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 2012
Whether you are building a new electrical contracting business or have an established company, you must depend on financial professionals to help you make money. Do you have the right professional relationships to maximize the return on your investment in your business, ensure a successful transition plan and help you secure a comfortable retirement? READ MORE
March 2012
In part 1 of this series, I showed you one method of selecting mutual funds and reviewed some basic factors to consider in choosing investments. This month, we look at a simple way to choose individual stocks and review some other investment options. The Dow 5 Strategy Although most individual investors rely on mutual funds, a few daring souls relish the opportunity to choose their own stocks. READ MORE
February 2012
When the recession deepened, many contracting businesses depleted liquidity. As markets recover, now is an appropriate time to review investment strategies for rebuilding lost wealth. This month, we take a look at a common investment vehicle and one system for selecting products. READ MORE
January 2012
Recent economic forecasts offer some hope for electrical contractors in 2012. As market conditions improve, it is more important than ever to avoid common contractor mistakes. Ensure you are alert to these business killers, and you will focus on ways to guarantee your success in the coming year. READ MORE
December 2011
Business decisions are sometimes based on beliefs that are sheer nonsense. As you plan for a profitable new year, take a hard look at these ideas that sound good but have little validity. Subcontractors are powerless Subcontractors perform the majority of the work, and construction would stop if they chose to cease operations. READ MORE
November 2011
A century before electrical contracting existed, Victor Hugo wrote, “There is nothing more powerful than an idea whose time has come.” Rapidly changing technology requires more progressive thinking today, but the powerful idea that appears as an outlier often goes unrecognized. READ MORE
October 2011
Financial planning and strategizing during chaotic economic times is like white-water rafting without a paddle. As you bounce between rocks, holding tight and hoping your craft doesn’t spring a leak, you analyze your situation. You can’t see the end of the turbulence through the spray, and you have no way to steer. READ MORE
August 2011
Electrical contractors are realists. While you may long for a Utopian world in which your employees whistle happily as they create perfect work for delighted customers who pay you on time, earning you a healthy profit, you don’t expect this outcome. Recognizing that perfection is impossible, you are willing to settle for fewer “uff da” moments. READ MORE
July 2011
Leverage is generally defined as the ability to generate more results with less direct effort. You cannot lift a truck directly to change a tire, so you use a jack to leverage your effort. In your electrical contracting business, leverage is the use of long-term borrowed capital to increase the return on owner equity. Financial leverage measures the effect of interest rates on borrowed debt. READ MORE