If you’re thinking of starting your own HVAC business, a business plan is vital to running your business smoothly and efficiently.
An HVAC business plan is a document you put together that outlines what you need to get your business off the ground. It acts as your business’ guidebook and it can help prepare you for the inevitable roadblocks you’ll encounter as an entrepreneur.
But it’s more than just an outline of your financials. It includes your services, your personnel plan, and your marketing and sales strategy. If you plan on getting funding, your business plan will help investors decide whether or not to back your business.
Dig into this guide to learn why every growing HVAC business needs a business plan and how to prepare your own by using our free business plan template.
Why do I need an HVAC business plan?
Entrepreneurs are motivated, passionate, and competitive. HVAC entrepreneurs are no different. You’re eager to start your business and get to work. It can be tough to take a step back and work out the unknowns of your business.
While it may seem like a boring administrative task, putting your HVAC business plan together is time well spent. In the long run, you’ll be happy you thought through your business before getting your hands dirty.
Here’s why making a business plan is necessary:
1. A business plan helps you get funding
You know as well as anyone that starting an HVAC business can be expensive. From licensing and certification fees to buying equipment, you’re going to need capital to help get your business off the ground.
That’s why many entrepreneurs seek investor funding or loans.
A well-thought-out business plan backs up your case to investors. It shows you’re business-minded and it’s your chance to make a compelling argument for how their investment will help your business succeed.
Preparing your financial plan also forces you to think through your own investment. You might find that once you’ve written out your business plan, you may be investing too much money or not enough.
2. It gives your startup focus and reduces risk
It’s tempting to start installing air conditioners and taking maintenance calls, but remember that a business plan is your company’s blueprint.
A written plan will help you spot any gaps and anticipate where you might encounter roadblocks.
It also gives you the chance to set objectives and benchmarks for your business. Rather than going straight to work, give yourself a guide for where you want to take your business and the ways you plan to get there.
Most importantly, being an entrepreneur is risky. You’re putting it all on the line to make your business succeed. Although risk-taking comes with entrepreneurship, risk should always be calculated.
This is when a business plan comes in to bring insight to your new venture. You’ll leave less up to chance so you get a clear picture of how your business will run.
How do I write an HVAC business plan?
The easiest way is to use and follow a business plan template. You can use this business plan template which includes the nine most important features for HVAC businesses.
Remember, your business plan is a living document that you should update as your HVAC business grows. Don’t worry about it being perfect right away. It just has to be simple and informative enough so you can start your business on the right foot.
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HVAC business plan template
Your HVAC business plan should include these nine elements:
- Cover page
- Executive summary
- Business overview
- List of services
- Market analysis
- Business operations
- Marketing and sales
- Financial plan
1. Cover page
Your cover page should include all the key information about your business: your business name, logo, your name, your role, business address, and contact information.
2. Executive summary
The executive summary is a one page summary of your business plan.
It should contain:
- Your business partners or partner and why you make a strong business team (If applicable)
- If you’re looking for funding, indicate how much money you need for your business
- Your competitive advantage: what sets you apart from the HVAC competition in your market?
3. Business overview
Your business overview section covers:
- Your mission statement, your purpose, and your business vision
- 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
- Long term and short term goals
- Where your business will operate from
4. List of HVAC Services
Write down all of the HVAC services you plan to offer in this section.
When laying this out, consider the equipment you have available to you and any equipment you may need. Think about what your competition is offering and the market you’re operating in.
For example, here are the services 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
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5. Market analysis
Every business plan requires a market analysis section to help you evaluate your competition, see why they might be successful, and figure out how your business can do things better.
Think about who your target market is and research your competition. Then, add the answers to the following questions into your business plan:
- Who is your ideal customer and what are their demographics?
- Age, income
- Their wants and needs specific to your business and service offerings
- The size of your target market
- Are there many well-established competitors in your area?
- Who are your top competitors?
- What are their HVAC services?
- What is their team size?
- What are they charging for similar services?
- Why would someone choose to book your services over your competitors (and vice versa)?
Summarize the results of your research in the market analysis section.
6. Business operations
In this section, you’ll connect the dots to your business plan and detail what you’ll use to get the work done. This includes:
- Your administrative personnel plan (who you’ll hire, if applicable): Add in how much you’ll need to pay yourself, what the cost of labor is in your city, and how much you’d need to pay your operations employees.
- HVAC equipment and tools you need to get the job done e.g. hammer, screwdrivers, pliers, wire strippers, tape measure, cordless drill, step ladder, etc.
- HVAC operations management software you’ll use to collect client information, book jobs, schedule work efficiently, and create invoices.
- Whether or not you’ll hire subcontractors or employees to help you get the job done.
READ MORE: Unsure of the difference between subcontractors and employees? In this guide, we’ll walk you through the biggest differences between the two, which is best for you, and how they could affect your business.
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7. Marketing and sales
Your marketing and sales plan is what gets your business out there to your potential customers.
In this section of your business plan, limit your HVAC marketing plan to a few tactics to start with. It can be overwhelming to think about all the marketing channels at your disposal. State how each tactic will be used to help you find and acquire HVAC leads.
Build your website
For starters, you can build your HVAC business website. Investing time and money into your website is one of the smartest investments you can make. In this section, stress how your website will be your primary marketing tool to show leads why they should book HVAC services with you and expand on how you’ll use your website to convert those leads.
Experiment with Google LSAs
Local Service ads (LSA) on Google is a type of digital ad that caters to local businesses in certain industries like HVAC. They feature more prominently, appearing above search results and Google Ads. Explain how Google LSA can be a cost-effective ad tactic as you pay per lead, rather than per click (CPC) targeting local customers. This will help your marketing to be more specific and targetted.
Create your Facebook page
Another affordable marketing tactic is to create a Facebook business page. It’s free, easy, and a professional way for customers to find you, see your service offering, and book a service with you.
In your business plan, include roughly how much you would spend on each of these marketing tactics and how they can be used to get paying customers.
8. Financial plan
If you’re looking for funding, you can expect that a potential investor will be most interested in this section of your business plan. Your financial plan should include:
- Sales forecast: Where do you see your sales month after month?
- Personnel costs: If you’re hiring employees or subcontractors, how much will this cost you? Plus, you should also list the skills they must have to work for you (any HVAC licenses or certifications). Refer to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics for HVAC contractors for more salary information.
- Budget for expenses: Look at the equipment you need and how much it will cost.
Indicate how much all of this would cost your business for the next year. To take this a step further, you can estimate how much it would cost for the next two to three years.
Finally, your business plan summary. This where you tie your whole business plan together.
There’s a lot to summarize, but the goal is to keep it short and sweet. You should recap your funding requirements (if applicable), why and how your HVAC business will make money, and your unique selling proposition.
This is also your chance to thank your reader for looking at your plan and considering your business for funding.
Prepare your HVAC business plan
If the thought of preparing your business plan is scarier than starting your business, fear not. With this template, you can easily and confidently write your business plan so that you’re ready for the future.
It’ll help you anticipate risk and stay focused on your goals. As your roadmap, you’ll realize that the time you put into creating your HVAC business plan will continue to pay off.