The journey for skilled HVAC technicians usually begins with working for someone or under supervision. However, as your career progresses, the thought of starting an HVAC business will become a necessity. This is also where you get to ask yourself the “how to start” question.
Just like other businesses, starting an HVAC business has its uncertainties. You will likely make a few mistakes once or twice, but if your planning and decision-making are spot-on, the decision may end up being one of the most rewarding.
This guide is structured to help you with every bit of the planning phase and the 10 essential steps you need to take to start a successful HVAC business.
How To Start An HVAC Business
1. Get a license and certification
Before coming up with the idea of starting an HVAC business, you must be a licensed and certified technician. In most cases, this requires studying the program in an accredited school and passing your exams.
There are different types of certifications when it comes to HVAC careers. They include:
- EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) Type I Certification: for servicing small appliances
- EPA Type II Certification: for servicing and discarding high-pressure systems
- EPA Type III Certification: for servicing or discarding low-pressure systems
- Universal EPA Certificate: for servicing all types of systems
In essence, you do not necessarily need a bachelor’s degree to have a career in HVAC. Nevertheless, it is best to check the certification rules that apply to your region via your local state laws.
2. Choose what HVAC services you will be offering
Once you are licensed and certified, you can decide to start an HVAC business at any time. At this point, deciding the type of services you wish to offer matters.
In other words, you need to decide where your strength lies as a technician and balance it with the services in demand in your area.
It is advisable to start small (with residential services) and upgrade (by adding commercial services). However, if you already have a lot of experience and the tools to run both successfully, you can go ahead.
3. Pick the perfect name for your business
Trying to pick the perfect name can be tricky, but there is no need to overthink it.
Here are a few tips that can help:
- Keep it simple – there is no need for too many details.
- Pick 2 or 3 words that describe your services.
4. Create a business plan
A business plan is an important component of any business. With it, you can apply for loans and funding. Additionally, a business plan helps you focus on the overall vision of your business, irrespective of the challenges you face.
A good business plan should follow this sequence:
- Cover Page
- Executive Summary
- Business Overview
- HVAC Services
- Market Analysis Summary
- Business Strategy
- Implementation Summary
- Management Summary
- Financial Plan
5. Discuss with a financial advisor
Now that you already have a basic plan, meeting a financial advisor will help you polish your idea. They are trained to help you with goals, pricing, budgeting, and branding decisions.
In other words, they help evaluate your assets and decide the best course or pathway for your startup to succeed.
6. Register your HVAC business
Registering your business name makes it legitimate and free from unnecessary legal implications. Depending on location, you can register your HVAC business as a Corp or Limited Liability Company (LLC).
This decision also helps you with actions like filing taxes and protects your assets from being confiscated during legal battles.
7. Build a website
Creating a website is a decision you can make before or after launching your business. You need a website to improve your reach and professionalism. Website builders like WordPress, Wix, or Squarespace can help you build one quickly.
Regular SEO is the primary trick to becoming discoverable and getting constant gigs.
8. Create a business banking account
You should also not make the mistake of running your business with a personal account. You need to create one for your HVAC business. This will help you keep tabs on the revenue your business generates.
In other words, it helps you know if your business is growing one step at a time, very rapidly or it is declining.
9. Get insured and bonded
The HVAC business is one with numerous potential liabilities and unforeseen circumstances. Hence, it is important to insure your business from the start.
Although this process will cost you some money, it is a major way to prevent bankruptcy, especially when a customer sues for damage or other liabilities. Your financial advisor can also help you decide which insurance policy best suits your business.
10. Hire your first employee
As your business grows, you need to hire a few helping hands to support you. Irrespective of the department you would be hiring for, it is crucial to run a background check, and ensure they are certified to work and have genuine references.
You would likely be hiring a few HVAC technicians first. Once complete, you must get them an EIN (Employee Identification Number). This links them directly to your company.
How much profit do HVAC owners make?
The average net profit for the HVAC industry usually sits between 2.5% to 3.5%.
If you make better decisions, there is a huge chance the margin edges closer to 10% to 20%.
What are the most common HVAC problems?
Common HVAC problems include:
- Lack of maintenance
- Pilot or ignition issues
- Weird furnace noises
- Dirty or clogged filters
- Thermostat malfunctions
- Dirty evaporator coils or condenser
- Blown fuses
What are the dangers of HVAC?
The primary danger HVAC technicians face is electrocution.
This is because they operate frequently on electrical equipment and wires.
Starting an HVAC business is a decision that requires in-depth planning and confidence in your ability. In other words, you must have been in the HVAC scene for a couple of years to decide if you can launch and become big in no time.
Big-time experience helps with stuff like getting licensed and business registration. You should also carry your financial advisor along every step of the way.
The easiest way to succeed in any business is to stay consistent regarding quality services in all departments. So it is not just about how to start an HVAC business; you must be sure you can create a lasting brand.
I hope you found this guide helpful. To better understand how your business impacts the environment, please see the roles of businesses in environmental protection.
Thanks for reading.