Denise Norberg-Johnson

Financial Columnist

Denise Norberg-Johnson is a former subcontractor and past president of two national construction associations. She may be reached at

Articles by Denise Norberg-Johnson

June 2005
Centuries ago, investment decisions were easy. You earned money at your trade, kept your gold coins in a pouch attached to your clothing and knew exactly how much wealth you had. You worried more about survival than the economics of gold values and if you were robbed, you knew immediately. Today, wealth is less tangible. READ MORE
May 2005
The next time you review your marketing strategy, consider expanding into the often-overlooked residential market. Many electrical contractors have chosen to concentrate on the cyclical commercial, industrial and institutional niches. READ MORE
April 2005
On Oct. 28, 2004, the Check Clearing for the 21st Century Act (passed on the same date in 2003) became effective. Supported by the banking industry, this legislation, also known as Check 21, is being marketed to check-writers as just another welcome step toward paperless, more efficient processing of financial transactions. READ MORE
March 2005
In part 1 of our exploration of the Internal Revenue Service Web site, we mentioned President Bush's fourth tax cut in four years, which extended three middle-class tax breaks and revived tax breaks for business. The Working Families Tax Relief Act of 2004 will affect some 94 million Americans. READ MORE
February 2005
As April 15 nears, most of us are giving some attention to taxes. Even if your electrical contracting business does not have a fiscal year corresponding to the calendar year, you are planning your personal battle with the Internal Revenue Service, and hoping tax day doesn't lower your standard of living. READ MORE
December 2004
How do you set your prices? Silly question, right? Everyone knows an electrical contractor looks at the plans and specifications (or what passes for them these days), does a quantity takeoff, estimates the costs of labor and material, adds a markup for overhead, sneaks in a tiny bit for profit, and submits the quote. READ MORE
October 2004
Wealth is no longer based on manufacturing The death of former President Reagan in June prompted the pundits to rehash the value of his economic policies. Did Reaganomics help or hurt the country? Were Republicans really practicing “voodoo economics”, or does wealth unburdened really “trickle down” to benefit the less fortunate? READ MORE
September 2004
A lot has changed since Dow and Jones teamed up in 1896 A few years ago, tracking your stock market investments required a simple review of daily values in The Wall Street Journal or your local paper. Today, minute-by-minute value updates and media hype make most individual investors feel like they’re on a roller coaster going out of control. READ MORE
July 2004
Use it to your advantage Down time erodes profit, frustrates field employees and annoys managers. Even the best scheduling won’t completely eliminate all gaps in field productivity. A late material delivery, broken piece of equipment, crew relocation or design change by your customer can leave everyone standing around looking for guidance. READ MORE