An HVAC business is ideal for any entrepreneurial handyman looking to launch a profitable business venture. Starting an HVAC business is much the same as starting any other business. You need to raise some capital and build a brand. However, there are a few unique things to consider when starting this type of business. This post explains exactly how to start a successful HVAC business.
But before that, you need to know a few important facts and figures to decide if it’s the right business choice for you.
Why Start an HVAC Business
According to industry experts, the global demand for HVAC services will be on the rise in the coming years. This is mainly because of an increase in construction activities in both residential and commercial sectors. Also note, that the rise in population, and the willingness to settle in urban areas because people have more disposable income, will help the HVAC market.
It is expected that the growth in construction activities across all sectors and the ability to reduce energy consumption will contribute to the dramatic growth of the HVAC market globally. The trend of net-zero building construction is expected to positively influence this industry. These buildings are built with the goal to reduce energy consumption. Due to the growing popularity of net zero-buildings, the non-residential sector will get a boost in the years to come. This in turn will result in the HVAC market growth.
Now, let’s take a look at the steps to start a successful HVAC business.
Get licensed – The Key Step to Start a Successful HVAC Business
Many states require HVAC technicians to have a license before working on their own. This typically involves completing an accredited HVAC training program and then taking an exam. An apprenticeship may be another way to gain a license in some states.
There are other forms of certification that you can apply for beyond a basic license such as North American Technician Excellence (NATE) certification and HVAC Excellence. However, such certification is not necessary to start this business. But proper education and certification can boost your reputation by making you even more trusted.
Know the Costs of Starting an HVAC Business
You need to be clear about one thing from the beginning- you need Money to launch an HVAC business. Hence, you have to take into account all the necessary business expenses to avoid any unpleasant surprises later.
What is the HVAC business startup cost? Well, you need to invest a minimum of $2,000 to get started. However, this cost might shoot up to $10,000. Now, if you decide to buy everything new, then the startup cost will be around $100,000.
Your initial investment covers expenses like:-
- Buying or renting a large vehicle or truck
- Insurance expenses
- Costs to buy/rent all the necessary HVAC tools and supplies, safety equipment, etc.
- Employee uniform and vehicle signage costs
- Business marketing and promotion costs.
Purchase The Right Tools (And Insure Them)
As mentioned, you’ll need an array of tools to work as an HVAC technician including screwdrivers, pliers, cutters, and ladders. You’ll also need a van for carrying all these tools and reaching the client’s place. Make sure to budget for all these tools when launching your business. Because such tools can be targeted by thieves, it’s worth insuring them. You can look for tool insurance online.
Identify your USP – Another Important Step to Start an HVAC Business
There are likely to be many other HVAC companies within your area. This is why you need to define a USP or unique selling proposition that helps your business stand out from the crowd. What are some examples of HVAC USP? You can aim to offer the cheapest rates or guarantee to reach the client’s place within a short span of time, e.g. 30 minutes to 1 hour. Even if you are offering a free service, make sure to reach the client’s place on time.
You can offer certain services for free such as filter changes or condenser cleaning. Also, you can focus on specific types of HVAC such as commercial HVAC or energy-efficient HVAC systems. Try to offer certain services or guarantees that other HVAC contractors usually don’t offer at this price. Further, it is important to ensure that your team of technicians is trained, and well-behaved.
Focus On Inbound Marketing – You Simply Can’t Ignore This Step!
Inbound marketing is the best marketing strategy for HVAC businesses. This involves marketing to customers who are already looking for your business. This is a better and more effective approach than outbound marketing where you reach out to customers and try to convince them to hire you.
In other words, instead of focusing heavily on adverts, focus more on strategies like building an in-depth website and optimizing certain keywords. Look for a top marketing agency that specializes in HVAC marketing. They will be able to help you create a website and choose the right keywords so that people needing such services can easily find you. At the same time, outbound marketing strategies like social media advertising can still be worth trying, but they shouldn’t be the focus of your marketing budget.
There are many things you can do to generate leads for free. For instance, you can post before and after photos of the site, after finishing a particular job. If this is the day when you help a commercial establishment owner save his precious work hours by repairing an A/C unit in record time then the customer is likely to heap praises on your HVAC services! Use such reviews to your advantage to grab more eyeballs.
Don’t Ignore The Administration And Back Office Activities
Running an HVAC business is more than just repairing and installing HVAC systems. You need to monitor the admin matters too. These include keeping records of your earnings, carrying out tax returns, and paying employee wages/benefits (if you plan to hire employees). You also need to keep on top of phone calls and emails that you are likely to receive often. Make sure that you’ve got enough time for this and that you’re using the right equipment and software to monitor and answer queries and complaints.
It is always exciting to plan to start a successful HVAC business but you need to be prepared for the challenges and setbacks. Thus it is advised that you do thorough research to know about your competitors, what they are offering, and whether customers are happy with their services. If you happen to find areas that are not covered by the existing HVAC contractors, you can try to focus on those aspects. Finally remember, it is completely okay to start on a small scale and cater to limited customers. As you become confident in your ability to handle more projects, you can accordingly plan for expansion and future growth.