Q.: I am a concrete contractor with no experience in decorative concrete work. How can I get involved in this industry without assuming too much risk?

A.: You’ve probably seen ads that suggest that decorative concrete work is easy and the profits are high. What they don’t tell you is that the risks can be high, too. Owner expectations are often higher, and there is much to learn. If you and your crew already have good concrete placing and finishing skills, it would be good to find a training seminar that can provide both the information and the hands-on skill needed for the type of decorative concrete you are interested in. CONCRETE CONSTRUCTION magazine provides a list of training opportunities on its Web site that could be helpful for starting your search. There is a large list to choose from. After you understand what’s involved, it would be a good idea to install a small area (perhaps your own patio) before signing a contract to install work for someone else.