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Career Advice: 6 Things You Need to Know About Starting an HVAC Business

So, you’re thinking of starting an HVAC business? That’s a fantastic move, considering HVAC covers a wide variety of appliances that most of us rely on every day.

And in fact, the demand for HVAC specialists is increasing every year.

This means that you’re likely to always have a client base, as individuals and businesses will always need someone to help them when appliances break. This translates into steady work from a constant stream of clients, if you know how to attract them and retain them.

But starting an HVAC business takes more than just technical know-how. You’ll also need to be business savvy as well.

In this post, we’ll talk about a few of the things you’ll need to do in order to start a successful HVAC business.

1. Get Into the Entrepreneurial Mindset

If you already have the education you need to work on HVAC items, that’s fantastic. You can be your first employee. But operating an HVAC business is much more than just being able to work on appliances.

You’ll need to understand how to run a successful business as well. This will include preparing your tax information, securing a building to operate out of (if necessary), hiring employees, managing, advertising your business and the day-to-day operation.

If you just want to open an HVAC business as a one-man or one-woman operation, that’s totally fine. Still, you’ll need to be responsible for all of your taxes and accounting, overhead, tools, licensing, advertising and budgeting it all.

Research how to run a successful business, as well as how to run an HVAC business as you get started.

Running a business is a lot of work, so be prepared.

2. Have the Proper Licenses

Depending on where you live in the US, you’ll need an appropriate license to operate. In some states, you can work on HVAC machines without a license, but the job has to total under a certain amount of money, or the appliance has to be worth less than a certain amount.

While you can operate within those rules, it does make your market extremely limited. So, you’ll need to check with your state’s licensing board to make sure that your business is vetted properly.

If your state also requires all of your employees to have the proper license, it will be your duty to ensure that everyone working for you not only has the proper license but that they can provide proof to you.

Operating without a license can lead to lawsuits, damages and may even be illegal in some cases. So don’t let this important aspect lapse.

3. Weigh the Family Sacrifices

Working in the HVAC industry often means a lot of time away from your family. Some HVAC companies are on call 24/7, meaning they might need to repair something in an office or hospital or other public building immediately. This could take time out of what you could be spending with your family.

Additionally, being a business owner also takes time out of your day. As a business owner, you’re on call almost all of the time. If an employee calls in sick and has a job scheduled, it is your responsibility to send another employee or reschedule.

It is also your responsibility to ensure that the customers are happy with your services, which may require you to go above and beyond the hours you spend in the office.

4. Consider the Time Away From Loved Ones Involved In Running a Business

You may also need to spend extra time at the office doing things like balancing the books, meeting with other contractors and other necessities that keep the business running.

If you don’t feel as though you want to take time away from your family or that you want to be in charge of your own schedule, this may not be the job for you.

That is unless you want to operate as a sole trader under your own business, then you may have some better control over what clients to accept and which to reject.

5. Learn About Old Appliances and Systems

If you live in an area that has older HVAC systems, you’ll need to learn about them in order to better serve your clients. You may even sometimes have clients with an old system in a home they’ve purchased that they’ll need you to work on.

Many old appliances will be covered with home owner’s insurance, so make sure that you’re aware of this in order to receive the proper payment. You should also point this out to your client so that they can get what they need without paying a fortune.

Learn more about home warranties and old HVAC systems so that you’re ready to go when a client asks about it.

6. Don’t Expect to Hit the Ground Running

HVAC businesses, like all businesses, can start slowly. Don’t feel defeated if you’re not the toast of the town immediately. It can take time, and money, to build momentum and turn over profit.

Network with other small business owners to get an idea of their small business journeys.

Is Starting an HVAC Business For Me?

Before starting an HVAC business, you should always weigh the pros and cons. If, after careful consideration, you believe this is the path meant for you, then go forth and live your best life.

Check out some of our helpful tips for how to start a business to turn your dream into a reality.