How to Run an HVAC Business?

You are here:

đź“ťKey Takeaways:

  • From planning to figuring out business capital and service pricing, from acquiring the required license to professional marketing, go through the in-depth details about these subjects.
  • Understand the importance of using professional invoicing and estimation tools for managing your finances.

Get insights about starting and running a successful HVAC business. Learn how to grow HVAC business and ways you can achieve your desired business goals.

The HVAC business is a leading service industry with over 3% growth in the United States in the past few years.

Multiple HVAC companies in the United States have reached billions of valuation in the past years.

With the rise in competition, new businesses are looking to step into the market, and existing HVAC businesses are looking to scale their business operations.

From starting an HVAC service business to scaling its new business heights, you need to go through different learnings that can help you run a successful HVAC business.

But you don’t need to worry.

To help you scale your business operations, our team has compiled everything on starting an HVAC business and increasing its reach.

So, without further ado, let’s learn how to run an HVAC business.

Lay Down HVAC Business Plan

You need to set up a solid foundation to kickstart your HVAC business operations by creating a professional HVAC business plan that can help you bypass different future difficulties.

But how to create a well-vetted HVAC business plan?

You must filter out the HVAC industry and the specific requirements of the area you want to operate. It helps you give you a solid starting point to create a tailored and crisp  HVAC business plan.

For example, if you want to operate in New England, you should focus on heating system installation and repair because of the harsh winters. But being a Florida-based company, your focus should be on air conditioners and dehumidifiers.

Once you filter your region and understand the core business requirements of the region you want to operate in, you can kick-start creating your business plan.

Choose a Template

You can filter out hundreds of quality HVAC business plan templates available on the internet. You should filter one and create a business plan to help you run your HVAC business with the set rules and regulations.

The business plan template ensures that you stick with the important details while creating your HVAC plan. It can help you minimize the effort and time of creating a professional business plan that can be used as a rulebook for your smooth HVAC business operations.

Once the HVAC business template is selected, you must fill in the details about your future HVAC business.

Enter the vital details

The HVAC business plan template might include the vital information required for you to create your own HVAC business plan. 

But if not, you need to check basic key points like market analysis, marketing strategies, executive summary, company description, competitive advantage, appendix, and financial projections.

Include the details asked in these columns that can help you handle the future ups and downs while managing your business operations.

Quick Review

Assign the review task to your professional management team or manage it yourself to fill in the loopholes that might be left while creating the first draft of your business plan.

You can also consult a few industry experts and ask them to review your HVAC business plan. The professionals can also polish the content to help you develop a better and enhanced HVAC business plan for better results.

Once the review is completed, you can show your business plan to the investor or financial institutions that can help you raise the required capital to run a smooth business.

If you invest independently, you can directly start with the next phase to run a successful HVAC business.

Make InvoiceOwl Your Helping Hand

Solid business plan requires solid solutions to scalp up HVAC business.

Determine business capital and pricing

Managing your capital is one of the important business aspects that can be expensive. The average cost for starting an HVAC service business can be around $2000 to $10,000.

The capital required can vary based on your service business’s location, services, and scale. You must consider the basic setup expenses like vehicles, insurance, supplies, equipment, safety equipment, workforce expenses, office setup, and marketing costs.

Based on the funds you have to start your HVAC business and run it successfully, you can add or subtract different HVAC business elements but can’t ignore the above-listed factors.

You must dig deep to understand the industry standards, competitor pricing, and business models that can give you an idea to cut your expenses and boost your business output.

Your focus should remain on integrating a powerful financial management system that can help you manage your cash flow and ensure that you run a successful business.

Once you calculate your HVAC business’s initial setup cost, you must finalize your service pricing strategy.

HVAC pricing strategy

You have two options while choosing a professional HVAC service business strategy. Either you can go with flat-rate pricing, or you can go with hourly pricing. 

Based on your industry experience or research, you can choose one that can help cover your service business expenses and ensure that you can run a profitable HVAC business.

We recommend you adopt a hybrid pricing model that can help you adjust based on the HVAC service project you get. 

If you have a crystal clear idea about the project requirements and can deliver the desired results based on your calculations, you can choose flat pricing because it can help you grab a decent profit margin.

You can look at the industry standard flat rate prices that can help you plan a fixed price rate for your service business based on the scale of the business.

But if you don’t know how long the project will run and what the clear client requirements are, then you choose the hourly-based pricing model to deliver a quality customer experience to your customers.

You can calculate the overall expense of your service, employees, equipment, and other factors that can help you pinpoint the ideal hourly-based price. 

We have shortlisted a few HVAC accurate pricing factors that can help with your process.

Price based on value

You should avoid pricing your services based on the competitors’ because it can result in great business losses if your services or business model differ.

Price based on value

You also don’t want to get trapped in the pricing war with your competitors that can result in lower profits and lower prices.

Fix your service pricing based on the value delivered to the customers that can help you achieve quality, profitability, and reputation, among other factors.

You should ensure that your prices are driven towards achieving profits and are competitive in the industry to avoid the risk of losing a prospective client based on the price.

Work towards providing customer satisfaction to the client who is paying the requested amount. If the value of your services is equivalent to or higher compared to the pricing, you’ll generate a long-term customer that can help you run a successful HVAC business.

Labor rate calculations

You must ensure that you calculate the service price that includes the non-billable tasks performed by your HVAC techs. Avoid ineffective labor rate calculations that can result in future losses for your HVAC company.

You should consider factors beyond sick days, vacations, and holidays. Answer a few questions to help you achieve better labor pricing for a successful HVAC company.

  • How much time do your technicians take in training?
  • How often do you wash the vehicles? How long does it take for a single wash?
  • How many hours do your HVAC technicians spend planning, meeting, and driving?

Focusing on these factors can deliver a holistic pricing strategy and help you maintain profitability and run a successful HVAC business.

Membership agreements

Being an HVAC business owner, you must consider the importance of maintenance agreements that can help you compete in the industry.

Membership agreements

HVAC business owners offer  10-15% to their customers for signing a long-term membership agreement. You can use a professional marketing strategy that can also play a decisive role in setting up the HVAC business pricing.

But you must ensure that you don’t apply the discount to the standard pricing, which can result in business losses. You should apply the discounted pricing to the baseline prices of your HVAC business.

And the customers who don’t sign the agreement should be charged a premium price. Considering these three major factors, you can scale your business to profitability and run a successful long-term business.

Once done with your pricing, there are multiple legalities that you must consider before stepping into the real service ecosystem.

Get License, Skills, and Certificate to Commence HVAC Business

You must consider procuring different licenses, skills, and certificates that can assist you in unlocking your true business potential.

Hone your HVAC technical skills

Focus on improving different HVAC technical skills that can help you become a successful independent contractor or run a successful business. Filter out different vocational schools, online courses, programs, and community colleges that can help you train and hone specialized HVAC skills.

Hone your HVAC technical skills

You can ensure you can handle service requests related to heating, ventilation, and cooling areas. Learn how to install air conditioners, focus on installing a heating system in cold weather, and do other ventilation tasks that can deliver your clients a quality customer experience.

You should learn from different platforms and channels to have a wider perspective on handling and managing your HVAC jobs. Honing your technical skills can also help you advise your HVAC employees to bypass dynamic situations that can arise during HVAC service operations.

Once you complete a course or program, you can acquire the required certifications or HVAC licenses that can help you showcase your authority and credibility in the industry.

Here are a few technical skills that you can work on to be ready for the HVAC industry:

  • Reading blueprints
  • Troubleshooting skills
  • Hand and power tool learning
  • Mechanical skills
  • Computer skills
  • In-depth learning about HVAC Systems

Acquiring these skills can boost your confidence in the industry and assist you in delivering a quality experience to your customers and run a successful HVAC business.

Get an Internship for HVAC Jobs

You can improve your learning and gain practical experience in your learning by joining a professional internship. The experience gained in managing real-world scenarios and issues surrounding HVAC service jobs can give you a wider perspective of the on-ground situations and help you plan a better business.

You can also gain an apprentice or internship certification that proves you have industry experience and can handle the service jobs in the initial days of starting your business.

You can also go for higher studies like  master’s or bachelor’s, which can help you dive deep into the learnings about HVAC jobs and boost your confidence to run a successful business.

Acquire the HVAC license

HVAC is a technical job that means you must acquire the required service license to deliver quality customer service in the industry.

Different states have different requirements from independent HVAC contractors and businesses. You must focus on aligning with the requirements and delivering the proof of your expertise to acquire the required HVAC license.

You can also enroll in some professional HVAC certificate programs to minimize your time and effort to acquire the HVAC license separately.

Business permit and licenses

Once you have acquired the skills, gained decent experience, and even acquired the HVAC contractor license, it’s time you switch towards registering a professional business.

You also need to register your HVAC service business to avoid the general liability insurance and other business permits and certifications that can help you legally start your business.

While registering for your business, you must select your new business as 

  • Limited liability company (LLC)
  • Corporation
  • Sole proprietorship
  • Partnership

Different HVAC businesses choose to start as sole proprietorships or partnerships because it’s a straightforward approach for kick-starting your business and managing the business operations.

Based on the state and federal laws, you also need a business certification to run your HVAC business.

You must acquire the basic papers before applying for the HVAC business license and permits. Complete the requirements with your concerned local governing authority and get legal approval.

Avoid operating without a general contractor’s license that can land your HVAC service business into trouble and tarnish your brand image.

Also, work within your HVAC permits and license limitations to ensure that you don’t break the laws set by different state governing authorities.

Once you are done with the legal documentation acquisitions, you must consider integrating different professional tools and technologies in your HVAC business ecosystem to stand out.

You can remove the complexities of your HVAC business operations and simplify your workflows and operations with the help of these software integrations.

Have a look.

Try Leveraging Technology for Estimating & Invoicing Tasks

Small business owners might avoid integrating professional estimation and invoicing software in an HVAC business and focus on manual processing and managing their finances.

But it could lead to business structure turbulence and disturb the path to building a profitable business.

You must ensure that you bypass the inefficiencies and human errors in managing the finances of the air conditioning, heating, and ventilation service business.

Choosing financial management software can help you operate efficiently and ensure that you can unlock your HVAC business potential.

A professional estimation and invoicing software can help you centrally manage the cash flow and enable your account payable team to manage different financial documents with finesse.

You can use the pre-built templates for estimation and invoicing available in the platform and minimize the time and effort of creating important financial documents.

Besides creating and managing invoices and estimates, professional financial management software can assist you in managing purchase orders, credit memos, detailed financial reports, and payment processing.

Within a few clicks, your HVAC technician can use the mobile app to process the requested financial documents and access the client information.

But out of hundreds of financial management software, it can be overwhelming for your HVAC business to filter out one professional financial management software without being aware of the selection standard protocols.

Our team has created a few steps you can follow to figure out the best estimation and invoicing software for your business.

1. Customer reviews

You can go through the online reviews, testimonials, pros, and cons listed by existing users that can help you filter out the top list of HVAC financial management software.

hvac business structure

You can also connect with a few customers through different digital channels to address your software-related questions.

Also, connect with the vendor’s support team to get professional support related to the financial document creation like estimates, invoices, and purchase orders, among others.

2. Free access

Look for free access to the features that can help you experience the ins and outs of the financial management software before making the final purchase decision.

Check different features and use this simple HVAC software in real business operations to test it. Ensure that the software can handle your HVAC business requirements and help you deliver a quality experience to your target market.

Ask your HVAC professionals to share their reviews about the software’s usability and functionality.

If your team is happy with the new software integration and the software can minimize the time and effort in processing, creating, storing, and managing financial documents, you can make the final decision.

3. Budget

Running your own business can be frustrating during the mismanagement of funds. You must ensure that your business investments and add-ons are within the budget limits.

hvac business startup checklist

Check the pricing of different financial management software and look for cost-effective software to help you streamline your financial management operations. 

A professional financial management estimation and invoicing software holds a significant amount of your startup costs and can impact your overall business. 

4. Stand out features 

A quality financial management software should have the feature to sync with other digital HVAC tools like field service management software, CRM, and employee management software, among others.

Check the range of features offered by the financial management software and align them with the home services industry. Look for unique software features that separate it from the rest and deliver a quality user experience.

Once these few basic filtration processes are done, you can choose one software that delivers positive results in every segment.

If you can’t invest your time and energy in filtering a professional financial management software, don’t worry.

We’ve got you covered. Our team has filtered the best financial management software to help you stand out from other HVAC companies and streamline your accounting and cash flow management.

But before we understand the details of the software, let’s go through the last important aspect of running a successful HVAC business.

Try Leveraging Marketing Strategies to Promote Your HVAC Business

A realistic business plan focuses on an HVAC marketing plan that can help you connect with potential customers through different communication channels and help you establish a solid brand in the industry.

With the advancements in marketing, businesses are using different hybrid models to connect with the target audience and scale the business operations.

From offline to online marketing, there are different business tips that you can use for your HVAC business to strengthen your presence in the industry.

Have a look:

1. Social media marketing

With the rise in mobile users, the popularity of social media platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, and Snapchat, among others, has increased exponentially over the last few years.

Businesses are leveraging the opportunity and the power of social media to communicate effectively with the target customers and focus on generating new customers using different social media marketing strategies.

Being a professional HVAC business, you can create different business accounts on these popular social media channels and start posting content about your industry that highlights your expertise and showcases your credibility to your target customer.

Social media can help you enhance your online reputation and promote your HVAC services with finesse. You can promote your new service launch, testimonials, discount codes, and job site service insights that can help you increase your brand reach and boost your lead generation approach.

Create a content calendar for different social media platforms and post regular content to attract an organic audience and enhance the business impact. Tailor the content according to the social media platform and add a variety to your social media content marketing.

Use the high organic reach of platforms like LinkedIn and leverage the quality paid advertisement platform of Facebook to fuel your social media marketing efforts.

2. Creative website

Creating social media accounts can help you create a strong presence on social media platforms, but you must create your presence on search engines.

Hire professional web developers who can help you create intuitive and engaging websites that you can use to attract organic and inorganic traffic.

You can create different lead conversion forms or different CTAs that can help you boost your lead generation efforts.

Ask the developers to minimize the load time and the customer’s journey of connecting with your HVAC sales representative.

A professional website can represent the professionalism and credibility of your HVAC business brand and help you minimize your efforts in the sales process.

You can attract website traffic using paid ad campaigns on Google or other social media pages or focus on SEO for free traffic from Google search results or other search engines.

3. Search engine optimization

SEO strategy is a powerful technique that can help you attract organic traffic to your website through different search engine platforms. 

You can use different SEO strategies that can boost your SERP rankings for different keywords and help you increase your website’s click-through rate. 

SEO is a strategy website owners use to make the search engine crawlers aware of their credibility, authority, and popularity in their niche and help them rank higher in the rankings.

SEO involves two strategies: on-page SEO and off-page SEO.

On-page SEO

The on-page SEO is linked to the SEO done on your HVAC business website to rank the website or the web pages higher in the SERPs. It is linked directly with the keywords and the website’s technical features like speed, accessibility, and loading time, among other factors.

You can use various keywords after thorough research to help you rank higher for those keyword searches.

Study your competitors and extract different keywords for which they are ranking. Create better, high-quality content based on those keywords and enhance your chances of ranking better than your competitors.

You can use LSI, long-tail, and other secondary keywords to strengthen your SEO score. Focus on your images’ meta title, description, and alt text that can improve the on-site SEO.

Off-page SEO

The off-page SEO is linked with the SEO techniques used to improve the domain authority outside the website. It’s primarily linked with backlinks acquired from other higher-ranked websites in different industries.

You should focus on getting relevant backlinks that can transfer the juices to your website. There are two types of links, do-follow and no-follow. Only use do-follow backlinks to enhance your off-site SEO and boost your SEO score.

4. Online listing

Using different websites like Google, and Thumbtack, among others, for your HVAC business listing can help you attract the local audience looking for your services.

You must provide detailed business information that can help you increase the conversion rate and ensure that you can achieve the desired lead generation and HVAC marketing goals.

You can increase brand awareness using these listing platforms and increase direct service calls for increased profit margins and clientele.

Google My Business doesn’t charge you for generating a lead for your service business, but other listing platforms can charge you a specific amount.

5. Email marketing

A powerful marketing asset for your HVAC service business, email marketing is an old but highly converting marketing strategy.

hvac business model

You can create enticing email campaigns for your customers based on their buyer’s journey that can help you increase the effectiveness and the ROI of your marketing efforts.

Choose a professional email service provider and hire a professional team of copywriters who can help you implement a professional email marketing campaign.

Abide by the rules and regulations of email marketing and actively focus on A/B testing that can help you run the most converting email campaign to achieve the desired marketing goals.

Once you successfully market your HVAC business, you must ensure a smooth in-house business management ecosystem to help you deliver an excellent customer experience.

Focus on retaining your customers and building a solid relationship with your clients. 

Integrate professional HVAC software for employee and financial management field service management.

Talking about finances, as promised above, our team has filtered the best financial management software that can streamline your estimation, invoicing, payment processing, reporting, and other financial aspects.

Automate Your Estimate and Invoice Processes

Automate the mundane and repetitive tasks in your estimates and invoice processes to get more done in less time.

Frequently Asked Questions
  1. Is the HVAC business profitable?

    Yes, the HVAC business is profitable. Because of the increasing demand for commercial and residential buildings, the request for quality air conditioning, heating, and ventilating service providers has increased. You can run a profitable HVAC business by delivering quality customer service at a competitive price.

  2. What are the important steps for starting an HVAC business?

    For starting a professional HVAC business, you must create a business plan, raise capital, acquire licenses, integrate required tools, resources, and technology, and market your HVAC business. Follow these basic steps to strengthen the foundation of your HVAC business and scale the business operations to new heights.

  3. How to grow the HVAC business?

    You can promote and market your business to increase your clientele and marketing share in the HVAC industry. Also, focus on delivering excellent customer service results, on-time execution, and using quality products that can help retain the customers and increase the chances of positive word-of-mouth marketing.

InvoiceOwl Can Help With Your HVAC Business Finances

InvoiceOwl is the leading contractor estimating and invoicing software you can use for improving your HVAC business finances. You can boost the process of creating, managing, and processing invoices, estimates, purchase orders, and credit memos.

Use the pre-built templates that can help you create a professional impact on your clients, prospects, and business associates.

The software safely stores your data in cloud storage, which you can access anywhere.

Assist your account payable team in automating ‌checking and processing the financial documents within a few clicks.

Avail of the 14-day FREE trial and transform your HVAC business.

Author Bio
Jeel Patel
Jeel Patel

Jeel Patel is the Founder of InvoiceOwl and is the main curator & writer of the content found on this site. With ideals of quality, commitment, and perseverance, he believes in creating lasting business relationships with the clients.

United States