HVAC Business Plan: Definition, Examples & Templates
- October 12, 2022
Starting your own HVAC business is a huge undertaking. There are business plans, startup costs, marketing plans, social media, and licenses to think about, among so much more.
This guide will help you with a key cornerstone of your business: your HVAC business plan. We will explain each section of the business plan and how it will help you grow your HVAC business. We will also address frequently asked questions and provide a template to kickstart your HVAC business plan process!
HVAC Business Plan Sections
1. executive summary.
The executive summary of your HVAC business plan is the introduction of your business. It quickly explains a few important points: the name of your HVAC business, what need or problem your business is addressing, a general overview of your HVAC services, your target market, and a snapshot of financials, such as startup costs, recurring expenses, and forecasted revenue.
This can seem like a lot of boxes to check in one to two paragraphs as a business owner. Remember to keep this section simple. The following sections will give you plenty of room to expand upon your plans for a successful HVAC business!
2. Service Offerings
The service offerings section of your HVAC business plan breaks down your service into a concrete offering. This section allows you to explain the details of your HVAC services.
Some things to consider when writing this section: the name of the HVAC service, a description, how a technician does the service, what benefits a customer receives from this service, and the cost.
3. Market Analysis
To have a successful HVAC business, it’s important to understand your competition, the current economy, and the needs of your geographic area. The market analysis section of your HVAC business plan is where you can research these factors. You will then consider how your discoveries will affect your HVAC business.
Some questions to begin understanding the HVAC market to ask yourself are:
How many competitors do I have? Which of those are my biggest competitors? What are my strengths and weaknesses? What are the strengths and weaknesses of my competition, and how do these present themselves as opportunities for me? What do the potential customers in this area need? What time of year do most people need HVAC services?
4. Business Operations
The business operations section is where your HVAC business ideas become concrete plans. This can include your policies and procedures, your office and transportation logistics, resources and suppliers, and ideal deadlines or goals.
It also includes how many employees and technicians you intend to hire, plus their wages and training plans. This would be a great opportunity to consider SkillMill from Interplay Learning.
SkillMill makes training efficient, relevant, and scalable while saving you time and effort. With 300+ hours of content and hands-on 3D simulations, it’s like having another expert on your team.
5. Marketing Plans
Marketing to the community is very important when starting an HVAC business. Use this section to strategize, rationalize, and budget for your different marketing ideas. Some marketing ideas to consider are social media, direct mail, email, billboards, radio ads, flyers, online digital ads, and more! Get creative.
6. Financial Planning
This section of your HVAC business plan is where you can precisely calculate and list startup costs, inventory, marketing costs, month-to-month expenses, prospective hires and their wages, and forecasted revenue.
Frequently Asked HVAC Questions
Still have questions about starting your HVAC business? Here are a few of the most common questions asked by new HVAC business owners.
1. What is an HVAC Business Plan?
An HVAC Business Plan is a written document that explains your business, its goals, and how it plans to accomplish those goals. The components of an HVAC business plan include the executive summary, service offerings, market analysis, business operations, marketing plans, and financial planning.
2. How do I start my own HVAC Business?
Writing an HVAC business plan is a great place to start with your business.
A business plan will help you clarify your expenses, next steps, and goals toward starting a successful HVAC business.,
Starting an HVAC also includes obtaining the proper permits, certifications, and paperwork required in your state to legally start, own, and operate an HVAC company. You can speak to an attorney or legal expert in your area to point you in the right direction. You can also visit your local bank or connect with a Certified Public Accountant to discuss financials and tax filing information.
Finally, you will want to hire technicians and implement training processes to help you service your customers. Interplay Learning’s SkillMill can help you quickly and effectively train your new technicians through integrated virtual training.
3. How do I grow my HVAC Business?
Growing your HVAC business lies in good service and good marketing.
SkillMill can help you with this. Digital training can help you start an HVAC business more quickly and efficiently compared to traditional training methods. Your new hires will learn faster, easier, and better with SkillMill.
Growing your HVAC business starts with customer satisfaction and steady, growing revenue. SkillMill relies on proven learning methodology to increase learning retention rate and get techs job-ready in weeks, not years – resulting in well-trained technicians that get it right the first time. This means less callbacks, more referrals, and increased revenue.
In your business plan, you will outline a marketing strategy to help you promote your business and connect with prospective customers. Providing good service, however, is how businesses grow by word-of-mouth. Word-of-mouth business is ideal because it doesn’t cost you anything, unlike marketing online or buying billboards. More business and fewer expenses mean higher profit margins!
4. Why do HVAC Businesses fail?
While there are many factors that could cause a business to fail, one of the biggest causes is poor service or a lack of skills.
When you have technicians that quickly and effectively perform the job right the first time, you get satisfied customers that keep coming back for more and you know referrals from them are your best source of new business. If your technicians do not provide friendly service or don’t do the job correctly the first time, customers are less likely to use you again or refer more business, which decreases your revenue and profit margins.
Training with SkillMIll ensures that your technicians get the job right the first time. You are also relieved of the task of training yourself, hiring more employees, or taking your best technicians out of the field for training.
5. Do HVAC Owners make good money?
We often see HVAC business owners achieve six-figure incomes. On the high end, contractors can see $98,586 to $461,723 per year (and you don’t even need a college degree!)
When planning your finances, experts suggest that owners set aside 5 – 6% of total revenue for their salary. Using these figures, you could set goals for how much you personally want to make as an owner and engineer your yearly revenue goals for your business! For example, if you want to make $60,000 that year, and you set aside 5% of the revenue, you would want to bring in $1.2 million in total revenue.
Grow Your HVAC Company With Interplay
Interplay Learning’s digital training platform, SkillMill , can help you as an HVAC business owner increase revenue and scale your business. What makes SkillMill different from traditional training methods is its engaging 3D simulations and immersive VR that take hands-on training and safety to the next level.
This unique platform lets you train your new hires much more quickly and efficiently than traditional training, allowing them to take to the field sooner. SkillMill also becomes another expert on your team, making training efficient, current, and scalable while saving you time and effort when making critical investments in your people. With this kind of training, new technicians can face new situations, ask questions, and apply their skills in a risk-free environment without the fear of failure.
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How to Write a Winning HVAC Business Plan + Template
Creating a business plan is essential for any business, but it can be especially helpful for HVAC businesses who want to improve their strategy and/or raise funding.
A well-crafted business plan not only outlines the vision for your company, but also documents a step-by-step roadmap of how you are going to accomplish it. In order to create an effective business plan, you must first understand the components that are essential to its success.
This article provides an overview of the key elements that every HVAC business owner should include in their business plan.
Download the Ultimate Business Plan Template
What is an HVAC Business Plan?
An HVAC business plan is a formal written document that describes your company’s business strategy and its feasibility. It documents the reasons you will be successful, your areas of competitive advantage, and it includes information about your team members. Your business plan is a key document that will convince investors and lenders (if needed) that you are positioned to become a successful venture.
Why Write an HVAC Business Plan?
An HVAC business plan is required for banks and investors. The document is a clear and concise guide of your business idea and the steps you will take to make it profitable.
Entrepreneurs can also use this as a roadmap when starting their new company or venture, especially if they are inexperienced in starting a business.
Writing an Effective HVAC Business Plan
The following are the key components of a successful HVAC business plan:
The executive summary of an HVAC business plan is a one to two page overview of your entire business plan. It should summarize the main points, which will be presented in full in the rest of your business plan.
- Start with a one-line description of your HVAC business.
- Provide a short summary of the key points in each section of your business plan, which includes information about your company’s management team, industry analysis, competitive analysis, and financial forecast among others.
This section should include a brief history of your company. Include a short description of how your company started, and provide a timeline of milestones your company has achieved.
If you are just starting your HVAC business, you may not have a long company history. Instead, you can include information about your professional experience in this industry and how and why you conceived your new venture. If you have worked for a similar company before or have been involved in an entrepreneurial venture before starting your HVAC business , mention this.
You will also include information about your chosen HVAC business model and how, if applicable, it is different from other companies in your industry.
The industry or market analysis is an important component of an HVAC business plan. Conduct thorough market research to determine industry trends and document the size of your market.
Questions to answer include:
- What part of the HVAC industry are you targeting?
- How big is the market?
- What trends are happening in the industry right now (and if applicable, how do these trends support the success of your company)?
You should also include sources for the information you provide, such as published research reports and expert opinions.
This section should include a list of your target audience(s) with demographic and psychographic profiles (e.g., age, gender, income level, profession, job titles, interests). You will need to provide a profile of each customer segment separately, including their needs and wants.
For example, the customers of an HVAC business may include:
- Businesses (e.g., small businesses, large corporations)
- Industrial complexes
- Hospitals and other health care facilities
You can include information about how your customers make the decision to buy from you as well as what keeps them buying from you.
Develop a strategy for targeting those customers who are most likely to buy from you, as well as those that might be influenced to buy your products or HVAC services with the right marketing.
The competitive analysis helps you determine how your product or service will be different from competitors, and what your unique selling proposition (USP) might be that will set you apart in this industry.
For each competitor, list their strengths and weaknesses. Next, determine your areas of competitive differentiation and/or advantage; that is, in what ways are you different from and ideally better than your competitors.
This part of the business plan is where you determine and document your marketing plan. . Your plan should be clearly laid out, including the following 4 Ps.
- Product/Service: Detail your product/service offerings here. Document their features and benefits.
- Price: Document your pricing strategy here. In addition to stating the prices for your products/services, mention how your pricing compares to your competition.
- Place: Where will your customers find you? What channels of distribution (e.g., partnerships) will you use to reach them if applicable?
- Promotion: How will you reach your target customers? For example, you may use social media, write blog posts, create an email marketing campaign, use pay-per-click advertising, or launch a direct mail campaign. And, you may use a combination of these marketing channels.
This part of your HVAC business plan should include the following information:
- How will you deliver your product/service to customers? For example, will you do it in person or over the phone only?
- What infrastructure, equipment, and resources are needed to operate successfully? How can you meet those requirements within budget constraints?
The operations plan is where you also need to include your company’s business policies. You will want to establish policies related to everything from customer service to pricing, to the overall brand image you are trying to present.
Finally, and most importantly, in your Operations Plan, you will lay out the milestones your company hopes to achieve within the next five years. Create a chart that shows the key milestone(s) you hope to achieve each quarter for the next four quarters, and then each year for the following four years. Examples of milestones for an HVAC business include reaching $X in sales. Other examples include adding new products/services, expanding to new markets, and opening new locations.
List your team members here including their names and titles, as well as their expertise and experience relevant to the HVAC industry. Include brief biography sketches for each team member.
Particularly if you are seeking funding, the goal of this section is to convince investors and lenders that your team has the expertise and experience to execute on your plan. If you are missing key team members, document the roles and responsibilities you plan to hire for in the future.
Here you will include a summary of your complete and detailed financial plan (your full financial projections go in the Appendix).
This includes the following three financial statements:
Your income statement should include:
- Revenue: how much revenue you generate.
- Cost of Goods Sold: These are your direct costs associated with generating revenue. This includes labor costs, as well as the cost of any equipment and supplies used to deliver the product/service offering.
- Net Income (or loss): Once expenses and revenue are totaled and deducted from each other, this is the net income or loss
Sample Income Statement for a Startup HVAC Business
Include a balance sheet that shows your assets, liabilities, and equity. Your balance sheet should include:
- Assets : All of the things you own (including cash).
- Liabilities : This is what you owe against your company’s assets, such as accounts payable or loans.
- Equity : The worth of your business after all liabilities and assets are totaled and deducted from each other.
Sample Balance Sheet for a Startup HVAC Business
Cash flow statement.
Include a cash flow statement showing how much cash comes in, how much cash goes out and a net cash flow for each year. The cash flow statement should include:
- Cash Flow From Operations
- Cash Flow From Investments
- Cash Flow From Financing
Below is a sample of a projected cash flow statement for a startup HVAC business.
Sample Cash Flow Statement for a Startup HVAC Business
You will also want to include an appendix section which will include:
- Your complete financial projections
- A complete list of your company’s business policies and procedures related to the rest of the business plan (marketing, operations, etc.)
- Any other documentation which supports what you included in the body of your business plan.
Writing a good business plan gives you the advantage of being fully prepared to launch and/or grow your HVAC business . It not only outlines your business vision but also provides a step-by-step process of how you are going to accomplish it. It forces you to think through all aspects of your business including marketing, finances, operations and more. Ultimately, a well thought out business plan is the key to a successful HVAC business.
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How to Start an HVAC Business
Over the last five years, heating and air conditioning contractors in the United States has grown by 3.1% to reach $94 billion in 2018. During the same timeframe, the number of HVAC businesses has grown by 2.6% and the number of employees has grown by 4.5%. If you’re interested in helping people keep their homes at a comfortable temperature and save money with energy efficiency, now’s the time to get into the HVAC industry.
Free Guide: How To Set Up Your Google Business Profile
Step 1: start with a business plan.
A good HVAC business begins with a business plan . Within that document, you’ll define your local competition, target market, marketing plan , business structure, financial obligations, revenue projections, and so on. Taking the time to develop your business plan keeps you on the right track and can make it easier to secure startup funds from banks or other investors.
Market research is necessary to determine how viable your HVAC business will be. You must know how many other HVAC companies are in your service area, the number of homes, the franchises you’ll be competing with, what the competition charges, and more. Good sources of information include city-data.com , the US Chamber of Commerce , and the Bureau of Labor and Statistics (BLS) .
During this stage, you’ll also want to determine the service area you’ll cover, along with how far you’re willing to travel to a job site, and circumstances you’ll work under. Will you provide emergency repair service calls or operate during standard business hours only?
Google the HVAC businesses in your area and take a close look at the websites of the companies that come up on the first page – that’s where you want to be. To start working on your digital marketing strategy, a tool like KWFinder is useful in discovering the keywords your competition is using so you can do it better.
Here’s where you’ll address the legal business structure you’ll operate under. This is necessary for meeting tax obligations and removing personal liability from any business. LLCs are an affordable business structure that allows you to maintain a separation from your company. During the business set up, you’ll need to be sure you’re meeting all local, state, federal legal requirements, including business licensing and insurance. Requirements may vary depending on where you live and operate your business.
Now it’s time to think about money. You’ll need a separate bank account so it’s easier to separate the money you’re spending on your business and the money you’re spending on personal stuff. To make sure you’re setting rates that are competitive but allow you to sustain your HVAC business and pay yourself a decent salary, take time to figure your income . Make sure to consider your years of experience as you set your rate.
Step 2: Determine Startup Costs For An HVAC Business
Starting an HVAC business isn’t cheap, and one of the biggest mistakes you can make is failing to account for all business expenses . This is an industry where the average startup cost is a bit higher, spending anywhere from $2,000 to $10,000, assuming you’re buying a used vehicle and working to keep your equipment costs low. If you purchase everything up front, the cost could easily hit $100,000 . You’ll need:
- A vehicle large enough to carry all your tools and equipment
- Liability insurance, workers compensation insurance
- General tools used in HVAC such as a battery-powered drill, electrical testers, tape measures, sawzall, etc.
- HVAC tools used for sheet metal work, such as tin snips or aviators, folding bar or drive bender, shears, crimpers, staple gun, etc.
- HVAC tools for air conditioning work
- Safety equipment
- T-shirts with company logo and hats
- Vehicle signage
- Website (Broadly can help you get started)
- Marketing materials: business cards, door tags to verify service with contact information
Step 3: Skills, Education, and Certification For HVAC Owners
Before you can begin work as an HVAC technician, you must complete an HVAC certificate program from an accredited program or school, depending on your state. Then, you must obtain your HVAC license from the state you plan on working in and pass certification exams for different types of HVAC careers.
The different types of HVAC certifications are:
- EPA Type I Certification – For Servicing Small Appliances
- EPA Type II Certification – For Servicing High-Pressure Systems
- EPA Type III Certification – For Servicing Low-Pressure Systems
- Universal EPA Certificate
- Air Conditioning (AC)
- Air Distribution (AD)
- Heat Pumps (Air-to-Air) (HP)
- Gas Heating (GS)
- Oil Heating (OL)
- Hydronics Gas (HG) (service only)
- Hydronics Oil (HO) (service only)
- Light Commercial Refrigeration (LC) (service only)
- Commercial Refrigeration (RC) (service only)
- HVAC Efficiency Analyst (Senior Level) (EA)
You do not have to have a bachelor’s degree to work in HVAC, but programs are available for those who are interested in earning higher credentials.
Step 4: Make Your HVAC Business Look More Professional
To establish trust with your customers, especially if you just started your own HVAC company, you must take steps to be as professional as possible. This involves setting up a website with information about your company and HVAC services, along with a business email with your URL (such as [email protected] ) and a professional voicemail setup since you won’t be able to answer the phone all the time.
Dress in a shirt with your company name and logo. Add signage to your company vehicle. This helps add to your professionalism while also easing neighbor’s concerns.
Step 5: How to Make More Money By Attracting More Customers
All small business owners want to make more money, but it’s often easier said than done. Use these five cost-effective methods to build your reputation, close more sales, and establish your online presence without going into massive debt.
1. Increase in Sales
Even if resources are limited, spend time and money on your website and social media. Your website should allow you to chat with prospects . Turn to social media to generate leads and help you grow your client base. Post photos before and after you’ve finished a job, and share customer experiences. If you save the day by repairing an A/C or heating unit, people will sing your praises. Use that to your advantage.
Expand your revenue earning potential by going beyond HVAC installation and repair. Sell filters and other accessories to make it easier for your clients to maintain their own systems between visits.
2. Increase Word of Mouth
Anyone in the service industry knows just how important customer service is. Make it a priority to provide the best possible service to your customers so that when they talk about their experiences with friends and family, they have nothing but good things to say about your company. Remind your clients that your business needs reviews and referrals to survive. Pay attention to reputation management so you don’t fall to the competition. Always remain cooperative and friendly with neighbors.
Distribute flyers and business cards whenever you can. Connect with local building contractors and apartment companies so you can sign contracts with homeowners and renters. Listen to customer feedback and make adjustments where necessary to make things better for them.
3. Use Online Marketing
Once your website is up and running, claim your Google My Business listing , and add your business to Google Maps . This increases the chance that you’ll show up in local searches for “HVAC companies near me” and that’s one of the best ways to get new customers.
Create a Facebook Business Page and linked Instagram account. Fill the accounts with photos of the projects you’ve worked on, tips for proper heating and cooling system maintenance, refrigerator/freezer maintenance (if you’re an HVAC professional), and general information about the benefits of a well-maintained heating and cooling system in your home and vehicle.
4. Decrease Expenses
Keep a close eye on costs. Just because you’ve got the best deal you can find right now, does not mean it will stay that way. As you research costs, look for ways to save by buying your supplies in bulk, getting discounts with part manufacturers, or rewards programs to save on fuel. As you grow, it’s possible you’ll be able to leverage more discounts with larger orders.
5. Choose a Specialty
Take a look at your skill level and determine what it is you do best. Offer that service first. For example, if you’re best at repairing automobile air conditioning, but you’re not that great at furnaces, realizing your limitations and seeking training in those weak errors to offer those services later will serve you well.
Step 6: Plan to Scale Up
A successful HVAC business always has a plan for future growth. As your business grows , know how and when you’ll expand. Ideally, you need to be able to scale as demand increases without sacrificing quality or customer service. When you’re ready to hire additional HVAC contractors or support staff, develop a training system that advises people on how to interact with customers and neighbors. To get your technicians working as your sales team, too, add an incentive for new contracts. Add new vehicles and equipment as possible to grow your service area.
Step 7: Launch Your HVAC Business
Starting your own HVAC business is exciting, but It’s completely fine to start small and work HVAC part-time and scale to full-time as you’re confident in your ability to serve your customers well, while also earning enough income to pay your bills.
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Back to All Business Ideas
How to Start an HVAC Business
Written by: Carolyn Young
Edited by: David Lepeska
Updated on March 2, 2023
$10,050 - $25,100
$78,000 - $800,000 p.a.
Time to build
1 – 12 months
$70,000 - $200,000 p.a.
- Decide if the Business Is Right for You
- Hone Your Idea
- Brainstorm a Business Name
- Create a Business Plan
- Register Your Business
- Register for Taxes
- Fund your Business
- Apply for Licenses/Permits
- Open a Business Bank Account
- Get Business Insurance
- Prepare to Launch
- Build Your Team
- Start Making Money!
Everybody needs heat in their homes, and most of us have air conditioning as well, which explains why the US’ heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) industry is worth a massive $120 billion.
If you’re an HVAC technician, you already know how in-demand your services are. You could start your own HVAC business and keep all the profits. Even if you’re not an HVAC tech, you can get certified in a matter of weeks, start a business and make a good living.
It’s a challenge, however, to start a business. You need to learn the ins and outs of the business world, as well as those of furnaces and air conditioners. Luckily, all the business homework you need is in this step-by-step guide, which should put you well on your way to being an HVAC entrepreneur.
Looking to form an LLC? Check out the Best LLC Formation Services .
Step 1: Decide if the Business Is Right for You
Pros and cons.
Starting an HVAC business has pros and cons you should consider before deciding if it’s the right path for you.
- Good Money – HVAC services cost up to $150 per hour
- Steady Demand – Somebody always needs repairs
- Provide Value – HVAC repair is a critical service for people in need
- Training Required – Courses and certification are necessary
- Odd Hours – Emergency service is sometimes needed
HVAC industry trends
Industry size and growth.
- Industry size and past growth – After years of steady growth, the US HVAC industry is worth an incredible $120 billion.(( https://www.ibisworld.com/industry-statistics/market-size/heating-air-conditioning-contractors-united-states/ ))
- Growth forecast – The HVAC industry expects to see continued expansion through 2026. This is a stable industry that offers excellent opportunity for the entrepreneur.(( https://www.ibisworld.com/united-states/market-research-reports/heating-air-conditioning-contractors-industry/ ))
- Number of businesses – Nearly 120,000 HVAC contractors are operating in the US.(( https://www.ibisworld.com/industry-statistics/number-of-businesses/heating-air-conditioning-contractors-united-states/ ))
- Number of people employed – More than half a million people are employed in this industry.(( https://www.ibisworld.com/industry-statistics/employment/heating-air-conditioning-contractors-united-states/ ))
Trends and challenges
Trends in the HVAC industry include:
- Eco-friendly products, such as geothermal heat pumps, are in greater demand.
- Technologically advanced products, like smart furnaces, are also increasingly popular.
Some challenges also exist in the HVAC industry which include:
- Changing technology means HVAC professionals need to continue their education to keep up.
- The number of people working in the HVAC industry is increasing, creating more competition.
What kind of people work in HVAC?
- Gender – More than 97% of HVAC technicians are male.(( https://www.zippia.com/hvac-technician-jobs/demographics/#gender-statistics ))
- Average level of education – Nearly 30% of HVAC technicians hold an associate degree, while 24% hold a high school diploma.(( https://www.zippia.com/hvac-technician-jobs/education/ ))
- Average age – Most HVAC technicians are under 43 years old.(( https://www.zippia.com/hvac-technician-jobs/demographics/#age-statistics ))
How much does it cost to start an HVAC business?
Startup costs for an HVAC business range from $10,000 to $25,000. The main costs are HVAC education and certification, tools, and a down payment on a van or truck. You can take courses online, such as with industry leader HVAC school , and be certified in 6 months.
You’ll need a handful of items to successfully launch your HVAC business, including:
- Tape measure
- Crescent wrench
- Pipe wrench
- Core removal tool
- Coil fin straightener
- HVAC load calculator
- Thermal imaging tools
- Nitrogen regulator
How much can you earn from an HVAC business?
Prices for HVAC services range from $75 to $150 per hour. If you work by yourself, your profit margin should be about 90%.
In your first year or two, you could work from home and work 15 hours a week at $100 per hour, bringing in about $78,000 in annual revenue. This would mean about $70,000 in profit, assuming that 90% margin. As your brand gains recognition, sales could climb to 100 hours per week and you could raise your prices to $150 per hour. At this stage, you would rent a commercial space and hire staff, including other technicians, reducing your margin to 25%. With annual revenue of nearly $800,000, you’d make a tidy profit of $200,000.
What barriers to entry are there?
There are a few barriers to entry for an HVAC business. Your biggest challenges will be:
- Completing the required education and getting certified
- Facing increased competition as the number of HVAC techs grows
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Step 2: hone your idea.
Now that you know what’s involved in starting an HVAC business, it’s a good idea to hone your concept in preparation to enter a competitive market.
Why? Identify an opportunity
Research HVAC businesses in your area to examine their products/services, price points, and customer reviews. You’re looking for a market gap to fill. For instance, maybe the local market is missing a 24/7 HVAC service provider.
You might consider targeting a niche market by specializing in a certain aspect of your industry, such as eco-friendly products and services.
This could jumpstart your word-of-mouth marketing and attract clients right away.
What? Determine your products or services
Your service list will be determined by your skills and those of your employees. You might be fantastic with furnaces but not so great with air-conditioners. You could decide to just do repairs or do repairs and installations.
How much should you charge for HVAC services?
Prices for HVAC services range from $75 to $150 per hour. Working by yourself, you can expect a profit margin of about 90%. Once you hire employees and have a physical location, you should aim for a profit margin of at least 25%.
Once you know your costs, you can use this Step By Step profit margin calculator to determine your mark-up and final price point. Remember, the prices you use at launch should be subject to change if warranted by the market.
Who? Identify your target market
Your target market will be very broad, but it will be mainly homeowners and landlords, who tend to be more established people. You can find them on sites like Facebook and LinkedIn. You could also partner with general contractors to get subcontractor work or connect with realtors who can give you referrals.
Where? Choose your business premises
In the early stages, you may want to run your business from home to keep costs low. But as your business grows, you’ll likely need to hire workers for various roles and may need to rent out an office or repair facility. Find commercial space to rent in your area on sites such as Craigslist , Crexi , and Instant Offices .
When choosing a commercial space, you may want to follow these rules of thumb:
- Central location accessible via public transport
- Ventilated and spacious, with good natural light
- Flexible lease that can be extended as your business grows
- Ready-to-use space with no major renovations or repairs needed
Step 3: Brainstorm a Business Name
Your business name is your business identity, so choose one that encapsulates your objectives, services, and mission in just a few words. You probably want a name that’s short and easy to remember, since much of your business, and your initial business in particular, will come from word-of-mouth referrals.
Here are some ideas for brainstorming your business name:
- Short, unique, and catchy names tend to stand out
- Names that are easy to say and spell tend to do better
- Name should be relevant to your product or service offerings
- Ask around — family, friends, colleagues, social media — for suggestions
- Including keywords, such as “heating and cooling”, boosts SEO
- Name should allow for expansion, for ex: “Jim’s Bakery” over “Jim’s Cookies”
- Avoid location-based names that might hinder future expansion
- Use online tools like the Step by Step Business Name Generator . Just type in a few keywords and hit “generate” and you’ll have dozens of suggestions at your fingertips.
Once you’ve got a list of potential names, visit the website of the US Patent and Trademark Office to make sure they are available for registration and check the availability of related domain names using our Domain Name Search tool. Using “.com” or “.org” sharply increases credibility, so it’s best to focus on these.
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Finally, make your choice among the names that pass this screening and go ahead with domain registration and social media account creation. Your business name is one of the key differentiators that sets your business apart. Once you pick your company name, and start with the branding, it is hard to change the business name. Therefore, it’s important to carefully consider your choice before you start a business entity.
Step 4: Create a Business Plan
Every business needs a plan. This will function as a guidebook to take your startup through the launch process and maintain focus on your key goals. A business plan also enables potential partners and investors to better understand your company and its vision:
- Executive Summary: Brief overview of the entire business plan; should be written after the plan is complete.
- Business Overview: Overview of the company, vision, mission, ownership, and corporate goals.
- Product and Services: Describe your offerings in detail.
- Market Analysis: Assess market trends such as variations in demand and prospects for growth, and do a SWOT analysis .
- Competitive Analysis: Analyze main competitors, assessing their strengths and weaknesses, and create a list of the advantages of your services.
- Sales and Marketing: Examine your companies’ unique selling propositions (USPs) and develop sales, marketing, and promotional strategies.
- Management Team: Overview of management team, detailing their roles and professional background, along with a corporate hierarchy.
- Operations Plan: Your company’s operational plan includes procurement, office location, key assets and equipment, and other logistical details.
- Financial Plan: Three years of financial planning, including startup costs, break-even analysis, profit and loss estimates, cash flow, and balance sheet.
- Appendix: Include any additional financial or business-related documents.
If you’ve never created a business plan, it can be an intimidating task. You might consider finding and hiring a business plan specialist to create a top-notch business plan for you.
Step 5: Register Your Business
Registering your business is an absolutely crucial step — it’s the prerequisite to paying taxes, raising capital, opening a bank account, and other guideposts on the road to getting a business up and running.
Plus, registration is exciting because it makes the entire process official. Once it’s complete, you’ll have your own business!
Choose where to register your company
Your business location is important because it can affect taxes, legal requirements, and revenue. Most people will register their business in the state where they live, but if you’re planning to expand, you might consider looking elsewhere, as some states could offer real advantages when it comes to HVAC businesses.
If you’re willing to move, you could really maximize your business! Keep in mind, it’s relatively easy to transfer your business to another state.
Choose your business structure
Business entities come in several varieties, each with its pros and cons. The legal structure you choose for your HVAC business will shape your taxes, personal liability, and business registration requirements, so choose wisely.
Here are the main options:
- Sole Proprietorship – The most common structure for small businesses makes no legal distinction between company and owner. All income goes to the owner, who’s also liable for any debts, losses, or liabilities incurred by the business. The owner pays taxes on business income on his or her personal tax return.
- General Partnership – Similar to a sole proprietorship, but for two or more people. Again, owners keep the profits and are liable for losses. The partners pay taxes on their share of business income on their personal tax returns.
- Limited Liability Company (LLC) – Combines the characteristics of corporations with those of sole proprietorships or partnerships. Again, the owners are not personally liable for debts.
- C Corp – Under this structure, the business is a distinct legal entity and the owner or owners are not personally liable for its debts. Owners take profits through shareholder dividends, rather than directly. The corporation pays taxes, and owners pay taxes on their dividends, which is sometimes referred to as double taxation.
- S Corp – An S-Corporation refers to the tax classification of the business but is not a business entity. An S-Corp can be either a corporation or an LLC , which just need to elect to be an S-Corp for tax status. In an S-Corp, income is passed through directly to shareholders, who pay taxes on their share of business income on their personal tax returns.
We recommend that new business owners choose an LLC as it offers liability protection and pass-through taxation while being simpler to form than a corporation. You can form an LLC in as little as five minutes using Northwest Registered Agent’s online LLC formation service . They will check that your business name is available before filing, submit your articles of organization , and answer any questions you might have.
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We recommend ZenBusiness as the Best LLC Service for 2023
Step 6: Register for Taxes
The final step before you’re able to pay taxes is getting an Employer Identification Number , or EIN. You can file for your EIN online or by mail or fax: visit the IRS website to learn more. Keep in mind, if you’ve chosen to be a sole proprietorship you can simply use your social security number as your EIN.
Once you have your EIN, you’ll need to choose your tax year. Financially speaking, your business will operate in a calendar year (January–December) or a fiscal year, a 12-month period that can start in any month. This will determine your tax cycle, while your business structure will determine which taxes you’ll pay.
The IRS website also offers a tax-payers checklist , and taxes can be filed online.
It is important to consult an accountant or other professional to help you with your taxes to ensure you’re completing them correctly.
Step 7: Fund your Business
Securing financing is your next step and there are plenty of ways to raise capital:
- Bank loans : This is the most common method but getting approved requires a rock-solid business plan and strong credit history.
- SBA-guaranteed loans : The Small Business Administration can act as guarantor, helping gain that elusive bank approval via an SBA-guaranteed loan .
- Government grants : A handful of financial assistance programs help fund entrepreneurs. Visit Grants.gov to learn which might work for you.
- Friends and Family : Reach out to friends and family to provide a business loan or investment in your concept. It’s a good idea to have legal advice when doing so because SEC regulations apply.
- Crowdfunding : Websites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo offer an increasingly popular low-risk option, in which donors fund your vision. Entrepreneurial crowdfunding sites like Fundable and WeFunder enable multiple investors to fund your business.
- Personal : Self-fund your business via your savings or the sale of property or other assets.
Bank and SBA loans are probably the best option, other than friends and family, for funding an HVAC business.
Step 8: Apply for Licenses/Permits
Starting an HVAC business requires obtaining a number of licenses and permits from local, state, and federal governments. In most states, you will need a contractor’s license. You can find your state’s requirements on their website.
Federal regulations, licenses, and permits associated with starting your business include doing business as, health license and permit from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration ( OSHA ), trademarks, copyrights, patents, and other intellectual properties, as well as industry-specific licenses and permits.
You may also need state-level and local county or city-based licenses and permits. The license requirements and how to obtain them vary, so check the websites of your state, city, and county governments or contact the appropriate person to learn more.
You could also check this SBA guide for your state’s requirements, but we recommend using MyCorporation’s Business License Compliance Package . They will research the exact forms you need for your business and state and provide them to ensure you’re fully compliant.
This is not a step to be taken lightly, as failing to comply with legal requirements can result in hefty penalties.
If you feel overwhelmed by this step or don’t know how to begin, it might be a good idea to hire a professional to help you check all the legal boxes.
Step 9: Open a Business Bank Account
Before you start making money, you’ll need a place to keep it, and that requires opening a bank account .
Keeping your business finances separate from your personal account makes it easy to file taxes and track your company’s income, so it’s worth doing even if you’re running your HVAC business as a sole proprietorship. Opening a business bank account is quite simple, and similar to opening a personal one. Most major banks offer accounts tailored for businesses — just inquire at your preferred bank to learn about their rates and features.
Banks vary in terms of offerings, so it’s a good idea to examine your options and select the best plan for you. Once you choose your bank, bring in your EIN (or Social Security Number if you decide on a sole proprietorship), articles of incorporation, and other legal documents and open your new account.
Step 10: Get Business Insurance
Business insurance is an area that often gets overlooked yet it can be vital to your success as an entrepreneur. Insurance protects you from unexpected events that can have a devastating impact on your business.
Here are some types of insurance to consider:
- General liability: The most comprehensive type of insurance, acting as a catch-all for many business elements that require coverage. If you get just one kind of insurance, this is it. It even protects against bodily injury and property damage.
- Business Property: Provides coverage for your equipment and supplies.
- Equipment Breakdown Insurance: Covers the cost of replacing or repairing equipment that has broken due to mechanical issues.
- Worker’s compensation: Provides compensation to employees injured on the job.
- Property: Covers your physical space, whether it is a cart, storefront, or office.
- Commercial auto: Protection for your company-owned vehicle.
- Professional liability: Protects against claims from a client who says they suffered a loss due to an error or omission in your work.
- Business owner’s policy (BOP): This is an insurance plan that acts as an all-in-one insurance policy, a combination of the above insurance types.
Step 11: Prepare to Launch
As opening day nears, prepare for launch by reviewing and improving some key elements of your business.
Essential software and tools
Being an entrepreneur often means wearing many hats, from marketing to sales to accounting, which can be overwhelming. Fortunately, many websites and digital tools are available to help simplify many business tasks.
You can use industry-specific software, such as servicetrade , VIIZR , or connecteam , to manage your schedule, dispatching, workflows, and communication.
- Popular web-based accounting programs for smaller businesses include Quickbooks , Freshbooks , and Xero .
- If you’re unfamiliar with basic accounting, you may want to hire a professional, especially as you begin. The consequences for filing incorrect tax documents can be harsh, so accuracy is crucial.
Some of your business will come from the casual online visitors, but still, you should invest in digital marketing! Getting the word out is especially important for new businesses, as it’ll boost customer and brand awareness.
Once your website is up and running, link it to your social media accounts and vice versa. Social media is a great tool for promoting your business because you can create engaging posts that advertise your products:
- Facebook : Great platform for paid advertising, allows you to target specific demographics, like men under age 50 in the Cleveland area.
- Instagram : Same benefits as Facebook but with different target audiences.
- Website : SEO will help your website appear closer to the top in relevant search results, a crucial element for increasing sales. Make sure that you optimize calls to action on your website. Experiment with text, color, size, and position of calls to action such as “Schedule Now”. This can sharply increase purchases.
- Google and Yelp : For businesses that rely on local clientele, getting listed on Yelp and Google My Business can be crucial to generating awareness and customers.
Take advantage of your website, social media presence and real-life activities to increase awareness of your offerings and build your brand. Some suggestions include:
- Flyering – Distribute flyers in your neighborhood and at industry events.
- In-Person Sales – Offer your services at local markets, trade shows.
- Sponsor events – You can pay to be a sponsor at events that are relevant to your target market.
- Email marketing/newsletter – Send regular emails to customers and prospects. Make them personal.
- Start a blog – Start a blog and post regularly. Change up your content and share on multiple sites.
- Seek out referrals – Offer incentives to generate customer referrals to new clients.
- Paid ads on social media – Choose sites that will reach your target market and do targeted ads.
- Pay–per-click marketing – Use Google AdWords to perform better in searches. Research your keywords first.
- Do a webinar – Share your HVAC expertise online with a video seminar.
Develop your website
Website development is crucial because your site is your online presence and needs to convince prospective clients of your expertise and professionalism. They are unlikely to find your website, however, unless you follow Search Engine Optimization ( SEO ) practices. These are steps that help pages rank higher in the results of top search engines like Google.
You can create your own website using services like WordPress , Wix , or Squarespace . This route is very affordable, but figuring out how to build a website can be time-consuming. If you lack tech-savvy, you can hire a web designer or developer to create a custom website for your business.
Focus on USPs
Unique selling propositions, or USPs, are the characteristics of a product or service that sets it apart from the competition. Customers today are inundated with buying options, so you’ll have a real advantage if they are able to quickly grasp how your HVAC business meets their needs or wishes. It’s wise to do all you can to ensure your USPs stand out on your website and in your marketing and promotional materials, stimulating buyer desire.
Global pizza chain Domino’s is renowned for its USP: “Hot pizza in 30 minutes or less, guaranteed.” Signature USPs for your HVAC business could be:
- 24/7 heating and cooling service
- Save the planet with green heating and cooling
- The smartest furnaces and air-con in town!
You may not like to network or use personal connections for business gain. But your personal and professional networks likely offer considerable untapped business potential. Maybe that Facebook friend you met in college is now running a hearing repair service, or a LinkedIn contact of yours is connected to dozens of potential clients. Maybe your cousin or neighbor has been working in heating and cooling for years and can offer invaluable insight and industry connections.
The possibilities are endless, so it’s a good idea to review your personal and professional networks and reach out to those with possible links to or interest in HVAC services. You’ll probably generate new customers or find companies with which you could establish a partnership.
Step 12: Build Your Team
If you’re starting out small from a home office, you may not need any employees. But as your business grows, you will likely need workers to fill various roles. Potential positions for an HVAC business would include:
- Technicians – HVAC services and installation
- Dispatcher – dispatch techs to jobs
- General Manager – scheduling, staff management, accounting
- Marketing Lead – SEO strategies, social media, other marketing
At some point, you may need to hire all of these positions or simply a few, depending on the size and needs of your business. You might also hire multiple workers for a single role or a single worker for multiple roles, again depending on need.
Free-of-charge methods to recruit employees include posting ads on popular platforms such as LinkedIn, Facebook, or Jobs.com. You might also consider a premium recruitment option, such as advertising on Indeed , Glassdoor , or ZipRecruiter . Further, if you have the resources, you could consider hiring a recruitment agency to help you find talent.
Step 13: Start Making Money!
Heating and cooling technicians provide a complex and necessary service to the community, which is why they are paid good money. Running your own HVAC business can be liberating and rewarding, and the cash you make will feel pretty good too. It’s a business that you can grow over time and eventually take over the heating and cooling market in your area.
Congratulations on completing your business homework, you’re now ready to launch your entrepreneurial adventure!
HVAC Business FAQs
You can charge up to $150 an hour for HVAC services, so it can be very profitable, even if you work as a solopreneur. You can start small, hire more techs later, and have profits into the six figures. The sky is the limit!
The average hourly rate for HVAC techs is about $25 per hour. You should check rates in your area to make sure that the rates you pay are competitive.
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HVAC Business Plan Sample
Do you want to start own HVAC business?
Are you thinking about starting a HVAC business ? Well, this business requires a lot of capital, manpower and industry knowledge but the rate of return you get after investing in it is simply worth the efforts. The biggest advantage in starting this business is that HVAC is one of the basic necessities of all large-scale buildings and as the number of these buildings increase, the market demand of hvac company business plan also increases. Moreover, after the installation of HVAC systems, they require regular inspection, maintenance, and repair that’s why this business yields a consistent revenue throughout the year. As with all businesses, the first step before starting any venture is to write a comprehensive hvac company business plan which will form the basis of your company’s future operations and decisions. A hvac company business plan provides information about everything which you will be needing to start your hvac company business plan as well as provides detailed guidelines about everything you will be doing in the next few years. If you are wondering how to write an effective plan of a business then here we are providingyou the business plan of an HVAC business startup named ‘Gan Engineering Services’.
2.1 the business.
Gan Engineering Services will be a licensed and insured HVAC retailing, servicing and maintenance company which will offer a wide range of services revolving around the HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) systems. The company will be located in the main commercial center of the Manhattan borough in the New York City. Gan Engineering Services will be owned and operated by Gan Koch who has been associated with HVAC industry for the last 20 years and had been serving in Daikin Industries as the Regional Manager of the New York City for the last seven years. Being an expert in this field, Gan knows exactly how to start a HVAC business .
2.2 Management & Services
The company will be managed by Gan and his team of technicians and engineers. We will provide high-quality and affordable installation, inspection, cleaning, maintenance, and repair services. We will also ensure a top-notch customer service. Our every employee and technician will treat our customers and their valuable properties with utmost respect so as to build a long-lasting relationship with them. Our services will cost nearly the same as that of our competitors. You can also obtain a 10% discount for the first three months by getting our promotional heating and air business cards .
2.3 Customers & Competitive Analysis
The company aims to serve the local businesses, restaurants and hotels, private and government institutions, residential buildings, shopping malls, supermarkets, and high-rise commercial buildings located within the New York City. Although we have a lot of competitors yet we believe that our innovative idea will help us surpass all of them. We will introduce a BIM-integrated automatic fault detection system linked with a Building Information Model, which will directly notify us (the service provider) whenever a fault develops along with its location. So, no time will be wasted in finding the location of the fault and it will get treated as soon as possible, saving you a lot of inconvenience and money. This system can be easily installed in new as well as the existing HVAC systems.
2.4 Target of the Company
We aim to revolutionize the HVAC industry by our BIM-integrated automatic fault detection system. Our target is to become the best HVAC service provider in the New York City within next three years of our launch.
The 3 years targeted profit forecast is given in the chart below:
3.1 company owner.
Gan Engineering Services will be owned and operated by Gan Koch who has been associated with HVAC industry for the last 20 years. Gan served in many HVAC industries after completing his Masters in Thermodynamics from Michigan State University. For the last seven years, he had been serving in Daikin Industries as the Regional Manager of the New York City. Being an expert in this industry, Gan has all the resources, experience and knowledge needed to start an HVAC company business plan .
3.2 Why the Business is being started
Gan plans to change the traditional approach of repair and maintenance of HVAC systems by integrating the system with a Building Information Model and automatic fault detection system. The aim is to automate the entire system so as to decrease the lag time needed for maintenance and repair of HVAC systems.
3.3 How the Business will be started
Gan hired professional experts from various fields to help him craft a detailed map of his HVAC company business plan . The financial experts have forecasted following costs for expenses, assets, investment group for business , and loans for the Start-up.
The detailed start-up requirements, start-up funding, start-up expenses, total assets, total funding required, total liabilities, total planned investment, total capital and liabilities as forecasted by experts, is given below:
Services for customers
Gan Engineering Services will be a licensed and insured HVAC retailing, servicing and maintenance company which will offer a wide range of services revolving around the HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) systems. Our HVAC business model describes in detail the services we will provide after starting HVAC business . We will mainly provide four types of services:
- Installation: We will offer complete as well as partial HVAC system installation including the installation of heating and cooling system, refrigeration system, air venting system, air conditioning system, furnaces and humidifier, and duct system. Our customers can purchase these HVAC systems and their components either from the manufacturing company or at retail price from us.
- Inspection: HVAC systems require regular inspection at least two times a year so as to work properly. We will offer inspection services to the HVAC systems installed by us or from other service providers. This inspection is extremely important to identify and locate any fault in the system, which if left ignored, can lead to severe and costlier problems.
- Maintenance: HVAC systems require maintenance at least once a year so as to work at their full capacity and efficiency. We will provide maintenance and cleaning services to ensure that HVAC systems and all related components keep working properly.
- Repair: We will offer all sort of repairing services in case the HVAC systems or any of their related components develop a fault. To ensure that your faults are identified, reported and removed in their early stages, we will implement an innovative technology while installing HVAC systems. The technology will comprise of a Building Information Model integrated with an automatic fault detection system that will notify us, the service providers, whenever a fault is detected. Hence, the fault will be removed rapidly in their early stages while they are easier and cheaper to treat.
Marketing Analysis of HVAC business
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If you are developing a HVAC business plan for your business then make sure to pay special attention to its marketing analysis and also take help from this HVAC business plan template . The most important component of an effective HVAC business plan sample is its marketing analysis that’s why Gan hired the services of marketing experts to help him develop a good business plan for HVAC company . The success of a startup totally depends upon how it markets itself to target its specific customer groups. A successful marketing strategy can only be developed after knowing the target audience and potential customers. Our marketing experts carried out an extensive research to identify our target customers and develop an effective HVAC marketing plan to attract them. There are four main steps to carry out an accurate marketing analysis which are to identify the current market trends of the HVAC company business plan, identify your target audience and potential customers, set out the business targets to achieve, and finally set the prices of your products or services.
5.1 Market Trends
The HVAC market was worth more than $81 billion as of 2015. The market is expected to grow by 5.5 percent each year through 2020, making its worth up to $130.7 billion by that time. This increase in the market is credited to many factors, mainly the increasing number of commercial businesses and large-scale residential settlements. The increasing population and economic activity have resulted in an increase in the number of large-scale built assets. Heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system is an integral part of all built assets and their market also increased with the increasing number of built assets. Considering their importance, HVAC system must be properly, installed, maintained, and repaired, thereby creating the demand for businesses like us. In short, the market for this industry has a lot of potential, provided that you plan your business successfully.
5.2 Marketing Segmentation
Our target customers include local businesses, restaurants and hotels, private and government institutions, residential buildings, shopping malls, supermarkets, and high-rise commercial buildings located within the New York City. We are strategically located in the Central Business District of the city so as to target as many businesses as possible as well as the residential settlements located at a 15 minutes’ drive from us. Our marketing experts have identified following type of target audience which can become the future customers of our services.
The detailed marketing segmentation of our target audience is as follows:
5.2.1 Residential Buildings:
There are hundreds of large-scale residential buildings, apartments, and condos located in the residential zone of the city. Most of these buildings have centralized HVAC systems installed in them which frequently require maintenance and repair services due to their excessive use. Many newly constructed buildings also require HVAC system installation services. We will target this customer group by providing our high-quality and affordable installation, inspection, cleaning, maintenance, and repair services.
5.2.2 Institutional Buildings:
We will also target hundreds of schools, colleges, offices, hospitals, municipal authorities and other institutions located in the New York City. These institutional buildings will not require our installation services since nearly all of them have proper HVAC systems installed in them. But most of these buildings have decades-old HVAC systems, which frequently need repair and maintenance services.
5.2.3 Commercial Buildings:
There are thousands of commercial buildings in the Central Business District of the city housing local, national and international businesses. These buildings have complex HVAC systems installed in them which frequently require inspection, cleaning, maintenance, and repair services due to their excessive use. This target group will contribute a major part of the revenue to our business and hence will dictate our marketing strategy.
5.2.4 Hotels & Restaurants:
Lastly, we will target the hotels, food courts, and restaurants located in the city. This target group, due to its particular nature of the business, has different and more stringent HVAC needs as compared to the other groups mentioned above. Hotels and restaurants have more refrigeration needs so as to store the food products as compared to that provided by normal HVAC systems. We will ensure that this target group meets its refrigeration needs and its entire HVAC system keeps working in a perfect condition by our high-quality services. The detailed market analysis of our potential customers is given in the following table:
5.2 Business Target
We aim to revolutionize the HVAC industry by our BIM-integrated automatic fault detection system. Our target is to become the best HVAC service provider of the New York City within the next 3 years of our launch.
5.3 Product Pricing
Setting the prices of products or services is the most challenging part of any startup because it is very difficult to achieve the MARR (minimum attractive rate of return) while also attracting the customers towards it. Considering all restraints and aspects, we have priced all of our services in the similar ranges as of our competitors. The installation cost will increase 10% more than the normal installation price in the market, if you wish to install automatic fault detection system since it requires a lot of expertise.
After identifying the market trends, the market demand, and the potential customers of the startup, the next step is to develop an ingenious sales strategy to attract those customers toward us. Like marketing analysis, sales strategy is also an important component of an effective business plan for HVAC company so make sure to plan it before starting an HVAC business . Gan carried out an extensive research about various marketing strategies of HVAC business management before developing one for his company. The sales strategy developed by Gan and our experts discusses the competition in the current market, the aspects which will give us an advantage over other competitors, the methods to attract people towards us, and finally the sales pattern of our company in the next three years.
6.1 Competitive Analysis:
We have a really tough competition ahead of us because there are hundreds of other established HVAC companies in the New York City. But we believe that we will surpass all of our competitors in no time due to various reasons. The first and the most important of which is our innovative idea of BIM-integrated automatic fault detection system. Although fault detection systems are already in use in large complexes yet these systems mostly notify a fault in the form of alarm. After a fault is reported by alarm, Facility Managers spend a lot of time in finding the exact location of a fault or the component which has developed it. The process is often very time-consuming resulting in a lot of inconvenience for the management as well as the end-users. Often small faults lead to bigger and costlier problems due to the delay caused by their treatment. Our BIM-integrated automatic fault detection system links the system with a Building Information Model, which directly notifies us (the service provider) whenever a fault develops along with its location. So, no time is wasted in finding the location of the fault and it gets treated as soon as possible, saving you a lot of inconvenience and money as well. This system can be easily installed in new as well as the existing HVAC systems. We believe that if marketed properly this concept can revolutionize the HVAC industry and give us unparalleled superiority in this business. Our second competitive advantage will be our exceptional customer service. We will make sure that our technicians provide highest-quality work, at least possible time and in the best possible way. We will make sure that your property does not get damaged during our cleaning, maintenance, and repair work.
6.2 Sales Strategy
We will introduce our startup to our target customers and stakeholders by sending brochures and introductory letters about us. We will carry out a large-scale social media campaign for our advertisement. We will also offer 10% discount on our services so as to increase sales during the first three months of our launch.
6.3 Sales Forecast
Considering the market demand, our innovative concept and the quality of our services, our sales pattern is expected to increase with years. By analyzing our market segmentation strategy, our experts have forecasted the following sales on a yearly basis which are summarized in the column charts.
The detailed information about sales forecast, total unit sales, total sales is given in the following table:
Gan hired experts from various fields so as to help him understand how to start a heating and air conditioning business . He acquired the services of a Human Resource Manager to develop the following personnel plan for the staff needed for the company along with their average salaries.
7.1 Company Staff
Gan will act as the Chief Operating Officer of the company. The company will initially hire following people:
- 1 Front Desk Officer to act as a receptionist in the company head office
- 2 Administrators / Accountants to maintain financial records
- 3 Engineers for leading and directing the team of HVAC technicians
- 4 Sales and Marketing Executives responsible for discovering new ventures
- 10 HVAC Technicians for installing, cleaning, inspecting, maintaining and repairing HVAC systems and related components
- 2 Drivers to facilitate the movement of team and equipment throughout the city
To ensure the best quality service, all employees will be selected through vigorous testing and will be trained for a month before starting their jobs.
7.2 Average Salary of Employees
The following table shows the forecasted data about employees and their salaries for next three years.
Gan hired financial experts to help him understand how much does it cost to start an HVAC business . The financial plan created by them outlines the financial development of the company over the next three years. The company will be solely financed by Gan and he will also control the direction of business to make sure that it is expanding at the forecasted rate. No equity funding or outside loan will be required unless the company expands faster than forecasted.
8.1 Important Assumptions
The company’s financial projections are forecasted on the basis of following assumptions.
8.2 Brake-even Analysis
The following graph shows the company’s Brake-even Analysis.
The following table shows the company’s Brake-even Analysis.
8.3 Projected Profit and Loss
The following charts show the company’s expected Profit and Loss situation on the monthly and yearly basis.
8.3.1 Profit Monthly
8.3.2 Profit Yearly
8.3.3 Gross Margin Monthly
8.3.4 Gross Margin Yearly
The following table shows detailed information about profit business plan and loss, and total cost of sales.
8.4 Projected Cash Flow
The following column diagram shows the projected cash flow.
The following table shows detailed data about pro forma cash flow, subtotal cash from operations, subtotal cash received, sub-total spent on operations, subtotal cash spent.
8.5 Projected Balance Sheet
The following projected balance sheet shows data about total current assets, total long-term assets, total assets, subtotal current liabilities, total liabilities, total capital, total liabilities and capital.
8.6 Business Ratios
The following table shows data about business ratios, ratio analysis, total assets, net worth.
Download HVAC Business Plan Sample in pdf
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OGSCapital’s team has assisted thousands of entrepreneurs with top-rate business plan development, consultancy and analysis. They’ve helped thousands of SME owners secure more than $1.5 billion in funding, and they can do the same for you.
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How To Start an HVAC Business in 2023 [Steps + Tips]
- Last Updated: August 4, 2022
According to Intercoast, the HVAC business has had significant growth of 13 percent in recent years, and the year ahead appears to be promising as well. In other words, if you are considering starting an HVAC business, now is the moment to get started.
However, when it comes to establishing a successful business, you’ll need a failsafe plan to ensure your success.
This complete guide on how to start an HVAC business is intended for people who are considering starting an HVAC business or who wish to work as a full-time HVAC contractor in the HVAC industry. So, let’s move ahead.
Table of Contents
What is HVAC Business?
- How to Start an HVAC Business – Key Steps
- Do and Don’t of Starting a HVAC Business
- 6 Important Things To Consider Before Starting an HVAC Business
Ready To Start Your Own HVAC Business
HVAC is an abbreviation for Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning. The HVAC business is a type of business that offers specialized services for heating and cooling equipment installation, such as central air conditioning units, furnaces, and water heaters.
Some of the services that HVAC businesses provide are
- Gas/oil heating
- Air conditioning
- Air ventilation
- Air distribution
- Light commercial refrigeration
The HVAC business typically handles the climate control systems that are installed in our homes or office buildings. HVAC businesses quickly adopt the new innovative techs to enhance the performance of both HVAC firms and technicians.
How to Start an HVAC Business – Key Steps
After having a look at the basics of the HVAC business, it’s time to focus on the key steps to starting new HVAC businesses.
Step 1: Research and Estimate a Start-Up Cost
The first & foremost thing to do before starting an HVAC business is to research and estimate a start-up cost. HVAC is one such business that is not cheap and has a higher average cost, spending ranges from $3,000 to $12,000. So, it’s essential for you to understand how to start a small HVAC business first.
However, if you are trying to purchase everything up front, it will cost you around $100,000. So, what you require and pay for the HVAC Business? Well, you will need:
- HVAC tools and equipment
- Company’s vehicle
- Other essential suppliers
- T-shirts with the company logo on it
- Marketing strategies
- Worker’s salary
Also, as start-up cost is very crucial for an HVAC business, you can borrow money or get fund for your business venture. There are multiple methods like a bank loan, co-partner, private investor, government loan scheme, and contract with the franchise.
Step 2: Decide Which HVAC Service You Will Offer
A clear understanding of what service you are providing is essential for any business to be successful. There are several services that come under HVAC, including installation, maintenance, and repair of heating, air-conditioning, and refrigeration systems.
So, before starting your HVAC business, do market research on different types of HVAC services. Also, do a survey about the other HVAC companies in your service area, what services they offer, and the number of houses where you are planning to start your HVAC business.
After this research, you will be able to decide on which HVAC service you want to offer to your customer. Hence, you will help your business stand out and make your venture successful.
Step 3: Write HVAC Business Plan
For starting a successful HVAC business, you must write an effective business plan. A business plan defines the complete roadmap of your running business.
If you plan to take funds from banks or investors, you need to create a solid HVAC business plan mentioning the complete and appropriate details about the working operation. It will help them know about your business goals, financial obligations, and also your own company.
You need to consider the following metrics in your business plan:
- Cover page: It should contain your attractive logo, company name, roles & responsibilities, mission, vision, address, and contact details.
- Executive summary: Here, you need to summarize your company information like income and expense forecast, required funding details, and what makes you different from other competitors.
- Business overview: You can describe the details of your company like business type, trading name, and most importantly, the business structure.
- Business description: As the business owner, you can mention your company information like goals (short-term or long-term), location, and services like furnace repair, air conditioning installation, and tankless water heater installation.
- Market analysis: Make proper market analysis research on the running market and competitors to identify the target market’s age and income and their relationship to managing the HVAC services.
However, various business plan templates are available in the market , making your work easy to create proper planning.
Step 4: Apply for HVAC License and Business Registration
To get profitable success for your HVAC business, you need to make sure that you have applied the legal laws to operate your business.
A license is mandatory as it is related to regulating trades daily in the United States of America. Usually, there exist different types of licenses you can opt for based on your business location and expertise in HVAC.
Once you obtain a license from your state or government authority, you need to register your business. For registration, you need to make sure that the following items are available to you:
- Your business name: The small business owners must select a name that sounds unique, and professional and describes the services you offer.
- Contact information: You need to provide an appropriate business phone number and email.
- Business address: You have to include your office’s address, whether owned by you or a rental property.
- Business license and registration: Just provide the license number, tax number, separate bank account, and registration number to prove that you are doing legal operations.
- Trade License: Many states need a trade license from a government authority to start a new HVAC business.
- Business insurance and bonds (LLC): Having protection and separating personal assets is essential. Liability insurance and bonds do the same for you.
You need to perform each of the metrics mentioned above to start an HVAC business for the first time. No doubt, it’s going to cost you more during the starting stage but it is required.
Additionally, you can also contact an expert consultant or business advisor if you are stuck somewhere which helps you to understand the profit margins.
Once you have drafted your business plan, it is time to choose a distinctive name for your company that reflects your beliefs and registers your company name with the appropriate state authorities. If you have a limited liability company , a corporation, or a limited partnership in the U.S, you’ll need to register the business itself, which will also register your business name.
Step 5: Setup Accounting and Bookkeeping
Now, let’s come to the financial part of your HVAC service. For a better financial process in the HVAC business, it is a good plan to set up and keep accounting and bookkeeping organized. You can hire a professional or an accountant expert who can manage your accounting and financial records seamlessly.
Nevertheless, you can use cloud-based software that will help your HVAC business to handle accounting and bookkeeping tasks like expense tracking, invoicing, and payroll process.
Step 6: Create a Business Bank Account and Get Insurance
When you’re ready to start taking or spending money for your business, you should open a business bank account.
A business bank account helps you stay legal and safe, and helps your customer’s and employees’ personal information secure.
Moreover, business insurance protects your business from the unexpected cost of running a business. Accidents, natural disasters, and lawsuits could run you out of business if you’re not covered with the right insurance.
Step 7: Market Your HVAC business
Marketing is an essential metric that helps your business to get more and more customers regularly. The HVAC business is not an exception.
There are different marketing methods that you can include in your business to enhance productivity and HVAC customer service to a great extent.
- Building a robust website mentioning everything related to your services
- Applying SEO establishes strategies for enhancing the target market
- Creating a useful Facebook business page
- Working with social media ads as a digital marketing strategy
- Using email marketing for reaching more customers
- Making use of word of mouth to connect with potential customers
- Invest in flyers and business cards
- Collect online customer reviews
- Brand your vehicles using stickers
- Upsell your HVAC services by marketing materials to clients onsite
Step 8: Hire HVAC Technicians
Start hiring the best HVAC technicians for a profitable HVAC business. However, before hiring you need to keep in mind some key things:-
Here are the things that you have to ask before recruiting an HVAC technician
- What are your training and experience?
- What are your HVAC certifications?
- If you manage a team, what standards are the HVAC technicians held to?
- How do you determine and charge rates—fixed or hourly?
- Could you provide references?
- Are you experienced with this type of HVAC system?
- What are your payment terms?
- How do you determine a project estimate?
- How are changes to the estimate handled?
Step 9: Use HVAC Business Software
The adoption of the best HVAC company software is crucial to keep the firm functioning effectively. It is possible for heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning (HVAC) companies to better serve their customers and enhance their overall experience and satisfaction by utilizing HVAC software.
FieldCamp is premier field service scheduling software for service businesses to automate operations, boost productivity, and increase profit!
- Automate 90% of your daily operations
- Save up to 95% of the time you spent on scheduling & reports
- Keep track of technicians and crews with just a few clicks
- Track and create reports in real-time
- Gain complete business mastery with field service automation
Now that you’ve learned how to establish an HVAC business, it’s time to learn the Dos and Don’ts of starting a business.
Do And Don’t for Starting an HVAC Business
If you have begun or want to begin your own business, these highlighted dos and don’ts points will ensure your firm doesn’t fall into the status of a failing business.
- Having a solid business plan is breaking or making points into your business, so prepare your business plan smartly and make your goal realistic and achievable.
- Send professional invoice that is efficient and accurate because they are a big part of field service management.
- Seek professional help like a mentor, business consultant, or financial advisor that holds the knowledge of your business.
- Avoid operating instinctively as you need to be prepared for circumstances. The technique will only lead you to insolvency and low profitability in the long run.
- Do not lower your service price just to match with your competitor. It will affect your business and eventually result in a poor client experience.
- Never underestimate a good customer review because the customer still believes on word of mouth recommendation.
Now you know the dos and don’ts of starting an HVAC business, let’s see six important things to conder before starting an HVAC business.
6 Important Things to Consider Before Starting an HVAC Business
There are some of the essential tips that you need to consider before you start your HVAC business. Let’s discuss them in detail.
1. Choose a Specialization
First, you need to analyze the marketing scenario of your competitors and identify the services that they are lacking. It will give you a chance to concentrate on specific services and there exist more chances of getting customers in your business.
In addition, there are some standard services that you can include in your business, like troubleshooting:
- Gas furnaces, or gas heating
- Air conditioning units
You can also consult on ENERGY STAR appliances for homes or commercial buildings or specialization in other areas of expertise.
2. Create a Growth-Oriented Future Plan
The next thing you need to consider is how to expand your client base in the coming years. So, you can include the core services at a lower price or at a discounted price to attract lifelong customers.
Likewise, making a list of clients that can be quickly served, so it will increase the chance to reach your financial goals. Also, physical labor is included, you need to make sure that it does not overbook and provides high-quality services to its leading customers.
One of the biggest and most complex considerations to keep in mind is to fix HVAC startup costs for starting a new HVAC business. You need to make a list of mandatory items like labor, essential consumables, and, most notably, taxes.
Consider the hidden costs or money upfront as it plays a vital role for the sales team to enhance your business productivity. Research, compare it with other competitors, and determine the price. However, ensure that it is not too high or low to affect your business.
4. Partner With Construction Firms
You need to be in contact with many construction small businesses as there are more chances of getting a customer base. So, you need to make them ready to become a partner with you by proving to them you are a dependable HVAC resource.
The biggest and best long-term leads that HVAC business owners can opt for are the commercial and residential building contractors. Also, the project managers involved in renovation purposes may require HVAC industry experts to determine if a heating or air conditioner unit should be repaired or replaced.
5. Tools and Equipment
Now, you need to get all the essential equipment that helps the workers to work on the job sites. You need to get started by making a list of all the essential HVAC tools that make HVAC work easier. They play an indispensable role in installing, repairing, and even replacing the systems.
In addition to it, you can also include advanced equipment with the latest technology. However, some essential devices like drill machines, pipe wrenches, tape measures, staple guns, and more that you can include in your business.
6. Field Management Suite
Finally, you can include field service management (FSM) software in your HVAC companies. FSM software smoothly manages your daily business processes.
With its impressive feature to streamline field-based operations, you can easily make your hard work more comfortable managing and efficiently dealing with your business tasks.
FSM software is a boon for many home service businesses as it provides essential features like
- Job schedule and dispatch
- Work order management
- Mobile access
- Parts inventory management
- Case, contact, and order management
- Auto-invoice generation capabilities to prompt revenue generation
- Automated customized reports
- Push notifications
- Seamless integration with the inventory control system
So, these were the essential tips that help HVAC companies generate more revenue and improve business productivity . After looking at the steps and tips, if you still have any questions related to the HVAC business or HVAC contractors, we have come up with a FAQ in the next section.
A Field Service Management Software That Helps You To
No credit card details required
- Writing an effective plan
- Add upselling into your marketing plan
- Focus on customer service
- Improve your scheduling and efficiency
- Collect deposits
- Improve your invoicing strategy
If you are ready to start your own HVAC business, apply the steps mentioned in this article, then you can easily start your own HVAC company with enhanced business growth.
However, you need to be careful when creating your business plan, licenses, and other essential HVAC tools.
To automate and streamline your HVAC business operations, we recommend you adopt FieldCamp in your business. FieldCamp is software for scheduling and dispatching jobs that makes it easy for you to manage your HVAC technicians and improve your business productivity.
Sign up for weekly updates from Fieldcamp.
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Schedule and Dispatch Jobs with FieldCamp
Automate Your Field Service Business Operations with Easy-to-Use Field Service Management Software.
Automate 90% of Daily Operations
Save up to 95% of Time on Scheduling and Reports
Track Technicians and Crews
How to Start an HVAC Business – Here are 9 Beneficial Steps
- Last Updated: December 7, 2022
If there is a business field with plenty of jobs all around the globe, good compensation, and recession-proof, it has to be the HVAC sector. It is one of the most rapidly growing sectors whose demand is ever-increasing.
There were 103,359 plumbing and HVAC contractor companies in the US as of 2019, with 500 employees. The global heating, venting, and conditioning market is expected to be 288 billion USD . California has the highest number of jobs in the HVAC sector, three times higher than Pennsylvania.
All these substantiate that it is a sector that has a high employment rate and a great expanding capacity. It is one of the businesses which is truly universal.
To help you excel in your business, in this article, we have shared 9 beneficial steps on how to start your HVAC business . So without further ado, let’s get started.
Table of Content
- 9 Steps to Start an HVAC Business
Benefits of Starting an HVAC Business
- Get the best routes from Upper for your HVAC services
9 Beneficial Steps to Start an HVAC Business
An HVAC business can be very profitable if managed well. So, here are the 9 beneficial steps that can help you get off the mark in your new venture.
Short on time? Skip ahead:
- Create a growth-oriented HVAC business plan
- Evaluate HVAC business startup costs
- Study your market and make a list of the services
- Set prices that cover your expenditures
- Build an HVAC business marketing strategy
- Hire a team of HVAC technicians
- Monitoring your expenses
- Reach out to your customers
- Make use of advanced technology
1. Create a growth-oriented HVAC business plan
Any successful HVAC company is built on a solid business plan. You’ll need to create an HVAC business plan defining the following terms in that document:
- Market analysis
- Marketing plan
- Executive summary
- Business structure
- Financial obligations
- Revenue projections, and so on
Making an HVAC business strategy will keep you focused and may enable you to obtain startup financing from banks or other lenders. Apart from that, you also need to choose a business name and register it with the local government.
Another important component of a business structure is market research, which is necessary to assess the viability of your HVAC operation. You must know the number of competing HVAC companies in your service area, the number of homes and franchises you will compete with, the prices your rivals charge, and other information.
Additionally, it would be best if you chose your service area, the driving distance you are willing to travel to a job site, and the working environment. You must also work only during regular business hours or offer emergency repair services.
2. Evaluate HVAC business startup costs
The start-up cost of opening an HVAC company is costly, and failing to keep track of all business expenses is one of the most costly mistakes you can make. Hence, you need to have a separate bank account to manage your business transactions.
The average HVAC startup cost ranges from $2,000 to $10,000 , assuming you buy a used service van or truck and try to keep your equipment costs low. However, if you buy everything at once, the cost could easily exceed $100,000.
Here is the list of things you’ll need to run your HVAC business:
- Marketing materials, such as business cards and door tags to verify service with contact information
- Basic HVAC tools used for sheet metal work, such as aviators or tin snips, drive benders or folding bars, shears, staple guns, crimpers, etc.
- HVAC contractor license
- HVAC tools for air conditioning service and maintenance work
- Uniforms and caps with the company’s logo
- Vehicle signage
- HVAC business website
- A service truck or van large enough to carry all your tools and equipment
- HVAC business insurance- Workers compensation insurance and Liability insurance
- Available tools include an electrical tester, tape measures, battery-powered drill, sawzall, etc.
- Safety equipment
3. Study your market and make a list of the services
Decide what HVAC services you want to offer so you can buy the necessary equipment and begin pricing. The most common HVAC repair, installation, and maintenance services you can provide are as follows:
- Furnace tune-up and maintenance
- Air conditioning tune-up and maintenance
- Heat pump installation
- Repairing air conditioning units
- Air conditioning installation
- Air duct cleaning
- Tankless water heater installation
- Emergency HVAC service
- Furnace installation
Offering services in which you are skilled and enjoy performing will make your job more rewarding.
4. Set prices that cover your expenditures
If they want to have a successful HVAC business, business owners should set a price that covers all costs while ensuring business success. Additionally, reducing profit margins during the off-season may alleviate cash flow issues.
Here’s how to get started with HVAC job pricing:
- Analyze your rivals in the HVAC service industry to find out what the going rates are in your area.
- Establish the markup needed to achieve your desired profit margins.
- Determine what additional services you can provide to increase your overall quote prices
You can use the following pricing techniques for HVAC jobs:
Hourly rate pricing model-
Hourly rates can make it easier for you to make more money when working on time-consuming or commercial HVAC contracts. This pricing strategy is helpful when you don’t know how long the project will take.
Flat rate pricing model-
You can determine a single, fixed price for the entire project using flat-rate pricing. This pricing strategy works well for your HVAC business when you know how long the job will take; for instance, $300 for air conditioning service.
Labor and materials pricing model-
It’s preferable to charge clients for installations based on the amount of labor you provide and the tools you use in general. This pricing strategy makes recovering your operating costs simpler.
Once you have decided on your service prices, create an HVAC pricing chart that breaks down your service costs at flat rates or hourly rates. By using a pricing chart, you can quickly and easily give customers accurate HVAC estimates.
5. Build an HVAC business marketing strategy
To keep your small business running smoothly, you’ll need an effective marketing strategy for your HVAC business to bring in new customers while retaining existing ones. Word-of-mouth referrals play an important role. Word-of-mouth is the most effective way to build trust and reputation for your company.
Reaching out to potential clients unfamiliar with your company will involve using social media advertising and an SEO strategy. Email marketing is another excellent tool for business promotion. With email marketing, you can keep your customers updated on company news and send appointment and service renewal reminders.
Branding your HVAC logo on vehicles, t-shirts, uniforms, and all other marketing materials is a professional perk for your HVAC company. The more you can set yourself apart from the competition, the more likely you will gain a loyal customer base.
6. Hire a team of HVAC technicians
It’s time to hire a certified HVAC technician when your workload becomes too much for you to handle alone.
By employing HVAC technicians to handle fieldwork, you can devote more time to sales, planning, brand management, and other aspects of managing and expanding your new company.
Here are some recommendations for finding and picking knowledgeable HVAC professionals:
- Decide whether you want to employ employees or HVAC contractors and subcontractors.
- A great job description for HVAC contractors should be written and posted on job-search websites.
- Prepare some questions to ask a heating and cooling contractor before hiring them.
- After hiring your staff, get ready to train them.
- Pay your staff well and foster a positive work environment.
7. Monitoring your expenses
For starting an HVAC business, you also need to keep track of each expense. The fact that you currently have the most competitive prices does not guarantee that you will continue to do so.
As you assess your expenses, look for ways to cut costs. This can be achieved by purchasing supplies in bulk, obtaining manufacturer discounts for parts, or signing up for loyalty programs. You can also achieve this by saving money on fuel and other expenses.
For example, you can set up an overdraft facility with your bank. The overdraft facility will cover employee bills or advances if insufficient funds are in the business account.
8. Reach out to your customers
If you wait for customers to contact you, you will miss the opportunity to develop repeat business. Getting in touch with current customers and informing them about a service is another way to increase profitability.
Consider scheduling service calls with previous customers to suggest a furnace check-up before winter, which they may have yet to consider. Make it clear that you care about their safety and comfort and are willing to assist.
9. Make use of advanced technology
Today, technology is essential to almost every industry, and the HVAC sector is no exception. Don’t be hesitant to use technology to assist you in achieving your business objectives and creating brand awareness. You can create a business page or Google my business profile to mark the presence of your HVAC services online.
Technology has improved almost every aspect of HVAC, from the onboard sensors and computerized components of AC units to the routing software, such as the Upper Route Planner, that directs technicians from job to job.
Let Upper Help You Manage HVAC Services
Starting a new HVAC business is easier when you have an advanced route planner for managing HVAC services. Get Upper to find the best routes for your client appointments.
Let’s look at the top benefits of why you should start an HVAC business.
1. Easy to start up
Starting an HVAC business is relatively easier than starting other businesses. It requires little more than a business license, that is HVAC trade license, phone, and your offered skills and expertise to get up and to go. This not only makes it easier, but also makes it more affordable to get started.
2. No inventory
Starting an HVAC business doesn’t require a built-up reserve of inventory that needs to be stored in an expensive warehouse. You’ll only need the equipment and your skills to perform your offered services, so no warehouse full of inventory is required.
3. HVAC businesses are recession resilient
When the economy suffers, people will still need to repair their heating when it breaks. So, working in the HVAC industry, on the other hand, will help you keep your job and generate revenue even during economic downturns.
4. You are your own boss
You are your boss as a business owner. You have the freedom to make critical decisions the way you want for your own HVAC business. When you are your own boss, you have a unique opportunity to shape your days the way you want. You can pick and choose what interests you and focus on what makes you happy.
5. High Lifetime Value (LTV)
On average, HVAC systems are replaced every 12 years, costing each unit $12,000. During that time, HVAC businesses will most likely provide some level of service, either through repairs or routine maintenance. The LTV of an HVAC company is frequently greater than $1,000 per customer per year.
Get the Best Routes from Upper for Your HVAC Services
To excel in a fast-growing business, you need to have an organized and well-structured plan to cater to the requests of a large number of customers. Upper can help you reach this level of efficiency comfortably, without any hassle, with the help of state-of-the-art features.
For example, let’s say you have 30 jobs to be done in a day with the help of 5 technicians. Without proper planning, these technicians will be running around all over town but still may fail to cater to all the jobs. With every job that gets postponed or lost, you lose money.
Here is where Upper comes in to help you out. Upper’s powerful and intelligent route planning algorithm will help create an efficient route and divide the routes among the technicians so that all the technicians can cater to all the jobs. Here’s how Upper and your competitive advantage can assist you in increasing your revenue and profits.
Uppers’ intelligent route planning and optimization algorithm will create routes for all the separate technicians or drivers. This will not only help you cut costs but also ensure that the possible number of jobs are done. You can optimize these stops by time or distance and add urgency for priority deliveries. It will help you to save money.
Proof of delivery
This feature will help you to take all the proofs digitally. The customer signature and images can be captured and stored in the software, so they are never lost. This can also be retrieved at any time. This will help you to boost the customer experience as well.
This feature can help you to send the optimized routes with just a single click. It also has a feature by which you can reassign any job or delivery. It simplifies duties and improves overall operational efficiency.
Upper Route Planner
A simple-to-use route planner that every one is talking about
The NATE certification is one of the best HVAC certifications that is both the most popular and well-known. NATE stands for North American Technician Excellence. It is an organization that concentrates on certifying and testing HVAC technicians.
These are the four primary categories of HVAC systems. There are split systems, ductless systems, hybrid systems, and packaged heating and air systems. Each of these HVAC units has advantages and disadvantages, and understanding them can help you decide which is best for you.
An annual maintenance visit for an HVAC tune-up typically costs between $75 and $200, depending on the contractor. If extensive repairs are required, you may be required to pay up to $2,000-$3,000 for the most complex parts.
HVAC is an expanding sector where, with the help of the right market strategy, business model, and efficient tools, you can make great profits. Study the strategies used by your competitors, and don’t be afraid to take calculated risks. All you must do is create a realistic business plan and plan ahead of time.
We at Upper understand that businesses have multiple challenges. To reduce your stress, we have come up with state-of-the-art software so you can plan and execute the delivery process hassle-free and focus more on increasing revenue and expanding your business.
Rakesh Patel is the founder and CEO of Upper Route Planner. A subject matter expert in building simple solutions for day-to-day problems, Rakesh has been involved in technology for 30+ years. Looking to help delivery businesses eliminate on-field delivery challenges, Rakesh started Upper Route Planner with the ultimate goal of simplistic operations in mind.
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How to Start an HVAC Business
On This Page:
12 Steps to Start an HVAC Business
How big is the hvac industry, what are the key segments of the hvac industry, who are the key competitors in the hvac industry, what are the key customer segments in the hvac market, what are the typical startup costs for a new hvac business, is owning an hvac business profitable, what are the keys to launching a new hvac business, how to start an hvac business faqs, other helpful business plan articles & templates.
If you’re thinking of starting your own HVAC business, you’re in luck. The heating and air conditioning industry is booming, and there’s plenty of room for new contractors to make a name for themselves. Below you will learn the keys to launching and running a successful HVAC business.
Importantly, a critical step in starting an HVAC business is to complete your business plan. To help you out, you should download Growthink’s Ultimate Business Plan Template here .
Download our Ultimate Business Plan Template here
Step 1 – Conduct Market Research for Your Target Service Area
Your first step in starting an HVAC business is to conduct market research – but don’t expect to find an area where no one offers air conditioning or heater repair. Instead, you need to target a location with enough demand that your company will be competitive.
For example, if you live near the beach and everyone has their AC running constantly through the summer, you’ll need to price competitively if you want to make a sale. In cities with frigid winters, where everyone’s furnace is running constantly to keep their house warm, your company will have plenty of opportunities for sales during those months.
In addition to knowing where people are using HVAC systems most frequently, it helps to know where there is a large population of homes with older HVAC systems that are due for replacement. Homes in these areas will likely be more open to replacing their current unit, and you can position yourself as the go-to choice for replacement installation.
Step 2 – Choose a Business Name
You’ll want to give your company an effective name that’s easy for customers to remember.
Try using the services you offer in the business name, such as “Carmel Air”, “HVAC Inc” or “Air Conditioning Specialists”. You might also consider including your last name in the business name, such as “Smith HVAC” or “Higgins HVAC”.
Step 3 – Write an HVAC Business Plan
Having a realistic business plan is essential to starting any type of company. It outlines your goals and strategies for achieving them, which allows you to better manage your time and resources as you work towards success. This step helps you develop a mission statement, decide on a budget, figure out a marketing plan and identify the legal necessities that apply to your area.
Step 4 – Pick a Location
Choosing your location means finding the right place for your business. This is usually done by identifying where you’ll find most of your customers, then picking the best spot to offer HVAC services that are within an easy drive or commute.
To get started, create a list of potential locations and then rent a space that meets your needs.
Step 5 – Register as a Business
You’ll need to register as a business with your local government. This means you’ll have to pay all of the applicable taxes and look into obtaining any necessary licenses or permits that apply to HVAC systems. For example, some states require commercial heating, ventilation, and air conditioning companies to be licensed.
Step 6 – Get Business Insurance
Once you’ve set up your business, make sure to get insurance. This covers any damage that may occur during service calls and prevents lawsuits if your customers are dissatisfied with the work you perform.
The general rule is that every new company needs general liability and workers’ compensation insurance.
Step 7 – Get the Right HVAC Equipment and Supplies
Make sure you have all of the HVAC supplies and equipment necessary to get started, such as tools, appliances, and signs for your company. If you need any items, factor in the cost when setting up your budget.
Step 8 – Market Yourself Effectively
There are many HVAC companies out there so you’ll need to find a way to stand out from your competition. You can use social media, word of mouth, or paid advertisements for this purpose.
If you want to make more money through referrals, develop an excellent customer service reputation, and recommend only the best products and services to your customers.
If you want to go the traditional route, then you should develop some business cards and flyers that can be distributed.
Step 9 – Hire Employees
Once you get established, you might even need employees. Make sure to advertise in places where good workers are likely to be looking for a job.
Also, take time to interview each of your applicants so you can get the best workers on your team. Your business will only succeed if you hire reliable employees who know how to communicate with customers and get the job done right.
Step 10 – Price Your Services Competitively
You’ll need to set a fair price for the HVAC services that you offer. You should also be ready to negotiate, especially if your business is new and you’re still trying to gain a foothold in the industry. For example, if you know how to work with clients on maintenance costs, you might be able to get them to sign up for a year of service instead.
Step 11 – Keep Records
To run a business, you’ll need to keep good records of everything you do and how it’s performed. This includes information about HVAC systems that have been installed or repaired, your employees and the services they’ve provided, and any contracts you sign with new customers.
The most reliable way to do this is by using accounting software that allows you to track your business data in an organized manner. You can then find reports that include useful information for analysis.
Step 12 – Adopt the Right Mindset
Running a successful HVAC business requires more than just technical knowledge. You’ll have to learn how to effectively communicate with customers, work with employees and promote your business if you want to produce positive results.
If you follow these steps, then your HVAC business should do well into the future. You can hire people as needed, but you must understand how every aspect of the industry works first. That way, you’ll be providing top-notch HVAC service to your customers and they’ll keep coming back for more.
The heating and air conditioning industry is a multi-billion dollar industry reaching more than $120 billion in annual revenue. This trend is expected to continue as HVAC services are one of the most important methods of modern day home comfort and convenience.
Every year, HVAC technicians install millions of furnaces, central air conditioners, heat pumps and other heating and cooling appliances in homes across the United States. These professionals are also responsible for keeping these systems running smoothly on a daily basis.
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The HVAC industry is made up of two distinct segments, commercial and residential. There’s also a third sector that’s usually combined with these two aspects: engineering and design.
There are about 2 million commercial HVAC systems in the United States, but only 25% of them are actually controlled by a central thermostat.
This means that many companies are wasting money on heating and cooling costs because they don’t have a centralized system for monitoring and controlling HVAC output.
If you can offer your commercial clients a fix to this problem, then it will be easy to get new customers and grow your HVAC business.
HVAC systems for residential use make up the largest category, and this is where you should focus much of your attention.
Your HVAC business plan should include information about how to work with homeowners and home inspectors, plus tips on how to maintain equipment and keep it in good working order.
This will ensure that you can provide valuable HVAC service to your customers and they’ll recommend you to others in the future.
Engineering and Design
This third branch is related to commercial and residential applications, but it’s unique in that it focuses on how HVAC systems work with other building elements.
Engineers and designers help clients plan and build structures that are energy efficient and meet their HVAC needs.
You only have a handful of major competitors, but they may offer similar services so you need to figure out how to stand out.
It’s not just HVAC contractors that can give you competition. You’ll also face off against building maintenance companies and other service providers.
Your company needs a clear focus so it remains distinct from these other businesses that have similar offerings.
There are a few manufacturers of HVAC equipment, and many of them also offer repair and maintenance services. This is a much more direct competitor because they may actually sell the same products as you.
You’ll need to go beyond just having a basic understanding of HVAC equipment. You need to be familiar with the manufacturer’s warranties so you can recommend repair services when necessary.
Before you can begin to reach customers in your target market, you need to understand who they are.
Most people get their HVAC system at home because it’s where they spend the most time. Those systems tend to break down or wear out after about 8-12 years, so homeowners are always looking for HVAC contractors.
Business owners and managers want their heating and cooling systems to keep the employees comfortable and the building at a pleasant temperature. Making these customers happy is about more than just fixing broken equipment; you may need to help them manage costs and improve energy efficiency.
Large buildings, factories, construction sites, and other industrial areas require HVAC equipment to meet the specific needs of the organization operating in that space. If your company doesn’t have experience with these types of setups, you need to find someone who does.
Your startup costs will depend on how you plan to run your business.
Understanding the leanest way to get started is one of the most important things you can do when planning your HVAC company. Whether you choose to work alone or hire employees, make sure it’s a cost-effective decision that doesn’t eat away at your profits.
Costs to consider when you’re just starting:
Business licenses, permits, and certifications
HVAC contractors need specific licenses in many areas. The only way to get them is by meeting the requirements laid out by your state or locality. You may also need additional training or degrees so it can take up to 6 years before you really start making money.
Supplies and equipment costs
You’ll need to buy tools, cleaning supplies, and other items to make sure your HVAC business is operational. If you’re planning on hiring employees or contract workers, you may need to provide uniforms for them as well.
Hiring new people can increase your insurance costs so you’ll need to budget accordingly. You may also be more exposed to risk if you’re working in customers’ homes.
Rent or Mortgage
It takes something as specialized as HVAC work to necessitate renting your workspace instead of operating out of your home, but the cost is still significant. That’s why most contractors start with small home offices before they move into something bigger.
Marketing and Advertising Fees
You need to market your business to compete with other companies and attract new customers. It’s a key part of getting your name out there so you can build a reputation as an expert in the field.
Once the HVAC equipment is installed in your customer’s house, worksite, or industrial facility, you still need to manage it. That means your work doesn’t stop when the sale is complete; you need to make sure your customers are happy with their equipment and repairs.
Staffing and Training Costs
The more employees you hire, the higher your monthly costs will be. HVAC companies start small (often with just one or two people), but they can grow much larger if they want to. You may need to add staff to take on large jobs or provide 24-hour service to your customers.
The short answer is yes. HVAC work is a growing industry that’s experiencing high demand from both residential and commercial customers.
To run a profitable HVAC business you should know how to:
- Estimate the costs of replacing HVAC equipment before you make a sale
- Identify fixes that will save your customers money over time
- Charge competitive prices for your HVAC services
- Advertise effectively so you can attract new customers and increase retention rates
Your HVAC business won’t start generating revenue until you become the go-to HVAC professional in your area.
Starting something new is always risky, but it can be even harder when your industry is dominated by local companies that have been in business for decades. You need to develop a strategy that generates leads, turns them into paying customers, and makes sure they remain loyal.
Industry recognition and growth
You can’t grow your HVAC business if no one’s ever heard of you, so you need to get the word out there as soon as possible. Be sure to join industry associations and put up a professional-looking website with photos and testimonials from happy clients.
Every HVAC contractor starts as a one-man operation, but it’s important to think about how you’ll expand down the line. You don’t want to remain a small business forever, so make sure your plan includes growth and hiring more employees as soon as possible.
You’ll need to establish yourself as the best HVAC contractor in your area before you can attract enough customers to make a living. That means making sure you beat out all of the other companies when it comes to quality and reliability, and offering better service overall.
Before going into the HVAC industry, it’s a good idea to research what you can expect as a business owner. That way, you’ll be well equipped to target customers and set up a system for getting new referrals.
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What are the Future Trends in HVAC Business?
Several trends will have a major impact on how HVAC businesses operate over the next few years.
Green building initiatives
The federal government is requiring all new homes to be green by 2020, and many states also have policies that address energy efficiency. This trend will continue and encourage homeowners to use more environmentally-friendly HVAC equipment.
Businesses addressing climate change
More organizations are starting to recognize how global climate change affects their bottom line, so they plan accordingly with changes such as more insulation and energy monitoring. This trend will eventually expand outside of businesses and impact how everyone consumes electricity.
More distributed HVAC equipment
In the past, many buildings only needed a small heating and cooling system. Now, more mid-sized structures have multiple systems to handle different parts of the building. You may need to maintain or install several types of HVAC in your new business.
How Can You Make Money with an HVAC Business?
You can make money with your HVAC company by selling new equipment, offering repairs, and doing general maintenance on existing systems. Here are some of the most common ways to earn money:
This is one of the best ways to gain new customers. HVAC installations can be expensive so you can charge more for your services.
Even if you're not selling new equipment, you'll still get business by keeping existing HVAC units running properly. It helps to have a list of trustworthy subcontractors that you can refer to in an emergency. If someone's furnace breaks down during the winter, they'll be happy to have someone who can help them.
Selling monthly maintenance contracts is a great way to earn recurring revenue from your customers. You handle all of their HVAC needs so you can collect payments for as long as they want to stay with you.
Parts and supplies
You don't always get new customers by selling parts and supplies, but it's an easy way to boost your profits. If you're purchasing items in bulk, you can offer them to your existing customers at a lower price than your competition.
Selling HVAC Equipment
Contractors who sell their equipment often find that they have a competitive advantage over other companies. You can purchase new units in bulk and sell them to your customers for a considerable markup. That way, you're making money on the HVAC installation as well as from future monthly maintenance fees.
How Much Money Does an HVAC Business Make?
It depends on how much capital you start with and how long it takes you to gain customers. If you want to attract new business within the first year, your HVAC company will need to offer a superior service at a higher price than your competition.
A Few Other Things to Consider
To make the most money possible from your HVAC business, you'll need to learn how to estimate square footage. If you're giving a price quote before seeing the building, you won't have accurate numbers. Be flexible with your prices and try to be as precise as possible when explaining your services.
During each month, you'll be dealing with budgets and deadlines. Customers expect HVAC contractors to arrive on time and finish their work as quickly as possible. Make sure that your employees meet these standards and provide them with the right tools for the job.
Your HVAC business will need a reliable telephone system, particularly if you're doing repairs or installations. Everyone will be contacting you for these services, so don't let your phone system become outdated. If you want to upgrade or change anything about your phone line, now's the time to do it.
HVAC businesses face a lot of competition, but there are certain advantages that you can use to stand out from the rest.
For example, if you offer a list of recommendations and tips to your customers, they'll be more likely to work with you. They may even recommend your company in the future when one of their friends or family members needs help.
What Do You Need to Start an HVAC Business?
The most important thing is to learn about all aspects of HVAC. You may need to attend a trade school or hire on with another company to get hands-on experience. Once you've gathered some knowledge, you can start looking for the supplies that you'll need to begin your own business.
You should always have contracts and invoices available for your customers, and you can create them with just a few clicks on your computer. Even if you're doing repairs, it's important to work from an invoice so that your customers will know how much they owe you.
It also helps to have a website created by professionals who specialize in these kinds of services. If someone is searching online for an HVAC contractor, they'll expect to see a site that looks modern and informative. That way, you can reach out to potential customers before they even contact you about your services.
You need all of the supplies and equipment necessary for heating and cooling systems, such as thermostats and circuit boards. It's also a good idea to stock up on filters and other supplies, such as window insulation for older buildings.
To complete repairs, you'll need an assortment of tools that includes screwdrivers, hammers, and tape measures. You should always have these items around because they can come in handy the next time one of your customers experiences an HVAC emergency.
There are often times when HVAC systems can't be repaired and need to be replaced with new ones. This is the most expensive service that you'll provide for your customers, so you must be ready in case they ask for a replacement system. Consider how much money you have and what kinds of loans or other financial assistance you can take out before you start stocking up on new heating and cooling units.
There are several ways to promote your HVAC business, including flyers, word of mouth, and social media. Write a press release about your company's grand opening or other major events, then distribute them in person or post the information online. If you have a long list of customer reviews, you can create a website that focuses on those testimonials.
You may need to hire employees to meet the needs of your customers. Once you have enough staff members on hand, it might be time to rent an office space to separate work life from home life.
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HVAC Business Plan
Are you thinking of starting an HVAC business plan We have prepared a solid HVAC business plan sample that guides you on every stage of your business plan writing
HVAC stands for Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning.
Do you have a good technical understanding and can understand ventilation systems in no time? Or, is making houses, offices, and other spaces more functional your forte?
And if you know how to deal with HVAC systems and can manage a team of individuals to install such systems even if it is a little tricky in some places then an HVAC business can be the right one for you.
If you are planning to start a new business in the HVAC industry, the first thing you will need is an HVAC business plan. Use our sample Illuminus – HVAC Business Plan created using U pmetrics business plan software to start writing your business plan in no time.
Before you start writing your business plan for your new HVAC business, spend as much time as you can reading through some samples of service & maintenance-related business plans .
The HVAC industry stood at a market value of 127.4 billion USD in 2020 and is expected to grow at the rate of 5.9 percent in 2021.
With rapidly growing and changing technology the industry is growing at a rapid rate too.
Today HVAC systems come with the best class technology which offers monitoring systems along with the usual services.
Also, climate change and uncertain temperatures have led to the rise in demand for heating and cooling systems.
Hence, the industry isn’t slowing down any time soon.
Things to Consider Before Writing an HVAC Business Plan
Before you start writing your business plan , do proper and in-depth research so that you do not miss any detail in your business plan.
Have a team of skilled technicians
Have a quality check system in place.
HVAC systems come with a lot of maintenance and repair work, as well as checking whether the system is functioning properly after installation is essential too.
Hence, having a proper quality check system and maintenance and repair services takes the chaos out of your business’s functioning.
Identify your customer base and resources
Having an idea of your customer base and their needs and preferences is essential for any business.
Know your competitors
Staying updated with your competitors’ strategies and what’s working for them and what’s not, can reduce the number of methods that you have to try out before you find the right way of working.
Chalking Out your Business Plan
People are never going to stop building new spaces or renovating old ones. Hence, an HVAC business can turn into an extremely profitable one if done right.
Reading sample business plans will give you a good idea of what you’re aiming for. It will also show you the different sections that different entrepreneurs include and the language they use to write about themselves and their business plans.
We have created this Illuminus – HVAC Business Plan template for you to get a good idea about how a perfect HVAC business plan should look like and what details you will need to include in your stunning business plan.
HVAC Business Plan Outline
This is the standard HVAC business plan outline which will cover all important sections that you should include in your business plan.
- Market Validation
- Short Term (1 -3 Years)
- Long Term (3-5 years)
- Mission statement
- Keys to success
- Illuminus – 3 Year Financial Highlights
- Company Ownership/Legal Entity
- Interior Operating Facilities
- Hours of Operation
- Startup summary
- Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning Products and Service
- Air Conditioners
- Gas Furnaces
- Air Handlers
- Customer Service
- Market segmentation
- Market Trends
- Illuminus Market Distribution
- Competitive Advantage
- SWOT analysis
- Marketing and Promotion Programs
- Positioning Statement
- Marketing Channels
- Pricing strategy
- Organization chart
- Management Team
- Hiring plan
- Important Assumptions
- Break-even Analysis
- Profit Yearly
- Gross Margin Yearly
- Projected Cash Flow
- Projected Balance Sheet
- Business Ratios
After getting started with upmetrics , you can copy this sample HVAC business plan template into your business plan and modify the required information and download your HVAC business plan pdf or doc file.
It’s the fastest and easiest way to start writing your business plan.
Business Planning Resources
We have plenty of free business planning resources available to help you with your planning. You can download our resources to learn all about business planning.
Not found what you are looking for? Explore our 200+ sample business plans to find match for your business.
DISCLAIMER: The business plans, templates, and articles contained on upmetrics.co are not to be considered as legal advice. All content is for informational purposes, and upmetrics makes no claim as to accuracy, legality or suitability. The site owner shall not be held liable for any errors, omissions or for damages of any kind.
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How to Create the Best HVAC Business Plan
Did you know that all you need is one document to build a solid HVAC business? For long-lasting success, the number one resource you’ll need is a robust HVAC business plan.
Despite what you might think, a great HVAC plan isn’t as complicated as it seems.
Use the HVAC business plan outlined in this article to simplify the process and start creating your own plan today!
How the Best HVAC Business Plan Builds a Foundation for Success
Before we dive in on the process for building out an HVAC business plan, let’s talk about how it’s going to help your heating and cooling business.
An HVAC business plan is VITAL to the growth and success of your business.
Use your new business plan to help you:
- Stay organized
- Prepare for unexpected events
- Establish and stay focused on clear, achievable goals
Also, it’s important to keep in mind that your HVAC plan is NOT a one-and-done document. It’s critical that you always know what’s going on in your business by regularly updating it with monthly financial revisions and yearly complete revisions. This will allow your business plan to grow with you!
1. Cover Page
Your cover page is a concise cover letter that introduces your HVAC business, which is why your business plan should resemble a professional booklet.
Your cover page gives readers (namely new employees and financial professionals) a quick overview of your management and contact structure, which helps streamline the training process .
Plus, if you apply for any grants or loans, the cover page gives the financial institution a quick reference point for contact information.
These are a few essentials you should include in your cover page:
- Business name
- Contact information
- Business address (if any)
- Any key stakeholders (and their roles) in your HVAC business
2. Executive Summary
Your executive summary provides a brief synopsis of your entire HVAC business plan.
Use the summary to help formalize the main concepts in your business by establishing concrete, clear, and achievable goals to scale your HVAC business for growth.
Be sure to include these essential elements in your executive summary:
- Company history
- Mission statement
- Business goals and objectives
- Competitive advantages (your keys to success)
3. Business Overview
Your business overview provides basic information about everyday functions as well as the operational structure of your HVAC business.
This section allows new people entering your business (i.e. new employees or third-party financial advisors) to instantly see how your business operates.
Your company summary is a brief summary of your vision for your HVAC business. Take advantage of your company summary to give readers an understanding of where you HVAC business will go.
A company summary may also help you create a picture of what your ideal HVAC client looks like.
Include these elements in your company summary:
- What types of HVAC services will/are you offering?
- Are you offering services for residential, commercial, or both?
- For example, your residential customers will likely need scheduled maintenance once or twice a year, while commercial customers are more likely to need quarterly check-ins.
Just by answering the questions listed above, you’ll have a complete executive summary. However, each HVAC business is different, so you might find that you need to include additional information.
Your company ownership states which business entity you’re registered as (i.e. partnership, corporation, sole proprietorship, etc… ). This is important due to tax implications.
It’s important to establish your business as a separate entity in order to protect yourself from being personally liable for your business. So it’s important to state your ownership status in your HVAC business plan.
Also, if you haven’t already registered your business, be sure to check out our guide on starting an HVAC business .
The start-up summary is used to determine the value of your HVAC business by evaluating your start-up costs and assets, which are great predictors of success. If you ever seek grants or loans, this is one of the most important sections financial institutions review.
For established HVAC businesses that aren’t start-ups, this section will include your business expenses and assets.
Your start-up cost is the amount of money you need to spend on equipment and materials in order to start your HVAC business . Your start-up cost summary helps as you’re looking for outside investors and loans. It can also help you develop a financial plan!
Your start-up costs help you to determine where to set your HVAC pricing in order to maximize your profits. To start, include estimated start-up costs in your overhead costs.
However, if you already own some equipment and materials to start your business, don’t include them here. Only include the things you need to purchase in this section.
Your start up costs may include:
- Inventory costs
- HVAC uniforms
- Office supplies
- HVAC equipment
- HVAC business software
- Facility/warehouse rent and upkeep
- Capital to pay your employees (if any)
- Marketing expenses (i.e. your website, ads, etc… )
Once you’ve added up how much everything will cost you to get started, you’ll have a better idea of your business’ financial needs. While estimating costs may be tedious, HVAC business owners who skip their start-up cost summary will likely drastically cut themselves short or prices and lose profits.
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Your long-term assets contribute to your HVAC business in the long-term. Essentially, your long-term assets include anything you already own that doesn’t need to regularly be replaced.
Since your long-term assets show how much your business is worth, it’s a major predictor of your HVAC business’ success. Financial institutions pay particularly close attention to this section when evaluating grant or loan applications.
Here are a few examples of some long-term assets:
- Larger equipment
As you add your long-term assets to your HVAC plan, be sure to be as specific and detailed as possible. Include the make, year, model, cost, and any other pertinent information about your long-term assets.
In contrast to long-term assets, your short-term assets need to be regularly replaced.
These are a few examples of short-term assets:
- Storage expenses
The more short-term assets you own, the less overhead you’ll have. In other words, you’ll have more revenue you can put towards your bottom line.
Pro Tip! Be sure to include ALL of your short-term assets – no matter how tedious it is. Use this as an opportunity to prioritize the importance of actively tracking your inventory .
4. HVAC Services
Use the costs you outlined in the previous steps to help you expand on the HVAC services you can offer.
Ensure that the HVAC services you offer are in alignment with:
- HVAC equipment: what you can afford
- Area: what services are in high demand locally
Be sure to specify the seasonality and frequency for each of your services in your HVAC services summary. Also, be sure to label any one-time or emergency services you offer.
5. Market Analysis Summary
Your market analysis summary talks about your ideal client in detail, which helps you to sell more effectively to them.
In this section, you’ll pinpoint your ideal client’s needs, and how you’re going to meet those needs. Plus, you’ll identify some industry trends that can help optimize your marketing .
Use your market analysis summary to improve your sales skills and grow your HVAC business by getting to know your target market and local competition.
Answer these questions to complete your market analysis summary:
- Define their age, income, and socioeconomic status
- Identify their wants and desires (what they care most about)
- Find out the local target market size (how many locals live/work here?)
- HVAC services
- Offerings that are similar to yours
- Business sizes (number of HVAC technicians, company size, etc… )
- Why might your ideal clients choose your competitors over you?
- How can you make it to where your ideal clients will hire YOU over your competitors?
Be as detailed as you need in this part of your business plan. After all, the more detailed you are, the better you know your clients and can sell more effectively.
6. Business Strategy
All of the legwork you’ve done in the previous sections of your HVAC plan has prepared you for creating a business strategy. In this section, you’ll take everything you’ve already written and tie it together.
Use your business strategy to help you explore the best HVAC pricing structure for you. The main goal of this section is to identify ways to maximize your profits and build the most successful air heating and cooling business possible.
If you want to build a successful, scalable HVAC business, then you have to know how to use pricing to maximize your profits.
As you explore how much to charge for your HVAC services, consider aspects like:
- Profit goals
- Taxes and fees
- HVAC software cost
- Overhead and HVAC equipment cost
- Hourly rate (including employee pay)
While the elements listed above are a great place to start, these are just a few of the many factors you need to take into account for pricing. Be sure to work with your business’ financial advisor and/or accountant when determining prices!
7. Implementation Summary
Your implementation summary uses everything you’ve learned to outline how you’re going to effectively implement the right HVAC marketing and sales strategies to get HVAC customers and reach your goals.
Depending on your overhead costs and HVAC pricing, you’ll be able to calculate how many HVAC customers you need to be profitable. Next, you’ll have to explain how you’re going to win those customers.
In addition to word of mouth, consider taking advantage of marketing platforms to help increase awareness of your business. Take a look at a few basic marketing strategies to get your started:
- Facebook Ads
- Passing out HVAC flyers to neighboring homes of job sites (e.g. 9-arounds)
Get more in-depth tips by reading our free HVAC marketing guide.
In addition to marketing, make sure you also include sales forecasts and sales strategies in your summary as well as listing any milestones and competitive advantages.
Your implementation summary will help you strategize how to reach your ideal customers. In turn, you’ll establish an effective plan to help you conquer (and surpass!) all of your goals.
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8. Management Summary
Typically, in the field services industry, labor takes up about 30% of your annual revenue costs. Considering how other industries have about 20% in labor costs, this number is considered high.
Since your labor costs make up a heavy portion of your business, it’s important that it gets its own section of your HVAC business plan to lay it out in full detail.
Your management summary helps you to control your labor costs by streamlining everyday business operations and optimizing time management practices.
Need help managing operations and time? FieldEdge is an HVAC software that automates and tracks these areas and more.
Here are a few essentials to include in your management summary:
- Your salary
- Labor costs and employee pay
- Number of employees needed to reach your goals
- How many jobs you can realistically finish in a day (especially if you’re flying solo)
- What’s the minimum job cost/rate that will allow you to reach your profit goals?
If you’re just starting your HVAC business , you may not have enough clients to hire HVAC technicians . However, don’t feel discouraged. It’s normal for new businesses to fly solo for a few years as they gain additional HVAC customers .
When you begin feeling exhausted and overworked, then you know it might be time to start the hiring process . However, if you’re ready to start hiring but you don’t have the budget, then it’s time to raise your HVAC pricing.
9. Financial Plan
Your financial plan helps you to plan ahead and scale your HVAC business for growth. In turn, you’ll have a full scope of the financial state of your HVAC business and its profitability.
Since the financial plan usually takes the longest to evaluate, many business owners are tempted to rush through this section – sometimes even skipping it altogether. However, businesses that skip their financial plan are more likely to go bankrupt.
Your finances are the lifeblood of your business. If you focus on any portion of your HVAC business plan, then let it be this one .
As you create your financial plan, it’s in your best interest to meet with a trusted financial advisor throughout the process, especially before you finalize it. Your financial advisor will identify any profit holes and will help you to evaluate any potential concerns.
Even though hiring a financial advisor might set you back a bit in your budget, it’s arguably the most important key to building a successful HVAC business. After all, your finances have little room for error and will make or break your HVAC business.
These are a few elements you can include in your HVAC financial plan:
- Balance sheet
- Sales forecast
- Sales Strategies
- Business ratios
- Start-up funding
- Personnel plan
- Expense budget
- Break-even analysis
- Projected cash flow
- Projected profit and loss
The elements listed above in bold are required, while the rest can help you have the best grasp on your finances. Even though not everything in this list will apply to your business, it’s an important start in creating a great HVAC business plan.
Use Your HVAC Business Plan to Build a Wildly Successful and Scalable Business
At last, you have a complete outline with everything you need to create the perfect HVAC business plan.
- Executive Summary
- Business Overview
- HVAC Services
- Market Analysis Summary
- Business Strategy
- Implementation Summary
- Management Summary
- Financial Plan
Whether you’re a new or established heating and cooling business, it’s never too late to start utilizing the power of a great HVAC business plan.
And always remember, your HVAC plan MUST be updated on a regular basis. Make sure you plan time for monthly financial revisions and yearly complete revisions.
Use this outline to start creating an HVAC business plan to build a wildly successful and scalable air conditioning business!
Related: Gain Loyal Customers Through HVAC Maintenance Contracts
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How to Start a Heating & Air Conditioning Business in 15 Steps
Do you want to start a HVAC company? If YES, here is a 15-step guide to starting a heating & air conditioning business with no money or experience plus a sample HVAC business plan template. Almost every home and office has a heating and air conditioning system installed in their facilities, and over time, these systems will require maintenance, servicing and repairs.
This goes to show that there is indeed a large market for heating and air-conditioning repair and maintenance companies . All you need to do to get started in this type of business is to learn the technical skills required to service, maintain and repair heating and air-conditioning systems and also to acquire the required working tools for the business.
In general, starting a heating and air-conditioning maintenance business requires low start – up capital, but it is indeed a very lucrative and profitable venture if it is well positioned and you know how to deliver excellent jobs. The amount you can make per day is largely dependent on your ability to market your services to both commercial and residential users of heating and air-conditioning systems.
15 Steps to Starting a Heating & Air Conditioning Business (HVAC)
1. understand the industry.
The heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) industry is an industry that deals in the heating and air – conditioning of a facility or space. The truth is that heating, ventilation and air-conditioning are interconnected, most especially when it comes to the need to provide conducive temperature in an indoor facility.
Basically, HVAC systems are designed to provide ventilation, reduce air infiltration, and maintain pressure relationship between spaces. The heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) industry is indeed a very large industry that covers operation and maintenance, system design and construction, equipment manufacturing and sales.
In order to maintain high standard and best practices, manufacturers in the HVAC industry are regulated by organizations such as HARDI, ASHRAE, SMACNA, ACCA, Uniform Mechanical Code, International Mechanical Code, and AMCA.
Just like most industries within the construction line of business, the Heating and Air-Conditioning Contractors industry has been recovering over the last five years. Within the stated period, there was an appreciable increase in business activity, and end user spending benefited business expansion plans and supported new enterprises in the industry.
Going forward, the demand for heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) services is projected to rebound in the next five years. As a matter of fact, the growth in the real estate industry and the growing trend as regards energy – efficiency et al will definitely translate to growth in the heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) industry.
The Heating and Air-Conditioning Contractors industry is not dominated by any company. As a matter of fact, no company can boast of having more than 5.0% of the total annual revenue in the industry. The major players in the heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) industry are smaller firms that specialize in all kinds of HVAC systems.
Similar to any other business, the demand for heating, ventilation and air conditioning services and products usually decline during recession period/economic downturn and this is due to declining household spending and reduced demand from business clients. As the economy grows, and income increases, there will be corresponding increase in the demand for heating, ventilation and air conditioning services and products.
The heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) industry is indeed a very large industry and pretty much thriving in all parts of the world especially in developed countries such as United States of America, Canada, United Kingdom, Germany, Australia and Italy et al.
Statistics has it that in the united states of America alone, there are about 105,598 licensed and registered heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) related businesses responsible for employing about 437,894 employees and the industry rakes in a whooping sum of $82bn annually with an annual growth rate projected at 4.0 percent.
Over and above, the heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) related businesses all over the world are still enjoying good patronage particularly if they are well positioned and if they know how to reach out to their target market (businesses, government and household et al).
2. Conduct Market Research and Feasibility Studies
- Demographics and Psychographics
The demographic and psychographic composition of those who hire the services of heating, ventilation and air conditioning servicing and maintenance companies cut across all households, offices, hotels and any facility that makes use of heating and air conditioning systems and has the capacity to pay for their services, hence the demographic composition for a heating, ventilation and air conditioning servicing and maintenance company is all encompassing.
The truth is that when it comes to heating, ventilation and air conditioning servicing and maintenance, there is indeed a wide range of available customers.
3. Decide Which Niche to Concentrate On
In order to be effective in the heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) industry, it is advisable that you choose a niche area. Choosing a niche area in this industry will make you concentrate your effort towards building a brand that can favorably compete with similar businesses not just in your location, but throughout the United States of America.
Here are some of the niche ideas in the heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) industry that an aspiring entrepreneur can choose from if you want to launch your own business;
- New construction HVAC installations
- Existing structure HVAC installations (i.e. replacements)
- HVAC maintenance and repairs
- Refrigeration system installations, maintenance and repairs
- Air conditioning system installation (except window units)
- Air vent installation
- Furnace conversions (i.e. from one fuel to another)
- Refrigeration system (e.g. commercial, industrial or scientific) installation
- Heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) contractors
- Furnace humidifier installation
- Natural gas fireplace installation
- Duct work (e.g. cooling, dust collection, exhaust, heating and ventilation) installation
- Ventilation equipment installation
- Heating and ventilation system component (e.g. air registers, diffusers, and filters) installation
The Level of Competition in the Industry
The competition that exists in the heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) industry goes beyond competitions amongst heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) businesses in your location; you are expected to compete with others manufacturers of these systems who also offer repair and maintenance services.
The truth is that no matter the level of competition in an industry, if you have done your due diligence and you brand and promote your services or business properly, you will always make headway in the industry. Just ensure your workforce can carry out thorough repair and maintenance services, you can deliver excellent customer care services and you know how to attract and reach out to your target market.
But over and above, there are several heating, ventilation and air conditioning repair and maintenance companies scattered all around the United States. So, if you choose to start your own heating, ventilation and air conditioning repair and maintenance company in the United States of America, you will definitely meet stiff competitions amongst other heating, ventilation and air conditioning repair and maintenance companies.
Besides, there are larger heating, ventilation and air conditioning repair and maintenance companies that determine the trends in the industry and you should be ready to compete with them for customers.
If you are planning towards successfully launching a business and maximizing profits , then you need to ensure that you get your economic and cost analysis right and try as much as possible to adopt best practices in the industry you choose to build a business in.
The heating, ventilation and air conditioning repair and maintenance business is not a Green business as you will come across several heating, ventilation and air conditioning repair and maintenance companies when you drive through town, search through directories and browse through the internet.
So, if you are mapping out your economic and cost analysis, you should carry out thorough market survey and costing of the amount required in renting a space where you are expected to open your business and the amount required to purchase the required working tools and equipment, and also the cost to successfully run the business.
Over and above, if you are considering starting a heating, ventilation and air conditioning repair and maintenance company, then your concern should not be limited to the expenditure you have to make as regards registering the business and purchasing your working tools, but also on branding and on how to build a robust clientele base. The truth is that if you are able to build a robust clientele base, you are sure going to maximize profits in the business.
4. Decide Whether to Buy a Franchise or Start from Scratch
If you are looking towards starting a heating, ventilation and air conditioning repair and maintenance business, it is advisable to start from the very scratch despite the fact that there are fewer heating, ventilation and air conditioning repair and maintenance company franchise out there.
Besides starting a heating, ventilation and air conditioning repair and maintenance business from the scratch is less stressful when compared to other similar small – scale businesses which usually requires detailed groundwork before launching the business.
With a heating, ventilation and air conditioning repair and maintenance business, you should just try as much as possible to learn the trade, register your business, purchase the required working tools and equipment and then leverage on every marketing tool within your disposal especially the internet when it comes to marketing your services.
Please note that most of the big and successful heating, ventilation and air conditioning repair and maintenance companies around started from the scratch and they were able to build a solid business brand. It takes dedication, hard work and determination to achieve business success.
5. Know the Possible Threats and Challenges You Will Face
If you decide to start your own heating, ventilation and air conditioning repair and maintenance company today, one of the major challenges you are likely going to face is the presence of well – established heating, ventilation and air conditioning repair and maintenance companies and manufacturers who also offer maintenance and repairs within your business location. The only way to avoid this challenge is to create your own market.
Other challenges and threats that you are likely going to face is economic downturn and unfavorable government policies . There is nothing you can do as regards these threats and challenges other than to stay positive that things will work well for you.
6. Choose the Most Suitable Legal Entity (LLC, C Corp, S Corp)
Ordinarily, sole proprietorship should have been the ideal business structure for a small – scale heating, ventilation and air conditioning repair and maintenance business especially if you are just starting out with a moderate start – up capital in a small neighborhood and with just one outlet.
But if your intention is to grow the business and have offices and corporate clients all across key cities in the United States of America and other countries of the world via franchising, then choosing sole proprietorship is not an option for you. Limited Liability Company, LLC or even general partnership will cut it for you.
Setting up an LLC protects you from personal liability. If anything goes wrong in the business, it is only the money that you invested into the limited liability company that will be at risk. It is not so for sole proprietorships and general partnerships. Limited liability companies are simpler and more flexible to operate and you don’t need a board of directors, shareholders meetings and other managerial formalities.
These are some of the factors you should consider before choosing a legal entity for your heating, ventilation and air conditioning repair and maintenance business; limitation of personal liability, ease of transferability, admission of new owners, investors’ expectation and of course taxes.
If you take your time to critically study the various legal entities to use for your heating, ventilation and air conditioning repair and maintenance business with the ability to sell franchise and have offices and corporate clients all across the United States of America, you will agree that limited liability company; an LLC is most suitable.
You can start this type of business as limited liability company (LLC) and in future convert it to a ‘C’ corporation or an ‘S’ corporation especially when you have the plans of going public.
7. Discuss with an Agent to Know the Best Insurance Policies for You
In the United States and in most countries of the world, you can’t operate a business without having some of the basic insurance policy covers that are required by the industry you want to operate from. So, it is important to create a budget for insurance and perhaps consult an insurance broker to guide you in choosing the best and most appropriate insurance policies for your heating, ventilation and air conditioning repair and maintenance business.
Here are some of the basic insurance covers that you should consider purchasing if you want to start your own heating, ventilation and air conditioning repair and maintenance company in the United States of America;
- General insurance
- Health/Medical insurance
- Liability insurance
- Workers Compensation
- Overhead expense disability insurance
- Business owner’s policy group insurance
- Payment protection insurance
8. Protect your Intellectual Property With Trademark, Copyrights, Patents
If you are considering starting your own heating, ventilation and air conditioning repair and maintenance company, usually you may not have any need to file for intellectual property protection / trademark. This is so because the nature of the business makes it possible for you to successfully run the business without having any cause to challenge anybody in court for illegally making use of your company’s intellectual properties.
9. Get the Necessary Professional Certification
Apart from the results you produce as it relates to providing professional heating, ventilation and air conditioning repair and maintenance services, professional certification is one of the main reasons why some heating, ventilation and air conditioning repair and maintenance companies stand out.
If you want to make an impact in the heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) industry, you should work towards acquiring all the needed certifications in your area of specialization. Certification validates your competency and shows that you are highly skilled, committed to your career and up-to-date in this competitive market.
These are some of the certifications you can work towards achieving if you want to run your own heating, ventilation and air conditioning repair and maintenance company;
- HVAC Technician , Commercial Refrigeration, Contractor, and NATE Certification
- Professional Certificate of Competency in Heating, Ventilation and Air Condition
- Heating, Ventilation & Air Conditioning (HVAC) Degree
Please note that you can successfully run a heating, ventilation and air conditioning repair and maintenance company in the United States and in most countries of the world without necessarily acquiring professional certifications and business license as long as you have adequate experience cum background in the heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) industry.
10. Get the Necessary Legal Documents You Need to Operate
The essence of having the necessary documentation in place before launching a business in the United States of America cannot be overemphasized. It is a fact that you cannot successfully run any business in the United States without the proper documentations.
If you do, it won’t be too long before the long hand of the law catches up with you. These are some of the basic legal documents that you are expected to have in place if you want to legally run your own heating, ventilation and air conditioning repair and maintenance business in the United States of America;
- Certificate of Incorporation
- Business License
- Tax Payer’s ID / Tax Identification Number
- Chemicals handler certificate
- Health inspection Certificate
- Business Plan
- Non – disclosure Agreement
- Employee Handbook
- Employment Agreement (offer letters)
- Operating Agreement for LLCs
- Insurance Policy
- Company Bylaws
- Memorandum of Understanding (MoU)
- Building License
- Franchise or Trademark License (optional)
11. Raise the Needed Startup Capital
When it comes to starting a heating, ventilation and air conditioning repair and maintenance business, you can be rest assured that it is cost effective especially if you choose to start on a small scale by running the business from your home or sharing an office space.
Securing a standard office space in a business district and purchasing working tools and equipment are part of what will consume a large chunk of your start – up capital. If you choose to start the business on a large scale, you would need to go source for fund to finance the business because it is expensive to start a standard large scale heating, ventilation and air conditioning repair and maintenance business with over a handful of full-time employees.
When it comes to financing a business, one of the first things you should consider is to write a good business plan . If you have a good and workable business plan document in place, you may not have to labor yourself before convincing your bank, investors and your friends to invest in your business.
Here are some of the options you can explore when sourcing for start – up capital for your heating, ventilation and air conditioning repair and maintenance business;
- Raising money from personal savings and sale of personal stocks and properties
- Raising money from investors and business partners
- Sell of shares to interested investors
- Pitching your business idea and applying for business grants and seed funding from donor organizations and angel investors
- Source for soft loans from your family members and your friends
12. Choose a Suitable Location for your Business
When it comes to choosing a location for your heating, ventilation and air conditioning repair and maintenance business, you can choose to locate the business in any location of your choice especially if you are offering basic services, services that do not require your clients to come to you for except for meetings.
But the location you chose to open your heating, ventilation and air conditioning repair and maintenance company is key to the success of the business, hence entrepreneurs are willing to rent or lease a facility in a visible location; a location where the demography consists of people and businesses who own heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems and with the required purchasing power.
These are some of the key factors that you should consider before choosing a location for your heating, ventilation and air conditioning repair and maintenance company;
- The demography of the location
- The demand for heating, ventilation and air conditioning repair and maintenance services in the location
- The purchasing power of households, businesses and corporate organizations in the location who own heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems
- Accessibility of the location
- The number of heating, ventilation and air conditioning repair and maintenance companies in the location
- The local laws and regulations in the community
- Traffic, parking and security
13. Hire Employees for your Technical and Manpower Needs
On the average, there are no special technology needed to run a heating, ventilation and air conditioning repair and maintenance company except for working tools and equipment and a truck. So also, you will definitely need computers, internet facility, telephone, fax machine and office furniture (chairs, tables, and shelves) amongst others and all these can be gotten as fairly used.
As regards leasing or outright purchase of an office and store facility, the choice is dependent on your financial standing, but the truth is that to be on the safe side, it is advisable to start off with a short – term rent/lease while test running the business in the location. If things work out as planned, then you go on a long – term lease or outright purchase of the property but if not, then move on and source for other ideal location / facility for such business.
When it comes to hiring employees for a standard heating, ventilation and air conditioning repair and maintenance company with plans to have corporate clients all across major cities in the United States of America, you should make plans to hire a competent Chief Executive Officer (you can occupy this role), Admin and Human Resources Manager, Supervisors, HVAC Technicians , Sales and Marketing Officer, Accounting Clerk, and Cleaners.
These are some of the key employees that you can work with. On the average, you will need a minimum of 5 to 10 key staff members to run a small – scale but standard heating, ventilation and air conditioning repair and maintenance company.
The Service Delivery Process of the Business
Usually, when a heating, ventilation and air conditioning repair and maintenance company gets a contract from a client, it could be to service, repair, install or maintain a heating, ventilation or air conditioning system. They will first conduct cost analysis in order for them to know the manpower and resources needed to carry out the job.
Once they conclude their cost analysis, then they will deploy the required manpower and equipment to execute the job and then they will get paid after successfully carrying out their job.
It is important to state that a heating, ventilation and air conditioning repair and maintenance company may decide to improvise or adopt any business process and structure that will guarantee them efficiency and flexibility; the above stated heating, ventilation and air conditioning repair and maintenance business process is not cast on stone.
14. Write a Marketing Plan Packed with ideas & Strategies
Generally, running a business requires that you should be proactive when it comes to marketing your goods or services. If you choose to launch a heating, ventilation and air conditioning repair and maintenance business, then you must go all out to employ strategies that will help you attract customers or else you will likely struggle with the business because there are well – known brands that determine the market direction for heating, ventilation and air conditioning repair and maintenance (HVAC) industry.
These are some of the marketing ideas and strategies that you can adopt for your heating, ventilation and air conditioning repair and maintenance business;
- Introduce your heating, ventilation and air conditioning repair and maintenance company by sending introductory letters alongside your brochure to commercial and residential users of heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems and other key stake holders throughout the city where your company is located
- Advertise on the internet on blogs and forums, and also on social media like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn to get your message across, so that those on the social media or those who read blogs will know who to call when they need the services of a heating, ventilation and air conditioning repair and maintenance company within your location
- Create a basic website for your business so as to give your business an online presence
- Directly market your services
- Engage in road shows in targeted business communities from time to time to promote your heating, ventilation and air conditioning repair and maintenance business
- Join local HVAC business owners’ associations for industry trends and tips
- Join local chambers of commerce and industry with the aim of marketing your services
- Advertise our business in community based newspapers, local TV and radio stations
- List your business on yellow pages ads (local directories)
- Encourage the use of Word of mouth marketing (referrals)
15. Develop Strategies to Boost Brand Awareness and Create a Corporate Identity
If your intention of starting a heating, ventilation and air conditioning repair and maintenance company is to grow the business beyond the city where you are going to be operating from to become a national and international brand by opening offices all across key cities in the United States and franchising, then you must be ready to spend money on promotion and advertisement of your brand.
No matter the industry you belong to, the truth is that the market is dynamic and it requires consistent brand awareness and brand boosting cum promotion to continue to appeal to your target market. Here are the platforms you can leverage on to boost your brand awareness and create a corporate identity for your heating, ventilation and air conditioning repair and maintenance company;
- Place adverts on both print (newspapers and relevant magazines) and electronic media platforms
- Sponsor relevant community based events
- Leverage on the internet and social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google + et al to promote your heating, ventilation and air conditioning repair and maintenance company
- Install your billboards in strategic locations all around your city or state
- Engage in roadshows from time to time in targeted business districts to create awareness of your heating, ventilation and air conditioning repair and maintenance company
- Distribute your fliers and handbills in target areas
- Contact commercial and residential users of heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems and other key stake holders throughout the city where your company is located informing them about your company and the services you offer
- List your heating, ventilation and air conditioning repair and maintenance company in local directories
- Advertise your heating, ventilation and air conditioning repair and maintenance company in your official website and employ strategies that will help you pull traffic to the site
- Position your Flexi Banners at strategic positions in the location where your company is located
- Ensure that all your staff members wear your branded shirts and all your vehicles, trucks and vans are well branded with your company logo.
More on HVAC Business
The 2023 HVAC Contractors Guide to Starting a HVAC Business from Scratch
Do you dream of starting your own business as an HVAC Tech but don’t know how to start an HVAC business?
Do you like working in the field but do not want to report to an overbearing Supervisor?
Or maybe you want to be the boss?
Then perhaps starting your own HVAC small business is the way to go.
First, let’s get some bad news out of the way.
HVAC companies have some of the highest failure rates out of all new businesses.
In the US, approximately 20 percent of HVAC contractors fail across the industry annually, with 70% percent of new HVAC businesses failing in their first year of operation.
So, what’s the good news? Well, according to the numbers:
- From 2018 to 2028, the HVAC industry will need an additional 46,300 HVAC technicians, a change of 13%. Much higher than all other occupations.
- By the end of 2022, over 25 billion devices will incorporate smart technologies .
- The US residential HVAC industry’s growth from 2018 to 2019 was 5% and continues to grow at a similar rate.
- And finally, the HVAC equipment with the highest demand in the US was the unitary air conditioning system .
Recent changes in energy efficiency standards will fuel even more growth in the HVACR industry.
These changes have prompted improvements in HVACR equipment and the subsequent replacement of outdated installations.
Further technological advancements are now playing a more significant role in the HVACR industry’s operations and products.
Automation within sales and service processes will become more prominent in the industry.
These advancements will allow customers to control more of the process through smartphone apps, while other mobile technologies will better equip HVACR contractors to run their businesses more efficiently.
The better news is that Phyxter can help, so let’s get started.
This is a large article, so feel free to skip to the sections that interest you.
⭐ Step 1: Have an Understanding of What Makes a Business Successful.
Launching a new business can be daunting. You could be a great tech in your field, but you’re probably not a business major.
Starting a successful company is one area where you can’t shoot from the hip. To offset those risks, you should create a realistic business plan.
The plan doesn’t need to be complicated but will help you define your vision, set SMART goals, and establish strategies to meet those goals.
Before starting your business plan, you will need a general idea about what you want to do and what market you will serve.
Are you going to be a solo operation or join a franchise?
Both have their advantages and disadvantages. I will leave this question up to you. If it’s a solo operation, then keep reading.
🔬 Situation Analysis
Discussing personal sacrifices is a must when discussing starting any business.
The first couple of years is going to be tough for you.
You will be working extended hours on the revenue-generating jobs and after-hours building the business.
Talk to your family about your strategy and get them on board.
You will need their support. If things at home are not going well, you will not succeed.
Your focus needs to be on growing your HVAC business, not on what’s going on at home.
These can be significant distractions you do not need!
💵 Cash, Money, Dineros, Argent!
Hopefully, that got your attention. Do you know the number one reason why businesses fail?
You guessed it…. Cash!
Inadequate cash reserves are the top reason small businesses fail and will shut you down faster than anything else.
💲 Cash Flow
This is where some knowledge of business comes into play. Understanding cash flow and how it works is very important.
Cash flow is the money that’s moving in and out of your busines s. The trick here is to ensure more money flows into the business than out.
- Cash flowing into the business is from customers buying your services and products. If customers don’t pay at the time of purchase, then this cash will sit in what’s known as accounts receivable.
- Cash flowing out of your business is in the form of payments, such as rent, mortgage, vehicle expenses, tooling, inventory, and other accounts payable.
The first six months of starting your HVAC business are the most crucial.
If you don’t have enough cash during this period, your success rate will be very low.
It is possible to make a profit and have zero cash.
Profit is an accounting concept, and it doesn’t pay the bills. Cash does . You can have assets, like accounts receivables, but you won’t have cash if you don’t collect on what’s owed.
✅ PRO TIP: Open a separate bank account to manage your business. A different account will make it easier to manage your cash regularly.
The final tip is, be positive!
Build a plan to be a successful HVAC company.
Anyone can start a company that’s going to fail.
It would help if you wired your mind to think positively.
The steps in this guide will help you start your business, but only you know how to make it successful.
Your mission statement in your business plan should be playing to win and crush the competition.
Listen to Phyxter CEO Jake Gibson discuss ‘Growing An HVAC Business in Today’s World’ with Gary McCreadie from HVAC Know It All.
⭐ Step 2: Create a Killer HVAC Business Plan.
Starting a successful HVAC business begins with an HVAC business model or a plan.
A business plan is a road map of where you are going and how you are going to get there.
A business plan for a new one-person operation doesn’t have to be complicated, but it does need the basics.
If you need funding from a bank or other investors, they will want to see you are serious about being successful, and you do this by building a solid business plan.
Your plan helps educate banks and investors about your business, financial situation, mission, and goals.
If you don’t need funding from others, creating a business plan is still a great idea .
You can’t quantify your approach without understanding your target market, researching your competition, and conducting a market analysis.
This business plan acts as a road map to help identify the specific actions you need to take to reach your strategic goal.
Also, the financial section of your plan can be used as your business budget and help manage cash flow every month in the initial stages of your business.
A business plan is usually a very detailed document; creating one can be overwhelming.
To get started, educate yourself online with all the parts of a typical business plan.
Then you can tackle each section one by one until you’re done
Here’s a warning, take your time, and do your homework!
Luckily there are a ton of resources online to help you.
The US Small Business Administration has plenty of resources to help small businesses.
THE US SBA lists the following as the standard elements of a business plan:
- Executive Summary
- Service or Product line
- Marketing and Sales
- Financial Projections
Don’t worry; we will go over each one of these sections in detail.
The Executive Summary
As the heading surmises, it’s a summary of the entire plan.
You will give a brief overview and highlight the critical points of each of the other sections here.
Its purpose is to quickly educate readers on the upcoming content of the business plan.
This section is best left until last. Keep it short and concise.
It must grab the reader’s attention to ensure they read the rest.
Fail to capture interest here, and the reader will likely not continue to read the rest.
In this section, you want to describe the vision and direction of your HVAC company , so potential partners or lenders can accurately understand who you are.
You will want to clearly explain your company’s purpose and what problems you will solve for your target customers.
This proposed solution is your competitive advantage.
The problem should be a void that needs filling in your target market.
We will discuss this further in our market analysis.
Your competitive advantage is where you will generate revenue.
Some common elements of a company description are:
The official name of your HVAC business as registered in your state.
Types of Business Structure:
For the US, the most relevant are: Sole proprietorship, Partnership, LLC, and Corporation.
In Canada, they are; Sole Proprietorships, Partnerships, and corporations.
Ownership/ Management Team:
Key people in the company. If it’s just you, this one is easy.
Where is your company located?
Why are you starting this business? What is your inspiration? What void are you resolving with your proposed solution?
A clear and concise statement that reflects the purpose of your company.
Products and Services and Target Market:
An overview of what you plan to sell and what customers are your target market.
What do you want to accomplish in the immediate future based on the rest of your business plan? Also, include future growth goals.
This will be a clear and concise statement of how you envision your company’s future.
This section, by far, will be the most time-consuming assignment but is also the most critical for a brand-new HVAC company looking to break into a possibly saturated market.
This analysis should provide a detailed overview of the industry or market you intend to sell your services or products and what your target customers look like.
Be sure to include statistics from your research to support your claims.
Some common elements of a Market Analysis are:
Industry Description and Outlook:
Detailed statistics that define industry size, trends, growth rate, and future outlook.
Who are your future clients or customers?
Include data on the demographics of your proposed service area: age, gender, income level, family size, and lifestyle preferences.
You should also include the target market size, the customers’ motivations, and how you intend to reach those customers.
Market Test Results:
This is where you include the results of your initial market research on your test market.
All other data and information can be included in the Appendix as backup data to help support your argument.
This is where you state information about your competition.
What are the potential roadblocks that prevent you from entering the market?
Along with the analysis of your competition, you will want to include a SWOT analysis of your business—more on a SWOT analysis below.
Market Analysis Research
Conducting a market analysis is easier than expected, but it will take some research.
Most contractors don’t put effort into doing this, but it does give you a significant strategic advantage.
Who are your customers?
You’ll start by determining how many potential customers are in your area of operations; maybe it’s homeowners in Vernon, BC.
Using this example, there is a population of approximately 50,000, with the average home having 2.2 occupants and 71% of the homes being occupied by owners – that means there are 16,136 owner-occupied homes and 6,591 landlord-controlled homes in the Vernon, BC, area.
Now, how much will owner-occupied homes spend on HVAC every year?
The recommended home repair budget is 1% of a home’s value, and the average value of a home in Vernon is $450,000, meaning each home should budget $4500 per year on home repairs.
Some simple research shows that the percentage of home repair spend on HVAC is approximately 15%, meaning every year, on average, homeowners spend $675 on HVAC.
So, now you have your market size – 16,136 x $675 = $10,891,800.
Next, you’ll determine if the market for HVAC in owner-occupied homes can support another HVAC contractor.
There are 18 HVAC contractors in Vernon, BC, which means that there is an average of $605,100 in business available for each one…all you need to do is get your fair share.
How are you going to get your fair share?
You’ll need to determine if you need any licenses, insurance, do the customers in Vernon have particular buying patterns, what is the average age of homes, and what is the average income for the area.
What you need to do is determine what you are going to sell, whom you are going to sell it to, and how you are going to get your name in front of your customers.
Here’s a checklist of some info you’ll need:
- Average occupants per home
- Percent of owner-occupied homes
- Average home value
- Licenses needed
- Insurance needed
- Advertising channels (online, classifieds, local news channels, etc.)
A SWOT Analysis is quite simple. It is merely the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats that face your business.
Conducting a SWOT analysis is a diagnostic check of your business for all the positive and negative things currently facing your business.
So what does all that mean?
The first two (Strengths and Weaknesses) are internal factors you control.
Your strengths could be your unique product or service or your existing customer base from your previous employment.
Weaknesses might be a weak online presence or disorganized invoicing processes.
The second two (Opportunities and Threats) are external factors you cannot control.
Opportunities could be new technology becoming available or the lifting of the recession caused by the global health crisis.
Threats might be changing customer preferences or increased competition in your area.
Properly creating and utilizing a SWOT analysis in your business will help you understand all of those factors and allow you to put a contingency plan in place to turn those weaknesses and threats into positive factors.
Service or Product Line
Based on your market analysis, what area of expertise are you going to specialize in?
New installations of high-efficiency HVAC systems in older homes may be your highest revenue-generating service, so that’s what you are going to state in this section.
Also, include all of your auxiliary services .
Are you also going to sell products and spare parts from certain manufacturers?
In your first few years, you want to keep it real simple .
Once you’re an established business, you can review your service and product lines.
When ready, you can add complementary services and sales , such as ductwork, insulation, plumbing, indoor air quality inspections, etc.
Are you highly specialized and certified?
Then maybe your price point is not the cheapest in the market.
Your competitive advantage then is going to be exceptional service and high-quality installations , so that’s what will feed into your marketing strategy.
A marketing strategy is vital for all businesses as it clearly outlines how they will attract new customers and promote their products and services by marketing their competitive advantage or unique selling proposition.
Your marketing strategy should build upon the market analysis that you conducted beforehand.
You can build a marketing strategy purely for your business plan or apply the knowledge you have gained through your marketing plan.
For this document, we will go into further details as part of Step 3: Building a Marketing Plan. Then a snapshot of essential information can go into this section.
✅ PRO TIP: The next part of the business plan will outline your financial analysis and budget. Keep this in mind when building your marketing plan. You can have a killer marketing plan, but it’s worthless if you can’t afford it.
Example Marketing Ideas
1. Send a press release to local news channels
2. Post regularly in the classifieds
3. Get ratings and reviews on Google Business Profile
4. Networking events
5. Create a referral program
- Give a $20 gift card to a locally owned coffee shop for every referral that ends up being a paying customer
6. Website ( check out Phyxter Websites )
- Talk to us about a local listing and SEO strategy
- Check out our Local Partner Program
7. Social Media
- Pages for posting
8. Listing sites and apps
9. Referral partnerships with other trades
- House Cleaners
Your financial plan is the final significant piece of the puzzle.
In this section, you will outline the data for financing your business.
You will identify what you need to launch, what you will need going forward to expand your operation, and an estimation of your company’s operating expenses.
Financial planning for starting a successful HVAC business is probably not a skillset of an HVAC tech, so seek help from an accountant or a financial planner for this section.
You will need help from a professional if you are seeking funding as part of your plan.
Your financial analysis section should be based on estimates from your research for new businesses or data from established companies.
At a minimum, your plan should include the following.
A business statement that shows what the business owns, what the company owes, and the value of the owner’s investment in the business. A balance sheet is vital if you are seeking funding from a lender.
Cash Flow Analysis:
This is an overview of your cash inflows and outflows. Your goal during start-up and operation is to maintain adequate cash flow to sustain your business. Also, take into consideration seasonality, given the nature of the industry.
Profit and Loss Analysis:
This is your income statement that subtracts the costs of your business from what you earn over a specific amount of time. This is typically a quarter or a whole year.
A break-even analysis shows your lender (if you have one) the point when you will start making a profit. It is typically used for businesses selling products but is also helpful for service-type businesses. Even if you didn’t borrow money, you should know this to gauge your progress during the start-up period.
Part of the financial planning process will be determining your HVAC business start-up costs. Based on your proposed products and services, what will you need to start?
Make sure you consider all capital expenditures required (which are the upfront costs of purchasing) and monthly operating expenses (all ongoing charges, such as marketing, fuel, etc.).
Some examples of capital expenditures might be:
- A suitable vehicle with logo signage
- General tooling as required by every professional
- HVAC tooling based on your specialty
- Starting inventory
- Personal Protective Equipment
- All business and HVAC licensing and certifications
- Initial marketing costs and materials
Some operating expense examples might be:
- Business and vehicle insurance
- Maintaining HVAC certifications
- Replacement tooling
The appendix section is there to include all other supporting documentation.
If you are not seeking funding, then this section is irrelevant. If you are, then it’s essential.
Supporting documentation such as business licenses, permits, HVAC certifications, and other legal documents will all go here.
⭐ Step 3. How to Market your HVAC Business.
I don’t know how many Heating and Air Conditioning contractors I’ve talked to that say, “ we just rely on word of mouth, and it keeps us busy. “
If you’re one of those contractors, you’re missing out on the bigger picture – profit margins include a combination of many variables.
One of the most critical variables is lead generation.
It’s simple supply and demand, the more leads you get, the more in demand you are , and the higher your margins can be.
Don’t get me wrong; you need to supply an excellent service for a fair price, but arriving at that reasonable price is difficult when you’re offering deals and sales all of the time just to make sure you can keep yourself busy.
The concept is simple, charge your fair price on every quote , and some people will say yes, and others will say no, but as long as you’re quoting enough to fill your time, then you’ll be more profitable.
So, here’s what you’ll need to do to get your phone ringing and your inbox full.
1. Budget for Marketing your HVAC business
This is always a highly contested topic because some independent contractors say they don’t need to advertise or market because they live off of word of mouth.
In comparison, other contractors want to take a more analytical approach by advertising and being able to turn lead generation on and off like a tap.
This is easier said than done because there are so many advertising channels to consider ; websites and SEO, Facebook, Google, Bing, local advertising, mailers, lawn signs, vehicle wraps, etc., etc.
The point here is that you need to do some research to determine your Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC) , then determine how many customers you need to get every week, and then do the math.
If you need 20 new customers a week, and it costs you $40 to get each new customer, then you need to spend $800 a week on marketing and advertising your HVAC business.
When considering the information above, you MUST not get complacent , and by this, I mean you should always be trying to decrease your CAC.
One of the best ways to do this is through customer retention and by growing the organic traffic to your website through SEO.
We always recommend SEO because when you spend money on it, you’re continuing to build the foundation of your business .
After all, once you’re on the first page of Google, you won’t need to advertise as much, which will bring your CAC down and thus increase your profit margins.
Also, you should never start your business until you’ve set enough money aside to get your business wholly organized and enough to spend on advertising campaigns.
Your ad campaigns will improve over time if you pay attention to the numbers – spend $1,000 on Facebook ads and generate $1,000 in profit – you need to improve.
You should always know how you got a customer, and it’s as simple as asking them, “ how did you hear about us .”
Finally, when creating your budget, you have to consider everything that you think you might need, and then to be safe, you should add 30%.
Get that money set aside and then start your business (mind you, we usually recommend getting your website built and your SEO campaign started 3-4 months before quitting your job and going out on your own).
2. Digital Marketing
This is where you get to decide what kind of life you want.
If you didn’t know this, skilled trades contractors have the highest failure rate for small businesses in the United States , and that’s because so many tradespeople continue to be just tradespeople instead of business managers.
One of the first things you need to understand is that the profit margins for your business are driven by the number of times your phone rings every day…
It’s basic economics; the more in demand you are, the higher your prices can be.
But how or why does that apply to making your company digital?
Well, the better you get your business in front of people, the more they will call you, and digital is not only the easiest way to do this but also the cheapest and least time-consuming.
Below I will describe what we recommend and why we recommend doing it for your HVAC business.
How and why to get a website for your HVAC business:
We are obviously biased regarding websites because we believe our website builder is perfect for HVAC contractors; it’s cost-effective and comes with more features built-in than any other option on the market.
There are other options, like Wix, Squarespace, and GoDaddy, but when building a website for your HVAC business, there isn’t another one out there that knows HVAC as well as we do.
Why are websites so important for your HVAC company?
Well, without one, you have a minimal chance of getting found or hired by people searching on Google, Bing, Yahoo, or any other search engine or local listing platform (Yelp, YellowPages, etc.).
It’s also hard for you to improve your advertising strategies over time because, without a website to send people to, your Facebook or Google pixels won’t be able to track who’s familiar with or interested in your business.
This is enormous because retargeting campaigns are significantly more effective than cold campaigns.
Take my word for it and just get a website. You can host your site on Phyxter for as little as $14/ month, and if you need help designing a site, you can get us to do that for as low as $750, and you’ll get a website like McGinley Services .
The next reason for getting a website is for when you decide to retire and you want to sell your business…
And if you are asking why that matter, just ask yourself this; why would I want to buy a company that only gets customers when they advertise when I could just do that myself…
Wouldn’t it be great if the business I wanted to buy was ranked at the top of Google search results and the phone rang every day for free? Now that would be valuable!
Your website is your business, and the more people that come to your site every day for free means that the value of your business becomes more significant, so get started today by clicking here to start a free trial with our website builder .
Why and how to market your business using social media:
This is one for the record books – social media for HVAC contractors, because doesn’t every homeowner want to see posts of your latest ductless split installation – the answer to that is no, just in case you were wondering. So what will you be posting on social media?
Before we get to that, I want to talk about the goals for social media and how you can build long-term value with it.
- Brand awareness
- New customers
- Automation Process
Let’s start with how to get brand awareness with social media.
We’re going to use Facebook in our example because we believe it’s the easiest to get started with, and it has the most robust advertising platform.
How to get brand awareness for your HVAC business using Facebook:
You need to figure out who your target market is and then determine what kind of content they like to not only consume every day but also what they like to share, comment on, and “Like.”
Take a look at our Facebook page as an example. There are many posts about what we do or our products; there are mostly just memes and jokes…which, according to our research tradespeople like.
Here’s a good example of a Facebook page for a new HVAC company.
Now the reason you’re posting content like this is that it’s what your customers want to see every day – and by them seeing it every day your brand is becoming more familiar with them; so when they actually need to hire someone that does what you do, you’ll at least be an option for them.
You’re probably thinking that posting 3-5 times each day is impossible and that finding or creating that much content is outside your expertise.
Well, we’re happy to tell you that there are inexpensive software tools on the market that are easy to use and can automate these tasks so that you’ll only need to spend a few hours a month on them.
You can check out the tools below:
- Publer for social media posting
- Postradamus for finding content ( this is a sensitive tool, and we’re not sure how stable the code is, but it seems to work well…if we find something better, we’ll adjust this article )
The above tools will help you to create a library of great quality posts as well as to automate the posting schedule so you can sit back and relax while your followers enjoy it.
Wait! How do you get your initial followers, though?
You’ll have to do two things, ask all of your friends and family to like and follow your page.
After that, you’ll advertise Vernon Air Conditioning, Plumbing & Electrical Services that says, “If you like interesting facts and DIY home repairs, then you should like our page.”
Vernon AC posts content that includes interesting facts and DIY , so it’s definitely not a lie, and then they might throw in the odd post about a sale or promotion they’re having.
If any of this is too overwhelming, check the budget you created above to see if you have room to get us to help you implement any of these strategies…or feel free to book a free consultation here to discuss your business.
How to get new customers using social media:
Now that you have people following your page and some visiting your website, you’ll need to figure out how to convert them into paying customers.
To start, you’ll want to install a Facebook tracking pixel on your website (I’d also recommend installing their chat widget).
The tracking pixel will allow you to retarget people who have interacted with your Facebook page or your website, which means they’re familiar with your brand and more apt to trust you and purchase from you.
After you’ve installed the pixel and let it collect data for a few months, you’ll be able to set up a retargeting campaign, but since you probably want customers sooner than that, let’s discuss what you could do in the meantime.
How your HVAC business can target customers with a Facebook ad.
The first step is to determine your target customer, and please don’t say, homeowners!
We need to be more specific, how old are they, where they live, and what are they interested in (DIY, HVAC, air conditioning, furnaces, air quality, duct cleaning, etc.).
You need to be as specific as possible because you don’t want to pay for an ad that targets a 19-year-old who rents in the area, do you?
After you’ve determined who you’re going to target, and this is by far the most critical part of your campaign, you can move on to how you’re going to get their attention with text and imagery.
One of the beautiful things about advertising with Facebook is that you can A/B test everything.
From long to short text, to which emoji drives more clicks, and obviously which image stops people from scrolling by and gets them to engage with your ad.
You’ll need to get creative here , so keep your head up and keep moving forward.
We know that with enough training and enough time, you’ll be able to do this yourself.
Still, if you’re looking for a faster solution, you can always hire an agency to set this up for you…
Just keep in mind that agencies aren’t cheap, but they might just be less expensive than you setting your campaign up wrong and getting nothing for your money.
So do your research before hiring an agency , check their references and their reviews, and don’t commit to anything longer than one month initially.
They should always need to earn your business, and keeping them on their toes each month is the best way to do that.
If you want to connect with an agency we trust, simply email us at [email protected] to start the conversation.
Building long-term value for your HVAC business with social media
This is straightforward; more followers equals more visibility, brand reach, and social proof.
When someone sees that 1,000 other people like your page, they will not only trust you more, but they’ll be more apt to like/follow your page.
So by building your following by posting content that people want instead of what you want them to see about your business, you’ll be creating more brand awareness by acquiring more followers.
Therefore, when someone comes to buy your business, they’ll be getting an asset with real tangible and sustainable long-term value for the HVAC business.
But how will they be able to continue posting at the rate you do if they’re not familiar with your process?
You’ll need to document how you find content and schedule it.
Simply create a word document and labeled it as Social Media Posting Process , then write a short blurb about how you use each of the tools we mentioned above…or just write down that you use Phyxter to do it all for you 🙂
2a. Local Listings and why citations like this are so crucial to your HVAC business:
This isn’t considered social media, but in a way, it’s very similar because local listings are places for customers to find you, and you can advertise on them.
However, there’s one big difference – Google and other search engines LOVE local listings. The more of them that you have your business name, address, and phone number on, the higher you’ll rank in Google Maps…
It’s pretty much as simple as getting more local listings than your competitors, and you’ll rank above them.
We provide a service where we get local listings for your HVAC business.
Before starting, its best for you to give as a call and discuss the right SEO strategy for you first.
To recap everything about digital marketing for your HVAC business, I want to emphasize that everything comes down to visibility and brand awareness .
When someone searches for HVAC businesses near me in a search engine, you’ll have three or four chances to get seen; in the ads portion of the page (or Google Guaranteed ), the map pack (the top three results in Google Maps), or in the organic results .
The easiest way to show up works in that order as well; you can pay to show up, you can get more local listings than your competitors and show up in Google Maps, or you can rock at SEO and show up in the organic results.
Now, I have one more thing to add, the value to your business works in the opposite direction because your business becomes significantly more valuable when you start showing up on the first page for search engine results.
So like any balanced portfolio, you should invest in all three – ads, local listings, and SEO.
3. Referral Partnerships
This is one of my favorite ways to generate business.
I mentioned some examples above, so start there, and you’ll see how far it’ll take you.
Regarding referrals, you need to make sure there’s a strategy – create a group chat with all of your partners because they will all be partners with each other.
Here’s an idea for getting started.
Get a postcard designed with something clever on one side and the list of “ Family-owned and locally run contractors ” on the back.
Each partner will get 100 of these cards to hand out, whether it’s to their new customers, old customers, family members, friends, and especially neighbors.
Another option is to team up on a paid ”mailer” to send the postcard to an entire community.
Instead of your HVAC business paying the total cost of the mailer, you can split it between 5 to 10 companies , which means you’ll get a significantly better result for less.
Think Chamber of Commerce, BNI, or other networking groups.
These groups will be similar to your “Referral Partners” but have different areas of expertise.
There will most likely be real estate brokers, lawyers, and other professionals trying to grow their brand.
5. Press Release
Call or email local news stations, podcasts, radios, and associations to let them know you’re in business.
Generally, this kind of thing works best if you offer their “listeners” or “members” a time-sensitive discount, …especially if it’s an association.
6. Thank you cards
Every customer you ever get should get a thank you card after you do business with them.
A small sign of appreciation goes a long way and can lead to word-of-mouth referrals.
7. Referral program
Set up a simple referral strategy like the following: Refer a friend to Vernon Air Conditioning, Plumbing & Electrical Services and get a $20 Gift Card when they hire us to perform “______________________.”
Offer this to every customer as well.
8. Reputation Management
You must place an incredible amount of focus on your online reputation.
We know it can be uncomfortable asking someone for a review, but this is your business, and if you want to succeed, you have to do it.
No matter how good you are, it’s statistically inevitable that you will get a bad review from time to time, so you need to make sure you’re regularly getting good ones to bury the bad ones.
These were just some ideas to include in your strategy, but whatever you choose to do, you need to ensure that you understand the return on your ad spend.
If you spend $1000 buying postcards and getting them mailed out, you’ll want to ensure you know how much business you got from it.
To do this effectively, you should set up a tracking process and follow that process every day.
Make sure to ask every customer where they heard about you and write it down in your tracking sheet (if you don’t have a tracking sheet, just contact our support email , and we’ll send you a great template).
If you want to find out how to market your HVAC business online, then check out our digital domination packages .
We have a package for all HVAC businesses regardless of what stage you are in, or just set up a consultation to discuss a custom strategy just for you.
If you’re in any sort of small business, not a home-services contractor, and you’re reading this, then our partner, SEO Kangaroo Digital Marketing , can help too.
SEO Kangaroo Digital Marketing specializes in small business website design, SEO competitive analysis, content marketing, website management as well as advanced SEO.
Feel free to connect with them to discuss a custom strategy that’s right for you.
9. Sales Process
The graphic below is self-explanatory, but I will review it just to clarify a few things.
Who do you want to target? Is it an area of the city, a particular Facebook group, or maybe a local association – figure out who they are and how to get to them?
What will you say to them, and why will it resonate with them? Will you be able to get their attention with your message?
How will you get your message in front of them; mailers, networking, social media, search engine ads?
After responding to your outreach, they will want more information; what will you present them with? What kind of proposal does your target customer want to see?
You’ll need to understand what is essential to your specific target customer – do they care most about quality, price, or trust?
you’ll hear the same thing over and over again…” I’m not sure I can afford that model,” or maybe “Can you just change the compressor?”.
You need to be able to respond quickly and with thoroughly thought-out answers, so have the solutions ready for the most commonly used objections.
Maybe you’ll be able to offer financing or have a list of references available if they are concerned about your company being young.
Closing and Follow-up:
How will you close…what do you have in your back pocket that will get your customer to commit?
Whatever it is, at the end of the day, you’ll need to ask them for the sale.
You might say, “If you can commit to the sale today, we’ll be able to get the unit ordered and installed by this date.
“Another option is to offer a time-sensitive deal. “If you can commit today, we’ll be able to get you the air conditioner manufacturers discount of 5% off”.
Whatever it is, you need to figure out what works best for you to close the sale and continuously get better at it.
Finally, you’ll want to stay in constant communication with your new customer, keep them informed throughout the project, and follow up with them a couple of weeks after the project ended to see if everything is still all right.
10. Pricing Strategies
A reliable pricing strategy will take some research, testing, and time to get it right.
At the end of the day, it comes down to data and the ability to always understand your financials.
Some information you’re going to want to get and track:
1. Competitor labor rates
2. Net margin expectations (usually around 8%)
3. Fixed costs (truck, tools, rent, phones, fuel, etc.)
4. Customer acquisition cost (ad cost divided by new customers)
5. Chose a strategy!
A. SWAG (guessing)
B. divisor method:.
i. You Estimated the Cost of the Sale for this new air conditioning installation job is $3,906
ii. Your Forecasted Overhead = 28%
iii. Your Desired Net Profit = 8%
1. Add Percentages together. 28% + 8% = 36%
2. Subtract the 36% from 1.0 (1 – .36 = 0.64)
3. The Divisor for this new air conditioning job is 0.64
4. Divide the Cost of the Sale $3,906 by the Divisor 0.64 ($3,906/.64)
5. This formula equates to the Right Price of $6,103
iv. You recovered 100% of the cost of the sale, 100% of your Overhead, and 100% of your desired net profit.
v. This method requires that you know precisely what your overhead and desired net profits should be. If you don’t know, then this method is risky and could be dangerous.
C. Markup/ Multiplier
This method is considered just as dangerous as the divisor method; if any of your numbers are off, you could be in trouble, and the job could lose you money.
In this process, you multiply your total cost by a set number to get the desired gross margin.
What you need to be wary of, though is that margin volume for a small business can be just as important as margin percentage…
You need to make as many raw dollars as possible to pay your bills.
✅ PRO TIP: Remember, the margin is not the same as markup. The difference is that margin is sales minus the costs of goods or services sold. Markup is the amount the cost increases to derive a selling price.
Example: A 100% markup will only equate to a 50% margin. You can go wrong here in a big way, so be careful and understand those terms.
D. Gross profit per man-day
You need to determine how many dollars of profit you must make daily and ensure that your pricing reflects your goals.
If you need to earn $500 per day of profit and you can do five service calls per day, then you need to make $100 of gross profit per call.
If you’re on a larger multiple-day project, you just need to understand your daily expenses and price the job accordingly.
This strategy can work out very nicely, but it does require much more discipline when it comes to knowing your daily costs.
E. Dual Overhead
Assigning Overhead to material and labor creates two factors.
We then use those to apply to each job to break even before adding the desired profit.
This method requires financial discipline, which is why it’s not used anymore, but it’s usually the most precise method of knowing the real effects of contracting work.
One of the issues you could have with this strategy is that you could have a lower price on projects that are heavy on material and low on labor, which means that you’ll have to complete more jobs to cover your overhead.
F. Flat-rate service
This is where you assign a labor time with a retail labor rate, add in parts cost with markup, and then create a known price for any given repair, inclusive of costs.
Done well, when you know your overheads, it’s a very effective service pricing strategy.
Many software tools are available to help with flat-rate pricing, and because they tend to consider regional pricing, they can be very accurate.
You will need to figure out what works for you, and if you didn’t notice a trend, knowing your financials is of the utmost importance.
Get good with your numbers, and success will follow.
⭐ Step 4: HVAC Licensing, Business, and Insurance Requirements
HVAC business requirements in every region across the U.S. and Canada are going to be different, whether it’s license-related or insurance.
The easiest thing to do is to contact your local regulatory office and ask them for an outline of what you’ll need.
To get started, here are a couple of resources that can help.
HVAC Related Info:
Business Related Info:
⭐ Step 5. Launch your Successful HVAC Business
Now that you have your strategies in place, you’ll need to kick it off with a bang.
Here’s where your family and friends can help, too… you’re going to want to throw a party.
Get people involved, offer your referral program, and make a big deal out of your launch.
Below is a list of how to kick-start your business the right way.
All your websites, local listings, and social media pages need to be completed and working on SEO 4 months before launch.
2. Family and Friend’s party
Ask for referrals, ask everyone to check into your Facebook page, and ask everyone to give you a review on Google Business Profile (formerly known as Google My Business).
This can be a personal review – John just started his HVAC business in Vernon, and although I haven’t had the chance to hire him yet, I can say that he is undoubtedly excellent at what he does and is always fair… 5-stars all day long!”
3. Press release
Two months before launch, send your executive summary to every local news channel, and let them know when you’ll be opening up for business.
Send this to every association and community organization possible.
4. Email campaign about your launch
Email EVERYONE YOU KNOW!
Whether you pay for mailers or just pound the pavement, get 1,000 flyers in mailboxes.
Mailers have an average 2% success rate … so 1,000 flyers should equal 20 customers.
6. Facebook ads and/or Google ads
This is a tough one, and we recommend you either take many online training courses or talk to a professional advertiser.
We can recommend some great options, so just contact us and ask for an introduction.
⭐ Step 6: Managing Ongoing Operations
Now that you have started, you need to maintain the momentum .
Don’t overextend yourself too quickly.
Many businesses start on the right foot and add extra resources when good times are good.
The next minute the work dries up, and you have a bunch of guys and vans sitting around that you must pay for.
Stay a one-person show for about a year to see how your business fares through all four seasons until you decide to scale up.
When you are ready to start hiring, check out this article first: Where To Find HVAC Technicians to Hire
Have a cash reserve for when times are lean.
Maybe you didn’t lend money from a bank or friends and family to start your business, so you’re probably strapped for cash right out of the gate.
It could be three to six months before you earn enough to live comfortably.
Remember when we said inadequate cash reserves would kill a business quickly?
It’s true. Make sure you have a reserve stashed away that can support yourself and your family if times get tough.
Whatever software you use to manage your cash, you should be overseeing your cash flow regularly .
One easy way to ensure a smooth cash flow is to stay on top of invoicing.
Design your invoices so they are easy to read, or just use an automated software package to connect with your customer base virtually.
Also, if you are buying from a particular vendor all the time, set up payment terms with them.
Most wholesalers have these agreements for B2B sales, so why not leverage that for yourself?
You don’t want to be in a position where the money going out is COD, and your money coming in takes two weeks.
Keep it Lean
You need to be a lean, mean fighting machine from the start.
Check out our previous article on keeping your business lean.
Watch your expenses carefully, understand what business activities add value and which do not, and standardize processes where possible.
Once you know where waste is hiding, you can eliminate it.
All your focus should be on revenue-generating activities.
Also, be flexible enough to change your plan if the market changes.
You may have expertise in a particular area, but if you can’t sell that skill set, switch gears to what does.
Don’t be too stubborn to tell yourself part of your original plan isn’t working.
The market doesn’t care and won’t support you if you are too stubborn to change.
⭐ Final Word
Starting a successful HVAC business can be intimidating but will be very rewarding in the end.
You can pat yourself on the back for achieving what many could not do before you.
Even on the off chance you fail, remember you would have learned a lot on the journey.
We hope we have covered everything you need to know about starting your own successful HVAC business.
If you would like to know more, then feel free to contact us at Phyxter .
Russell, a native Australian and VP of Operations at Phyxter Home Services, is also part-owner of Vernon Air Conditioning, Plumbing, and Electrical Services. When he's not busy with work projects and renovations, Russell enjoys putting his vast knowledge of home improvement to good use by sharing his tips and tricks.
About our blog
Phyxter ( pronounced Fix-ter ) is a national home services brand specializing in Residential HVAC, Electrical and Plumbing solutions.
Phyxter is laser-focused on writing the best articles and guides to empower homeowners to get the best out of their homes.
We hope you enjoy it!
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How to start an hvac business—9 step guide.
If you’ve ever stepped into an air-conditioned building on a hot day or turned up the heating system mid-winter, you know how important HVAC businesses are. It’s easy to take for granted, but HVAC affects our everyday lives. As a future business owner, you may wish to capitalize on this by learning how to start an HVAC business.
With a service-based business, you need to have both technical and administrative knowledge. While this can feel daunting, there are many simple ways to get started.
In this guide, we’ll showcase nine practical steps you can embark upon today in order to set up a successful HVAC company from the start.
Here’s What We’ll Cover:
What Do HVAC Businesses Do?
9 steps to starting an hvac company, common mistakes hvac startups make, the bottom line—starting your hvac business, businesses related to hvac service.
An HVAC company offers specialized services for heating, ventilation, and air conditioning units either in residential or commercial properties. Professional HVAC technicians are trained to offer a variety of services including repairs, maintenance, replacement, and installation. HVAC businesses also serve as subcontractors in building and construction projects.
HVAC businesses often step in and help customers when they’re in a pinch. This type of work can include emergency repairs and on-site visits when HVAC units fail or need maintenance. As a result, many HVAC companies offer both normal business hours and on-call services.
Types of HVAC Businesses
Technical knowledge of HVAC operations is usually similar, no matter which type of field you start work in. There are, however, a few different specialties that you can choose to offer as an HVAC business owner.
The three most common types of HVAC businesses are:
- Residential: HVAC companies that specialize in residential services are most likely to work with homeowners in single-family homes, or in complexes like apartments and townhomes. Specific services vary, but most units are small and compact.
- Commercial: This type of HVAC service is suitable for larger buildings and commercial properties. Units are larger, even industrial in size, and ventilation is a key component.
- HVAC contracting: As an HVAC contractor, you may focus more on installation and implementation. Builders and construction firms might hire HVAC contractors or specialists to develop the heating and cooling plans for new properties and to install these systems according to code.
If you’re interested in starting an HVAC business, you likely have some experience in the field already. Whether you’ve been working in the HVAC industry for some time, or you’re new to the HVAC industry and dreaming ahead, it’s always helpful to set goals. The nine steps below provide a blueprint to follow if starting an HVAC business is on your list.
1. Develop Your Business Plan
If you want to start an HVAC business that’s made to last, start with a strong foundation. Developing a business plan is one of the simplest ways to do that. This document or outline establishes the vision for your business in the HVAC industry over several months and years.
When writing your first HVAC business plan, you should make sure to include key points such as:
- The elevator pitch that summarizes what your company does
- The legal structure of your business
- A summary of management and employment
- Projected debts, liabilities, and revenue
- Research about your competitors and target market
2. File Business Paperwork
With your business plan in hand, you can move forward to making things official. Small business requirements vary by state of residence. Check with your local clerk’s office or county government to determine the requirements for a HVAC technician business permit.
If you maintain a physical office or business location, you may also be required to obtain a zoning permit. Keep in mind that many of these licenses will require small administrative fees.
During this process, you should also submit your business information to the IRS to obtain an employer identification number (EIN). This step legitimizes your company and simplifies the process for your finances and taxes.
3. Calculate the Break-even Point
In business, a break-even point (BEP) is the moment at which your sales exceed your expenses. At this time, you’re no longer trying to float your business costs because your incoming cash revenue is high enough to cover them.
To calculate the BEP when you start your new HVAC business, you will need to identify:
- Your fixed costs, including all associated expenses and overhead
- The price of your standard or average service
- The variable cost per job, which mostly includes materials and labor
Once you have these numbers, subtract your variable costs from the price of your standard service. Then, divide your total fixed costs by the number you just calculated. The end result is how many jobs or services you would need to complete or sell in order to break even.
4. Set up Banking and Accounting Structures
Financially, it’s always a good practice to separate your personal and business finances. With your EIN in hand, you can easily set up unique checking and savings accounts through the bank of your choice. This provides transparency and protects your personal assets.
Additionally, it’s wise to plan for consistent, organized accounting and bookkeeping. Whether you hire an outside expert or maintain these processes internally, the point is that you don’t wait to keep organized financial records.
An accounting platform for HVAC businesses can also make this process smoother. With a powerful mobile platform, you can accomplish crucial business tasks like invoicing, overhead expense tracking, payroll processing, and more.
5. Get Small Business Insurance Coverage
Having comprehensive insurance coverage provides a safety net for a variety of things in your business. Not only does it cover you as an individual, but it also provides security for your vehicles, equipment, employees, and business assets.
Insurance policies can prove to be a bit complicated, especially if you’re not accustomed to comparing them for business purposes. Make sure to seek out licensed insurance brokers in your area who are familiar with the requirements for HVAC services.
As your business grows and changes, you may need to expand or change your insurance plan. This is a fairly standard process in business, particularly for service providers who work directly with customers in their homes or commercial properties.
6. Develop a Plan for Covering Startup Costs
Although you can choose to bootstrap your business with personal cash assets at the start, many business owners either don’t have access to the total amount or don’t want to deplete personal savings. No matter what you decide, outline your plan for financing startup costs in the HVAC industry.
In an HVAC company, your startup costs might include:
- Tools and equipment
- Safety materials
- Standard office supplies
- HVAC licensing
- Professional signage
- Services like a phone line or Wi-Fi
A small business loan is only one of many options for financing your business. Business credit cards, lines of credit from local banks, and cash from investors could all prove to be viable options for securing what you need.
7. Identify Your Unique Value Proposition
A value proposition is an idea or statement that clearly communicates what you offer to customers. This usually includes something that goes beyond the standard or baseline level of service that most people expect to get.
As you develop your value proposition over time, think critically about what a customer can expect when choosing your company over other options. Will you offer special incentives or package deals? Do your employees have unique certifications or HVAC licenses?
Your value proposition also informs decisions related to marketing, advertising, social media, and lead generation. The more specific you are, the more prepared you will be to sell your services on social media and elsewhere.
8. Set Your Rates and Pricing Structure
One of the decisions you must make before you open for business is how much to charge for things like service calls, diagnostic fees, installation, and maintenance. To accurately set your rates, take the time to research local competitors to get standard pricing for basic services.
Deciding how to price your services has greater impacts than what you might realize. Although the amounts you choose influence how much you’ll make personally, pricing can influence which customers you attract, how you pay for overhead costs, and how long it takes your company to become profitable.
If you’re struggling to know what’s reasonable, seek out a trusted business advisor or personal mentor to guide you through this process.
9. Pursue Continued Training Opportunities
An HVAC certification is the baseline for the training and education you need to operate an HVAC business. You’ll also need to keep up with your state-issued HVAC license in order to stay compliant.
In addition to the basics, you must also pass and maintain various exams per HVAC specialty. This can include having professional licenses for operating small appliances, air conditioning units, high and low-pressure systems, commercial refrigeration, and more.
As you establish and grow your HVAC business, dedicate time to keeping up with your industry. Moreover, as you hire a team of employees, verify their qualifications as well. Having a highly trained team can provide huge benefits to your business and customers.
Why Start an HVAC Business?
One of the many questions that future business owners often ask is, “Will this business venture be a good idea?” Although each business decision should be a personal one, there are several reasons why starting an HVAC business could be beneficial both personally and professionally.
- HVAC services are essential: Between the residential and commercial opportunities, the need for qualified HVAC providers is significant. Not only that, but HVAC isn’t just important for installation. Regular maintenance and replacement is required to keep these systems running smoothly for years to come.
- There is high profit potential: Recent HVAC workplace surveys show that there is a high upper range for profitability as an HVAC business owner. While there are many factors that influence this, including the size of your company and number of employees, there is potential for growth in the HVAC industry.
- You can influence many different parts of the business: As the owner of your HVAC company, you can play a key role in its trajectory. From setting the business culture and providing opportunities for employees to serving the local community, the possibilities are endless.
As you’ve learned, the potential for success in your HVAC business is great. That’s not to say, however, that you won’t encounter challenges along the way. How you overcome hurdles can strengthen your resolve as a business owner and leader.
Below are some of the most common mistakes that HVAC business owners make.
- Not having the proper insurance: When you’re responsible for the installation of any piece of equipment in a home or property, you must understand liability. There are always safety risks associated with these services, but there are also ways to reduce them. Failing to secure insurance coverage and the proper licensing can set you up for disastrous consequences in the event of accidents or mistakes.
- Waiting to establish an accounting system: Occasionally, business owners assume that they only need accounting once they start making a certain amount of income. The truth is, however, that you need a system in place right away. Powerful accounting software for small businesses can help you handle your finances from day one. Starting an HVAC business is made easier when you have a solid accounting system from the very beginning.
- Not keeping a good check on independent business activities: As a business owner, your level of involvement in daily operations may vary over time. You may eventually hire an HVAC technician and other employees to handle much of the leg work. No matter how hands-off you are, however, you should always keep a pulse on the amount and quality of work that the individuals you hire are performing.
Remember, sometimes the only way to get started is to do the hard work. Yes, you will need to invest time and energy into solving difficult challenges, but that is the nature of business. The more comfortable you are with taking ownership of both wins and losses, the more you’ll be able to grow and adapt as your business grows.
By following the above HVAC business plan, you’ll already have an advantage. Although many steps are basic in nature, following them can help you reap the benefits of a business that’s built to last. Get started on your HVAC business today to turn over a new leaf in your career.
- How to Start a Painting Business
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How to Start an HVAC Business in 8 Steps
- How to Start an HVAC Business
It’s a great time to start an HVAC business if you’re a certified HVAC technician who’s ready to be an entrepreneur. The HVAC market is worth $16.54 billion , and it’s expected to keep growing.
But first, you need to learn how to set up your company properly, plan your business strategy, and win your first customers.
Follow our eight steps to starting an HVAC business legally so you can make a living doing the work you love.
Learn how to start an HVAC business in 8 steps:
- Register, license, and insure your HVAC business
- Get funding for your HVAC business
- Get the right HVAC certification and license
- Create your HVAC services list
- Buy HVAC tools and equipment
- Price your HVAC services
- Promote your HVAC business
- Hire HVAC technicians
1. Register, license, and insure your HVAC business
Follow this guide to choosing a business structure, setting up your business legally, and protecting your company so you can start on the right foot.
Choose and register your business name
Pick an HVAC company name that’s professional, unique, and easy to remember. Then register the name with your regional government.
Pro Tip: To check if your business name is available, Google “NAME + LOCATION” or run a quick search in your country’s trademark database.
Once you’ve chosen a name, decide what business structure to operate your business under. For small HVAC businesses, these are your typical options:
- As a sole proprietor (U.S., CA) or sole trader (UK, AU), you have complete control over your business. This is the most common option for business owners working alone.
- If you’re starting an HVAC business with two or more partners, register your business as a partnership (U.S., CA, UK), or as a joint venture or co-operative (AU).
- If you’re worried about liability, incorporate your business as a limited liability company or LLC (U.S.), corporation (CA), limited company or limited partnership (UK), or company (AU). This protects your personal assets if you run into legal issues.
If you operate alone and your business name is different from your personal name, you can file your name as a DBA (a.k.a. assumed business name or fictitious business name).
Apply for a small business license
Every business owner needs to have a business license and renew it every year. This ensures you’re operating within local laws and regulations.
Use these resources to find out what kind of business permit or license you need in your region:
- United States: U.S. Small Business Administration
- Canada: BizPaL
- UK: Licence Finder
- AU: ABLIS
Once you have a small business license, you can get your business tax number, which helps you keep your business above board and avoid issues if you’re ever audited.
READ MORE: 30 small business tax deductions to save money when filing
Buy HVAC business insurance
HVAC work can be dangerous, so get the right types of business insurance to protect your business and your customers. Then speak to your insurance provider to discuss what coverage you’ll need for the HVAC services you offer.
The types of HVAC business insurance you may need include:
- General liability insurance
- Commercial automobile insurance
- Workers’ compensation insurance
- Professional liability insurance
- Equipment insurance
- Property insurance
2. Get funding for your HVAC business
What is the startup cost for an hvac business.
HVAC business startup costs usually range from $3,000 to $12,000 , depending on how much equipment you need to purchase upfront. That cost will be higher if you need to purchase a truck.
Here are common HVAC startup expenses you’ll have to budget for:
- A van or truck with enough room to transport equipment ($15,000–40,000)
- Everyday HVAC tools like a hammer, a step ladder, screwdrivers, tape measures, electrical testers, pliers, wire strippers, cordless drills ($200–300)
- Air conditioning and refrigeration tools ($400–700)
- Personal protective equipment (PPE) and other safety equipment ($35–50 per person)
- Vehicle decals or wraps with your company branding ($1,500–5,000)
- Business insurance ($600–2,000)
Once you have your startup budget, consider applying for a business loan or personal loan from your bank.
Or, you can look into government-funded programs like Small Business Administration Grants , Canada’s Small Business Financing Program , or UK Start Up Loans .
Create an HVAC business plan
Your HVAC business plan will help you figure out how much money you need to launch a successful HVAC business and get funding from investors and banks.
Your business plan should include:
- Cover page with contact details
- Executive summary that outlines the basics of your business plan
- Business overview that explains why your business exists
- Financial plan you can show to potential investors
- List of services you plan to offer
- Market analysis with research on your competitors
- Your business operations in more detail
- Marketing plan that shows how you’ll get customers
3. Get the right HVAC certification and license
In most places, you need an HVAC certification and an HVAC contractor license to run your business. These qualifications are proof that you’re trained to do safe, high-quality work, and follow regional trade standards.
Follow this guide to learn what qualifications you need to start a heating and air conditioning business based on where you live.
Take an HVAC certification program
Before working as an HVAC technician, you need HVAC certification from an accredited school or program.
- United States: All HVAC technicians in the U.S. who service AC and refrigeration equipment need Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) certification , according to the Clean Air Act.
- Canada: In most provinces, refrigeration and air conditioning mechanics are required to get trade certification from a provincial government regulatory authority .
- UK: You should complete a college course and apprenticeship before working as an HVAC contractor. There are many college courses you can take to help you find a job as a trainee.
- Australia: You need to complete a certificate course and apprenticeship before getting an air conditioning service license from the Australian Refrigeration Council (ARC) .
Although optional, a certificate from organizations like North American Technician Excellence or HVAC Excellence can give you an extra qualification and make your clients more confident in your skills.
Become a licensed HVAC contractor
While HVAC certification proves you have the knowledge and skills to work in the industry, an HVAC contractor license is the legal document that lets you service HVAC systems.
Most places require that you get an HVAC license, but the process of getting one is different depending on where you live:
- In the United States , each state has its own HVAC license requirements . This usually means you need official HVAC certification and a few years of apprenticeship experience. Without an HVAC trade license, you could face serious penalties and fines.
- The UK and Canada don’t require HVAC contractor licenses, but Canadian technicians who work in AC and refrigeration need to be certified by a government-approved program.
- In Australia , anyone working with AC or refrigeration equipment needs a Refrigerant Handling Licence . See which types of refrigerant handling licenses you should apply for.
4. Create your HVAC services list
Decide what HVAC services you want to provide so you can purchase the right tools and start setting your prices. Here are the most common HVAC repair, installation, and maintenance services you can offer:
- Furnace repair
- Furnace tune-up and maintenance
- Furnace installation
- Heat pump installation
- Air conditioning repair
- Air conditioning tune-up and maintenance
- Air conditioning installation
- Air duct cleaning
- Tankless water heater installation
- Emergency HVAC service
If you specialized in one type of service in trade school, that’s likely the service you should sell the most. To make your work more rewarding, offer services you’re good at—and that you enjoy doing.
5. Buy HVAC tools and equipment
Now that you know what services you want to offer, you can narrow down what equipment to buy. Here are common HVAC tools you’ll need in your bag:
- Basic hand tools like screwdrivers, wrenches, pliers, hammers, gauges, metal and tubing cutters, and staple guns
- Safety tools and PPE like gloves, masks, goggles, and earplugs
- Advanced HVAC tools that differ depending on the services you provide, like core removal tools, thermal image cameras, leak detectors, megohmmeters, phase testers, and refrigerant scales
New HVAC contractors typically spend $200–300 on basic HVAC tools and safety equipment. The amount you spend on advanced tools depends on what kinds of services you provide.
READ MORE: The 16 best HVAC apps to boost productivity
6. Price your HVAC services
To run a successful HVAC business, you need to set prices that cover your expenses and make your business profitable. Here’s how to start pricing HVAC jobs :
- Research your competitors to find out average prices in your area
- Determine what markup you need to meet your profit margin goals
- Figure out what optional services you can offer to increase your total quote prices
Here are some common pricing strategies you can use for HVAC jobs:
- Hourly rate: Hourly rates can help you profit more on time-intensive or commercial HVAC contracts. They’re also useful when you’re unsure how long a job will take.
- Flat rate: Flat rate pricing lets you set one predictable cost for the entire job. This type of pricing works well when you know how much time the job will take. (E.g., $325 for an air conditioning repair job.)
- Labor and materials pricing: When pricing an installation, it’s usually best to charge your clients based on the amount of labor you do and the equipment you supply. This pricing strategy makes it easier to cover your operating costs.
Once you’ve decided on your service prices, create an HVAC pricing chart that lists your service costs per hour or with flat rate pricing. A pricing chart will help you easily provide accurate and consistent HVAC estimates to clients.
7. Promote your HVAC business
Marketing is essential to winning your first customers and running a successful HVAC company. Here’s what you need to start reaching new customers through HVAC marketing :
- Brand your business. Company branding gives your business a look and personality—and it tells every potential customer you’re a pro. Create a logo and choose company colors for your business cards, HVAC website design , uniform, and all your marketing materials.
- Set up an online presence. Having an online presence means customers can easily find your business on the internet. The more your business shows up online—with a website, social media profiles, and Google Local Services Ads , and directories—the more likely people are to book your services.
- Go door knocking. New HVAC entrepreneurs typically rely on word-of-mouth to promote their businesses. Try getting your first few HVAC leads by knocking on doors and leaving tear-away flyers around your neighborhood.
8. Hire HVAC technicians
When you have more business than you can handle alone, it’s time to find HVAC employees. Hiring HVAC technicians to take on field work will give you more time to focus on sales, marketing, scheduling, and everything involved in running and growing your business.
READ MORE: Hiring your first employee: when and how to do it successfully
Here’s how to find and hire qualified HVAC technicians:
- Decide if you want to hire dispatchers or handle HVAC dispatching yourself
- Write an HVAC technician job description and share it on job search websites
- Prepare questions to ask a new employee before you hire them
- Check references and ask for police background checks
- Prepare to train your employees once they’re hired
- Pay your team competitive wages and offer a great work environment
Ready to run your own HVAC business? The best time to start is now.
When you need support, come back to this HVAC business startup checklist and check out our other HVAC business resources .
Originally published in May 2019. Last updated on July 13th, 2022.
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How to Start an HVAC Business? An Ultimate Guide to Follow
- Last Updated: February 9, 2023
If you’re thinking about starting an HVAC company, you’re probably in one of the two categories.
Either you’re a qualified HVAC technician planning to start your own business, or you’re an entrepreneur striving to manage a successful HVAC company.
However, you need to be both an entrepreneur and an HVAC technician to run a successful business in a technical industry such as HVAC.
Therefore, to help you learn how to start an HVAC business , we have created this guide with detailed steps.
Table of Content
- Enroll in an HVAC Certification Program
- Get Your HVAC Contractor License
- Create an HVAC Business Plan
- Buy HVAC Business Insurance
- Determine HVAC Business Startup Costs
- Make a List of Services that You can Offer
- Purchase HVAC Tools & Equipment
- Price Your HVAC Business Services
- Advertise Your HVAC Business
- Reduce Additional Expenses
- Recruit Professional & Experienced HVAC Technicians
Use an HVAC Estimate & Invoicing Software to Scale Your Business
Discover the 11 simple steps on How to Start an HVAC Business
1. Enroll in an HVAC Certification Program
2. get your hvac contractor license, 3. create an hvac business plan, 4. buy hvac business insurance, 5. determine hvac business startup costs, 6. make a list of services that you can offer, 7. purchase hvac tools & equipment, 8. price your hvac business services, 9. advertise your hvac business, 10. reduce additional expenses, 11. recruit professional & experienced hvac technicians.
Let’s dive in!
Before working as an HVAC technician, you must obtain HVAC certification from an accredited institution or training course.
1.1. United States According to the Clean Air Act, all professionals in the United States who service air conditioning units and refrigeration equipment must be certified by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) .
1.2. Canada In Canada’s most provinces, refrigeration and air conditioning technicians must obtain a business license from a regulatory authority under the provincial government’s jurisdiction.
1.3. United Kingdom Before working as an HVAC contractor, you should complete a bachelor’s degree and an apprenticeship. Several college courses are available to help you find work as a trainee.
1.4. Australia Before you can get an air conditioning service license from the ARC (Australian Refrigeration Council) , you must first complete a certificate program and then an apprenticeship.
Although not required, a certificate from organizations such as HVAC Excellence or NATE (North American Technician Excellence) can provide you with extra credentials. It makes your customers feel more confident in your abilities.
While HVAC certification validates your knowledge and skills, an HVAC contractor license authorizes you to service HVAC systems.
Most places require you to acquire an HVAC business license, which is a legal document, but the process varies based on where you live:
- Each state in the United States has its own requirements for obtaining an HVAC license. This typically means you require formal HVAC certification in addition to a few years of experience working as an apprentice. Without a trade license for HVAC, you risk facing severe fines and penalties.
- HVAC contractor licenses are not required in the United Kingdom or Canada. But, Canadian technicians who work in air conditioning and refrigeration must be accredited by a government-approved program.
- Anyone working with air conditioning or refrigeration equipment in Australia must have a Refrigerant Handling Licence .
A successful HVAC company starts with a business plan that guides you to growing Your HVAC Business . You will define the following in that document:
- Cover page A cover page with the name of your company, address, contact information, and the date the document was prepared.
- Executive summary Your complete business strategy is briefly summarized in the executive summary. Describe your company’s mission and aims in this area, as well as what consumers may anticipate from your business plan.
- Business overview The HVAC services your company performs and how it runs are summarized in your business overview. It’s basically a description of your HVAC business model.
- List of HVAC services Include a list of all the HVAC services you want to provide, along with an estimate of how frequently you’ll be servicing clients.
- Pricing HVAC services Now that you are aware of your primary services, utilize your business plan to outline how you will charge for them in order to remain successful.
- Market research Two important factors are assessed by your market analysis: your target market and your competitors.
- Marketing strategy Your marketing strategy aids in promoting your company to the appropriate demographic using the appropriate techniques.
- Financial plan This area is crucial for possible investors if you’re searching for funding. Your financial strategy must incorporate sales projections, payroll expenses, equipment, and overhead costs.
Taking the time to create an HVAC business structure keeps you focused. It helps you secure startup loans from financial institutions or other investors.
The job of an HVAC professional has significant risks. Lifting a unit might injure a worker’s back, and leaking air conditioners can ruin a client’s floors. Healthcare, litigation, and repair expenses are all covered by HVAC insurance. Laws may also mandate certain insurance coverage, such as workers’ compensation.
The most typical installation-related hazards are covered by the following insurance policies:
- General liability insurance
- Workers’ compensation insurance
- Commercial auto insurance
- Contractor’s tools and equipment insurance
- Professional liability insurance
- Property insurance
The cost of starting an HVAC company is high, and failing to keep track of all business expenses is one of the biggest mistakes you can make.
Assuming that you’re purchasing a used service van or truck and trying to keep your equipment costs down, the average startup cost in the HVAC industry ranges from $2,000 to $10,000.
However, if you buy everything at once, the cost could easily exceed $100,000.
You’ll need the following to run your HVAC business:
- HVAC tools used for sheet metal work, such as aviators or tin snips, drive bender or folding bar, shears, staple guns, crimpers, etc.
- HVAC tools for air conditioning service and maintenance work
- Uniforms and caps with the company’s logo
- Vehicle signage
- HVAC business website
- Marketing materials, such as business cards and door tags to verify service with contact information
- A service truck or van large enough to carry all your tools and equipment
- Workers compensation insurance
- Liability insurance
- General tools used in HVAC, such as an electrical tester, tape measures, battery-powered drill, Sawzall, etc.
- Safety equipment
Decide what HVAC services you want to offer so you can buy the necessary equipment and begin pricing.
The following are the most popular HVAC repair, setup, and maintenance services that you can provide:
- Furnace repair
- Air conditioner installation
- Air duct cleaning
- Tankless water heater installation
- Emergency HVAC service
- Furnace installation
- Furnace tune-up and maintenance
- Air conditioner tune-up and maintenance
- Heat pump installation
- Air conditioner repair
The service that you should probably sell the most is the one that you may have specialized in during trade school. Therefore, offer services you are skilled at and enjoy performing to make your job more rewarding.
You can now focus on what tools and equipment to acquire now that you are clear on the services you wish to provide.
You’ll need the following main pieces of HVAC gear in your bag:
- Standard hand tools including hammer, screwdrivers, wrenches, pliers, nippers, staplers, gauges, drills, flashlight, tube cutters, and extension cord.
- Mask, gloves, ear muffs, goggles, shoes, and other safety equipment.
- Modern HVAC equipment varies based on the services you offer, such as leak detectors, phase testers, coil fin straighteners, thermal cameras, caulking guns, core removal tools, megohmmeters, multimeters, nitrogen regulators, flushing solvents, and coolant.
To run a profitable HVAC business, you must set prices that cover your expenditures while also making your company successful.
Here’s how to get started with pricing HVAC jobs:
- Assess your competitors to learn about the average rates in your location.
- Determine the markup required to meet your profit margin targets.
- Decide what additional services you can provide to raise your total quote prices.
You can use the following pricing techniques for HVAC projects:
8.1. Hourly rate pricing model Hourly rates can help you make more money on time-consuming or commercial HVAC contracts. This pricing strategy is helpful when you don’t know how long a project will take to complete.
8.2. Flat rate pricing model You can determine a single, definite price for the entire job using flat rate pricing. This pricing method works well for your HVAC business when you know how long the job will take (for example, $350 for air conditioning service).
8.3. Labor and materials pricing model It’s generally preferable to charge customers for installations according to the amount of labor you perform and the equipment you provide. You can more easily recoup your operating expenses with this pricing strategy.
Once you have determined your service prices, make an HVAC pricing chart that details your service costs at flat rates or hourly rates. By using a pricing chart, you can quickly and easily give clients HVAC estimates that are accurate and consistent.
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Marketing is critical for gaining your first clients and operating a successful HVAC business. Here’s what you’ll need to get started with the marketing strategy for HVAC contractors to reach new customers:
9.1. Company branding A company’s branding gives it a look and a personality and communicates to all potential customers that it is a professional operation. Create a logo and select colors for your HVAC company’s website, uniforms, business cards, and all other marketing materials.
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9.2. Go door-to-door to reach new customers To spread the word about their businesses, new HVAC business owners frequently rely on word-of-mouth. Knock on doors and distribute flyers throughout your neighborhood to try and generate your first few HVAC leads.
9.3. Create your online presence Clients can easily find your HVAC business on the internet if you have an online presence.
- The more online presence your business has, including a website for your HVAC company, accounts on social media platforms, and Google Local Services Ads, the more customers are likely to contact you to book your services.
- Take control of your Google My Business listing and add your company to Google Maps. This increases your chances of appearing in local searches for “HVAC companies near me.”
- On your social media accounts, you post photos of your completed projects, share heating and cooling system maintenance and refrigerator/freezer maintenance tips, and post information on the advantages of keeping your home and car’s heating and cooling systems well-maintained as well.
9.4. Close in more sales By doing more than just HVAC installation and repair, you can increase your earning potential. To help your customers maintain their own HVAC systems in between maintenance visits, you can sell air conditioner filters and other necessary accessories.
9.5. Increase word-of-mouth Every professional in the field service industry understands the value of providing excellent customer service. So, providing your clients with the best service you can is something you should prioritize.
- When customers tell their friends and family about their experiences, they will have nothing but positive things to say about your HVAC business and services.
- For your HVAC company to survive and thrive in the industry, reviews and recommendations are essential. Ask your existing clients to post reviews and testimonials about their experiences with your business on social media platforms.
- Whenever possible, hand out flyers of your services and your HVAC business cards .
- The best way to improve the experience for customers is to pay attention to their feedback and make changes as needed.
Monitor all expenditures very carefully. Just because you currently have the best deals available does not guarantee that this will always be the case.
As you assess your expenses, look for opportunities to cut costs. You can do so by stocking up on supplies in large quantities, obtaining manufacturer discounts for parts, or participating in loyalty programs to save money on fuel and other overheads.
It’s possible that as you expand, you’ll be able to take advantage of more discounts with bigger orders.
It’s time to hire a certified HVAC technician when your workload becomes too great for you to handle on your own. Hiring HVAC technicians to handle fieldwork will free up more of your time so you can concentrate on sales, scheduling, brand management, and other aspects of managing and expanding your new business.
Here are some tips for discovering and hiring skilled HVAC technicians:
- Determine if you want to recruit employees or HVAC contractors and subcontractors.
- Create a fantastic job description for HVAC contractors , and post it on websites for job-searching contractors or employees.
- Prior to hiring a heating and air conditioning contractor, prepare some questions to ask them.
- Verify the references and request police background checks.
- Get ready to train your staff once they’ve been hired.
- Pay your team well and create a positive atmosphere at work.
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What is the cost of starting an HVAC business?
For starting an HVAC business, a small business owner would require money ranging from $3,000 to $12,000. It basically depends on what tools and equipment you need to buy upfront.
The following are common HVAC startup costs that you should factor into your budget:
- Insurance for HVAC businesses ($600–$2,000)
- Basic HVAC tools such as screwdrivers, tape measures, hammer, stepladder, electrical testers, wire strippers, pliers, wire strippers, and cordless drills ($200–300)
- A van or truck big enough to carry equipment to job sites ($15,000–40,000)
- Equipment for safety and personal protection equipment (PPE) ($35–$50 per person)
What are the skills, education, and certification required for small business owners in the HVAC industry?
There are several types of HVAC certifications, including
- EPA Type I Certification (for servicing small appliances)
- EPA Type II Certification (for servicing high-pressure systems)
- EPA Type III Certification (For servicing low-pressure systems)
- Universal EPA Certificate
- NATE (North American Technician Excellence) offers professional-level certifications for HVAC professionals.
Is it hard to start an HVAC company?
But following the step-by-step procedure that we discussed in this blog can help. The above-discussed procedure will provide you with all the information necessary for the easy establishment and profitable long-term success of your company.
How do I start my HVAC side hustle?
If working for yourself is your ultimate objective and you want to start an HVAC side hustle, then here are a few preliminary steps to starting your business:
- Obtain the required certifications
- Choose the business structure
- Get a Contractor License
- Open a new bank account for your HVAC business
- Get necessary business insurances
How do I get HVAC customers?
The cornerstone of any prosperous business is marketing, and with it, your HVAC company can draw in a growing number of customers. Fortunately, several effective marketing strategies can be easily used.
- Create a program for HVAC customer referrals.
- Utilize SEO, content marketing, and pay-per-click advertising
- Implement video marketing
- Use social media to promote your HVAC brand
- Use HVAC flyers and distribute them to nearby residences
- Develop the most effective HVAC Website
Where can I find HVAC leads?
From lead generation websites to referral programs, you can find new leads using a variety of methods. Here are some lead-generation strategies to help you find quality leads.
- Develop your social media presence
- Plan out your SEO
- Start paying for adverts
- Create an online review portfolio
- Offer incentives for referrals
- Hire marketing staff or contract out the task
- Networking with people and businesses can also help
How do I scale my HVAC business?
Here are some tips to scale your HVAC business:
- Increase the effectiveness of your marketing and advertising activities by focusing more on SEO, PPC advertisements, running promotional campaigns, and providing discounts.
- Offer new products or services that augment your current offerings.
- Streamline your business processes by using automated ordering & billing software, GPS vehicle tracking, cloud-based software, and customer relationship management software
- Utilize the appropriate tools and technology to streamline your business processes. It includes the use of automated ordering and billing software, GPS vehicle tracking, cloud-based software, and customer relationship management software.
- Provide top-notch customer service and high-quality products.
- Boost your knowledge and abilities.
Starting your own HVAC business requires extensive planning and organization. However, if you take a comprehensive, systematic, and strategic approach, your own HVAC business will be up and running in no time.
Start off right by signing up with HVAC estimating & invoicing software , such as InvoiceOwl, to optimize your work processes and scale your business.
It will enable you to create multiple, error-free HVAC invoices, purchase orders, and estimates effortlessly with complete automation.
InvoiceOwl can also track your payments and generate analytical business reports. So, you won’t have to do these tasks manually and would rather spend that time establishing strategies to realize core business goals.
Jeel Patel is the Founder of InvoiceOwl and is the main curator & writer of the content found on this site. With ideals of quality, commitment, and perseverance, he believes in creating lasting business relationships with the clients.
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How to create an HVAC business plan
The demand for HVAC technicians and contractors is expected to grow due to increases in housing and construction requests. In fact, the HVAC market has experienced a 2.9% growth in revenue and a 3.2% growth in the number of businesses over the last five years.
If you’re beginning your HVAC business or hoping to expand your current services and offerings, there are huge opportunities. But, it’s essential to create a business plan that anticipates the industry’s growth and keeps your business on course. This article is going to teach you how to form a new business HVAC plan and give you the knowledge you need to start a successful HVAC business.
How to structure an HVAC business plan
If you are looking to start an HVAC business , you will first have to create a plan. A business plan serves to guide your HVAC business through the challenges of the seasonal shifts in HVAC demand. If your business specializes in air conditioning, you’re raking in the revenue during the summer months, but may be using lines of credit to pay employees in winter and fall.
This needs to be accounted for.
Anticipate how you will operate your business and the expenses it will incur. Then, plan accordingly. When you start to create your business model, you’ll want to consider two factors:
- The objectives of your company
- How to achieve those goals
Business plans are also an effective way to generate investments in your business. A structured and coherent plan will tell investors that your company is goal-orientated, profit-minded, focused, and will warrant financial returns on their investment.
As your business grows, you’ll want to periodically revisit and update your business plan to analyze how and if your goals are being met, as well as account for any internal or external changes within the industry.
According to the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) , an effective business plan must outline the costs and pitfalls of each company decision and should include the following categories:
- Executive summary – Outline the basics, including the name and location of your business and information on the company’s leadership, employees, and operations. Also, include a mission statement that defines the values of your company and the goals you wish to achieve. As a whole, only talk about your business at a high level—you’ll get into the details later.
- Company description – This is where you can get into the nitty-gritty of your company’s operations. Give a brief description of your company, then outline the challenges your company faces and what you plan to do to overcome them. You’ll also want to detail what types of consumers you’re targeting and any competitive advantages you believe your business has over the other HVAC businesses in your area. Think of answers to questions like, are your technicians NATE certified? Will you provide emergency services? Are you a woman-owned firm?
- Products and services – Lay out each product or service your company offers, including pricing models, product lifespan, and the benefits your services provide to your customers. If applicable, you can also include manufacturing and buying processes, as well as potential certifications, demographic-specific discounts, or qualifications, such as being able to service all brands.
- Market analysis – First, document your research and understanding of your target market—homeowners in need—and analyze your competitors through thorough market analysis. What are they doing that you’re not? What are you doing that they’re not? You’ll also want to look for prevalent themes within the HVAC industry to help shape your business model and marketing strategy, such as the industry’s projected growth or how seasons play a part in industry profits. You can use this information to define your HVAC marketing strategy .
- Marketing strategy – When approaching your marketing strategy, determine who you want to target, and what you want to tell them about your company’s values or services. Then determine how you’ll do it. Will you create social media accounts to share updates and promotions? Or will you opt for a Nextdoor Business Page to target homeowners in local neighborhoods? There’s no right or wrong answer, but you’ll want to choose a strategy that reflects your industry insight and company goals.
- Organization and management – When writing your business plan, let your potential partners and investors know who will run the company and how it will be structured. Use a chart to identify each individual’s duties and responsibilities within the company, as well as the specific expertise they bring to the table. Consider including CVs and resumes as well. Generally, HVAC contractors are sole proprietors or family-run. Most operate using a lean governance structure—meaning there’s usually one owner and a handful of employees. But, the structure is up to you. If applicable, you’ll also want to include the legal structure of your business. LLCs, for example, is an affordable way to maintain legal separation from your company.
- Financial planning – Completing this section is two-fold. You’ll want to note financial projections and establish funding requests. Be sure to add your current financial portfolio, including income statements, balance sheets, and cash flow statements within the last five years. Then, include your forecasted financial statements, including projected expenses, income statements, and budgets. If you’re requesting funding, outline the amount you request, what you’ll be using the money for, and why you need it per your business model.
- Budget – A budget should allot for how much money you want to spend on certain aspects of your business, such as HVAC equipment, transportation, and employee payroll. When creating your budget, include sections like staffing, development, manufacturing, and service expenses. In most areas, HVAC services are seasonal, operating only seven months of the year. As such, many contractors rely on lines of credit to cover their expenses during the slower months, like payroll. To grow your profit, create a model that builds a high gross profit margin on equipment, and limits labor.
Once completed, business plans are generally 15 to 20 pages long. Overall, distinguish your business as one that is trustworthy, organized, and experienced with detailed planning and realistic projections.
For more comprehensive and in-depth formatting, business owners can refer to the U.S. Department of Energy’s Better Buildings Neighborhood Program HVAC Contractor Business Model .
How to structure a lean HVAC business plan
If you’re looking to define your business quickly, consider a lean business plan. While this type of business model may not be beneficial to investors, it does provide a structured summarization of your business model, without the nitty-gritty details.
This is a viable option for those who want to redefine and revise their business plan, without changing the foundation. It may also help those who want to get their business off the ground quickly.
When developing your lean business template, include the following:
- Key partnerships – Will you be partnering with a construction company to install A/C units into each home or teaming up with a plumbing company to provide full-service home maintenance? Outline the partnership operations, as well as its advantages and challenges. Also, think about including suppliers and manufacturers if you’re buying and selling air conditioners and heaters.
- Key activities – What services is your company providing to the customers that give it a competitive advantage? What products specifically benefit your customers and their home maintenance needs? You can also include your selling models and what types of technologies your company plans to use during installation and repairs.
- Key resources – What creates value for your customers? Include your assets here, such as an employee with over 25 years of experience or patented technology that ensures that your customers are comfortable all year long.
- Value proposition – Outline your company’s values and objectives. Are you a family-owned business that strives to make connections with your neighbors? Or are you a no-fuss company that values quick and efficient services your customers can rely on? No matter your focus, make it known so that you can attract the right customers.
- Customer relationships – In the same vein, outline how you and your customers interact with each other. Do you send out monthly email newsletters that outline your services and promotions? Can your customers complete a feedback form to notify you of their customer experience? Is your communication automated or personalized? Make sure your communication style aligns with your values.
- Cost structure – What’s your company’s focus? Do you aim to increase revenue or improve customer satisfaction? Outline the value of each goal and the potential expenses that will arise as you achieve each of your objectives.
- Revenue streams – How will your company make money? Most HVAC companies earn revenue through direct sales. But, you should also list additional revenue sources, such as investors and benefactors. Additional revenue sources include job training courses and energy reduction consultations that provide value to your customers beyond installation and repair. This will also give you a competitive advantage in the HVAC industry.
How to choose your services and products
Generally, an HVAC business will be responsible for heating/cooling installation and repair services. But, with diligent planning and risk management analysis, you can also add a lot more services to your plate:
- Air conditioner and heater sales
- Energy reduction or air quality consultations
- Training classes for technicians
- Plumbing services
- System performance reviews
How to calculate your start-up costs
While a business plan is your business’s road map to success, your financial projections are the markers, billboards, and road signs that let you know you’re on the right path. By paying close attention to potential expenses, you can arrive at your destination without any detours down unrealistic funding avenues or collisions with semi truck-sized competition.
When calculating your forecasted expenses, consider the following:
- Brick-and-mortar office space
- HVAC equipment and supplies
- Contractor licenses and permits
- Employee salaries
- Advertising and marketing
- Lawyer and accountant
Grow your HVAC business with Nextdoor
Starting your own HVAC business can be a daunting endeavor, from encountering a series of start-and-stop attempts to running into financial pileups. Making a business plan will help you to navigate those obstacles and arrive at your destination, despite the uncertainties along the way.
When you start your business, you can create a Business Page on Nextdoor to share your services with your neighbors and gauge customer satisfaction once you’ve made a few rounds around the block.
Nextdoor is your one-stop-shop for all the tools, communication resources, and information you need to drive your business to new heights.
U.S. Small Business Association. Write your business plan. https://www.sba.gov/business-guide/plan-your-business/write-your-business-plan
Better Buildings Neighborhood Program. Business Models Guide. https://www1.eere.energy.gov/buildings/betterbuildings/neighborhoods/pdfs/hvac_contractor_business_model.pdf
An HVAC Business Plan is a written document that explains your business, its goals, and how it plans to accomplish those goals. The components of an HVAC business plan include the executive summary, service offerings, market analysis, business operations, marketing plans, and financial planning. 2. How do I start my own HVAC Business?
Learn how to write an HVAC business plan that will help your company succeed. This template and guide will walk you through the process step-by-step. ... Sample Cash Flow Statement for a Startup HVAC Business. Year 1: Year 2: Year 3: Year 4: Year 5: CASH FLOW FROM OPERATIONS: Net Income (Loss) $ 34,580: $ 89,110: $ 162,729: $ 263,751: $ 401,809 ...
A business plan will help you raise funding, if needed, and plan out the growth of your HVAC company business in order to improve your chances of success. Your HVAC company business plan is a living document that should be updated annually as your company grows and changes. Sources of Funding for HVAC Company Businesses
Step 1: Start with a Business Plan A good HVAC business begins with a business plan. Within that document, you'll define your local competition, target market, marketing plan, business structure, financial obligations, revenue projections, and so on.
Starting a HVAC business plan means first bringing in the jobs and potential clients. You may also find with a bit of research that your customers may shift channels over time. COVID19 for example, has been a disruption that has changed where you will normally find your customers.
Startup costs for an HVAC business range from $10,000 to $25,000. The main costs are HVAC education and certification, tools, and a down payment on a van or truck. You can take courses online, such as with industry leader HVAC school, and be certified in 6 months. You'll need a handful of items to successfully launch your HVAC business, including:
A hvac company business plan provides information about everything which you will be needing to start your hvac company business plan as well as provides detailed guidelines about everything you will be doing in the next few years.
After having a look at the basics of the HVAC business, it's time to focus on the key steps to starting new HVAC businesses. Step 1: Research and Estimate a Start-Up Cost The first & foremost thing to do before starting an HVAC business is to research and estimate a start-up cost.
A business plan for an HVAC company is such a detailed document that the process for creating one can sometimes seem overwhelming. To make it easier, start by familiarizing yourself with all the parts of a typical small business plan. Then, tackle each section one-by-one or in manageable groups, providing the information required in each section.
A Sample HVAC Business Plan Template 1. Industry Overview The heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) industry is an industry that deals in heating system, ventilation, and air - conditioning of a facility or a space (automobile, plane, ships, trains et al).
Set prices that cover your expenditures. Build an HVAC business marketing strategy. Hire a team of HVAC technicians. Monitoring your expenses. Reach out to your customers. Make use of advanced technology. 1. Create a growth-oriented HVAC business plan. Any successful HVAC company is built on a solid business plan.
Step 2 - Choose a Business Name. You'll want to give your company an effective name that's easy for customers to remember. Try using the services you offer in the business name, such as "Carmel Air", "HVAC Inc" or "Air Conditioning Specialists". You might also consider including your last name in the business name, such as ...
4. Meet With a Financial Advisor. When thinking through how to start an HVAC business, consider meeting with a financial advisor. Speaking with a financial advisor is one of the best ways to help ensure long-term, profitable success in your new HVAC business. Before you can begin to create things like….
The HVAC industry stood at a market value of 127.4 billion USD in 2020 and is expected to grow at the rate of 5.9 percent in 2021. With rapidly growing and changing technology the industry is growing at a rapid rate too. Today HVAC systems come with the best class technology which offers monitoring systems along with the usual services.
An HVAC business plan is VITAL to the growth and success of your business. Use your new business plan to help you: Stay organized Prepare for unexpected events Establish and stay focused on clear, achievable goals Also, it's important to keep in mind that your HVAC plan is NOT a one-and-done document.
Employee planning. Financial planning. 1. Cover page and table of contents. A professional-looking and easy-to-read business plan is important if you're trying to get funding. Start your business plan with: A cover page that includes your business's logo, address, contact details, and the date you created the document.
15 Steps to Starting a Heating & Air Conditioning Business (HVAC) 1. Understand the Industry The heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) industry is an industry that deals in the heating and air - conditioning of a facility or space.
The recommended home repair budget is 1% of a home's value, and the average value of a home in Vernon is $450,000, meaning each home should budget $4500 per year on home repairs. Some simple research shows that the percentage of home repair spend on HVAC is approximately 15%, meaning every year, on average, homeowners spend $675 on HVAC.
The nine steps below provide a blueprint to follow if starting an HVAC business is on your list. 1. Develop Your Business Plan If you want to start an HVAC business that's made to last, start with a strong foundation. Developing a business plan is one of the simplest ways to do that.
Learn how to start an HVAC business in 8 steps: Register, license, and insure your HVAC business. Get funding for your HVAC business. Get the right HVAC certification and license. Create your HVAC services list. Buy HVAC tools and equipment. Price your HVAC services. Promote your HVAC business. Hire HVAC technicians.
Create an HVAC Business Plan. A successful HVAC company starts with a business plan that guides you to growing Your HVAC Business. You will define the following in that document: Cover page. A cover page with the name of your company, address, contact information, and the date the document was prepared. Executive summary.
Create an HVAC business plan; Calculate start-up costs; Get the correct insurance and licensing; Create a marketing strategy; Launch your HVAC business; Step 1: Create an HVAC business plan. A business plan is a detailed document that allows you to plan your business's operations and potential expenses, ensuring your business runs smoothly ...
The demand for HVAC technicians and contractors is expected to grow due to increases in housing and construction requests. In fact, the HVAC market has experienced a 2.9% growth in revenue and a 3.2% growth in the number of businesses over the last five years.. If you're beginning your HVAC business or hoping to expand your current services and offerings, there are huge opportunities.