Whether you’re starting an HVAC business or planning major changes for your existing company, you need an HVAC business plan.

A business plan helps you compete in your market, get more customers, manage your spending, and prepare for obstacles. If you need funding, your business plan will also convince investors to back your business.

Follow this guide and download our free HVAC business plan template to prepare your own.

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1. Cover page and table of contents

A professional-looking and easy-to-read business plan is important if you’re trying to get funding. Start your business plan with:

  1. A cover page that includes your business’s logo, address, contact details, and the date you created the document.
  2. A table of contents to help readers see what’s in the business plan and skip ahead to specific sections. (If your HVAC business plan is only a few pages long, you can skip this step.)

READ MORE: How to manage HVAC maintenance contracts like a pro

2. Executive summary

The executive summary is a short overview of your entire business plan. Use this section to describe the people and goals behind your business, as well as what readers can expect from your plan.

Here’s what you should include in your executive summary:

  • Company history: How did you start your HVAC business? Who are your business partners (if you have any) and what makes you a strong team?
  • Mission and values: Why does your business exist? What do you want it to become? What qualities are important to you in a service team?
  • Business goals: What do you want to accomplish in the coming year? What does success look like for your business?
    Competitive advantage: What sets you apart from the HVAC competition in your market?

Keep your executive summary short (less than one page)—the rest of your business plan will give all the detail your readers need.

READ MORE: HVAC industry trends to watch this year

3. Business overview

Your business overview sums up the kind of HVAC work your business does and how it operates. In other words, it describes your HVAC business model.

Here’s what you should include in your HVAC business description:

  • The problems your business is solving for your customers
  • The legal structure of your business (sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation, etc.)
  • Your legal and trade name (if you’re operating under a different name than what’s on your business license)
  • Where your business will operate from
  • Assets that will help you run your business (like a van, garage, phones, and computers)
  • Startup costs (all your assets, plus office supplies, marketing materials, and HVAC business software)

READ MORE: How to get HVAC certified

4. HVAC services list

Write down all of the HVAC services you plan to offer, and how often you’ll be servicing customers. For example, you might offer:

  • Furnace repair
  • Furnace tune-up and maintenance
  • Furnace installation
  • Air conditioning repair
  • Air conditioning tune-up and maintenance
  • Air conditioning installation
  • Tankless water heater installation

Your services will vary depending on what your competition is offering and what your target clients need most.

As you write your service list, take note of what equipment you already have and what you need to complete these services. Save this list for the financial planning section of your business plan.

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5. HVAC pricing

Now that you know your core services, use your business plan to show how you’ll price those services to keep your company profitable.

Use this section to describe your HVAC pricing strategy, including:

  • Your hourly rate (with and without employee pay)
  • Overhead and equipment costs
  • Any adjustments for special services and materials
  • Your goals for operating profit margins and gross margins
  • All taxes and fees

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6. Market analysis

Your market analysis evaluates two key things: who your target clients are and who you’re competing with. Try to answer these questions in your HVAC business plan:

  • Client demographics: Who is your ideal customer? What’s their age, annual income, and the types of services they look for? Are they looking for residential or commercial HVAC services?
  • Competitor analysis: Are there many well-established competitors in your area? Who are your top competitors? What are they doing well and what can you do better?

Understanding your ideal clients and top competitors early on helps you adjust your HVAC business model to provide the best service possible.

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7. Marketing and sales strategy

Your marketing and sales plan helps you promote your business to the right people with the right strategies.

In this section, list your current sales and marketing tactics, as well as any new ones you’ll be using this year, like:

If you have sales staff, list the number of sales employees you have (or still need), their responsibilities and compensation, and your training and tactics for sales calls.

Explain how each marketing tactic will help you get HVAC leads, then estimate how much you plan to spend on each. (e.g., $940 to print postcards, $150 for a DIY website).

READ MORE: 10 best HVAC marketing strategies

8. Employee planning

Budgeting and planning for labor is crucial to your HVAC business plan, even if you work alone. If you do decide to hire, include these details in your employee planning section:

  • How many subcontractors or employees you need
  • Time, effort, and cost to hire HVAC workers
  • How many jobs you typically have per week
  • How much revenue you need to make from each job
  • Local labor rates and cost of living
  • Employees’ hourly wages or salaries

READ MORE: When and how to hire your first employee

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9. Financial planning

If you’re looking for funding, this section is the most important for potential investors. Your financial plan should include:

  • Sales forecast: Where do you see your sales month after month?
  • Personnel costs: If you’re hiring HVAC workers, how much will this cost you? What skills do they need to work for you (HVAC certification, licenses, work experience)?
  • Overhead and equipment expenses: What HVAC tools and equipment do you need, and how much do they cost? What are your monthly overhead costs?

Indicate how much all of this would cost your business for the next year. To take this a step further, you can estimate your costs for the next two to three years.

Ready to make your HVAC business plan?

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Why do I need an HVAC business plan?

When you start an HVAC business, creating an HVAC business plan helps you:

  1. Set goals and initiatives. A business plan is your company’s blueprint. When you set objectives and ways to measure your success, you and your team will know what decisions are best for your company.
  2. Reduce risk. You can prepare for future problems when you plan out how to tackle them. Your business plan gives you a bird’s eye view of your competitors, market, and potential threats to your success.
  3. Get funding. A detailed business plan gives banks, investors, and other financial supporters the information they need to give you funding. It’s your chance to make an argument for how their investment will help your business succeed.

If you’re several years into your business, it’s not too late to make a plan—to or update your existing one. Planning and adjusting your HVAC business model, goals, and strategies will help you plan for the future you want to reach.

You’re ready to draft your HVAC business plan

Now, you can confidently use our HVAC business plan template to examine every part of your business, identify the gaps you need to work on, and help you focus on the big picture.

Once your business plan is finished you’re ready to start winning more clients and running a successful HVAC business.

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Originally published in May 2020. Last updated on September 14, 2022.