CTi would like to congratulate the following Dealers as they celebrate their anniversary with CTi in August:

CTi of Georgia – GA – 20 years
CTi Northeast – NJ – 19 years
B&D Custom Concrete – FL – 14 years
CTi of Cenla – LA – 14 years
Emerald City CTi – WA – 14 years
Concrete Appeal – IA – 13 years
Westcoast Creative Resurfacing – FL – 8 years
SES Environmental – GA – 4 years
CTi of LaSalle County – IL – 3 years
Creative Concrete and Countertops – FL – 3 years
R.D. Baker CTi Concrete Coatings – TX – 3 years
Moore’s Concrete Designs – FL – 2 years
Harris Concrete Solutions – FL – 2 years
KWB Concrete – TX – 2 years
Midstate CTi – LA – 2 years
Creative Concrete Solutions – MS – 2 years
C7 C Concrete Design – MS – 2 years
Artistic Concrete Designs – TX – 2 years
CTi of Chippewa Valley – WI – 1 year
CTi of Raleigh – NC – 1 year
Creative Concrete Resurfacing – CA – 1 year
Creative Vision FX – VA – 1 year
Moore Paint Co. – NC – 10 years
CIMA Ventures – NM – 9 years
TNT Landscape Services – TN – 6 years
Custom Decorative Concrete – IN – 4 years
CTi of Acadiana – LA – 4 years
Suncoast CTi – FL – 3 years
CTi Legacy – TX – 5 years
DMG Restoration Co. – OH – 5 years
CTi Southeast – LA – 18 years

As a business owner your CTi Dealership can be a tremendous asset in your portfolio of investments. To see how your business is performing though, you need to see it from three different angles, namely, the income statement, cash-flow statement and balance sheet.

The Income Statement details the business’s cash generating ability. It projects such items as revenue, expenses, capital (in the form of depreciation) and cost of goods. You should generate a monthly income statement for the business’s first year, quarterly statements for the second year and annual statements for each year thereafter.

The Cash Flow Statement details the amount of money coming into and going out of the business – these reports should be generated monthly for the first year and quarterly for each year thereafter. The result is a profit or loss at the end of the period represented by each column. Both profits and losses carry over to the last column to show a cumulative amount. If your cash-flow statement shows you consistently operating at a loss, you will probably need additional cash to meet expenses. Most businesses have some seasonal variations in their budgets, so re-examine your cash-flow calculations if they look identical every month.

The Balance Sheet paints a picture of the business’s financial strength in terms of assets, liabilities and equity over a set period. You should generate a balance sheet for each year profiled in the development of your business.

(The above was taken from the book Start Your Own Business by the staff at Entrepreneur media)

Remember, a stand alone set of books for your business will not only show you its real performance, it will also point out what is working well along with what needs to improve. In addition, a separate set of books for your business will make it much easier for a potential buyer to see what they are purchasing if and when you are ready to sell in the future.

We would like to congratulate the following Dealers and Distributors as they celebrate their anniversary with CTi in the month of July:

CTi of the Carolinas, NC – 21 years
J.A.M.S. CTi, GA – 14 years
Life in the Word, MO – 14 years
Duke Surface Solutions, NV – 3 years
Concrete Product Resurfacing, KY – 3 years
CTi of South Florida, FL – 3 years
SS Concrete Solutions, KS – 3 years
Green Home Services, PA – 2 years
Central Coast Surface Coatings, CA – 2 years
Cactus Concrete Designs, AZ – 2 years
CTi of St. Louis, MO – 2 years
West Kentucky CTi, KY – 2 years
CTS of West Michigan, MI – 2 years
Cornerstone Concrete Designs, CA – 2 years
Concrete Design and Repair, GA – 2 years
Concrete Technology of the Heartland, IL – 1 year
Premier Concrete Coatings of IL, IL – 1 year
Chadwick Custom Coatings, LA, 1 year
Concrete Solutions, TX – 1 year
CTi Midwest, MO – 1 year
Majestic Finishes, MT – 10 years
Seal Right, IA – 10 years
Bamas Best Concrete Decor, AL – 7 years
Armour Coating, IA – 5 years
New Surfaces Restoration and Design, PA – 4 years
Custom Concrete Finishes, LA – 13 years

TOMA and Your Business

Top of the Mind Awareness (TOMA) is a term used in advertising. TOMA means the customer thinks of your company when they are considering their options for filling the need your product delivers. TOMA happens through repetition (think “Coke” when you considering satisfying your thirst with a soda or “GEICO” when you’re considering car insurance.)

So how do Dealers stay on top of their customer’s mind? One of the most effective tools is distributing a newsletter on a regular basis to a database of current customers along with the potential customers who may have said “not at this time” or have seen you at the home show and given you their name, etc. The first key to creating this database is asking the customer for their e-mail address when you’re filling out their information.

Once you have their e-mail address, the first thing you’ll need to do is put it into some sort of digital format so you can create an e-mail list for your newsletter. A simple Excel spreadsheet will do the trick, but if you want a more complete database, you can use Sage ACT which is a comprehensive database that offers you a number of ways to stay in touch with your customers track their buying habits and locate where to find more customers just like them.

Now that you’ve created your database, it’s time to create a professional newsletter that will interest your customer. A couple of online companies can help you create these newsletters easily by providing templates and an easy way to link them up to your customer’s e-mail addresses. The first one is Vertical Response www.verticalresponse.com. The second option is Constant Contact. Both are very effective and easy to use.

So you know who you’re going to reach and you know how you’re going to reach them, the last question is what are you going to tell them? While many subject areas are appropriate to use for follow up, the most common with the CTI Dealer network are:

* High Profile jobs you’ve done recently
* Adding on new employees
* New products you’re offering
* New training, licensing or certifications you’ve received
* Asking them to come see you at an upcoming home show
* Photos of your latest installations
* Informational articles to help educate your customer on concrete repair, sealing, etc.
* Any awards you received from Associations or groups you belong to.

How often you send these newsletters out depends on a number of factors. You want to keep the newsletters fresh and full of new content. It also depends on the amount of time you have in creating them. A good rule of thumb would be to send one out once per month. This time frame will keep your company on top of the customer’s mind and keep you in their speed dial when they’re ready to pull the trigger on concrete resurfacing.

Season’s here and the customers have come on like gangbusters!  Your crew (or crews) are working at peak efficiency, they’re doing all they can to beef up production, but you’re making too many sales for them to keep up.

We at CTi see this predicament each Spring season when the weather starts allowing homeowners to utilize their outdoor patios or pool decks, or they notice their driveways and walkways could use a new look.  It sometimes seems like everyone contacts your business at once, whether it’s through a Home and Garden Show, or your phones simply become a lot busier.

So what is a Dealer supposed to do with this situation?  The knee-jerk reaction is to add more people, create another crew and keep up with the increased demand.  This is not a bad idea and it definitely will lead to more revenue for the business, but it comes with challenges that should be considered prior to pulling the trigger.

First, do you have the time to train a lead person for this additional crew?  Unless you can teach a new person how to effectively handle and manage a job site, you’re going to see issues in productivity and quality.  Training a new manager will normally take a few weeks and many Dealers just don’t have the time once season has come on them.

Second, can the business afford the increase in overhead?  New wages on payroll, new equipment and a new truck are just some of the expenses the business is going to incur when you add another crew.  It’s going to take some time for the cash flow from the increase in production to pay for the increase in overhead.  This lag may be anywhere from a few weeks to a few months, so you need to prepare accordingly.

Third, and most importantly, is increasing the size of your business truly what you want?  Most business owners get caught up in growing a business for the sake of increasing its size.  If not done properly, the business, over time, may become an entity the owner didn’t want in the first place.

There are other possible solutions when customers become too plentiful.

One is looking at adding some extra help to the crew you currently have (instead of adding an additional crew).  An extra set of hands used at critical times during the installation process can help a crew get additional square footage down each week.

A second consideration may be to look at equipment that may speed things up.  If your crew is grinding concrete with a 7″ hand held grinder, a larger walk behind can increase speed and efficiency and will lead to more production.

The final consideration is your selling price.  Business owners forget this option when they’re in the heat of running their business, but many times it’s the most effective way of growing a business’ profits while addressing the issue of too many customers.  A Dealer who has a backlog of work can increase his average selling price by $.50 per square foot without losing too many customers; the ones he does lose can be tolerated by the business because of the backlog.  The beauty of this solution is that the $.50 per square foot (of $500.00 for every 1000 square feet installed), goes directly to the bottom line of the business; no other increases in overhead or cost of goods has been incurred.

Create the business you’ve always wanted by keeping in mind the vision you had when you first started it.

Laminate counters can be found in many homes across the United States.  If your home has these types of counters, give them new life by having your local Concrete Technology Dealer install the CTi Euro Bond or the CTi Reflective finish over the existing laminate.  Your existing laminate counters can have the look and durability of marble, granite or you can have a look that is uniquely yours.  The Concrete Technology Systems are less expensive than marble, granite or other industry standard products so you can have all the beauty in your home without the expense.

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We would like to congratulate the following Concrete Technology Dealers as they celebrate the anniversary of their Dealerships:

Koetting Construction – TX – 18 years
Concrete Graphics – CO –  17 years
CTI of Pittsburgh – PA – 4 years
Concrete Master Works – TX – 4 years
Holm Concrete Solutions – IL – 3 years
Slab Doctors – NC – 3 years
CTi of New Orleans – LA – 3 years
Concrete Resurfacing of Connecticut – CT – 3 years
Elite Concrete Technology – KS – 2 years
Decorative Concrete of Knoxville  – TN – 2 years
CTi of Northern California – CA – 2 years
Americraft Decorative Concrete – OK – 1 year
Exterior Designs – LA – 1 year
Concrete Professional Restoration – AL – 1 year
Kennedy’s Decorative Concrete – OK – 1 year
CTi Northwest – OR – 1 year
CTi of Katy – TX – 1 year
Modern Design – MN – 1 year
CTi of Central Kentucky – KY – 8 years
Concrete Solutions & Restorations – MO – 8 years
Superior Corp. of IL – IL – 7 years
CTi of Elk River – MN – 6 years
Eagle Concrete – NY – 5 years
Dean Brothers Construction – NY – 5 years
Enhanced Concrete Concepts – PA – 5 years
Custom Concrete Designs – WV – 15 years

Chuck and Ryan are working hard with our Video team to put together some new training movies.  CTi is always striving to keep our Dealers on the cutting edge when it comes to products and techniques!  Shout out to Dan at Videophotog for helping us look good.