With a new year upon us, it’s a great time for concrete contractors to take stock of their current performance and map out strategies for improving for their businesses in the months ahead and beyond. Start by asking yourself some important questions: How do you want your company to grow? What can you do to take the quality of your decorative concrete work to the next level? Are there ways you can streamline your operations and do your job faster and more efficiently? Here are 12 New Year’s resolutions every concrete contractor should consider making.

Improve communication

Clear and open lines of communication among your field workers, office staff, and suppliers is crucial to getting your decorative concrete projects finished on time and to everyone’s satisfaction. Conduct regular meetings and make sure every member of your crew knows what is expected of them on each project. Also encourage idea sharing by establishing an open door policy.

Communicating with your clients throughout the job is equally important. Take the initiative to meet with them early in the project so you can set attainable design goals. If a problem arises as the project progresses, inform them immediately so you can work on a solution together.

Focus on getting more job leads

Many concrete contractors are so immersed in their work, they don’t spend enough time on marketing their skills and finding new clients. One way to make marketing a part of your normal routine is to set up a system for referrals, such as contact management software. Even better, join the Find a Contractor directory on ConcreteNetwork.com to get unlimited leads for concrete jobs in your local area.

Stay up-to-date on industry trends

In the decorative concrete industry, things are constantly changing, from new techniques and product developments to interior and exterior design trends. To stay informed about the latest innovations, set aside time in 2024 to attend several decorative concrete workshops, seminars, and industry events, such as World of Concrete or the Decorative Concrete Expo. Also sign up for The Concrete Network's free newsletters, which give you how-to tips, design ideas, product news, and more insights into the latest trends in decorative concrete.

Make the switch to construction management software

There is no better way to streamline every aspect of your decorative concrete business than to make the switch from paper-based project management to construction management software geared to concrete contractors. By automating operations such as job estimating, accounting, field productivity, project management, and equipment tracking, construction management software can dramatically boost your productivity and make it easier for you to keep your projects on track. If you think the switch will be too big of an investment for the size of your business, start with something small, such as computer-based job estimating and invoicing.

Get more ideas for saving time and boosting productivity.

SUNDEK of Nashville in Goodlettsville, TN.

Take great photos of your work

To make sure your potential clients can view examples of your past work, photography should be a crucial component of your marketing plan — regardless of your company’s size. Whether you use the photography on your website, in brochures, on social media or in your showroom, you should always portray your work at its best. Wait to photograph your projects when they are 100% complete and all the surrounding landscaping or furnishings are in place. Although it can sometimes be difficult to return to a project after you’ve packed up and left, it’s worth the effort to showcase your decorative concrete work in the ideal setting.

To see examples of great concrete photography, visit The Concrete Network photo gallery.

Launch a website (if you don’t already have one)

If you’ve been relying on phone book and newspaper advertising — or simply word of mouth —to let people know about your business, you are missing out on reaching a large group of potential customers who prefer to look for decorative concrete contractors online. A website doesn’t have to be complicated to be effective. Just stick to the basics, including contact information, details about who you are and the decorative concrete services you provide, a portfolio of completed projects, and customer testimonials. For more professional results, consider hiring an experienced website designer who can help you with the development of your site and search engine optimization.

Brickform, a division of Solomon Colors in Springfield, IL.

Invest in training

Identify areas for skill improvement and invest in training and certifications, not only for you but also for the members of your crew. To diversify the decorative concrete services you offer, also consider mastering new skills, such as decorative staining or concrete polishing. There are a number of companies and organizations that offer online and hands-on training in the decorative concrete industry. Check out these training resources.

Strive for 100% customer satisfaction

Positive word of mouth from satisfied customers is one of your best sources of future business. After a project is finished, continue to communicate with your clients to get feedback about what they like about your work and what could be improved upon or modified. Also discuss maintenance concerns and offer advice on how they can keep their decorative concrete looking its best. See these how-to tips for maintaining concrete slabs, floors, and countertops.

Prioritize safety

If you are only able to follow through on one resolution this year, you should make it this one. Safety hazards exist in all phases of concrete construction work, including respiratory irritation due to cement dust exposure, chemical burns from contact with wet concrete, and back injuries caused by overexertion. Many of these accidents can be avoided by establishing safety protocols on the jobsite and making sure they are met. Start by incorporating regular safety toolbox talks into your company’s schedule, targeting specific areas of concern at each meeting. Also make sure everyone on your crew is equipped with the proper PPE (including gloves, boots, and eye protection) when working with cement and wet concrete.

Think big, but start small

If your list of resolutions for 2024 seems to be overwhelming, ease in by starting with something simple, such as attending a decorative concrete training workshop. Once you are ready, you can move on to the next thing. If you fail to achieve one of your resolutions or don’t have the financial resources to make big changes all at once, you can always get back on track next year.

8 New Year's Resolutions for Improving Your Home