Maximize Your HVAC Business Growth: An In-Depth How-To Guide

Written by Chris Scully
Published on January 19, 2024

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Hello there, HVAC business owner! You’ve probably heard that the HVAC industry is on the brink of a boom. 

The Bureau of Labor estimates that by 2028, there will be over 46,000 new HVAC technician jobs. 

But here’s the kicker: despite this growth, about 20% of HVAC companies shut their doors each year, and a jaw-dropping 70% of new businesses don’t make it past year one. 

We’re here to show you how to beat the odds and grow your HVAC business to last generations.

Why do HVAC businesses fail?

hvac contractor coach

Have you ever wondered why some HVAC businesses don't stick around? 

It's usually a mix of a few key slip-ups. First, if you're not zeroing in on a specific group of customers, your marketing might as well be a shot in the dark. You must know who you're talking to, or you'll speak to no one.

Plus, if your systems and processes are disorganized, you can’t expect your customers to return after experiencing lousy service. Consistency is king in business.

Here’s another big one: knowing your numbers. You're blindly making business decisions if you don't have a clear picture of what's coming in and going out. 

Growing too fast or trying to grow when there isn’t enough demand makes failure inevitable.

Lastly, the home service world doesn't stand still, and neither should you. Always look for ways to improve and grow your HVAC business. Are you resting on your laurels? That's a surefire way to get left behind.

First: Are you ready to grow?

Before dreaming big, let’s get real and reflect.

Ask yourself: 

  • Is your business consistently attracting and maintaining a steady stream of projects?
  • Are you successfully retaining your customers and getting repeat business?
  • Is your business efficiently managing its receivables, ensuring timely and regular client payments?
  • And most importantly, can you do it all over again, day after day, while adapting to the challenges of growth? 

The cycle – drive demand, fulfill demand, get paid, and repeat – is your golden ticket to sustainable growth. 

Ensure the demand is there before you consider growing your HVAC business

Learn more about business growth in our video: Why Growth is Vital.

Step 1: Clearly define your niche

In the HVAC business, being a jack-of-all-trades won’t cut it. 

Are you the go-to for residential fixes or commercial setups? Are AC repairs your bread and butter, or are you all about those duct cleanings or furnace replacements? 

Identifying and owning your niche helps build a strong brand identity that resonates with a specific customer base.

This clarity isn't just about attracting jobs; it's about attracting the right jobs.

When potential clients see your focused expertise, they're more likely to trust your services for their specific needs, leading to higher customer satisfaction and better business growth.

Action Item:

Write down your company’s specific HVAC services and strengths. Next, refresh your website and Google Business profile to highlight your identified HVAC specialty. Make sure this specialization is clear.

Step 2: Improve your online presence

The first thing today’s homeowners do when their HVAC system has an issue is an online search. 

How’s your online presence? – Do you have a user-friendly, locally optimized (hello, local SEO!) website and raving client reviews? 

If your website isn’t topping the search results, it’s time to call in an SEO expert. 

These experts can fine-tune your website to ensure it hits all the right notes for search engines - think keywords your customers are using (i.e., AC repair, furnace replacement, air duct cleaning), mobile-friendly web design, and content that answers your customers' questions.

Action Item:

When you search AC repair (or your primary service) + your location in Google, do you appear at the top of the search? How about in the map section? Perform a basic SEO audit of your website or hire an expert. Identify areas for improvement, like keyword optimization, mobile responsiveness, and local SEO.

Step 3: Go above and beyond for customers 

What is the most effective strategy for gaining more business? Satisfied customers. 

They're like walking, talking billboards for your service. When you make a customer happy, they're likely to share their positive experience with friends and family, who might turn to you for their HVAC needs, perpetuating a cycle of ongoing business. 

Delivering outstanding customer service is essential for every job, no matter how small. 

Remember the old saying, "The customer is always right"? It’s not exactly true, but the intent behind it is valid. The customer is always the customer. A good businessperson focuses on fulfilling customers' needs and exceeding their expectations.

Action Items:

  • Reach out to past satisfied customers and encourage them to leave a review. Set up a simple process for gathering and showcasing these reviews.
  • Implement a system to collect and review customer feedback regularly. Use this feedback to make necessary improvements in your service.

Step 4: Focus on strengthening your team

A happy, well-trained technician is more than an asset for the moment. They're potential future leaders who can develop into exceptional project managers or team leaders. Therefore, it’s vital that you retain trusted and skilled employees.

Hiring and training a new employee to replace someone who left can significantly drain time and money. It's not just about the training period; it's about the lost productivity and the time it takes for a new hire to reach the proficiency level of the old employee.

So, how can you strengthen your team to promote business growth?

  1. Invest in Training: This kind of growth within your team doesn’t just happen; you cultivate it through continuous learning and skill development. Investing in your team's training is one of the smartest moves you can make. Well-trained employees are more efficient, make fewer mistakes, and provide better customer service – all of which contribute to your business's bottom line.
  2. Value-Based Hiring: When it comes to hiring, it’s crucial to remember that while you can teach skills, instilling values is a different ball game. Prioritize hiring individuals whose attitudes and values align with your company culture. You can always train someone to enhance their technical skills, but a person's core values and work ethic are ingrained. A team member with the right attitude is a long-term asset, contributing positively to the work environment and your company’s reputation.
  3. Get Feedback: You need feedback from your team, plain and simple. You can’t read minds. Encourage open communication where your team can share their concerns and suggestions to foster trust and collaboration. 

Focus on building a skilled team that shares your business's values and feels heard. This approach ensures quality service and creates a positive, productive workplace culture.

Action Item:

  • Develop a strategy that focuses on value-based hiring. Create a list of core values and attitudes you want in your team, and make sure your interview questions reflect that.
  • Feedback mechanisms like anonymous surveys or regular one-on-one meetings can provide insights into areas for improvement and innovative ideas to enhance your operations, refine your business strategies, and create a more productive and positive work environment.

Step 5: Know your numbers

The numbers tell the story of your business. Tracking key marketing, sales, finance, production, customer satisfaction, and reputation metrics allows for data-driven decisions. 

Consistent monitoring spots areas needing improvement and reveals paths to maximize performance and profitability. Your metrics matter, even more so when growing your business!

Key metrics to track:

  • Marketing Success: Track leads and prospects to gauge the effectiveness of your marketing strategies.
  • Sales Performance: Monitor sales numbers and gross sales to understand your market reach.
  • Financial Health: Keep an eye on money collected versus bills paid, which is crucial for assessing profitability.
  • Production and Quality: Record completed jobs and the value of services delivered.
  • Customer Relations: Regularly measure customer satisfaction through feedback and surveys and actively manage and track online reviews.

Understanding and tracking these key metrics gives a clear picture of your business's health and areas needing improvement. It’s not just about monitoring numbers; it’s about making informed decisions that drive actions, profitability, and growth.

Action Item:

  • Set up a simple dashboard to regularly track key metrics like leads, sales, financial health, and customer satisfaction.
  • Review your graphs weekly and take immediate action to improve them.

Step 6: Build partnerships and give back to your community

Building partnerships and giving back to your community is about more than just good service – it's about becoming a pillar in your neighborhood. 

When you partner with local businesses or sponsor the Little League team, you're not just putting your name out there but weaving your business into the community. It's not just about being seen; it's about being part of something bigger. 

And let's talk networking – it's huge! Build a network of trusted professionals in related fields, like electricians or plumbers. Everybody wins when you refer your customers to them, and they do the same. It's about creating a community where businesses support each other, and that camaraderie? It's great for business.

Action Items:

  • Identify local events, charities, or business groups where your business can contribute or participate. Plan at least one community activity per year.
  • Join or create a local business networking group to share referrals with non-competing service providers.
  • You can also find an online community through HVAC trade associations. Joining an online organization can help you stay updated with the latest tools, trends, and technology.

Step 7: Opt for HVAC business coaching

your potential means nothing without taking action

Business coaching involves working with experienced professionals who provide guidance, strategies, accountability, and tools to help you manage and grow your business more effectively.

Coaching is not about short-term fixes but building a sustainable, profitable business. 

A business coach helps you streamline your operations, identify growth opportunities and successful areas, and work with you to develop strategies aligning with your business goals. It’s a process that encourages you to work in your business and on it, ensuring long-term success.

Here’s where Action Management Pros comes in. Our dedicated coaching can be tailored specifically to HVAC businesses like yours. We bring our expertise to the table, helping you navigate the unique challenges and opportunities within the HVAC sector. 

With Action Management Pros, you’ll find more than just a coach; you’ll discover a partner committed to your business success. 

Action Item:

Set up a complimentary consultation with Action Management Pros LLC to learn how we can help you grow your HVAC business.

Conclusion: Take control of your HVAC business’s future

As we've led you through the main components of maximizing your HVAC business growth, one thing is clear: sustainable success isn't just about working harder; it's about working smarter. 

Every step is important, from pinpointing your niche to ensuring your online presence is top-notch, from keeping your customers consistently happy to building a solid, values-driven team, and from knowing your numbers to fostering local connections.

But remember, even the best players in the game can benefit from a coach. 

That's where Action Management Pros comes in. We're not just coaches; we're partners in your success journey. Our expertise provides guidance, strategies, and tools to manage and grow your business.

CLICK HERE to set up a complimentary consultation with Action Management Pros LLC. Let's discuss how we can work together to grow your HVAC business.

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