Bring a Buddy to Seminar | Don’t MARCH Alone

Our March 2012 decorative concrete training seminar is limited to 21 seats and they are filling up! However, you have a little time to get yourself registered at $895 and decide to bring one person with you for $495.

Why do we offer a bring-a-buddy discount?

The decorative concrete business is often a family business, and couples learn together and gain skill at the hands-on Engrave-A-Crete training sessions. A parent sometimes brings along a son or daughter who’s in business with them. Two sibling business partners can both learn at a seriously discounted price.

When decorative concrete is added to an existing business, there are often team members who would benefit from the skills they acquire through the hands-on use of the tools, stains, sealers and supplies.

At our seminar, students get hands-on experience and make their first mistakes. Then, they can learn how to avoid or correct errors from trainers who’ve been in the decorative concrete industry and experienced similar problems on the job.

The state-of-the-art facility in Mansfield has everything necessary for an awesome training – expert instructors, top-of-the-line tools, a full line of stains and sealers, safety precautions, spacious areas for the catered meals, short ‘desk time’ sessions and plenty of naked, gray concrete slabs just waiting to be transformed..

Call 800-884-2114 today if you have questions or to reserve your spot for the March 2012 Discovery and Training Seminar.

Don’t forget to ask about the “X” which will be available for your March 2012 training sessions.

 

 

 

Three Ways to Let Copyright Infringement Work for Your Decorative Concrete Photos

Does the prospect of encountering some dirty rat with the nerve to steal your copyrighted decorative concrete pictures irritate you?

TinEye.com and Google Images are defensive tools that you can use to keep track of how your images are being used. This article in Plagiarism Today tells a few little things that can make tracking even easier.

In decorative concrete, as in football, sometimes the best defense is a good offense.

Your decorative concrete WORK is truly unique, but are your photos? You take photos of that beautiful patio, the owner takes photos, his mother takes photos and maybe the neighbors.  The photos are all going to be extremely similar. Copyright on photos is not always the most productive battle for you to choose.

Choose to let your photos work for you in ways that you don’t have to manage or manipulate.

You will want to do these things:

  • Change the name of the photo file from the camera numbers and letters to your company name. Add titles, keyword tags and a description at every opportunity when you post the photo. “Image Tags Work Behind the Scene to Market Decorative Concrete”  is a recent blog post telling more about tagging.
  • Use the text tool on a simple photo editing program to put your name in an attractive but clear location on the photo,
  • Add a free Creative Commons license (creativecommons.org) that lets you maintain ownership of the photo and give some guidelines about its use.

If you were to put your photos on the PUBLIC side of a photo storage service such as Flickr, you can give them a Creative Commons license.  You can choose alternatives to full copyright such as

  • Attribution: You let people use the photo as long as they give you credit,
  • NonCommercial, you let them use the work for non-commercial purposes. (if they want to use it commercially, they have to contact you for permission),
  • ShareAlike which addresses derivatives of your creative work,
  • NoDerivatives — only verbatim copies with no changes can be used without contacting you for permission.

Then, set your photos loose on the world to be shared and to advertise for you without legal interference.

Violation of copyright is a problem on the Internet. It’s easy to feel these ‘virtual’ things have no home.  While people openly do things they would never do in the brick and mortar world, I expect most of the non-permission use is not with the intention to claim the photos, but not thinking before using.  Asking for permission goes a long way with whoever was behind the camera.

Dirty rats who would claim your work will look dumb because your name is all over the photo.  Super-evil dirty rats will work around all of the barriers you’ve set up, but how many of these are going to be looking for you?  Your time is so much better spent being the very best decorative concrete engraver. Let the rats work for you.

We’re in this with you and appreciate your use of photos for the work that you do!  The rats are in the minority.

The ‘X’ is Coming! The ‘X’ is Coming!

More than Xtremely Xciting, Engrave-A-Crete’s new ‘X’ is Xactly what the world of decorative concrete has been waiting for.

What makes the ‘X’ such a big deal? It could be the fantastic new features that give the ‘X’ superior performance. It could be the ergonomic design. It could be the pointer system designed for absolute accuracy. It could be the  increased durability. It could be the Made in the USA and Full One Year Warranty assurances. Or, it could be all of those.

Students at February Discovery and Training Seminar  got hands-on experience with the ‘X’, so they know.

Folks attending the Concrete Decor show at Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center in San Antonio, TX were introduced to the ‘X’ so they found out too.

Soon you’ll know.  THE tool + THE system = 10,000 Designs.

 

 

The Rule of 24 – One Secret to Successful Bidding

Rule of 24Does bidding on a decorative concrete project make you sweat? Fear of leaving something out of the figures can be stressful — and you may already know how it affects the profit side when the project is done.

Remember the Rule of 24, first brought up in Groov-E-News a couple years ago? Let’s revisit the idea.

Structured bidding practices can be uncomfortable at first, but a checklist is one way to be sure you include everything you need and avoid some bidding stress. What seems like extra work is not nearly as much trouble as playing catch-up at the last minute.

As before, NOT everything you need to consider when bidding a specific job will be included in this post. The post is closer to a general checklist set-up than a dry run for a real job.

Stain: How much stain will be needed? How many different colors will make up the design? How much of each one?

Supply stock on hand: Can you use what you already have? Are you ready to order for timely delivery? Running out of anything will cost you time on the job.

Fine tuned supply checks come next.

Stain supply — Do you have the right colors in the right amounts or a plan to have them delivered? Sprayers — Are they cleaned and ready? If not, do you have replacement parts or new sprayers on order? Sealers and Finish supplies — Do you have enough on hand or at least a shopping list?  Remember to get extra, just in case.  Epoxy — Does the job call for epoxy and the corresponding supplies? Is this something you need to add to your order list?

Tools — Do you need any spare parts? Parts, such as impactors, that must be routinely replaced should be ordered in advance.

Estimating the hours of labor required to complete the job can cause a huge amount of stress. Hours, people required, your rates for time and materials all must be lined up on your checklist so you can do the necessary math to bid correctly.

When you have your checklist all written out with everything ready, it is time to apply the Rule of 24.

Put the bid in a drawer for 24 hours. No peeking.

Take it out again after 24 hours and look it over. Did you forget anything? Did something unexpected come up? Now is the time to add the unexpected and forgotten.

When you’re ready with no more additions or changes, then you can be sure of delivering a sound bid that is fair to the customer and profitable to you.

Apply the Rule of 24 to your stress-cutting checklist to save yourself time, money and headaches.

 

 

Decorative Concrete Seminar Specials that Sing of Savings

As you invest in your decorative concrete business, you need to get the highest return on your money. Engrave-A-Crete can help you reach that goal.

Investing in quality Engrave-A-Crete tools and products are the foundation for the savings. Efficient work management, more safety, and fewer breakdowns all add up to more effective decorative concrete with a greater return on your time and money investment. Add to that quality tech support from someone who has ‘been in the trenches’ of decorative concrete and the value increases.

Attending our three day seminar featuring hands-on experience with the tools and other supplies while taking a project from blank concrete to beautiful is a great investment. The opportunity to train in a climate controlled environment where efficiency and safety are priorities is a great value because you go back to your customers with ability to use the quality tools. In addition, the reasonable tuition includes meals, snacks and assistance by the capable staff at Engrave-A-Crete seminar. Now tuition is headed toward the bargain side of the table.

Taking matters even closer to the bargain side, let’s look at the graduated Bring-A-Buddy deal for our March seminar.  One person can enroll at the regular fee and bring a buddy for a reduced price of $495. That’s a nice bargain and investment.

Finally, and right into the bargain basket…seminar students who make a $4,000.00 purchase will have one seminar tuition fee credited back. Call 800-884-2114 for details.