Using Failure as Fuel to Propel Your Decorative Concrete Business

Mar 25, 2024

In marketing our decorative concrete businesses, we tend to focus on success stories, highlighting achievements and showcasing the best of what we have to offer. However, what if I told you that failure could be one of the most powerful tools in your marketing arsenal?


Failure is the Cajun seasoning of your marketing efforts. Too much and it overpowers your message, but used sparingly, it can add the kick your customers need to decide to work with you.

Let's explore how incorporating elements of failure into your marketing strategy can help move clients off-center and propel your business to new heights.

Fuel Your Website

In the recent post, we discussed creating a sales-driven website, but your website is an important place to incorporate negative stakes.

What will life look like if your customer doesn't buy decorative concrete from you?

What negative experiences are you saving customers from?

On our website, we say, "Concrete is everywhere, but it doesn’t have to be ugly."

What is their failure here? They put up with ugly concrete. It's that simple. When they fail to hire you, they fail to address their ugly concrete.

Other negative stakes you could exploit are wasting time and money doing it themselves. I've come across plenty of do-it-yourselfers who don't prep the surface correctly or don't have access to the quality materials we have. Their efforts end in a mess, and they have to hire us anyway.

Don't overcomplicate this. Ask yourself, " What negative experiences am I saving my customers from?" and incorporate one to three of those on your website.

Fuel Your Ad Campaigns

As I mentioned, one common customer failure is improper surface preparation for decorative concrete applications.

Do-it-yourselfers fall into this trap, but it also happens when they hire a painter, a handyman, or some other professional who doesn't specialize in decorative concrete.

This choice leads to redos. In fact, 45% of our business is redoing something someone else did - whether it’s the homeowner or another professional.

It's a failure you can use to fuel your call to action with potential customers.

Highlight these failures in your ads and social media posts as negative stakes future customers avoid by working with you.

Showcase before and after photos of projects that required a second attempt due to inferior products or improper preparation. This will demonstrate your expertise and emphasize the consequences of cutting corners.

Pro-tip: Don't get carried away when using failure as fuel in your marketing. Improper preparation or low-quality products indeed lead to redos, but you never want to badmouth other companies.

Keep it professional.

While it's tempting to disparage competitors or criticize previous workmanship, this tactic often backfires and can tarnish your brand's reputation. Instead, focus on showcasing your own strengths and expertise, letting the quality of your work speak for itself.

Fuel Your Face-to-Face Estimates

Here are some tips to leverage negative stakes in the face-to-face estimate.

As we've already talked about, underscore the importance of proper preparation and the value of investing in quality materials and tools.

Paint a vivid picture of the potential pitfalls of cutting corners and emphasize that you are experienced in doing things right the first time.

Another way to incorporate negative stakes is by building a sense of scarcity in your estimates.

For example, we won't put a customer's project on the calendar until they pay a deposit.

No deposit means you might not get the date you want.

Negative stakes.


Also, when we take a deposit, we lock in their project cost. Warn your customer of supply cost increases that may increase the project's cost in the future. This may fuel their decision to act now.

By highlighting the risk of missing out on preferred dates or facing unforeseen price adjustments, you create a sense of urgency that encourages clients to commit.

Sprinkling in failure and negative stakes in these three areas, website, social media, and face-to-face, you can call your future customer to action.

BONUS: Using personal failure as fuel in your entrepreneurial journey

Henry Ford once said, "Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently."

So, how can we use failure as fuel in our own entrepreneurial journeys?

Here are a few tips to keep in mind:

Embrace Failure as a Learning Opportunity

Every failure is a chance to learn and grow. Instead of dwelling on what went wrong, take a step back, analyze the situation, and figure out what you can do differently next time.

Not sure where to start? Business coaching might help. Schedule a discovery call to see if it's right for you.

Stay Resilient

Success rarely comes easy. It's important to develop resilience and perseverance in the face of failure.

Remember, it's not about how many times you fall down but how many times you get back up.

Seek Feedback

Don't be afraid to ask for feedback from mentors, peers, or business professionals.

Sometimes, an outside perspective can provide valuable insights to help you course-correct and improve.

Redefine Success

Success isn't just about achieving your goals; it's also about your journey to get there.

Don't be afraid to redefine what success means to you and celebrate the small victories along the way.

Keep Moving Forward

Failure can be paralyzing if you let it.

Instead of getting stuck in a cycle of self-doubt, focus on taking proactive steps toward your goals.

Keep pushing forward, one step at a time.

Remember, failure is not the opposite of success; it's a part of it.

So, the next time you face a setback in your business, don't let it discourage you. Use it as fuel to propel you forward towards even greater success.

So There You Have It

So, there you have it. Three areas where you can strategically use failure as fuel in your marketing to move clients off-center and propel your business to new heights. PLUS, five tips for using failure as fuel in your own entrepreneurial journey.

If you're ready to launch or re-launch your decorative concrete business, we'd love to be your partner for success, whether it's investing in our online course or opting for custom coaching.

Be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel for more tips to launch and propel your decorative concrete company forward. Sign up for our email list below so you never miss new targeted advice for launching and optimizing your decorative concrete business.

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