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Other stories by Leslie Shiner

  • Financial Statements: Above or Below-the-Line Costs

    In recent years I’ve spent a lot of time speaking to and consulting with builders and remodelers, big and small, and I’ve noted that there’s often confusion about what types of costs go where on a financial statement.

  • Before You Drop Your Prices, Read This

    Has it ever occurred to you that dropping your prices to stay in business could put you out of business? Many contractors tell me they’ve had to drop their prices to remain competitive in today’s market. They just know they’re losing jobs because the “other guy” is cheaper.

  • Putting a Purchase-Order System in Place

    As a financial consultant to small construction companies, I've seen lots of cases where a builder finished a job and the bookkeeper closed the books on it — only to have a late subcontractor bill for that job show up months later.

  • Straight Talk About Fraud

    In 2006, occupational fraud cost U.S. businesses about $600 billion, or roughly $4,500 per employee, according to the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners. Building contractors rank second in the list of targets, after retail stores.

  • Improve Your Cash Flow

    Many contractors complain bitterly about their lack of cash flow. That's no surprise, given that employees, subs, and vendors all expect to be paid — whether or not the customer has paid the company.

  • Business

    Prepare your company for the end of the year; get paid faster with credit cards

  • Determining Your Break-Even Point

    Like many small contractors, you probably want your business to grow and produce more profit. But growth entails risks, including the possibility that hiring more managers or office people could increase overhead to such an extent that profit declines.

  • Attitude Adjustment: How to Think Like a Company

    How to think like a company; protect yourself from employee theft

  • Looking Beyond the Bottom Line

    Too often, business owners will print a profit-and-loss statement (P&L, also called an income statement) and then look at just the bottom line net profit.

  • WIP Your Company Into Shape

    How often has this happened to you: After what looks like a really good month, you go out and buy an expensive piece of equipment, like a truck. Then the following month is a really bad one, and you wish you hadn't.