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

August 2006
Design/build has grown from 5 percent of nonresidential construction 20 years ago to more than 40 percent today. Its proponents tout benefits such as cost savings, faster project completion, better quality and reduced owner risk in promoting this alternative to the traditional design/bid/build delivery system. How can electrical contractors break into this fast-growing marketplace? READ MORE
July 2006
Finding Planning time is difficult when you are chasing work in a competitive economy, and nearly impossible when you are booked to capacity. Regular short financial checkups are not enough to ensure your financial health, but performing a thorough annual comprehensive exam may uncover symptoms and prevent financial disease from becoming terminal. READ MORE
June 2006
Why don’t electrical contractors spend more time reviewing their financial statements? How much time does it really take to do a financial self-examination? Do you have to be an accountant or financial wizard to evaluate the status of your financial health? It might be easier than you think. READ MORE
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