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Management

Are You Planning to Sell Your Company?

Here are nine steps owners can take to ensure they are prepared to sell their business at the best possible price.

Body Language Expert Janine Driver Shares Workplace Insights at FGIA Hybrid Fall Conference

Janine Driver, body language expert and author of several books, served as the keynote speaker during the 2021 Fenestration and Glazing Industry Alliance Hybrid Fall Conference. In her presentation titled, "You Can't Lie to Me: Five-Second Fixes," Driver dispelled common myths about body language…

How to Build a Strong Company Culture

A successful culture is one where all employees have the opportunity and the tools necessary to be their best selves within their role. From there, organizational success is more likely to follow, no matter the challenges ahead.

​​​​​​​To Buy or Not to Buy

6 critical questions to ask before acquiring a company

Are You Ready for the Challenges Ahead?

Every January, I take my company through a process to prepare it for the year’s challenges. The goal is to position the company to handle problems and take advantage of opportunities. 

Diversify Your Workforce

An industry panel discusses how companies can examine their current workforce and take steps to encourage diversity, inclusiveness and more open communication in the workplace.

Maximize Your Data

3 trends in construction data and analytics that increase efficiency, performance and business.

Managing Business Metrics During a Pandemic

Even during the economic uncertainty surrounding the pandemic, business owners must continue to track key performance metrics to ensure their companies are operating in a profitable manner. Owners that sit idle are at biggest threat during the pandemic. Here are 4 points to consider.

Protect Your Business Finances from the Coronavirus Pandemic

Four strategies for glass company owners to handle this situation and limit the financial damage to their business.

The Future of Labor in the Glazing Industry

Gone are the days when shop-glazed projects were only for large-scale buildings in big cities. Contractors are becoming more adept in prefabrication techniques, particularly for healthcare facilities, hospitality and multifamily projects, college buildings and dormitories, and residential.

All in the Family Part 2: How to Sell Your Company to the Next Generation

Part I of the “All in Family” article series looked at several key considerations for business owners looking to sell to family members. It covered determining company direction, addressing management plans, pricing and more. Once those topics are discussed, an owner must determine the method and…

All in the Family: Part 1

These topics of conversation may be uncomfortable, but they need resolution before the succession plan materializes. If they are not resolved beforehand, they are guaranteed to surface at the worst possible time.  

Glass Business is Sound Business for New Glass Guru Franchisees

I recently had the opportunity to speak with Michael and Valarie Gomm, the husband-and-wife team behind the new The Glass Guru franchise in Wichita, Kansas. Michael and Valarie first became aware of, and interested, in the franchise when they experienced a failed window of their own. We discussed…

Project Management: Keys to Clarifying a Critical Role

Project management is many things. The term project management is a broad category. It can be defined and manifested in many ways. There are key aspects and processes to the role of project management that need to be executed in order to achieve success. Project management in one company differs…

Are You Top Gun When It Comes to Innovation?

I was recently turned onto a podcast called The Rewatchables, which features a round table discussion of movies the hosts can’t seem to stop watching. This show is insightful without being boring, and the cast is hilarious. Recently I listened to an episode where they broke down the 80s classic, “…

THREE ELEPHANTS IN THE ROOM DURING AN OWNER’S EXIT

This article presents three key considerations for owners as they plan for their exit from a business. They are the Three Elephants in the Room: taxes, succession and planning for what’s next.

3 Financial Strategies for Uncertain Times

The Bottom Line We are in a unique time where there is uncertainty but also access to relatively cheap financing. This environment allows companies to improve their safety net, and potentially profits, by leveraging financing. It also allows them to improve cash flow by leveraging vendor…

Global Sourcing

Shipping containers at Port Elizabeth, New Jersey.  Unique projects demand unique products, which may demand turning to unique suppliers. While a fabricator or glazing contractor may be willing to go to the ends of the earth to find the product that meets the client’s specific needs, the reality…

Financing Big Orders

Getting a large order can be either a blessing or a source of major problems for a company. It’s an obvious blessing if the company has the resources to fulfill it. However, if the company doesn’t, large orders can create havoc. It must scramble to find the resources to fulfill it. This task is…

Client Bankruptcy

Always avoid clients who are in a shaky financial position. They are prime candidates for bankruptcy. This advice may sound obvious, but few companies do anything about it until it is too late. This article presents strategies to detect and avoid potential client bankruptcies. But before…

Your Profits | Three Steps To Quality

An automated insulating glass line at the Sedak, fabrication facilities. Photo courtesy of Quanex Building Products. Shipping high-quality products is the lifeblood of any glass manufacturer, but how we work toward that goal has changed in recent years. Between a skilled labor shortage, the…

Industry Partnerships are Key to Business Success

As a new blog contributor, I wanted to take this opportunity to give you a look at my past, the chances I took in business, and the partners who supported myself and the business along the way. It seems like only yesterday that, at the age of 43 and with three kids, I ventured into this new…

Is Your Glass Company Recession-ready?

There is growing concern that the United States is entering a recession. The decade-long recovery may be losing steam, and the economy may experience a contraction. At least, that is what some experts, and many TV pundits, say. Conversely, many experts are looking at the same or similar data and…

Process Mapping for Glaziers

Download a process map template for the order of a replacement insulating glass unit.  Process mapping can prove a powerful tool for contract glazing firms. A process map itself is useful when onboarding employees or when an employee is absent. But the actual process of creating the map is often…

When is the Right Time to Grow a Business?

Two ways to grow Generally, there are two ways to grow a company. An owner can grow a company organically by increasing the client base through marketing. Or the owner can grow through acquisition by purchasing competitors. Organic growth is often slower but less risky. Growth by acquisition can…

Instructions Not Included

I vividly remember the moment when it dawned on me that every single person—from the most successful business owners and CEOs to the janitor sweeping the floors, the attendant at the gas station and everyone in between—is making things up as they go along. For years, I assumed that, with rank…

The Big Picture

GlassBuild America: The Glass, Window & Door Expo returns to Las Vegas Sept. 12-14. When it comes to major architectural construction, it’s important to keep the big picture in mind. Creating a major superstructure takes vision, and it takes countless people and teams working toward that…

Build Better Partnerships

Partnerships result in a well-defined relationship between people that involves close cooperation, defined roles and responsibilities, and rights for all parties involved. Partnerships stand for two or more people being mutually bound together, working to achieve a common goal, through both the…

Diagnosing a Bad Business Culture

“Business cultures eat business strategies for breakfast!” I heard this quote from a business consultant during a recent meeting. So often, organizations will adopt a new strategy only to quickly abandon it if goals aren’t met. The truth of the situation is that the strategy wasn’t properly…

Keys to Successful Communication

There is a phrase that I coined, “Right or wrong is not the controlling issue; it’s how you present your case that counts.” Being right is important, but equally important is presenting one’s position and recommendations in a manner that is acceptable to the audience. This successful communication…

Inside an ESOP

When it comes to exiting a business and monetizing the wealth trapped in the company, an owner can consider five general methods of exiting: a sale to an outside party such as a competitor or strategic partner; a sale to a private equity group; a sale to a manager or group of managers in a…

The Last Dynamite Company

I once heard a business consultant tell the story of the last dynamite company. When dynamite was surpassed by newer explosives that were lighter, safer and more powerful, all but one dynamite manufacturer left the market. The last dynamite company served as the sole supplier of the explosive with…

For Radical Results, Shake Things Up

I recall a glass association banquet back in the late ‘90s when, at the end of the event, door prizes were awarded to winners whose tickets were drawn from a large box. During the drawing, a few gentlemen I was sitting with became agitated that no one at our table was winning anything and that…

Eight Steps to Getting Paid on Time

Having a system in place to ensure that invoices are paid on time is one of the easiest and most effective ways to prevent cash flow problems. A company can avoid late-paying invoices and the problems associated with them by following the eight steps outlined in this article. Have a contract that…

10 Most Common Problems in the Workplace

My recent column addressed the importance of employee development and identified the 10 most common problems in the work environment that hinder that development and a company’s overall success. This column presents those 10 problems and provides solutions to each. 1. Inadequate job…

Strategies and Negotiation Tips for Early Payment Discounts

One strategy to entice clients to pay sooner is to offer an early payment discount—usually a 2 percent discount if they pay within 10 days. A previous article in the October 2015 issue, “When to Offer Early Payment Discounts,” addressed considerations for suppliers. This article presents the…

Reinvest in Employee Development and Work Environment

I recently returned to the auto dealership where I bought a pickup truck 17 years ago, motivated by the great initial experience. Sadly, my most recent experience was terrible. The salesperson took my order for the truck and then moved to California without telling anyone. No one called from the…

Fired Up: Working with design teams in the face of labor challenges

Hi, David Vermeulen here with TGP. I’ll be taking over the Fired Up blog for Jeff Razwick, and am looking forward to discussing our industry with you in the coming months. Thanks for lending me valuable minutes out of your day. There’s been a lot of talk about how the manufacturing and labor…

The Right Way to Dismiss Problem Clients

During the recession that began in late 2007, things were tough for most companies. Many were laying off employees, and the construction industry ground to a halt. Most companies took any and every client just to get sales. It was a matter of survival. Unfortunately, this approach left many glass…

Tips for Transparency

Management and ownership transparency improves operations, boosts employee satisfaction and provides an enormous amount of good for the bottom line. A survey conducted by the TINYpulse Company of over 40,000 employees from multiple industries found that transparency represents the leading factor…

Protect Against Risk Shifting with the Three Rs

Has your company experienced a claim or dispute in the last five years? Source: “Managing Risk in the Construction Industry” from Dodge Data & Analytics Contract glaziers can best manage the risks inherent in any project and plan accordingly by following the Three Rs—…

Three Things the Glass Industry Learned in 2016

It’s been a long time since the glass industry could look back and describe a year as “busy.” Although busy is good, there’s still been a lot to learn along the way to our industry’s new normal. For some, the challenge has been how to remain productive with limited staff and production…

What Exactly Is Exit Planning?

I was interviewing an owner recently, and I had to pause and take a deep breath after he spoke those famous words, “but my accountant said they provide exit planning.” After my discussion he discovered their adviser really is not an exit planner—just a great accountant. Beacon, America’s Exit…

Hiring Tips to Navigate Labor Shortage Pitfalls

Business is up across the glass industry, and as business picks up, more labor is needed to meet demand. However, glass companies from all parts of the industry have reported a current shortage of skilled labor. For glass shops, it’s been difficult to find qualified service professionals in the…

Millennials and Gen X

Millennials and Generation X—they are changing the workplace and the way companies do business. However, their definitions of success, and their expectations from the workplace, are different than those of previous generations. Employers and managers need to understand the attitudes and…

Combating Skilled Labor Shortages Head-On

A quote I’ve seen in several recent industry articles has caught my attention: CFO asks CEO: What happens if we invest in developing our people and they leave? CEO: What happens if we don’t, and they stay? It’s an unfortunate trend that trades in many industries are struggling with—the never-…

Your Profits: The Right Way to Build Credit with Your Vendors

For small or new glass companies, buying supplies can be a serious challenge. They must pay their vendors as soon as—or, perhaps, even before—the supplies are delivered. This capital-intensive process means that they must have the cash at the time of purchase. Larger glass companies, on the other…

Your Profits: How to Make Your Bid Stand Out

The slower construction market has created a challenging bidding environment increasingly defined by fierce competition and pressure to compete on price. Glazing subcontractors have been forced to perform a complicated balancing act of maintaining survivable profit margins while remaining…

Your profits: Pop quiz

In today’s challenging business environment, successful companies need to be highly focused, and that requires having a management system in place that drives sales, profits and employee accountability. The following quiz is designed to get you thinking about your company, its management and…