If you’ve been working as an HVAC field technician long enough, it might have crossed your mind to consider starting your own business to set your own schedule or increase your salary. You’re not alone in that thought. The HVAC business is booming in the United States, with current projections stating that the industry will add more than 15,000 new jobs by 2029.
But before you start searching online for HVAC business ideas and developing a plan to start a company and hire several employees, consider what a one man HVAC business could mean for you. Being your own boss comes with a lot of perks—and some important downsides to understand as well. This article will discuss what it means to run your own one man HVAC business and how to get started.
Running a One Man HVAC Business
Exactly what is a one man team? A “one man team” is a phrase used to describe an owner-operator business. That means the owner is the sole employee and is responsible for all the different parts of the business. In the case of a one man HVAC business, the owner is responsible for all the HVAC-specific parts of the business—such as sales, repairs, and installations—in addition to more standard business responsibilities like scheduling, bookkeeping, inventory management, customer service, and more.
There are many benefits to running a one man HVAC business. Owner-operators can:
- Enjoy higher profit margins since they do not have salaries for other employees
- Keep prices competitive since the overhead for employee salaries is lower than larger teams
- Stay on top of updates and business developments since they are the sole employee
- Avoid managing a team of employees and spend more time out in the field
However, there can be drawbacks to a one man team, including:
- Having to manage every aspect of the business, including all office tasks
- Limiting the ability to grow and take on more customers due to time constraints
- Juggling on-site jobs and customer service calls at once
Many successful one man teams remain owner-operator businesses for years, with the owner successfully taking care of all aspects of their business. But, one man HVAC businesses can grow and expand, too. As your business grows, you could consider bringing in administrative staff to take care of customer service, scheduling, and billing responsibilities. Or, you could bring in a second technician to support additional field services. The sky’s the limit to grow your own man business from the ground up.
How to Start an HVAC Business
Like most businesses, starting a successful HVAC business requires a solid foundational plan, as well as upfront money, tools, and more. Entrepreneurs looking to start their own one man HVAC business should follow these basic steps.
- Make a plan. A good business plan should identify your business structure. What service area(s) will you cover, what kinds of repairs and installations will you take on, and what will your working hours be? Ideal HVAC business ideas for a one man business might include focusing on one element—such as air conditioning—to keep your business plan streamlined. Additionally, your plan should account for financial obligations, revenue projections based on the target market, a marketing strategy, and market research and insights into local competition.
- Understand your strengths and weaknesses. While you’re already skilled at the technical side of HVAC, what level of business acumen do you possess? Will you need assistance from an outsourced bookkeeper or a third-party website developer to get started? Understand the requirements of owning a business and seek help from other professionals or software solutions as you need it.
- Determine upfront costs. To start a successful one man HVAC business, you’ll need equipment and tools, inventory, marketing materials, liability insurance and other required certifications. Determine how much you’ll need upfront, and look into small business loans and other financial assistance programs designed to help entrepreneurs get their business off the ground.
- Know the laws. What certification is needed for HVAC contractors in your area? Depending upon where your business will be located, there are different licenses and certifications issued by HVAC certification boards and societies. Learn about these state and local laws, and ensure you’re properly credentialed before getting started.
Manage your HVAC Business Requirements with Circle City Software Solutions
If you are a one man HVAC business owner, your time is precious. That’s why we at Circle City Software Solutions recommend Acumatica for HVAC field service management. With Acumatica, you can unify your business into a single, seamlessly integrated software solution. View your entire business from a single screen, including live activity, cash requirements, customer interactions, sales reports, revenue reporting, involving and collection alerts, service calendars, and more. If you decide to grow your business, Acumatica can grow with you, providing customized snapshots for owners, dispatchers, technicians, office staff, and more. Contact us today to learn more about Acumatica.