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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.

Taking Great Project Photos with Your Smartphone

Taking Great Project Photos with Your Phone CameraIphoneography — or “i4neography” — is a term that has been around for a few years, and as you may have guessed, it pertains to photography via iPhones.

When Downtime Must Be Minimal, Polyaspartics are Paramount to the Job

When fire stations are upgraded, contractors must complete improvements while minimally disrupting operations and firefighters' access to equipment. Oftentimes, the return-to-service window of products used is paramount to completing this task, especially when coating and sealing concrete apparatus bays.When fire stations are upgraded, contractors must complete improvements while minimally disrupting operations and firefighters’ access to equipment. Oftentimes, the return-to-service window of products used is paramount to completing this task, especially when coating and sealing concrete apparatus bays.

How to Use Samples, Mock-ups and Models to Your Best Advantage

Creating models of concrete jobs - Samples, mock-ups and models take the guesswork out of decorative concrete finishes and offer a sense of security for the owner, designer and contractor. They quickly get everyone on the same page before crews permanently place any concrete on the site.Samples, mock-ups and models take the guesswork out of decorative concrete finishes and offer a sense of security for the owner, designer and contractor. They quickly get everyone on the same page before crews permanently place any concrete on the site.

Six Fresh Ways Decorative Concrete Contractors Can Sell Themselves

man with an ipadNo matter what industry you’re in, whether it’s massage therapy, concrete staining or stamped concrete, you have to consider yourself as being in sales.

Harnessing the Advantages of Your Small Company

A set of binoculars rests on a ledge at sunset.A leader with a vision and a visionary leader are not the same. It is not enough to simply have a vision and convey the vision to a group of people. You must be emotionally intelligent to understand how to emotionally convey a vision.

Small companiess are better equipped to be successful in this way and its time to harness it.

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.”

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

Chris Sullivan meets with buyers at the Concrete Decor Show. 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.

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?

Treating and Preventing Concrete Burns

Todd Rose's wedding-day photo shows his acid-scabbed hand underneath that of his bride, Sarah.If you work with concrete you already know how abrasive, alkaline and caustic it is.

To put it simply, as portland cement dries, it will absorb water from any source in order to harden. That means it will suck the moisture from your skin as well.

Successful Concrete Businesses No Matter Where You Call Home

An outdoor kitchen project by Elements, a decorative concrete company in Sheridan, Wyo.Doug Carlton discusses his favorite trait of the decorative concrete industry: Passion.

Solid Branding: Tips on Video and Content

Context, in other words, is engagement. It's scaling interactions and associations with your company or product to a point where trust is developed with your brand. Decorative concrete can be complicated, and there is a lot that goes into a successful installation. But at each project’s finale, you move onto the next job where you’ll save the day for another customer.

A Tip of the Hard Hat to Safety on the Construction Site

decorative concrete live hard hat and super etch plusThe debut of Decorative Concrete LIVE! at the 2017 World of Concrete in Las Vegas was met with resounding approval as job site safety took center stage in the annual event's Silver Lot.

Two Money-Making Alternatives for Polishing Contractors

Dollar bills lying on top of each other.As business owners, as soon as we open our eyes each day, we begin to think and search. Where are we going to find more work for our crews? Besides the usual options of bidding on new construction projects, refurbishing old polish jobs or removing epoxy coatings, there must be other ways to make money with our equipment and skills.

Trade Shows: What's in Them for You?

man at tradeshow with attendeeThe decorative concrete industry is a niche market with a lot of players competing for work. An internet search for “decorative concrete contractor” will bring up nearly 3 million entries, and “concrete artisan” generates nearly 1 million. In local phone books, however, there are typically no such entries.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Product Warranties Can Be a Boost for Business

This key is pointing to an imperfection in the concrete that voids its warranty per the manufacturer.Peace of mind seems to be a rare commodity these days. So, if you could become involved in a program that helps offer that to you and your clients— and possibly helps grow your business, as well— wouldn’t you leap at the opportunity?

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?

A concrete solution to climate change?

A better understanding of how carbon dioxide is absorbed by concreteA better understanding of how carbon dioxide is absorbed by concrete.

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