Starting a business can sometimes feel as if you’re on a rollercoaster that you have no way of getting off of. If you’re an HVAC professional looking to start your own business, you may be looking for guidance on where to start or what steps to take to create a successful business.
If you’re ready to put in the work to get your dream business off the ground, we’re here to help. We’ve created a concrete, nine-step guide on how to start an HVAC business.
Keep reading to learn more.
Are you ready to bring your vision of starting an HVAC business to life? Ask yourself these five questions before you take the dive.
A business can’t be built overnight. It takes dedication, time, and lots of effort.
According to a survey, the majority of business owners dedicate at least 50 hours per week to running their business.
Can you make the time to give your business your all?
Although you will be able to hire more employees and delegate tasks and responsibilities to others in time, in the beginning phases, you will be responsible for taking on many different roles in your business.
Think of your business as your baby – almost all of your time and efforts will be put into it. You’ll need to make sacrifices to focus on your baby and hit the ground running.
Reports show that the typical costs of starting an HVAC business are anywhere from $2,000 to $10,000. If you’re considering purchasing a franchise, it can cost anywhere between $50,000 to $80,000.
Owners of HVAC companies just getting started generally make financial sacrifices in order to afford these start-up costs. These sacrifices may look like:
Before starting your HVAC company, remember that your business doesn’t have to be your entire world – some things cannot be replaced and should not be sacrificed for your business. It’s critical that you identify the things that you are not willing to sacrifice for the sake of your business, such as:
Before starting your HVAC business, take the time to create a list of sacrifices you might have to make, and decide which you would be willing to make and which are non-negotiables.
You’re searching for how to start an HVAC business because you’ve got big goals – but what exactly do those goals look like?
What are you hoping your business accomplishes? Do you have your goals and objectives clearly stated? How do you define success?
Creating a clear pathway on how to achieve success involves knowing how you’re going to achieve them in a very specific way.
Some examples of what these goals look like include:
Once you have a clear picture of your goals, working to create a plan and meet those goals will seem much more realistic.
Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly” - Robert F. Kennedy
Preparing for any roadblocks and potential “failures” while starting your business can help you become more equipped to handle those situations.
Think about what could possibly go wrong when starting an HVAC business. Some typical roadblocks new business owners face are:
If your heart isn’t in it, it may be worth reconsidering starting a business.
If you’re considering starting a business as a way to bring in more money quickly or to prove yourself, you may find yourself struggling to get past the start-up curse. (The curse being that 80% of start-ups don’t survive past their first year.)
Passion is a must when it comes to starting and maintaining an HVAC company.
If you have the drive, passion, and commitment to start your own business, you’ll want to stick with us – here are nine steps on how to start an HVAC business.
Deciding what services you offer is the first step to starting your HVAC business. Consider the following questions:
As your business grows you can always add or take away services. In the beginning, focus on providing the services you are most confident in and that creates a great profit margin.
When deciding which services you’ll offer, check out the competition in your area. Analyze their websites, services, and pricing.
Are those companies meeting all the needs of your community? Could you offer better services? What does your competition look like?
Is your community the best place to start an HVAC company, or is it oversaturated?
Before jumping into step two, do your research on your potential service area.
You likely won’t be the only HVAC business that services your area – and potential clients will be searching the internet to find the best fit.
What sets your business apart from others? Why is your HVAC business the best choice?
This is where your branding comes in. People like to see values that resonate with their own. Does your team have years of experience working in your community? Maybe your company will be contracted with a military base in the area as a way to say “thank you” for their sacrifices.
Although you want to be the number one choice for your community, don’t fall into traps like offering prices that you won’t make a profit from. Doing so can actually hurt your business by scaring off customers who think your quality of work is reflected in your prices.
Choosing the right name for your business is critical. When it comes to deciding on a name for your company, consider the following:
Understanding the business regulations and requirements of your state is vital to get started. It’s also important to know what red tape is involved to save yourself unnecessary hassles later.
Some of the typical paperwork you’ll need to complete may include the following.
Working as an HVAC professional in many states requires you to have different types of HVAC licensure.
You can find more information on HVAC licensing requirements here.
The Small Business Association, states that obtaining a business license can be different from state to state
The process of applying for a business license generally looks like this:
a. A description of your business, location, and planned activities
b. Proof of your local/state tax status
c. Copies of corporation information, such as bylaws
d. The registration fee
e. A list of business owners and managers
f. Proof of insurance
g. Records verifying your business certifications
Generally, businesses must register at all local and state levels. This usually involves:
Applying for an Employer Identification Number (EIN) with the IRS is the next step you’ll need to take when starting an HVAC business. Click here for resources from the IRS that can help you apply for your EIN.
Step five is one you cannot ignore. Your business must be insured. Starting and running an HVAC business must involve being insured – this isn’t just to take away some financial risks, most states actually require it.
Your HVAC business may be required to have the following:
You’ll also want to insure assets like tools and business vehicles.
Do your due diligence and contact an insurance representative to figure out which insurances your business will be required to carry as well as what types of insurance coverages you will need based on your business.
You can never be too prepared. The more preparation you do, the better the chances of your HVAC business being successful. Creating a business plan is one of the best ways you can set yourself up for that success.
Your business plan should cover every aspect of your HVAC business, including:
After you’ve created a business plan, you’ll want to create your financial plan.
A financial plan outlines:
Your financial plan can help you organize and keep track of any assets or loans invested into your start-up.
As we shared at the beginning of this guide, the average start-up cost for an HVAC business can range anywhere from $10,000 to $80,000, depending on if you’re planning to purchase a franchise or start a standalone business.
Various factors can impact the start-up cost for your business, including:
Your company relies on the team that’s behind it. When you’re hiring your team, get to know potential team members' values and goals. Remember, these are the people who will help you grow your business and increase your revenue.
When deciding who to hire, consider the following:
Marketing is a crucial component of successfully starting an HVAC company.
Before you launch your business, make sure your website, social media accounts, and any other marketing materials are ready – and up to your standard.
There are many marketing strategies you can use to make a splash as a new HVACbusiness. And if marketing expenses are a cause for concern, consider a card like the one offered from Flexbase. With less stress over interest rates, spending limits and more, Flexbase offers start up HVAC businesses an opportunity to grow.