After years of long days (and nights!) of working hard for someone else, you’re ready to take your HVAC skills to the next level and open your own business.
Working for yourself can feel a bit like jumping out of a plane without a parachute—the unknown is scary! However, your new HVAC business can be very successful if you take the plunge—average HVAC contractor salaries hover around $79,000, but once you own your own business, the sky’s the limit!
Ready to get started? If so, keep reading to find our complete guide to starting and operating your own HVAC business.
Develop a Killer Business Plan
If you’re new to business ownership, know that the first step is always creating a business plan. This is a comprehensive guide that outlines everything about your new business, such as your aims, goals, strategies, financial planning and budgeting, and your target customer.
You’ll also want to conduct a competitor analysis, working out what other plumbing businesses in your area are offering̦—how can you improve on their offerings? Why should customers hire you over your competition?
If you want to succeed, you need to work out your unique selling points, which you’ll highlight in your advertising and marketing. Your business plan is a living, working document, so it’s something you’ll refer to often and it will help keep you focused.
Organize Your Finances
Operating a professional HVAC business can be expensive in the beginning, so spend some time sorting out your financing. If you don’t have a savings account to draw on, consider a small business loan.
You may even qualify for a government grant or low-interest loan, which makes it easier to get your business off the ground.
Purchase Your Tools and Equipment
After your finances are ready, you’re now in a position to purchase the tools you need. Since most new business owners are operating on a tight budget, it’s best to start by only purchasing the things you really need.
This will vary for everyone, but may include tools like hammers, screwdrivers, pliers, wrenches, and drills. You’ll also need spare parts, pumps, flushing solvents, and thermometers.
If you don’t already have a van or truck, you’ll ideally want to purchase one for your business. Then, have some decals made with your company’s logo and phone number that you can attach—it looks professional and gives you free advertising as you’re driving around town.
Work Out Which Insurance Policies You Need
As a responsible HVAC contractor, you know that insurance is a legal requirement and an essential part of running an honest business.
Your exact insurance requirements may vary based on your location and the type of business you’re running, but all contractors need liability insurance.
General liability insurance protects your company in case an employee gets injured or if a homeowner’s property is damaged while you’re doing work on their HVAC equipment.
Even a small lawsuit can be enough to bankrupt a company without insurance, so don’t take the risk.
Create a Marketing Strategy
There are more than a few HVAC companies out there, so to succeed, you’ll need a solid marketing plan. This might include both traditional and digital marketing.
For example, newspaper ads, mailbox letter drops, and billboard advertising can be effective, depending on the type of clientele you want to reach.
However, you’ll also need a strong digital presence, starting with a website and social media pages. Using HVAC SEO, you can target specific keywords local to your city, meaning homeowners searching for an HVAC company in your area will come across your website.
Once you have an SEO-optimized website, you can also run digital ad campaigns to attract even more customers.
If you’re unfamiliar with digital marketing, it’s best to hire an expert to help get your new business off the ground.
Consider a Niche
Many HVAC businesses find they do better with a niche. Yes, there is a huge demand for general contractors, but if you develop a specialty, this can help you attract new clients.
You might want to focus on a particular type of air conditioner, for example, so that everyone who owns that type will come to appreciate your in-depth knowledge and skills.
Over Time, Work Out How You Can Scale Up
It will probably take some time for your business to get going—months, if not years. But, patience is important, because, with hard work, your business will soon start to grow.
Then, the key is figuring out how you can scale up. Remember that you’re only one person, so you can only get so much done in a day.
To grow your business, you’ll often need to hire more employees, which can generate a big boost in income. Or, you might want to invest in new types of machinery, allowing you to increase your service offerings.
Start a Successful HVAC Business With the Help of This Guide
Ready to take the plunge and start working for yourself? Yes, it’s scary, but it’s also rewarding and exciting, so get started today!
Using the tips above, work on a strategy for creating your new HVAC business. If you put in the groundwork, are willing to work hard, and have a true passion for the HVAC industry, then you’re sure to be successful.
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