For those looking to start their own business in the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) industry, there are a few key things to keep in mind. The HVAC industry is a competitive one, but with careful planning and execution, it is possible to find success.
Here are the steps you can take to get started on building your very own HVAC business.
10 Steps to Launching a New HVAC Business
1. Choose Your Type of HVAC Business
The first step in launching an HVAC business is to identify the type of HVAC business you want to launch. You might choose from the following types among others:
- HVAC installation
- HVAC maintenance and repair
- HVAC system design
2. Name Your HVAC Business
Give your HVAC business an identity so people will think of it as a well-known and respected brand. You can take the name of your HVAC business from your industry, focus on a geographical location, or use your own name among other options.
The main goal for naming your HVAC business is to make it sound appealing and trustworthy so that potential customers will be more likely to use your services.
3. Determine Your HVAC Business Model
There are several possible types of business models for an HVAC business including:
- HVAC services company: Provide installation, repair, and maintenance services to customers.
- HVAC contractor: Work as a subcontractor for other HVAC businesses or general contractors.
- HVAC retail store: Sell products related to the HVAC industry such as air conditioners, heaters, and thermostats.
No matter which model you choose, make sure that it aligns with your business goals and the products/services you offer.
4. Choose a Legal Form for Your Business
By incorporating your HVAC business, you will limit your liability. You can incorporate as a Limited Liability Company (LLC), a C Corporation (C-Corp), or an S Corporation (S-Corp). Or you can operate as a sole proprietorship.
The business structure you choose for your HVAC business will determine the amount of taxes you pay and which state or federal tax forms you need to file.
Read our article comparing the most common HVAC business structures.
5. Write an HVAC Business Plan
All HVAC business owners should develop a business plan.
A business plan is a document that outlines the goals, strategies, and operations of a business. It can be used to secure funding from investors or lenders, as well as to guide the day-to-day operations of the business. The business plan should include information on the company’s products or services, market analysis, financial projections, and management team among other things.
Read our article about how to write an HVAC business plan.
6. Apply for the Necessary Permits and Licenses
There may be required licenses and permits you need to obtain before launching your HVAC business.
For example, if you will be working with refrigerants, you will need to obtain a certification from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). If you will be running your HVAC business out of a physical location, you will need to obtain a business license from your city or county.
7. Determine Your Budget & Apply for Funding as Needed
In developing your HVAC business plan, you will figure out how much funding you need to start and grow your business.
If you have your own funds to invest in your HVAC business, you may consider taking advantage of that. In addition to your personal funds, other forms of potential funding for your HVAC business include traditional bank loans, SBA loans, credit cards, angel investors and family and friends.
Read our article about the costs associated with starting an HVAC business to help you determine if funding is needed.
Read our article about how to fund your HVAC business.
8. Get the Technology & Software Needed to Run Your Business Efficiently
When you start your HVAC business, it’s essential to have the right technology in place to maximize efficiency. You definitely need a computer with Internet access, and accounting software for tracking expenses and revenues.
You may also want to invest in project management software to help you keep track of your HVAC projects, and customer relationship management (CRM) software to manage your customer data.
Read our article about the technology and software you need to run an HVAC business.
9. Market Your HVAC Business to Potential Customers
Before you start selling your products/services, you have to let the world know you exist. The first step is to create a website so people can learn more about your products/services and how they benefit them.
After you launch your website, start promoting it through social media channels like Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. Also consider networking with other people in the HVAC industry through social media and blogs so they can help share your business.
You also need to start gathering the materials needed to execute on your promotions strategy, which is your strategy for attracting new customers. HVAC businesses should consider the following promotional strategies for which you should start getting prepared:
- Creating a brand/logo
- Creating marketing collateral (e.g. business cards, flyers, etc.)
- Sponsoring an event related to your target market
- Advertising in print, online or on the radio
Read our article about how to market your HVAC business for more tips.
10. Get New Customers & Grow Your Business
When you promote your products/services, you’ll start to get interest from potential customers.
Make sure you’re ready to serve these customers. Also, be sure to establish systems to ensure consistency and reduce costs. And be sure to find and train the right people to help you grow your HVAC business.
Read our article about how to effectively grow your HVAC business to learn more.
Starting an HVAC Business FAQs
Why Start an HVAC Business?
The HVAC industry is growing and there is a lot of potential for those who are interested in starting their own business.
There are many reasons why someone would want to start an HVAC business, but some of the most common include:
- The desire to be your own boss
- The opportunity to make more money
- The ability to help others by providing a needed service
What is Needed to Start a Successful HVAC Business?
There are a few key things you need to start a successful HVAC business, which include:
- The right training and experience
- The proper licenses and permits
- Enough capital to get the business started and sustain it until it becomes profitable
- The right technology and software
- A well-thought-out promotional strategy
How Can I Start an HVAC Business From Home?
If you're interested in starting an HVAC business from home, there are a few things you need to do to make it happen.
First, you need to make sure you have the right training and experience. You also need to obtain the proper licenses and permits, as well as enough capital to get the business started.
How Can I Start an HVAC Business Online?
Starting an HVAC business online is a great way to reach a wider audience and generate more leads.
To get started, you need to create a website and start promoting your products/services through social media and other online channels. You also need to create marketing collateral and establish systems to manage customers and projects.
What are Some Tips for Starting an HVAC Business?
Here are a few tips to help you get started with your HVAC business:
- Get the right training and experience.
- Obtain the proper licenses and permits.
- Raise enough capital to get the business started and sustain it until it becomes profitable.
- Invest in the right technology and software.
Where Can I Find a Simple Checklist for Starting an HVAC Business?
A simple checklist to use when starting an HVAC business is as follows:
- Choose Your Type of HVAC: This should be based on what you are best at and how much experience you have. Remember to keep your interests, skills, and experience in mind at all times.
- Name Your HVAC Business: This should be done with care, as your brand is important for attracting the right customers. A simple, memorable name will go a long way.
- Choose a Legal Form for Your Business: Whether you choose to become a sole proprietorship, partnership, LLC, corporation or another option will depend on your business. Ensure that you are aware of all the implications of each type.
- Determine Your HVAC Business Model: Determine how your business will make money. Will you sell products, services, or a combination of both?
- Write an HVAC Business Plan: Your business plan will also help you determine what your start-up costs will be and will provide a roadmap with which you can launch and grow.
- Apply for the Necessary Permits and Licenses: In most locations you will be required to apply for a business license and/or permits before you can begin operations.
- Determine Your Budget & Apply for Funding as Needed: You will need to know how much money you have to spend on all of your business-related expenses before opening any doors. If needed, apply for a small business loan or other funding options.
- Get the Technology & Software Needed to Run Your Business Efficiently: You need to have the right tools in place to succeed. Implement software that will help you manage your time, contacts, and business operations in general.
- Market Your HVAC Business to Potential Customers: A solid marketing plan will be crucial to your success. It should focus on attracting the right customers so that you can provide them with the products/services they truly need.
- Get Customers & Grow Your Business: Once you have a solid marketing plan, it's time to actively pursue and secure those who could benefit the most from your products/services.
Starting an HVAC business can be a great way to become your own boss and achieve financial independence. However, it’s important to make sure you have the right training, experience, and licenses before getting started. You should also create a detailed business plan and invest in the necessary technology and software. And, finally, don’t forget to market your business to potential customers!