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Concrete Professionals Gather to Discuss Decorative Concrete Makeover

A group of people listening to a presentation.Concrete professionals, including architects, interior designers, landscape architects, artisans and students from the Concrete Industry Management (CIM) Program came to a day-long session where they envisioned and designed decorative concrete walls, floors, seating, counters and more for the 33,000-square-foot facility, which occupies a former industrial building.

Concrete Contractors' Show-Stopping Showrooms

Decorative Concrete Professionals Need ShowroomsIn today’s digital age, many contractors are increasingly using the Internet, social media and iPads to highlight their portfolios and suggest options to potential clients.

5 Things Architects Wish Decorative Concrete Contractors Would Do

Architects and decorative concrete contractorsThere’s one key point on which architects and decorative concrete contractors agree: “The architect needs to have a contractor who knows what he’s doing,” says Marley Porter, AIA, who operates Living Architecture & Construction Management, located in Texas Hill Country at Cottonwood Shores.

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.

The Top 7 Mistakes that Can Make or Break Your Concrete Countertop Business

concrete countertop at catch kitchen and barAvoiding certain pitfalls can mean the difference between a struggling hobby and a thriving business. When it comes to countertops, here are a few of the most common mistakes we at the Concrete Countertop Institute think are the biggest stumbling blocks for aspiring concrete countertop contractors.

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.

Geopolymer Concrete Shows Extreme Fire-Proof Qualities

Fire-proof concreteConcrete made using an industrial by-product has shown better fire endurance than traditional concrete when exposed to fires of nearly 1000 degrees Celsius.

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.

Using Bacteria to Help "Heal" Concrete

self-healing concrete with bacteriaScientists in the UK develop a self-healing concrete that uses bacteria to plug cracks.

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.

Small Marketing Tactics Make a Big Difference In your Concrete Business

Photo courtesy of Tamryn Doolan Once you complete a job and you know the client is happy, follow up over the phone or through email to ask for a testimonial or quote for your website or a brochure. To make things even more convenient, send a stamped postcard they can easily mail back to you.

Natural Networking Making Friends Builds Business

a woman and a man shaking hands - As high school students, most of us were encouraged to join a variety of extracurricular activities to build our resumes and make us more well-rounded people. As adults and business owners, joining an association, as well as attending conferences and trade shows, can have some of these same advantages, but they can also help grow your business.As high school students, most of us were encouraged to join a variety of extracurricular activities to build our resumes and make us more well-rounded people. As adults and business owners, joining an association, as well as attending conferences and trade shows, can have some of these same advantages, but they can also help grow your business.

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.

The Concrete Decor Show's Legacy of Giving Back at The Julian Center

concrete sidewalk that looks like racetrack at a daycare center in IndianaSince the first Concrete Decor Show in Phoenix, Arizona, in 2010, the goal has been to provide world-class training opportunities for decorative concrete professionals while also leaving behind something tangible for the hosting community.

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.

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.

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.

Cement Makers Test Cleaner Concrete for Carbon Capture

Clean cementCement production contributes an estimated 6 percent of global greenhouse-gas emissions, and some scientists are trying to chip away at that pollution problem. Two start-ups, one in Canada and another in Arizona, are among the newer entries in the effort to produce cleaner cement and concrete.

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.

Niche Markets Help Keep the Recession in Check

Running a business has become more like a chess game, trying to maneuver yourself into the best position to keep the cash flow moving forward.Nothing, and I mean nothing, keeps a person up at night like worry over finding the next job or project. Running a business has become more like a chess game, trying to maneuver yourself into the best position to keep the cash flow moving forward.

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

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.

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.

Your Next Client Is Shopping Online

Computer with a shopping cartYour business may have the upper hand in finding new projects, at least if you’re willing to step up to online marketing.

The way this decorative concrete contractor sees it, the only way to land more projects is to increase your number of strong leads. Let’s take a look at exactly how you can add more solid leads immediately.

7 Strategies for Managing Working Capital in a Concrete Business

A purple ball point pen next to a blank check.When business is slow and credit is tight, you must do all you can do to preserve working capital, also referred to as operating capital. It’s an important financial metric calculated as current assets minus current liabilities. It’s the difference between the money you’ve been paid and the cash you owe.

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.

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