You’ve been an HVAC technician for years.
You’ve helped local ice cream parlors keep their freezers running.
You’ve assured Ms. Hardy that the freezer in the garage is working fine every summer that you can remember.
As an HVAC business, you’re constantly going above and beyond to meet your customers’ needs but now,you’re ready to take your business to the next level.
Keep reading for information on eight effective strategies that can help grow your HVAC business.
Growth Should Be Customized to Your HVAC Business
Your HVAC business is unique as you are – and your road to success will be just as unique. Your strengths, weaknesses, and needs will dictate what growth will look like for your company.
Can you handle taking on extra hours if you're short-staffed?
What aspects of your business do you need to focus your efforts on? Staffing? More training?
Are you planning to service new communities and prepared to widen your service area?
Are you hyper-focused on bringing in more quality leads?
Insights, like those mentioned above, are the things you should consider when planning to grow your business.
Define Your DREAM Business Situation 12 Months From Now
We call it the 🍾 moment.
Just picture it … one year from now you’re popping champagne and celebrating your business success. You’ve hit all your growth goals and are ready to party like a rockstar – okay, maybe not rockstars, but you’re livin’ it up.
What do those goals look like?
Some examples of what those goals might look like include:
- Increasing revenue. You’ve doubled your revenue by the end of the year, all by implementing new referral strategies.
- Managing your time. Hiring more employees has allowed you to spend less time working jobs and more time doing the things you love.
- Improving company culture. The work environment you’ve created is one you dreamed of working in. Your employees are happy, retention is great, and productivity/efficiency is always on the rise.
When you define your goals for growth, you can get a clear picture of which growth strategies are essential and effective for your HVAC business.
Grow Your HVAC With These 8 Strategies
You’re hyper-focused on growing a successful HVAC business, but how can you put that vision into motion?
These eight strategies will help you learn how to grow an HVAC business.
#1: Hire the Right Folks
"Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much." – Helen Keller
Hiring a team that knows the importance of teamwork and has the skills required to help your business succeed can be challenging due to the post-COVID19 labor shortages.
Consider the following tips when searching for the right employees:
- Ensure your job descriptions and expectations are clearly stated.
- Observe how potential hires work with others and what skills they have by inviting them to work alongside your crew for a day.
- Ask your team for feedback on if they feel a potential hire would fit into the business.
- Implement an employee referral program where team members use their network to help you hire other qualified tradespeople.
#2: Build Systems to Streamline Your Business
The age-old method works: KISS — Keep it simple, stupid.
Streamlining your business may involve starting to use or updating systems, like:
- Time tracking systems
- Invoicing systems
- Organizational systems
These systems may help:
- Accelerate your business’s growth
- Keep employees accountable
- Improve company morale
- Reduce errors; and
- Encourage employee engagement
Look for a project management system designed to meet your HVAC business’s needs – this way you can streamline all of your processes, like invoicing, scheduling, and more.
Time Tracking Systems
Time tracking systems make it easy for employees to:
- Clock their hours
- Manage their PTO; and
- Request time off.
Gone are the days of less efficient by-hand time tracking methods. Time tracking systems provide your business with efficiency. Now, management and workers with the peace of mind that accruals and invoicing for hours are done correctly.
Updating excel sheets for your invoices can become extremely tedious, and mistakes can be easily made. Invoicing systems automate the process for you, allowing you to:
- Create client invoices
- Track invoices
- Record payments
- Make payments to suppliers or vendors
Staying organized is essential when successfully growing an HVAC business – it’s the best way to manage all of the moving parts that come with being a business owner.
They not only increase efficiency by keeping your staff focused, but they create an environment that feels well-managed – no one is stuck wasting time searching for answers before hopping on the next job.
Having organizational systems may:
- Clearly define employees’ job responsibilities and their roles within your business
- Outline the hierarchical structure of your business
- Outline procedures and directions for employees to follow
#3: Fix Cash Flow Leaks
It’s the issue no HVAC business really wants to continue talking about: cash flow.
Customers who never pay on time
A revenue stream that just won’t speed up.
Equipment payments continuing to come in.
Covering business expenses out of your personal cash.
Each of these things can easily cause cash flow leaks.
But there’s a solution you’ve likely not considered: the Flexbase card.
The Flexbase card can help growing HVAC businesses maintain cash flow by providing:
- 10x the credit limit that traditional credit cards offer
- 0% interest for the first 60 days
- No annual fees or security deposits
- And more
Click here to learn more about how your HVAC business can benefit from using the Flexbase card, today.
#4: Retain Existing Employees
When focusing on how to grow an HVAC business, the last thing you want to worry about is a high employee turnover rate – and it’s a pretty hard pill to swallow considering the average employee exit can cost you up to 33% of their annual salary.
Retaining employees and growing as a company IS possible. Consider implementing the following:
- Provide top-notch employee training. Help your team feel as supported and comfortable as possible while performing their responsibilities.
- Offer competitive pay rates as well as promotion and career advancement opportunities.
- Provide a PTO policy that meets your employee’s needs.
- Being a team player and a leader that your team feels comfortable and safe interacting with.
#5: Increase Your Local Exposure With SEO
72% of users performing local searches on Google visit a facility within five miles of their area, according to a Hubspot marketing report.
If you’re trying to grow an HVAC business and not showing up online on the first pages of results for local search queries like “HVAC technicians near me”, “HVAC company in [city]”, etc. you’re missing a great opportunity. Showing up for these types of queries increases your chances of high-quality leads from buyers who need your services.
So, if local exposure is so important, how do you increase it? By using the SEO strategies we’ve provided below.
How to Rank in the Google Local Pack
One of the best tools you can have to grow your HVAC business is a Google Business Profile. Never heard the term Google Business Profile before? You’ve probably scrolled through the listings hundreds of times.
A Google Business Profile looks like this:
Having a Google Business Profile makes it easier for you to manage your online presence across all Google platforms – making it easier to rank in the local Google Local Pack, too.
Wait, what’s the Google Local Pack? Here’s an example:
The Google Local Pack is a group of local businesses that pop up when someone performs a localized search.
It’s basically the beachfront property of the internet. Only three businesses can rank organically in the Google Local Pack. And the majority of users performing localized searches will click on one of the three businesses listed.
To beat your local competition and rank in this pack of businesses, it is vital that you create and optimize your Google Business Profile using local SEO best practices.
Why Google Reviews Are Important
Google always prioritizes user experience – which is why Google Reviews are such an important area to focus on when growing your HVAC business.
As Google continues to update its algorithm, it’s playing more emphasis on high-quality reviews and rankings for local businesses.
Your chance of ranking in the Google Local Pack for keywords like “HVAC services near me” “HVAC business in [area]”, “best HVAC business near me”, etc. is relying highly on obtaining quality reviews from clients.
One of the easiest ways HVAC businesses can do this is by sending a “thankyou” or follow-up email to clients after services have been completed. In this email you can ask for any feedback and for them to leave a review based on their experience.
If sending emails aren’t your speed, consider adding a link to leave a review on your clients invoices. Those who feel strongly about your services will go out of their way to leave a review.
#6: Increase Your ‘Social Proof’ and Establish Your Brand
You’ve done this a thousand times without thinking anything of it. You’re searching the internet for the best multimeter for your team. As you continue to search the internet, you find several that may work best for your needs and your budget.
The first meter you find has over 500 reviews and an average rating of 4.7 stars. The second has 300 reviews with 3.0 stars. And the third option has 20 reviews, with an average of 5.0 stars.
Which one do you buy?
You’re probably going to choose the meter with 500 reviews.
This way of making a decision is a psychological phenomenon called social proof.
When you’re growing any type of business, including an HVAC business, social proof is essential.
Proof that your team can get the job done efficiently.
Proof that you are trustworthy and capable.
And proof that you have more to offer customers than other HVAC companies in your service area.
Let’s go through a few ways you can increase your social proof.
Over half of the world has social media accounts, like:
On these platforms, your social proof is gauged based on engagement with your customers. Are people interacting with your posts? Do they leave reviews about your services on your profile? Are people following your page?
Your presence is important. Increase your social proof by creating content that customers want to see, like:
- Customer reviews and testimonials
- Informative posts regarding seasonal changes for HVAC systems
- You and your happy customers
Third-Party Directory / Review Sites
Consider joining the many third-party directory and review websites on the internet, like:
- And more
You can improve your social proof on these websites by increasing:
- The quality of reviews
- How many reviews you have; and
- Your average review rating
Want to up the ante even more? Respond to reviews your customers are leaving. This shows that you care about your customers’ feedback and are present in your business. These thirty-party sites can also be leveraged by sharing the top reviews on your social media.
Think of your website as the center stage for your HVAC business – your business is the star of the show. Here you can build trust through displaying your social proof with:
- Case studies
- Reviews from your Google Business Profile
- Awards and certificates; and
- Press releases
This is your time to shine. Have you been in business for a few years? Is your team incredible to work with? What makes your HVAC business stand out above the rest in your area?
#7: Use Referral Marketing to Dominate Your City
Keeping customers happy is one of the easiest ways to dominate your city. Your customers are your best advocates.
A Nielsen report showed that 92% of consumers trust referrals from people they know.
So, how do you get those referrals?
Provide Excellent Customer Service
Remember when your “office hours” ended at 4 p.m. on Christmas eve but two minutes before the end of your day a customer called frantic about her heat going out? So, instead, you spent a few hours helping get it running again?
Or that time your team member stayed late to figure out why the ice cream business’ freezer wasn’t staying cold on the busiest weekend of the year.
Those “wow’ moments are what customers want to brag about. Providing excellent customer service is the easiest way for your business to get referrals.
Consider Offering Referral Incentives
Customers love a good deal, which is why offering referral incentives works. Consider offering incentives like …
- A discount on their next service; or
- Gift cards to local shops or retailers like Amazon
… any time a new customer tells you who referred them to your business.
Customers aren’t the only source for referrals. Consider networking with other local businesses and tradespeople in your area, like electricians, plumbers, etc. and offer a “finder’s fee” to those businesses for any referrals that turn into a job.
#8: Measure Your Success Over Time — Clear KPIs Are Critical
Okay, so, you’ve learned how to grow an HVAC business, but how do you measure that growth?
By measuring key performance indicators (KPI).
Without using these, it can be very difficult to know if your strategies are working. Below are some critical KPIs you’ll want to keep an eye on.
An optimized website and blog can be easily found by your target audience. And if you’re doing this right, you can (and should) track your keyword ranking performance to ensure these efforts are paying off.
Do you know which keywords are performing best? Are specific keywords creating greater leads than others? Are any keywords resulting in a high conversion rate?
The answers to these questions are imperative to shaping your SEO strategy
Several different sources can drive traffic to your website, like:
- Organic traffic from Google
- Traffic from paid ads
- Traffic from social media
- And more
Do you know where most of your traffic is coming from?
Does one source provide a larger conversion rate than the rest?
Understanding this information can help you see where your efforts are paying off and where you may need to pivot.
Google Analytics 4 (GA4) is one of many tools that can help you track your website traffic. .
Online Lead Submission
Are form submissions properly set up on your website? Are they easily accessible? Form submissions can help ensure that you are making the most informed, strategic decisions to grow your business. They can record things like:
- Customer information, such as an email address that can be used for marketing purposes.
- Lead tracking, seeing where business is coming from, whether through social media, paid ads, or organically from searching the internet.
- Which page on your website users use frequently. Did the submission come from your “Contact Us” page? A blog post? Or did they come straight from your homepage?
Phone calls are a fantastic way to increase conversion rates.
Especially when users have so many ways to contact you via phone, like:
- A clickable call button on your website
- A clickable phone number on your Google Business profile
- A clickable phone number on a Google ad; or
- Manually entering a phone number listed on your website or Google Business Profile
Learning where the phone calls are generated from can help you see which of your marketing strategies are working and which need to be adjusted.
Are your calls to action bringing more phone calls in? Are your Google ads generating more phone call leads? This is the critical information you need to know to grow your HVAC business.
Most Importantly, Revenue
Another essential KPI to track? Revenue.
Have you noticed trends in when your busy season is and when it begins to slow down? Do your commercial businesses call around the same time every year for maintenance calls? When is the majority of your revenue coming in? Is there a steady stream?
Tracking your revenue can give you clear insights into any cash flow problems, budgeting forecasts, and more.
You can do this in two ways:
- Year-over-year data
- Month-to month data
Once this data is collected, you should be able to track any trends in your revenue. What factors are influencing it? Are you busier during specific points of the year? Do you have a “slow” season?
By understanding these insights, you can plan around the lows – and the highs – to achieve long-term growth.
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