Finance & Succession Planning

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

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

A Chance For Bonus Profits

Invest additional time and resources to inform customers and prospects about the expiring replacement tax credit.

Originally published Published: 09.01.10 Author By Ruth King

Take Action to Correct Bad Financial Statements, part 2

7 ways to fix financial statements that are wrong.

Originally published Published: 08.01.10 Author By Ruth King

7 Dead Giveaways That Your Financial Statements are Wrong

Your financial statements are your scorecards. If they are not accurate, you might make the wrong business decision based on incorrect information. Here are seven things that clearly tell you …

Originally published Published: 07.01.10 Author By Ruth King

Personal Finance: Understanding and Improving Your Credit Score

Your credit score can be the key to home ownership, an auto loan, consumer credit, and even employment. How much do you know about this three-digit number that holds so …

Originally published Published: 07.01.10 Author By Bruce Cornelius

6 Ways to Proactively Raise Cash

Making calls to past-due customers, former customers, and happy customers helps to keep the cash flowing.

Originally published Published: 06.01.10 Author By Ruth King

3 Easy Ways to Improve Your Bottom Line

Businesses can improve profitability in many ways. Some require making substantial investments, such as buying new equipment or expanding marketing efforts. But there are inexpensive ways as well. Here are …

Originally published Published: 05.01.10 Author By Ruth King

5 Ways to Boost Work Year-Round

Take a tip from farmers. Plant seeds in the spring t decrease your dependence on the weather and increase customer loyalty.

Originally published Published: 04.01.10 Author By Ruth King

Increase Profits Without Price Increases

One of the toughest things owners and managers have to do is to productively manage a labor force. But companies that manage their labor and their inventory effectively are among …

Originally published Published: 03.01.10 Author By Ruth King

Downturn Made Contractors Stronger

I observed five trends in 2009 that helped contractors not only survive in a bad economy-but thrive in a bad economy.

Originally published Published: 02.01.10 Author By Ruth King

How to Get Paid Fast

Why commercial contractors need to get 'tough' on payments.

Originally published Published: 02.01.10 Author By George Hedley

5 Ways to Generate Business

Everyone knows that 2009 was not a great year economically. Some contractors did well. Perhaps they were not as profitable as they were in 2008, but they still were profitable. …

Originally published Published: 01.01.10 Author By Ruth King

5 Must-Dos for Increasing Sales Through a Credit Programs

Your ability to use financing to close sales can be a key differentiator from your competitors because offering payment options makes it less likely your customers will take their business …

Originally published Published: 01.01.10 Author By Bruce Christensen