This article has been reviewed by Billy Stevens for accuracy.
In the highly competitive heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) field, new companies cannot afford to fall behind due to incorrect pricing and operational inefficiencies. When learning how to start an HVAC business, consider investing in software solutions that help to grow your bottom line, as well as taking other critical steps to ensure your business can keep up.
1) Form an HVAC Business Plan
There are many preliminary steps a startup must take to become established and licensed to provide HVAC services. Many HVAC technicians complete trade school programs to become knowledgeable, though they still must take a separate licensure test to be able to provide services. Some of the initial steps to take for your own HVAC business include:
- Decide on your business structure, financial plan, executive summary, and designs for logos and business cards.
- Register your business name appropriately with authorities such as the IRS.
- Obtain the appropriate business license and HVAC certifications to provide HVAC services.
- Establish a target market and conduct an HVAC market analysis.
- Develop sound marketing strategies (i.e. social media, word-of-mouth, SEO, Google My Business) to promote your services, ensuring to distinguish whether you offer refrigeration services.
- Insure your new business with the right coverage (i.e. general liability insurance, business insurance, workers’ compensation insurance).
- Know how to properly price HVAC services for profit and financial sustainability.
- Hire qualified, licensed employees, preferably with years of experience, and provide them with quality training.
- Invest in smart HVAC tools, equipment, and software solutions.
- Get financing for startup costs (if needed).
- Partner with suppliers of tools and equipment like tape measures, HVAC systems, air conditioners, and heat pumps.
2) Understand the Importance of HVAC Software Solutions
New businesses have a clean slate for developing efficient operational practices, a culture of attention to detail, and other best practices. While often overlooked, investing in the right HVAC software solutions can prove to be a vital lifeline –– especially for new HVAC providers who cannot afford to lose customers to avoidable operational errors. Some of the top advantages of field service management software include:
Enhanced Accuracy of Estimates
HVAC businesses have many factors to consider that impact the customer’s final price, including:
- Complexity of the project
- Duration of the job
- How many HVAC technicians are required
- Tools and supplies needed
Customers value HVAC technicians who can provide a fair quote, which is as close to the expected final price as possible. Business owners must ensure that their HVAC contractors are not giving quotes off the top of their heads. An ideal estimating software solution, which is designed for the HVAC industry, can help to:
- Generate a precise cost estimate
- Draft proposals with easy-to-use templates
- Identify cost variables, such as project type, production time, materials, and labor rates
- Calculate price margins, as well as time and material costs
- Manage important documents and signatures
- Give customers peace of mind that their estimate wasn’t too low for the project
Cloud-Based Solution That Streamlines Access
From installations to repairs, HVAC professionals will travel to a wide range of residential and commercial settings. The ability to utilize HVAC software from anywhere can truly set one business apart from the next. Whether an accurate quote is needed quickly or the contractor wants to collaborate with other professionals, a cloud-based solution with user-friendly apps can streamline software access across the entire company.
Support for Productivity and Maximizing Resources
Field service management software makes it possible to get the most out of your day-to-day operations. The right solutions can:
- Assist in improving team collaboration on jobs to keep everyone, from administrators to technicians, up to date on quotes and data for each customer
- Decrease the risk of data-entry errors, like duplicate work orders
- Dispatch team members efficiently, from HVAC estimators to repair technicians
- Help teams accomplish more without needing to hire additional personnel
- Contribute to energy efficiency and deliver competitive advantage
- Assist in establishing a pricing strategy to not only cover all costs but increase profit margin
Reduced Labor Costs and Other Expenses
Whereas manual cost-estimation methods can be time-consuming and carry the risk of error, HVAC software can help businesses create cost-efficient workflows. In addition, dispatching becomes more efficient by allowing dispatchers to plan routes ahead of time, helping to save fuel and time for higher profits.
Aside from the potential for decreased labor and operational costs, the bidding process can also be streamlined. Estimators would have all the tools to price jobs accurately to simplify bidding on projects.
3) Choose the Right HVAC Software
Many HVAC software platforms offer similar features, but it’s critical to choose the right partner that provides unrivaled customer support. Making this critical decision too hastily can lead to an investment with no return. Meanwhile, putting it off can cause new HVAC businesses to fall behind their established competition.
The ideal field service management software provider should:
- Help businesses prioritize high-profit jobs and effortlessly dispatch technicians
- Enable valuable time and money savings
- Assist in increasing productivity via detailed job efficiency reports and invoicing
- Have software that allows techs and estimators to create and present numerous quotes in minutes
- Automatically track dispatch assignments and all aspects of an HVAC role
- Provide real-time financial and KPI reporting
- Offer profit-generating cash flow, membership building and pathing, and live customer booking tools
- Serve as a single source for HVAC total business solutions, giving clients everything needed to operate an efficient company while driving growth
- Equip business owners to identify and correct financial gaps and inefficiencies, as well as reduce the burden on employees while boosting the bottom line
Learn More about Partnering with Sera
Field service management software can make all the difference for new HVAC business owners, who must keep a close eye on their bottom line when serving homeowners and commercial clients alike. Businesses of all kinds experience busy and slow periods, but consistent best practices, which utilize leading software solutions, can help prevent unnecessary losses due to inefficient operations.
At Sera, we’re here to meet the vast software needs of HVAC companies, whether they’re new to the industry or have been conducting business for years. Offering the convenience of a single interface, Sera is depended upon by countless HVAC companies for our automated scheduling, dynamic dispatching, real-time booking website widgets, admin portal, and other reliable features.
Our solutions are built upon the four principles of efficiency in service management, which include:
- Time management
- Margin management
- Cash flow
- Membership management
If you’re starting an HVAC company and ready to learn more, schedule a call with Sera today. During your 15-minute discovery call, you can request a free copy of our price book, which is only available to HVAC license holders and plumbing contractors. You can also schedule a demo to see Sera’s solutions in action and how our software can help make for a successful HVAC business.
Seize Success With HVAC Business Coaching
With these tips, you’re ready to make an informed decision about home service business coaching. When investigating coaches, be sure to consider Sera.
Our contractor coaching is led by Billy Stevens, an industry veteran who has built two successful 8-figure HVAC and plumbing businesses. Billy helps residential HVAC contractors learn how to stand out against the competition, manage finances effectively, achieve optimal efficiency with operations, and motivate and retain top techs.