4 best practices for running a successful HVAC business
4 February 2022
Read our blog to learn more about the best practices you should follow to ensure that your HVAC business is as successful as possible.
Despite the COVID-19 pandemic having a damaging effect on many field service businesses, the HVAC market growth shows no signs of slowing down.
In fact, in 2021, the market was valued at $136.3 billion and is projected to expand at an annual growth rate of 6.3% from 2022 to 2030.
However, while market growth is good news for business owners, it means that competition is fiercer than ever. Standing out and attracting customers takes more than just great technicians and a good business plan. You’ll need to look at how you manage the company and identify areas for improvement.
In this blog, we’ll share our best practices for running a successful HVAC business and the tools that can help to set you apart from your competitors.
Running your HVAC business successfully
There are a number of elements that are important when running a HVAC business. We’ve outlined the top 4 things you need to take into account.
Research shows that companies that plan ahead grow 30% faster than those that don’t.
Therefore, it’s essential to take the time to put a solid HVAC business plan together. As a starting point, consider the following questions:
✅ What is your unique selling proposition?
✅ What is your vision for the next five years?
✅ What is your target for sales, gross profit and net profit? If possible, you should break your profits down per department.
✅ How many service calls should you aim to attend?
✅ How many installations should you aim to complete?
✅ How many technicians, installers, salespeople and back-office staff will you require?
✅ How much business should you aim to get from repeat customers?
Knowing the answers to these questions will help you to set realistic targets for your business and help you to meet them.
💵 Project cash requirements
Once you have answered these questions, you’ll need to project your cash requirements for each month. Calculate how much money will be coming in and compare it to your outgoings – is your remainder positive?
If not, you’ll need to think about how you will earn the additional revenue required.
Remember, having a steady cash flow is vital for any business, so you must ensure your customers always pay on time. Otherwise, you will find it challenging to meet operational expenses and take on new projects that contribute to company growth.
🧰 Top tools
Having a job management platform in place will allow you to send electronic invoices the moment a field service technician has finished a job. The whole process is automated and makes it easier for your customers to pay.
Plus, with a range of simple, digital payment options available, customers can pay on the same day, providing you with peace of mind that your finances are in check.
- Collect data
Research from McKinsey shows that data-driven businesses are 23 times more likely to acquire customers, six times as likely to retain customers, and 19 times as likely to be profitable as a result. So, if you’re not already analysing your company’s stats, you should be.
The type of data you’ll want to collect will depend on your business goals. For example, ordering parts is crucial for running an HVAC business, but you could be spending far more than you should if you don’t have access to relevant accurate data.
Perhaps your workers forget to sign parts in and out of storage, or maybe their writing is illegible, and you can’t see what they’ve used. Either way, you’ll soon notice that the numbers aren’t adding up.
🧰 Top tools
Job management platforms provide complete visibility over your operations and provide you with access to real-time data so you can make better-informed business decisions.
So, not only will you be able to see how much stock you have available so you never accidentally over-order, but you can also take a closer look at whether the rest of your company is running as efficiently as possible.
- Implement the right systems and processes
The more your business grows, the more likely you are to encounter operational problems and flaws. This is a natural part of growing a business.
However, not correcting these problems will exacerbate the problem which can result in flaws in the business and losses for HVAC businesses.
Ensuring that you have the right systems and processes in place while your business is small is easier than trying to fix flaws once they have become serious flaws in your business.
🧰 Top tools
✅ Create team schedules – online job scheduling allows back office teams to take care of scheduling and dispatching technicians effectively. They can assign technicians with the right tools and skills, and who are in the right location to the right jobs. Your technicians can also remain informed of schedule changes to avoid wasted journeys.
✅ Dispatch and route teams efficiently – live tracking and planning routes in advance means technicians spend less time on the road, save fuel and fit more into the day, which results in improvements in your business’ bottom line.
In addition, back office staff can track technicians throughout the day to assign the right team member to the right job. They can also keep them informed of any possible delays and reroute them where necessary.
✅ Allow technicians to access information anywhere – a mobile app can keep technicians informed about the client jobs they’re going to. This ensures they’re informed of what the problem is, the tools they’ll need and the client history. All of which contributes towards higher first-time fix rates.
- Recruit the best talent
Although the HVAC market is booming, there is a serious shortage of talent.
As more experienced workers reach retirement age and leave the workforce, they’re leaving behind a gap that 70% of field service organisations believe will severely impact operations within the next five to ten years.
Consequently, it will be the companies that can hire the best talent that will survive and grow in the years to come. But, to attract Millennial (1981-1996) and Generation Z (1997-2012) workers, businesses will need to modernise their ways of working.
These tech-savvy generations will expect to work for companies that provide digital tools that enable them to work efficiently and deliver excellent services.
Therefore, now is the perfect time to digitise your HVAC business and become an early adopter of the latest technology.
🧰 Top tools
Field service management software allows you to implement the latest technology which will allow you to meet both the changing expectations for customer service and your mobile workforce.
You will be able to provide seamless communication between your field-based workforce and your back-office staff by equipping technicians with a mobile app. Better communication leads to a more productive and efficient workforce and helps you to meet customer expectations, improving the bottom line of your business.
A mobile app allows workers to:
📱 Complete risk assessments and workflow documents
📱 Check customers’ files for important notes
📱 View their schedule and work orders in real-time
📱 Send digital invoices and accept payments
By streamlining your processes and making it simple to complete each job, you’ll find that people will want to work for your company over those that continue to operate ‘the old way’.
Job management technology is a must-have for HVAC businesses to thrive in a highly competitive, talent-short market. The software gives you the power to transform your company and manage business-as-usual tasks all in one place, saving you time and money put back into activities that contribute directly to business growth.
BigChange transforms how your HVAC business operates, giving you the power to manage scheduled maintenance and respond to urgent reactive jobs more effectively.
Give your team everything they need, from site directions and workflows to digital safety certification, and share live data with your back office as required.
Want to find out more?
Discover how BigChange can make your business grow stronger here and arrange a free demo today.
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