How to Run a HVAC Business: 7 Management Tips
A successful HVAC business takes more than great technicians and a business plan—you need to run an efficient and organized operation every day. With better management techniques, you’ll be able to schedule more jobs, impress customers, and grow your HVAC company.
Learn how to run a successful HVAC business with these seven tips for more efficient day-to-day operations—from scheduling and coordinating with your team to keeping customers happy.
7 most important HVAC business management tips:
Create flexible team schedules
Dispatch and route your team efficiently
Let your team access job and client details from anywhere
Use checklists to ensure high-quality work every time
Send professional, detailed estimates
Make invoicing and payment collection easier
Keep customers informed throughout the job
1. Create flexible team schedules
Manage your HVAC service visits more effectively with an online schedule that’s easy to edit and share with your team.
Here’s how to successfully create and manage an HVAC schedule that helps you schedule jobs faster:
• Use an editable calendar that lets you quickly move service visits when you need to reschedule jobs or reassign one to a different technician. A drag and drop calendar, like this one in Jobber, makes it easier to squeeze in emergency service calls when they come up:
• Keep your crew informed on scheduling changes. Use a job scheduling tool that sends automatic automatic team reminders to let your HVAC techs know as soon as a job is added to their schedule—or if an existing visit gets rescheduled.
• Personalize your calendar with color coding and filters to quickly see what’s important. To get a clear view of your team’s availability and prevent mistakes like double booking, Jobber lets you choose from five different views—including a weekly view like this:
2. Dispatch and route your team efficiently
Before each work day, plan out how you’ll dispatch your technicians to their jobs. Planning out routes in advance will help you spend less time on the road, save fuel, fit more work in the day, and profit more.
Here’s how to improve your HVAC dispatching using the tools you have:
- Create a list of your visits and pin them on an online map. Add your service visit locations to Google Maps as location pins. These pins give you a bird’s-eye view of customer properties so you can plan out the fastest route between locations.
- If you’re dispatching multiple vans in a day, group your pinned locations into regions that each vehicle can cover. If you get an emergency service call, you’ll be able to quickly dispatch whichever crew is closest to that location.
Or, you could save time by using a route optimization tool. Route optimization software like Jobber will automatically create the most efficient schedule for your crews based on the location of each visit.
Then when service techs arrive at the job site, an organized HVAC van setup will help them find the tools they need faster.
Track your team with GPS to manage delays
Knowing where your technicians are throughout the day can help you assign nearby team members to last-minute emergency calls. You can also use GPS tracking to check that every technician makes it to the job site—and to keep customers informed about possible delays.
3. Let your team access job and client details from anywhere
If you’re managing an HVAC team, coordinating properly with technicians and estimators is crucial to every job’s success. A skilled HVAC business owner can communicate effectively with their crew without getting stuck on the phone all day.
To share details about jobs and customers with your crew—without anything slipping through the cracks—store it all in your client relationship management system (or CRM).
Your CRM should store each customer’s contact information, job history, and maintenance agreements. Keep notes and attachments linked to every service visit to record specific details about the job.
When your technician is on the job site, they’ll be able to quickly access every detail from the customer’s file. These notes will help your team to do their best work and provide personalized customer service that keeps customers coming back.
4. Use checklists to ensure high-quality work every time
Any HVAC technician can slip up or forget a step in the project—it’s normal, but preventable. Using job checklists, you can make sure your team completes consistent, high-quality work every time and prevent callbacks.
Create a standard inspection checklist for all types of HVAC jobs, like furnace repairs or ductwork replacement, then customize it to fit different HVAC systems. Or, create a protocol checklist that helps you follow your manufacturers’ preventative maintenance schedules.
Here’s an example of a digital checklist created with Jobber that your technicians can take with them to the job site:
Attach checklists to specific jobs so they stay in each customer’s job history. Then, you can easily email your client the completed checklist if they want you to share it—and that’s proof that you’ve done the job thoroughly.
5. Send professional, detailed estimates
Whether you have a team of estimators or it’s just you, you can do more profitable HVAC work when you spend less time building out estimates. Save time by building your service estimates with a reusable template.
Once you or your estimator is done planning the work and estimating costs, plug all that info into an HVAC estimate template that’s professional and easy to read.
Jobber’s estimate template lets you add your services, pricing, product photos, and estimate terms and conditions to a professional-looking document like this one:
When you create an estimate in Jobber’s job quoting software, you can add item descriptions and photos to describe your work and show the units you’re installing.
By setting clear expectations for your customer with a detailed estimate, you can prevent callbacks and confusion.
READ MORE: Use our free HVAC installation checklist
Once you’ve created and sent your professionally designed estimate, follow these steps to get the work started faster:
1. Send multiple follow-up emails. Close the sale faster by setting up two or three standard quote follow-up emails that remind your client to approve the estimate:
2. Collect a signature online. Let your customers approve the estimate from their phone or computer—it’ll save time for you and them. In a self-service portal like Jobber’s client hub, a customer can easily sign your estimate or pay a deposit from any device.
3. Keep estimate details handy when the job starts. All the information from the estimate should be in a clean record that your technicians can see when they’re on site. In Jobber, you can convert your approved estimate into a job in a few clicks—then schedule the job immediately.
6. Make invoicing and payment collection easier
When you make it easy for HVAC customers to receive and pay invoices, you can get paid faster and improve cash flow. That makes it easier to invest in your company’s success.
You can instantly improve your HVAC invoicing by:
- Learning how to write an invoice that’s accurate, professional, and easy to read
- Setting up a process to follow up on unpaid invoices
You can use Jobber’s HVAC software to track which invoices are sent or outstanding and get reminders to send invoices for jobs you’ve just finished.
Then get your invoices paid faster by offering multiple payment options, including:
• Credit card payments, in-person or online using instant credit card processing software
• Bank payments as a fast, convenient alternative to checks
• Recurring payment processing so you can automatically bill your clients for quarterly or annual HVAC maintenance
7. Keep customers informed throughout the job
When you keep your customers updated at all stages of the job, you give them peace of mind that you’re getting the work done. It shows you’re responsible, professional, and trustworthy.
Follow this schedule to communicate with each customer consistently:
• A few days before the job, send an appointment reminder email to prepare them for your service visit. Include instructions to help them remove any obstacles to your work.
• On the first day of the job, send a quick text message saying you’re on your way or running late. This can prevent last-minute cancellations and keeps customers confident that you’ll be there.
• A week after the job, follow up with an email to check if your customer’s HVAC system is working the way it should. Checking on customer satisfaction after a visit shows that you care and gives you the chance to make any corrections.
Feeling ready to run a more successful HVAC business? Start testing out these management tips and keep looking for opportunities to create more efficiency.
Soon you’ll be managing jobs, customers, and teams like the best in the HVAC industry.
Want to go even deeper on this topic? Listen to the Masters of Home Service Podcast Episode 11: How to Run a Highly Efficient Business.
Originally published in May 2020. Last updated on November 17th, 2022.