There are heaps of HVAC technicians out there with years of experience and expertise, all gained while working for someone else. Most HVAC techs begin their careers this way, and it’s the perfect route to building the confidence, skills and experience necessary to be successful. But for some, there comes a point where starting their own HVAC business feels like the right choice.
Exciting? Yes, but also just a little bit daunting. Starting your own HVAC business comes with many considerations and a fair bit of planning. But it is absolutely achievable, and thousands of HVAC techs take the plunge every year.
Here are our top tips for starting a HVAC company to be proud of.
Get yourself a business plan
Knowing how to start an HVAC business begins with a comprehensive business plan. So, what do you need to consider?
- Know your customers. Do you want to target large or small businesses? Are home owners potential customers, too?
- What are your goals? How quickly do you want to grow and potentially expand your business? Setting down a list of rough target dates for sales can help you stay on track and keep a tab on how well your business is doing
- Who will you be competing with? Get to know the local competition. What can you offer that they can’t?
- Identify any potential hurdles you’ll need to overcome and make a plan on how to deal with them as and when they come up
Your business plan will be the blueprint for your business. Be realistic but ambitious. Get excited about your future.
So you’ve got a business plan. The next step is considering your start-up costs and rates.
HVAC business start up costs vary depending on whether you’ll be operating as a self-employed individual or a registered business, so do your research. If you need investment to get the business started, look into government loan schemes, private investors or your own savings.
You will also need to consider your rates. Don’t be shy about knowing how much your time and expertise is worth. If you’re an experienced and successful HVAC technician, your time is worthy of a good price point.
Break down your costings into separate categories. Fixed costs include monthly bills such as insurance payments and vehicle loan repayments. Basically anything that stays roughly the same each month. Variable costs include materials and labour, which will vary from job to job. Other considerations are your own skills, experience and qualifications and where your customers are located. Keep all your costings and quotes in one place by using a job management software platform such as GeoNext, and track profits and costs as you go, without the need for endless paperwork.
Invest in quality tools and equipment
Any HVAC tech will tell you that investing in solid, good quality tools and equipment is a must. If you’ve only ever worked for someone else you will likely need to buy everything you need, which can be costly, but is essential for running your business. Consider whether you will also need to buy or lease a vehicle to get from job to job.
Stay on top of your admin
Starting and running your own HVAC business involves a lot of admin. From health and safety checklists to quotes, job scheduling and more. That’s a lot to keep track of. Investing in job management software like GeoNext brings all of that endless paperwork online and saves you time and consequently, money.
Remember why you are starting your HVAC business – better work life balance
Keep in mind the reasons why you wanted to start your business in the first place. Achieving a better work life balance is often quoted as being the main reason HVAC techs branch out on their own, and being your own boss can be the pathway to achieving that.
One way to help you maintain that all important work life balance is to take the admin stress out of your business by using a job management software platform. GeoNext removes the hassle of time consuming paperwork and admin by allowing you to schedule and manage jobs, send quotes and handle invoices by linking up with software like Xero, Quickbooks and MYOB, to name just a few of the benefits. HVAC techs particularly like how they’re able to schedule regular recurrences for servicing and testing, and keep track of job costings as they go. Starting your own HVAC business is an exciting prospect, and with the right knowledge and useful tools at your disposal like GeoNext, your dream can become a reality.