Starting your own business in HVAC can be daunting and may make you wonder if it’s even worthwhile. Many technicians turned owners go back to old jobs after realizing how much effort it actually takes to run a business; formation, filing taxes, paying yourself properly, working with vendors, marketing, operations, and processes, and that’s just the beginning.
Statistics show that 50% of small business startups fail within the first year and 95% fail within five years.
Table of Contents
1. Invest in HVAC Software
Technology is your friend. You may not love the abacus because it’s too fancy for you, but wait until I tell you about the electronic calculator. All banter aside, don’t be stuck in the past with pen and paper. You’re going to lose the paper and probably the pen, too.
How can HVAC software help?
- Schedule and dispatching features available in most software allow for an easy understanding of your team’s schedule for the week.
- Mobile apps to work from anywhere with an internet connection.
- Quoting and invoicing to quickly produce an accurate quote, bill your customers, and stay in tune to your business growth of revenue and profit.
2. Price Yourself Accordingly
If you listen to the Smart HVAC Marketing Podcast, you’ll note Tommy Mello mentions in the context of caring for your team, having a training center, new trucks, helping the financial literacy of the team, he slides in, “and we charge appropriately.”
In order to give your customers the best service possible, make sure you are paying your team well, have the right tool for the right job, and in to do any of that: price accordingly. You can only offer the best of the best if you can afford to give the best of the best.
3. Continuously Be in Training
Jim Rohn said, “We could all use a little coaching. When you’re playing the game, it’s hard to think of everything.” No matter how long you’ve been in the service industry, working for someone else, or running a business before, there is so much more to learn.
For yourself, for your techs, for your customer service, and for everyone. If you are growing your company, you need to learn about leadership and soft skills. If your tech workforce is growing, your technicians need to have renewed certifications. And if the company is growing, so will the office support staff: teach your customer service how to answer the phone with a smile, and deal with upset customers.
4. Promote HVAC Service Agreements
One great secret to business: recurring revenue. Whether you decide to exit and sell someday, or you’re in it till the grave, generating recurring revenue is one of the key tickets to a healthy business. If you can count on a certain amount of dollars in your business, you introduce opportunities to help customers for as long as they own their home or live in the area.
For many homeowners, keeping up with their HVAC isn’t top-of-mind, so helping them keep their systems running well by offering filters on your website or seeing areas of improvement to prevent more costly repairs is really a win-win situation.
5. Encourage Online Reviews
Whether you’re buying your fifth wishlist item of the week on Amazon or you’re looking to try that restaurant on the corner, making sure others have had a good experience first is the normal practice these days. Having a completely filled-out Google Business Profile and positive reviews will help you rank well on the Map Pack, and instill trust in your future customers’ minds.
We have put together a guide on how to get reviews here.
6. Knowing Your HVAC Website is Important
A good website is crucial to any business, especially yours. Why? Websites are a central place for prospective customers to find out about the services you offer (hopefully you provide the one that solves their issue), and how to get in touch.
Most websites in the service industry absolutely suck (sorry). People that need you need to get ahold of you; if you don’t have a clear way to get in touch like a phone number at the top or a scheduling widget, you’re losing money. Does your website suck? Let’s talk.
7. Allocate Resources to Marketing
Your business might have the potential to grow with referrals, the age-old word-of-mouth technique. However, your business can’t survive or grow consistently like that. Sending out Every Door Direct Mailers or running ads for HVAC, you should focus some of your efforts on growing your business with new customer acquisition methods.