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.
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.
Gen. Colin Powell said, “Perpetual optimism is a force multiplier.” Would this philosophy improve financial decision-making in an electrical contracting business? It worked in my family’s contracting business, though I didn’t realize it at the time.
By now, most New Year’s resolutions have been forgotten, but the ability to “re-solve” and respond to changing conditions is imperative for your business in these uncertain times. For the remainder of 2011, these columns will form a 10-part series using the acronym RESOLUTION.
I am writing this column on the 25th anniversary of the day my father died. At the time, I had spent a little less than two years as his protegee in the family construction business, which was never part of my original career plan.
There will always be mistakes in your work, but the real cost of those errors might be greater than you realize. As an electrical contractor, you know the cost of rework amounts to more than simply labor and materials.
What is “TIFORP,” and how does it affect your financial planning? The acronym TIFORP contains six components that are seldom prioritized to serve the best interests of business owners. T is for taxes Business owners want to minimize taxes to keep more of the money they earn.
A disaster on the scale of the BP oil spill is unlikely to happen to the average electrical contractor and, therefore, provides little reason to perform catastrophe analysis. Even the experts know that the existing models are imperfect. After all, how can we predict the unpredictable?
Prepare to see many changes in the tax code in 2010 and 2011, partly due to the costs of providing economic stimulus during 2009. You may be concerned about the possibility of an audit, so here is some information that may help you prepare for this possibility.
Targets and compliance
Nineteenth-century British Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli is often credited with the statement, “There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.” This column has discussed the lies and the damn lies.
Last month, we reviewed the lies in financial statements, which are both legal and ethical; this month, we move up to illegal and unethical actions. Electrical contractors must be vigilant to avoid the steps that can lead to lies and avoid being victimized.
When pundits offer statistics in support of their opinions, it is hard to know whether to trust the numbers; economics and finance are difficult enough to navigate without suspecting that someone with an agenda is deliberately misleading you.
The year-end holiday season prompts decisions about giving to charitable organizations, customers and employees. It may seem cold-hearted to evaluate gifts in terms of the potential return on your investment, but it is simply a bad business practice to distribute wealth out of habit.