A partial government shutdown can cause several problems for small-business owners, including the inability to secure loans backed by the Small Business Administration. Try to keep your cash flow strong by cutting costs and by offering discounts to encourage customers to pay promptly, writes Adam Uzialko.
Ross Kimbarovsky distinguishes a brand, branding and brand identity before outlining how to develop a successful brand strategy through three key stages -- discovery, identity and execution. This includes evaluating how your brand is perceived, establishing a clear identity based on your company's mission and values, and creating a visual representation that effectively communicates that identity to consumers.
If you need to cut costs at your business, reconsider the professional services you're using and review your approach to managing the cost of utilities, writes Mike Kappel, CEO of Patriot Software. Also, think about going paperless and switching to less-costly marketing options.
The partial government shutdown has furloughed Chemical Safety and Hazard Investigation Board employees, but the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the Mine Safety and Health Administration are still open. OSHA is not taking a break during the shutdown, says Eric Conn of Conn Maciel Carey, noting that "by essentially every measure OSHA is doing more enforcement than it did at the end of the Obama administration."
CES 2019, held last week, had some business and productivity solutions that apply to roofing contractors, reports Rick Damato. Among advances were the use of autonomous vehicle technology that may make construction sites safer, and drones equipped with infrared camera lenses for roofing inspections.
Contractors should consider the desired end result before implementing building automation technology, Phil Zito writes. Make sure end users will be able to use the technology properly and that the technology is likely to remain relevant in years to come.
Contractors are split on the high-tech safety applications of technology such as wearables and drones, with some saying they may be a good fit for larger work sites but not a necessity for smaller projects. Regardless of technology, though, it's important to get workers to buy into safety procedures from the start, says Rodney Spencley, DPR Construction's corporate director of safety, quality and labor relations.
Career and technical education students at an Indiana high school are gaining hands-on experience this year building a house. Les Crooks, Penn High School's building trades instructor, says the project -- open to juniors and seniors -- helps to prepare students for in-demand careers in the building trades.
The Dodge Momentum Index, which gauges the construction pipeline for nonresidential building projects, finished 2018 4.3% higher than in 2017. The increase can be largely attributed to an uptick in demand for institutional projects, as demand for commercial projects only exhibited marginal growth.
The Dow Jones US Home Construction Index has formed a bearish divergence on its chart in the past year that closely resembles a pattern made in 2007. Technical analyst Chris Kimble points out the 2007 occurrence happened immediately before the financial crisis and says a near-term decline below the S&P 500 line of support would be an ominous repetition.