirements in place, met the time restrictions, obtained the correct license and so on. Then you sit back waiting to hear if you were the one who was awarded the project.

Press Releases Still Relevant Marketing Strategy

The Museum of Public Relations considers the first press release to be a statement written by the Pennsylvania Railroad in 1906, disclosing the events surrounding a train derailment. That statement spawned an industry.The Museum of Public Relations considers the first press release to be a statement written by the Pennsylvania Railroad in 1906, disclosing the events surrounding a train derailment. That statement spawned an industry.

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.

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