Finance & Succession Planning

Have You Outgrown Your Financial Software?

When does construction-specific accounting and operations software start to make sense for HVACR contractors? It varies. Some businesses approaching $50 million in annual revenue are able to get by with …

Originally published Published: 02.01.13 Author By Wayne Newitts

Accounting for Residential Maintenance Agreements

A good maintenance agreement program will help even out cash flow, increase your company’s bottom line, and keep your field employees productive throughout the year.

Originally published Published: 02.01.13 Author By Ruth King

2013 Economic Outlook: Housing and Exports Strong; Confidence So-So

John Augustine, Chief Investment Strategist for Fifth Third Private Bank, talks about the impact of the presidential elections, Europe’s rocky economy, and persistent domestic unemployment.

Originally published Published: 01.01.13 Author By John Augustine

Do You Have the Courage to be Profitable?

Once you understand your financials and start consistent monthly reviews, you must boldly implement changes based on what you see.

Originally published Published: 01.01.13 Author By Ruth King

Can you Afford to Hire a New Office Employee?

Last month I wrote about how to determine whether you can afford to hire a field employee. This month I’ll give you the calculations to determine whether you can afford …

Originally published Published: 12.01.12 Author By Ruth King

Can You Afford to Hire a New Field Employee?

Your company is growing. You feel the need to hire another field employee. Can you afford to hire this person? Find out by using this mathematical calculation.

Originally published Published: 11.01.12 Author By Ruth King

Play it Smart After the Busy Summer

Here are the stupid things that I know you, the smart contractor, won’t do now that the unusually hot, humid and demanding summer is over.

Originally published Published: 10.01.12 Author By Ruth King

Improve the Financial Health of Your Business

How to be creative and resourceful in finding financing during economic hardship.

Originally published Published: 09.01.12 Author By Ron Edinger

How to Keep Inventory and Receivables Balanced

Editor’s Note: This is the fourth and final in a series of how to use graphical depictions of financial ratio trends to help contractors spot potential problems early and make …

Originally published Published: 08.01.12 Author By Ruth King

Percentage Compensation Measures Productivity of Labor Force

Editor’s Note: This is the third in a series of how to use graphical depictions of financial ratio trends to help contractors spot potential problems early and make proactive decisions …

Originally published Published: 07.01.12 Author By Ruth King

Personal Debt and Corporate Debt

If you are operating your business in corporate form, it is important to follow formalities. You should sign contracts in your capacity as an officer, and contracts should always be …

Originally published Published: 06.01.12 Author By Mike Coyne

Debt Ratios: Look For Short- and Long-Term Warnings

This is the second in a series of how to use graphical depictions of financial ratio trends to help contractors spot potential problems early and make proactive decisions about financial …

Originally published Published: 06.01.12 Author By Ruth King

Liquidity Ratios: Trends Key to Profitability Outlook

Every month you should receive accurate and timely financial statements. Looking at one month’s financial statements (balance sheet and P&L statement) does not tell much. To see where your business …

Originally published Published: 05.01.12 Author By Ruth King

Cash Needs Should Drive Revenue Goals

Without profits, cash runs out. Yet, your business could have an unprofitable month or quarter and still survive. Many contractors that operate with Dec. 31s as their year-end, state that …

Originally published Published: 04.01.12 Author By Ruth King

Why You Need Both Profits and Cash To Survive

Each month your P&L tells you whether you earned a profit or had a loss. It does not tell you how much cash you have! You must turn your profits …

Originally published Published: 03.01.12 Author By Ruth King

Stop Cutting and Start Growing

In lean times you can decrease cash spending by using inventory in your shop and on your trucks. Ruth offers a break-even formula to calculate what your company needs to …

Originally published Published: 02.01.12 Author By Ruth King

3 Ways to Eliminate Low-Productivity Habits

Ruth King offers three suggestions to help you get the most profitability and productivity from every dollar that comes in the door.

Originally published Published: 12.01.11 Author By Ruth King

As The Year Ends, Review Your Pricing Strategy

Determine your position in the market; then define desired profitability.

Originally published Published: 11.01.11 Author By Ruth King

Take Advantage of Barcoding Benefits

Once implemented and used correctly, you’ll be making much better inventory bets, saving time and — as a result — increasing profitability with barcoding.

Originally published Published: 10.01.11 Author By Ruth King

Pulling It All Together: A Good Financial System

A good financial system is based on both the monthly financial data and weekly information you gather. These five activities will help you discover whether your company is moving in …

Originally published Published: 09.01.11 Author By Ruth King

Is Debt Good? Only You Can Decide

The reality is that debt usage is an emotional decision. Some company owners are comfortable with a lot of debt. Others can't sleep at night if they owe anybody anything. …

Originally published Published: 08.01.11 Author By Ruth King

Is an ESOP Your Best Exit Strategy?

ESOP may be for profitable companies with high cash flow and skilled, engaged employees.

Originally published Published: 07.01.11 Author By Ruth King

Use Overhead-Cost-Per-Hour to Measure Profitability

Calculating prices based on gross margin may do you a disservice. The key to successful pricing is to know your company’s overhead-cost-per-hour.

Originally published Published: 06.01.11 Author By Ruth King

Advances in GPS Technology Boost Benefits of Fleet Tracking

Unpredictable fuel prices and increasing insurance costs for fleet vehicles continue to be challenges for HVACR contractors. Investing in technology can help.

Originally published Published: 06.01.11 Author By David Brown

Understanding Profit and Loss Statements

A P&L, or income statement, is a vital document for good fiscal management.

Originally published Published: 04.01.11 Author By Ruth King

More Balance-Sheet Basics: Liabilities and Net Worth

Liabilities are debts that your business owes. Like assets, liabilities are divided into two segments: current liabilities and long-term liabilities.

Originally published Published: 03.01.11 Author By Ruth King

Saving on Fleet Costs Requires a Plan

By using three key tools, contractors can protect themselves against wasted time and money, costly repairs that could have been prevented, and one of the biggest wildcards in operating company …

Originally published Published: 02.01.11 Author By Kenneth W. Janosick

Understanding Your Balance Sheet: Assets

Convertibility to cash determines "current" or "fixed."

Originally published Published: 02.01.11 Author By Ruth King

Befriend Your Financial Statements

Properly formatted financial statements — along with accurate information in those statements — is critical to making good financial decisions for your business.

Originally published Published: 01.01.11 Author By Ruth King

Attitude and Focus Beat the Economic Blues

Many contractors I know did very well in 2010 despite the economy and despite all of the bad news in the media. What made the difference for those who did …

Originally published Published: 12.01.10 Author By Ruth King

Set Maintenance Agreement Goals to Cover Overhead

You need enough maintenance agreement customers to cover the entire overhead of your company so that you won’t have to worry about a flailing economy causing your company to go …

Originally published Published: 11.01.10 Author By Ruth King

Boost Technician Confidence to Sell More Service Agreements

Customer-service training must be continuous and thorough. If you just tell your technicians what you want, they will only think about what they are going to say and never say …

Originally published Published: 10.01.10 Author By Ruth King