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  1. #14
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    i guess what im saying is, if any of these things make you second guess yourself. use the next year to go to classes.

    maybe you need a hvac duct design class.... maybe a balancing class. maybe just a sales and accounting class..

    the big thing is to learn as much as you can. you wont have much free time when your on your own.

  2. #15
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    You want to run a 1 man show and service customers.... that is a good start.... my question is when something breaks when the 1 man is away does that not leave zero men to do the repair... am I missing something
    it was working.... played with it.... now its broke.... whats the going hourly rate for HVAC repair

  3. #16
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Paper Street Soap Company
    Quote Originally Posted by DeltaT View Post
    Never had a reason to say this...but if you are in the US I'd wait to see who wins the election. In the mean time I'd use this time to prepare for opening up your own company. And I mean working the figures realistically, figuring on how you are going to get business and what kind of business you can excel at.

    Once all that is figured out double the figures you came up with for costs of the first year at least. And reduce the income by half that you have calculated and see where that puts you.

    But wait. See if opportunity returns back this nation. If not hold on to all the cash you can.

    That's an excellent point. Its not about which candidate is going to be small business friendly its about are we going to have a economy left if Obama gets a second term.

    This is the guy that said the private sector was doing fine in a speech two days ago. The guys whose so indebted to his ideology that hes pushing for more government positions on a local and state level when States are practically bankrupt.

    He' a full on moron. I mean an Actual idiot. He's been insulated his whole life and closely tutored by revolutionaries who think the US is a failure in every way. His closest friends consider this country the enemy and that we're only a great power because we stole the wealth and bullied our way into power.

    As far as opening your own business it's not easy even in good economic times. People say start in the summer but Ive seen so many guys try that only to be working maybe 5 to 10 hours a week during the off season.

    People dont have a lot of money and are struggling depending on where your located just to make ends meet.

    You would be better off moving to a city like Houston where the economy is growing and good HVAC technicians are in demand.

  4. #17
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    New Zealand
    Before considering entering into business, you must understand the financial aspects of both business and personal.
    What are your personal responsibilities. Can you live with a negative income, will this effect anybody apart from your self. (wife and sprogs)
    Study your set up costs (van, tools, stock etc) then look at over head costs, phone, fuel, insurance, rent and so on. (less work the more these rise as you spend to find work), then look at cash flow. Can you afford to outlay money, whilst waiting for payment. Are you willing to accept failure and the consequences.
    If you are able to cover all costs with no income for a year, then this is a good time to start a business, as clients are more likely to look for someone different to offer a better value for money service. (this does not always mean cheaper). In good times clients tend to stick with what they know.

  5. #18
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Barrie, Ontario
    Other than the million other queries that we can get into, I have only two questions:

    1. Do you have enough customer base to start? Without it, you'll be sitting around a long time waiting for the phone to ring enough.

    2. Do you have enough ego to sell yourself and your capabilities to make a living? It is easy to sell someone Else's capabilities, but when it comes to our own, we hesitate.

    I started my business in 1985 and have been running this one-horse outfit full-time since 1992. It's a little harder to tell the boss he's an a$$ and that you quit, and there will be times...

    One thing I realize though; After 34 years in this trade, I'm just starting to get good

    Break a leg.
    Is this a Fabreze moment? C.Y.D. I'm voting white elephant. 2.
    My competition are my best salespeople!

  6. #19
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Current whereabouts unknown
    the nice thing about owning your own business is that you get to choose which 100 hours a week you want to work
    It matters not how strait the gate,
    How charged with punishments the scroll,
    I am the master of my fate:
    I am the captain of my soul.

    -- William Ernest Henley

  7. #20
    Join Date
    Jun 2012

    Growing my business

    So it has been 4 months since i started the thread and i can officially say that i own my own legitimate business. After going through all the government red tape to get licensed paying the THOUSANDS of dollars to get insured and bonded. It has officially been two months since i went legitimate. I can honestly say it is not as easy as you think and it is not as glamorous BUT i honestly have never been this happy working like i am now. You cannot buy freedom. My first month was awesome i was able pay for all business related expenses with my income. Second month started out slow and has remained slow.(october) I picked up a used sprinter for a real good deal and am now able to be more efficent. I Started doing advertising on flyers, angies list, craigslist all have been somewhat succesfull but word of mouth has been the best. I am looking for advice on how to grow my business even more? What have been your best tools/ideas for growing your business?

  8. #21
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    SW MO.
    I still dream of going out on my own . And if I did I would hand out business cards all over town to real estate agentsand construction companies .
    Realtors a lot of times when selling a home will need the hvac looked at.
    Construction co. may need an hvac guy for remodels or new construction.
    Also hit up small apt. complexes and rentals. They may not have a hvac guy on hand 24/7 and need a reliable and affordable tech on an as needed basis.
    Some donuts with your business card wouldn't hurt either.

  9. #22
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Scottsdale, AZ
    Quote Originally Posted by airman87 View Post
    I Started doing advertising on flyers, angies list, craigslist all have been somewhat succesfull but word of mouth has been the best. I am looking for advice on how to grow my business even more? What have been your best tools/ideas for growing your business?
    Who is your customer and what is your specialty?
    • Residential service, repair and replacement
    • Residential warranty
    • Residential new construction
    • Commercial service, repair and replacement
    • Commercial Refrigeration

    Have you created your brand?
    Who are you and how can prospective clients benefit by choosing you over other established companies?
    Do you have a slogan?
    What is your niche?
    What is your budget for advertising?

    Do you have any of the following?
    • Logo
    • Business cards
    • Brochures
    • Vehicle wrap
    • Website
    • Mobile website
    • Facebook
    • Twitter
    • Yelp
    • Yahoo Local
    • Bing Local
    • Google places
    • Google Plus
    • Google Adwords
    • Microsoft Adcenter
    • Superpages
    • Merchant Circle
    • YouTube videos

    Have your created a price book? Is it flat rate or T/M?
    Have you created your maintenance agreement plans?
    Do you accept credit cards?
    Do you offer financing?
    Do you have uniforms?
    What kind of warranties do you offer?
    Are your prices, warranties, and services competitive?
    Have you joined any networking groups like LeTp?
    Are you a member of the local BBB or Chamber of Commerce?
    Have you set-up any vendor associations with Real Estate companies? They have sales meetings and often invite vendors to speak.
    Have you considered telemarketing?
    Email campaigns via, constant contact, melissa data, etc...
    Do you offer any discounts or specials ex: military, senior, off-season, etc...
    Door hangers, radius marketing, yard signs, stickers, etc...
    Press releases?

    Have you considered a marketing campaign targeting your existing client base? This is typically the best and cheapest method since these are customers that have already chosen your company for service. Ask for referrals and reviews. Give special incentives and keep the advertising consistent. One or two times is not enough, you must consistently keep your brand in front of them. Calendars, magnets, etc...

    I think this is enough but I could keep going. If you have any questions about specifics feel free to ask me. I've done every single form of marketing and advertising that I've listed. Good luck with your new venture and I hope its a success!

  10. #23
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    I work for a small company were just over a year old and we found so far most of our clients are word of mouth and we get alot of help from going to BMI meetings. Its basicly a meeting that you go to for like an hour or something where you are the only hvac guy and make connections with people like real estate, insurance, carpenters ect ect small business owners. The object is to make connections and help the other small business owners as you would want them to help you by reffering each other. It has helped us so far so it might be something to look into

  11. #24
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Thanks for all the great input This is really great info and all great ideas. Word of mouth is really the best good quality work at fair price really goes a long way in this trade. I am have a logo i have business cards and just got a sprinter van that i will be getting stickers on the sides for extra exposure. Any ideas on how to setup a good maintenance plan with customers? Whats a good item that i can offer while im in the home to add to the bill? Filters? aircleaners? etc....

  12. #25
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Thanks for the reply. What was your most successful advertising outlet? Since i am a new business i am very tight with money so every penny that goes out needs to bring in a return. Ive already ruled out a few advertising forms like homeadvisor/servicemagic for example were a waste of $200.00 with really no return just breaking even.

  13. #26
    You would be better off moving to a city like Houston where the economy is growing and good HVAC technicians are in demand.
    Yes, they are always in demand here in Harris County. I thought about opening an auto HVaC business, but after I went through what was required locally/state and Obamacare I decided against it. Went to work offshore as a Electrician/HVAC tech and make good money only working 6 months out of the year.

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