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

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
August 2005
Most electrical contracting businesses are organized as corporations, using the “corporate veil” to protect the personal assets of shareholders from corporate debts or liabilities. Failing to comply with regulatory requirements may result in the loss of that protection, leaving shareholders vulnerable. READ MORE
July 2005
According to the 2002 Economic Census, published last December, there are 62,586 electrical contractors in the United States, employing nearly three-quarters of a million people and performing $82 billion worth of work. The Bureau of Labor Statistics, in its national compensation survey (August 2004), listed “electrician” as one of the highest-paying jobs not requiring a college degree. READ MORE
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