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

May 2006
The first two parts of this series have explored the concept of the Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) and the potential advantages of establishing one for your contracting business. This month, we will discuss some of the possible pitfalls. The costs associated with designing and maintaining an ESOP include professional fees and ongoing clerical expenses as well as filing fees. READ MORE
April 2006
Last month, we introduced the concept of the Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP). This month, we’ll look at the potential advantages to your company of establishing an ESOP, including positive effects on employee morale, company finances and bonding relationships. Most ESOPs are structured as trusts and leverage the purchase of company stock. READ MORE
February 2006
Last month, we reviewed the issue of identity theft and the impact of recent legislation regulating the protection of sensitive information. For electrical contractors, the adoption of policies and procedures for records management includes a defined program of scheduled retention and appropriate destruction. Remember, most information theft occurs from “Dumpster diving,” which is not illegal. READ MORE
January 2006
More than 9 million U.S. consumers were victims of identity theft in 2004. Contrary to popular belief, most of these thefts resulted from sifting through trash, not electronic hacking. READ MORE
December 2005
Bonding capacity is one of the primary factors limiting your ability to grow and acquire larger projects. What does your surety want from you, and how can you make sure your bonding capacity is there when you need it? Traditionally, bonding agents used the Three C’s—capacity, capital and character—to evaluate contractors’ bond worthiness. READ MORE
November 2005
Do you own all of your assets? Does your lending and bonding company expect you to provide substantial collateral to buffer the risk of doing business with you? In a world where service businesses have overtaken manufacturers and retailers, things have changed. It is no longer necessary-and perhaps not even wise-to own everything you need. How do you decide?Start with the basics. READ MORE
October 2005
In last month’s column, we outlined the procedure for establishing a risk management plan, a checklist of ways to prevent employee-related losses and the conditions favorable for fraud to occur. Internal crimes tend to follow common patterns. Even honest employees may steal if they are experiencing severe financial difficulties or feel that they are treated unfairly. Know your personnel. READ MORE
October 2005
Field supervisors are your key people. For most companies, the quality of job site supervision is the difference between profits and financial ruin. The great ones provide you with essential feedback and creative ideas on how to improve your installation processes and customer service. READ MORE
September 2005
Electrical contractors understand the value of risk management in protecting the assets and financial health of the company, even as they struggle to do so at a reasonable cost. Costs associated with risk include insurance premiums, retained losses (those you pay for directly), implementation of safety and loss control programs, and administrative functions. READ MORE