Looking to grow your HVAC business to seven figures and beyond?
Whether you’re just getting started in the industry or you’ve had your company for generations, we’ve compiled the best tips and strategies to help you increase your revenue no matter how much you’re currently making.
In this guide, we’ll touch on some of the tried-and-true methods you may already be familiar with, but we’ll approach them from a new perspective that allows your business to adapt and thrive in a post-Covid world.
Grow Your Business by Succeeding in 3 Areas
With any business, there are bound to be universal truths that drive success. The HVAC industry is no exception. To grow, you need a steady stream of new customers.
But, getting new customers alone isn’t enough. You have to provide them with excellent service to build your reputation.
And finally, you need proven and reliable systems to stay organized and on top of your game in this increasingly competitive industry. Let’s dive in.
your HVAC business
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Getting New Customers
Entrepreneur John Rampton ¹ said, “your customers are the lifeblood of your business.” Without customers, you don’t have a business. So, how do you attract new customers? The Small Business Administration (SBA) ² suggests eight methods. And yes, before you ask, these definitely apply to the HVAC industry!
1. Networking: Get involved in the community and local events, especially those related to your industry. Your local chamber of commerce is a great place to start. You’ll rub elbows with professionals and business owners who are bound to need your service in the future.
2. Ask for referrals: As the saying goes, “a satisfied customer tells three friends.” This means that you can potentially triple your business from your existing customer base. You can implement systems that automatically ask customers to refer you through email newsletters and service touchpoints.
3. Incentivize new customers: Everyone likes a deal, so offer something that a new customer can’t resist. A free inspection or generous discount can be a magnet for new business.
4. Reach out to past customers: Comb through your customer files and see if there’s a client that might be due for a new system. You can also follow up on past repairs to see how they’re holding up. If you opt for this tactic, make sure you did quality work, or you can potentially open a can of worms.
5. Update your website: We will talk about this tactic later, but it’s worth introducing here. Give it a quick once over to ensure it reflects the services you provide and is up to date with your contact information.
6. Partner with complementary businesses: Find companies that serve a customer base that’s similar to yours, avoiding direct competitors. Building contractors are a great example because you can refer clients to each other.
7. Promote yourself: If you’re a subject matter expert in your field, share your knowledge with the community. Offer to go on the local news to share HVAC tips for homeowners, pet owners, or the changing season.
8. Volunteer or sponsor community events: Is there a local cause you’re passionate about? Consider getting involved. You’ll get free exposure while also making a positive difference.
Giving Customers Great Service
It goes without saying that providing excellent service is a prerequisite for business growth. If customers have a bad experience, they’ll avoid giving you repeat business and can even damage your reputation by leaving negative reviews online or contacting the Better Business Bureau (BBB).
Because service is such a subjective experience, it can be a challenge for those in the HVAC industry to develop consistent standards, but these tips are a great place to start:
1. Overcommunicate with your customers. Text customers when a technician is on their way and notify them of any delays.
2. Be upfront and transparent with your pricing. No one likes surprises.
3. Follow up to ensure your customers are satisfied. Proactive communication allows you to fix a minor problem before it becomes major.
4. Treat your customers’ homes and businesses with care and respect. This is a huge deal, and it’s something your customers are bound to notice.
5. Always be polite. A smile and friendly words cost your business nothing, but they can give you a big revenue boost.
Running a Smooth Operation
Having a service team out in the field can feel a bit like herding cats. To ensure that your operations run smoothly, you’ll need systems in place that define processes and keep everyone organized.
There’s no one-size-fits-all solution for this. Some HVAC companies rely on manual systems and spreadsheets, while others have adopted a sophisticated CRM or other productivity software. Whatever you decide to do, make sure you stay consistent and that everyone in your company is clear on expectations.
By presenting an organized front, you give customers the impression that you are professional and service-oriented, which leads to more growth.
Improve Your Marketing
Did you know that there are marketing agencies whose entire business is doing marketing for HVAC companies?
These companies exist because the HVAC industry has a lot of nuances that require some expertise and familiarity with the services you provide and the customers you serve.
While you may ultimately end up working with a marketing agency to grow your HVAC business, you can get started DIY-style by following the advice we’re providing in this article. And, if you ultimately decide to hire an agency, you’ll be equipped with preliminary knowledge that will help you find the right company to work with.
Traditionally, the HVAC industry was slow to adopt 21st-century digital marketing strategies. After all, word of mouth has worked since the beginning of socialization, so why mess with a good thing?
However, as the Internet has made its way into everyone’s homes and most people carry a smartphone with them 24/7, having a strong digital presence is no longer optional – it’s a requirement.
These four marketing tips will put you well on your way to significant growth:
1. Define your customer avatars. A customer avatar is your ideal customer. Your business might have multiple avatars, so make sure you define each one. Do this by making a list of the types of customers you like to serve.
For example, your most profitable customers might be homeowners on the outskirts of town who are male and in their 50s. Another customer segment might be commercial businesses based in strip malls. For each of these customer groups, create a profile that you reference as you write ads, emails, and other marketing communications.
2. Consider giving your website a facelift. Does your website look modern and professional? Does it load quickly? Does it work well on mobile devices?
Your website is often the first place a potential customer will see your HVAC company, so make sure it looks sharp. Include your contact information and a click-to-call button so that people can get ahold of you easily.
By building a website that reflects the quality of the service you provide, you have the potential to generate more leads while also showing up more prominently on Google and the other search engines.
3. Do PPC advertising. Short for pay-per-click, PPC advertising is when you run ads on the Internet for your HVAC business. You can use Facebook, Google, Instagram, and even Twitter to purchase advertising, though Facebook and Google tend to be best for this industry.
4. Get more reviews. People look to reviews to find out if a company is trustworthy and provides quality services. Approximately 75% of people turn to the Internet ³ when searching for a local service, and one of the first things they read is a company’s reviews. Not only do they read those reviews, but they also trust them as if they were coming from a friend or family member.
By getting as many positive reviews as possible, you win a larger share of customers in your area and grow your HVAC business quickly. You can train and incentivize your technicians to get positive reviews and also use a service like Weave to put the process of generating reviews on autopilot.
Hire and Train Great Employees
According to Human Resources experts,4 your employees are your company’s most valuable asset. Having a strong team will result in higher customer satisfaction rates, which in turn, means more referrals.
By mastering the processes of recruiting and hiring, you’ll be more likely to have employees that stick around longer. In addition to creating a strong company culture, you’ll also save thousands of dollars annually in employee turnover.
Employee turnover can financially cripple a business. A report published by Employee Benefits News 5 measured turnover cost at one-third of an employee’s salary. By hiring the right people and keeping them on staff longer, you’ll dramatically add dollars to your bottom line.
Hiring quality employees can be a challenge, especially during labor shortages, like the one we are currently experiencing. In addition to getting someone to “show up” for an interview, you’ll still need to do your due diligence before agreeing to a new hire. We recommend a multi-stage interview process with various stakeholders in your organization, background checks, and hands-on assessments to ensure that the applicant’s credentials match their actual skills.
For your existing team, you can increase employee retention and profitability with the following suggestions:
- Create comprehensive job descriptions and set clear expectations.
- Foster an environment that allows for growth and development.
- Invest in training to give your employees the best chance for success.
- Encourage and sponsor continuing education.
- Consider giving incentive pay, bonuses, profit-sharing, or other financial perks.
- Give employees a bonus for referring an employee.
Often overlooked, especially in the HVAC industry, is the importance of company culture. Though the phrase tends to be thrown around by gurus, it is significant. Think of your company culture as the common set of values and goals that you all share in your business. It also has to do with how you work and how you plan for the future.
Cultivating a solid company culture takes work, but one of the best things you can do as you begin developing these outlooks is to celebrate wins and successes, and reflect on obstacles and failures.
Create Repeatable Business Systems
As you begin to bring in more customers, you need to have repeatable business systems in place to scale your operations. Without planning for growth, you could end up creating piecemeal processes in your business that wreak havoc on productivity and add unneeded stress to your staff.
Ideally, you’ll want systems that communicate with each other and allow you to handle tasks like managing finances, marketing, hiring employees, communicating with customers, and scheduling.
Weave empowers HVAC companies to do all this, and more. It’s a communication platform for HVAC pros that functions as a complete business toolbox. The system functions well for both in-office staff and remote service technicians.
For example, a technician can call a customer from their mobile phone, and the person on the other end of the line will see your business info. A technician can collect payment via Text to Pay, or you can send a bill from the comfort of your home or office.
We’ve barely scratched the surface of what Weave can do to grow your HVAC business. Contact us to schedule a free demo. You’ll get to see Weave in action, and we’ll answer any questions you have about this powerful suite of business growth tools.