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Marketing Your Work With Photos

Bank entrance stained with images of coinsIn today’s world, we tend not to listen anymore. There are so many of us, we are all talking, and our words have become background noises for the stimuli that really distract us. If you want to say something today, you have to use the language that transcends culture, geography, and time. You have to use imagery.

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.

5 Tips for Photographing Concrete Hardscapes

concrete waterfall modern styleThe beauty of decorative concrete comes from its versatility and stunning final results. Each project’s unique traits help sell the next project. However, your future potential clients don’t necessarily have access to your past projects, which is why photography is a crucial component of your marketing plan — regardless of your company’s size.

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.

Tips for Polishing Preexisting Concrete Floors Profitably

Tips for polishing concrete and how to be profitable.If I were a contractor I would take “preexisting” projects over new projects every day of the week and twice on Sunday.

Accurate Project Records Today Get You Work Tomorrow

A person holding a pile of papers. Some things in life a person can bluff their way through but, unfortunately, decorative concrete is not one. When a previous customer called asking to add more decorative stamping, I learned the hard way. She loved the work previously installed, and now wanted to add a pool deck to match, right down to the colors and pattern. No problem, right? Wrong.

Be a Salesman not a Talesman and Sell More Concrete

There are many stereotypes associated with sales professionals. There's the slick-dealing used-car salesman type who makes people feel suspicious. There's the natural-born salesman who walks into the room and is instantly everyone's new best friend, with talents in every area and the best jokes. Then, there's the talesman, the unknowingly annoying salesman.There are many stereotypes associated with sales professionals. There's the slick-dealing used-car salesman type who makes people feel suspicious. There's the natural-born salesman who walks into the room and is instantly everyone's new best friend, with talents in every area and the best jokes. Then, there's the talesman, the unknowingly annoying salesman.

How can we help the concrete industry thrive?

How can we help the concrete industry thrive?Years ago, there was a Kevin Costner movie, “Field of Dreams,” which has now become a classic. While this movie was full of overarching plots and subplots, the main takeaway was: “If you build it, they will come.”

Protecting Your Business in Today's Market

A padlock with a key on top of a pile of chains.Unless you are willing to go door to door and give each potential customer a hug of reassurance, you must be willing to adapt and weather the craziness. The bottom line in what we do in decorative concrete requires folks to spend and invest in their properties.

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.

Is it Right for Your Concrete Business to Market with Social Media?

blue epoxy concrete floorIf you look for advice about how to promote and grow your business, you’re bound to encounter how important it is to be using social media such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Pinterest and Instagram. I think this is a problem, because it’s simply not true for everyone.

Settling on a Design For Your Job Ahead of Time

Coming up with a design idea.You don’t need me to tell you how tough today’s market is for contractors, and few will disagree that the ball is in our customers’ court. Razor-thin margins allow no room for error in one of the many things we used to pay little attention to.

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?

How Do Successful Concrete Contractors Choose the Right Manufacturers?

Concrete Warehouse FloorChoosing the right manufacturer is a dilemma every contractor in our industry faces every day. I’ve heard many analogies used to describe the decorative concrete industry over the years, but two comparisons have always resonated the most: “Polished Concrete is part Art and part Construction,” and “The polishing industry is still the Wild West.”

Cement Has Now Been Successfully Reinforced Using Plastic Waste

plastic-reinforced concreteResearchers have successfully reinforced concrete with plastic waste, paving way for the first large-scale sustainable construction practice.

Three Ways to Drum Up New Concrete Work

Gain more jobs by marketing to the local crown.Eight times per year I look at this magazine from cover to cover, amazed at how our industry has been hijacked by true artists. This level of skill, along with a few creative marketing ideas, should keep fresh money coming into your bank account.

Concrete Maintenance Programs Can Cement Client Relationships

Concrete is a very durable material and some contractors and a lot of their clients believe itConcrete is a very durable material and some contractors and a lot of their clients believe it’s a maintenance-free product. But the reality is that no product lasts forever, not even concrete, without occasional maintenance.

Finding and Keeping Quality Employees

Tom Ralston trowels concrete to teach his crew how he wants them to do it on the job site.Unless you can handle every decorative concrete job yourself, a skilled, reliable crew is one of the keys to staying in business.

Concrete Decor talked to several business owners and got some great advice about effective ways to train and keep a crew.

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.

Researchers Uncover the Secret Ingredient to Roman Mortar's Strength

Why is Roman cement so strong?Interesting explanation for why ancient mortar has lasted long.

Net Benefit and Increasing Your Value to Customers

Valuable products get your customers to see thatYour product is valuable. You know it. You hope your customers know it. But how can you be sure? How can you ensure that your product benefits your customers and, in so doing, benefits your company?

Researchers File Patent for Fire-resistant Concrete

fire resistant concreteScientists at the Swiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology (EMPA) have added polypropylene (PP) fiber to a concrete mix. The technique allows water vapor to escape, preventing pressure from building inside the concrete, making it more fire-proof.

Compete for Work, But Do It Respectfully

Football players practicing in the sunset.One of the major issues that I have noticed in the decorative concrete industry is that most contractors in our business do not seem to have any respect for each other. There are a few exceptions, but for the most part this statement is true across the board.

Concrete Professionals Should Mind Their Manners While on Mobile Phones

Iphone in rose gold sitting on a concrete countertop.While on mobile phones, concrete contractors should conduct themselves professionally to make a good impression wherever they may be.

Processes that Ensure Quality Work Are Needed Now More Than Ever

Four stars on a concrete background.The lack of communication between owners and designers at the top of the building process and the workers at the production end, as well as the training needed for a seamless transition from client's conception to finished project can create a dysfunction in the industry that is in desperate need of fixing.

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