The question many people ask when they're trying to build their businesses into successful companies is, "How do I become successful?" Successful business owners know the answer - knowledge.
Knowledge can be obtained through many avenues, including industry associations, manufacturers, classes and seminars, other contractors, and of course, through the pages of this magazine. The more you learn about your industry, the better you'll do your job and the more professional you'll look to associates and customers.
The concrete industry is always changing with new products and equipment, advancing technologies, evolving customer demands and industry trends. One example of this is the "green" industry, with municipalities and customers demanding energy efficiency and environmental sustainability in more and more projects. As a concrete contractor you need to be familiar with the issues surrounding concrete mixes with fly ash and blast slag replacement or the proper use of insulation in concrete walls. Another example is concrete paving, which industry groups and contractors see as an up-and-coming revenue source; as asphalt prices increase, customers are more willing to consider concrete's benefits as it becomes a more price competitive option (see Cover Story, p. 18). Concrete polishing is another industry trend that's been gaining popularity in recent months (see Industry Trends article on p. 48). You need to stay informed on these issues - you need to possess knowledge about these issues - in order to provide your customers with a successful project.
This is a great time of the year for setting goals, so make a point to gain some knowledge about a concrete technique or trend you want to know more about. You might be reading this at the World of Concrete, a great industry trade show at which to gain knowledge about the industry. Maybe it's time to become more active in an industry association you're part of. Or maybe it's just time to sit down next to that stack of magazines you've been saving up all year and start reading!
Whatever avenue you take in pursuing knowledge about the concrete industry, rest assured, it will pay off in helping you become more successful in your business pursuits.