There are lots of perks to having your own business and being your own boss, and surprisingly going from being a highly skilled tradesman to owning your own HVAC business can be fairly straightforward - although there are a few things to consider in the list below.
Write a business plan
Writing a business plan lets you put your thoughts on paper and help you get organised and prepare for the initial set-up of the business. To get started have a think about what you want to focus on, do you want to deal directly with the public or are you going to specialise in commercial work? Take into consideration the competition and local demand when making your decision.
A good business plan will also include some market research and detail on the target audience, how you intend to market your business, consideration of costs and an overview of finances and how the business will make money.
If you’re hoping to take out a bank loan to help fund the start-up of the business, then it’s crucial to have a detailed business plan. This helpful government guide has templates, examples and guidance on how to write a strong business plan.
Register Your Business
You’ll need to register your HVAC business, just like any other in the UK. You’ll have to decide whether you want to register as a sole trader or a limited company. Limited companies tend to be those that start bigger, so the most feasible choice when just starting out is to register as a sole trader. However, if you’re starting a business with someone else you might consider registering as a partnership.
You’ll also need to decide on a name for your company when registering which can be trickier than it seems.
Invest in Equipment
Like most businesses, starting up an HVAC company will require some initial investment into supplies and equipment. Specialist HVAC materials are an obvious first investment, but other things to consider are general business needs, like a computer, invoicing software and ePOS system.
The biggest expense in the trades industry is likely to be a van, for transport to and from jobs and for carrying HVAC materials.
Moving from being employed to having your own business means insurance is probably something you’ve never considered before, as its normally covered by the business owner. Having the right insurance in place can give you peace of mind that if something does go wrong, you’ll be covered and don’t have to worry about paying any costs through the business.
There are lots of insurance types to consider like personal accident insurance, business equipment insurance and employers liability insurance if you hire staff. However, the most worthwhile for those in the HVAC business is public liability insurance, which covers accidental injury or property damage.
Consider the size
When you’re just starting out it isn’t likely you’ll need to hire employees or set up an office, but if you plan to take on larger contracts or require an office for admin work then investing in either of these might be something to consider.
Plan your Marketing
Marketing is all about reputation, and in service type trades, word-of-mouth is often the best form of marketing. Creating online platforms where people can share their experiences, like business accounts on social media, helps carry the message and form reviews that help generate new customers.
It’s also a good idea to invest in a website and search marketing to generate leads when consumers are searching for HVAC services in your area. Other traditional marketing methods, like putting an ad in the paper or on the local radio or having marketing on the side of the van, can also be effective approaches.