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March 28, 2024

How to Grow Your HVAC Business In An Increasingly Competitive Industry

Building your brand, keeping up with trends, and providing online pricing can help your HVAC business stand out in a continuously growing industry.

How to Grow Your HVAC Business In An Increasingly Competitive Industry

The HVAC industry has seen significant change in the past few years. The pandemic increased demand for new systems, IAQ, and other upgrades. Then, post-pandemic, we saw a shift in demand from replacements and upgrades to maintenance and repairs.

Over the next 10 years, the HVAC industry is expected to keep growing. Experts expect to see growth in the areas of green HVAC and construction that will create 13% more HVAC jobs. So, how do you remain competitive in this growing market? Let’s take a look at some starting points.

Build Your Brand

Your brand is the foundation of your business. It tells people who you are before they even meet you, helps you stand out from the crowd, and can create a sense of loyalty. We see this with big brands all the time. Consider your buddy who would sooner die than drink a Pepsi over a Coke, for instance. Sure, you can argue that it’s a matter of taste, but it’s also a result of branding and marketing.

Now, we’re not saying to go out and create a rivalry with another local HVAC company. Instead, you can work on establishing your brand to make yourself memorable and stand out from the crowd. Maybe you have a primary brand color, like FTL Finance’s green. Work that color and logo into your company’s uniforms, even if it’s just a t-shirt. Over time, this branding will make your company more recognizable and identifiable.

Branding is more than your outside appearance, too. At FTL Finance, we’re always talking about the personalized service we provide for both contractors and homeowners. Each contractor has two dedicated team members they can contact for help. Because we’re a small business, we get to be more personal with our customers.

This is something you can incorporate and emphasize, too. Maybe you spend your downtime interacting with customers on social media or responding personally to each review. Investing time and thought into customer care can be just as impactful—if not more impactful—than spending money on marketing materials when building your brand.

Keep Up With Trends

We’ve discussed how much the HVAC industry has changed over the past few years and how things will keep changing. And as things keep changing, adapting to stay competitive is vital.

But unfortunately, there isn’t a set plan you can follow. We can’t tell you that everyone will be doing something next year, so you should, too. Keeping up with the trends requires observation and quick moves. When industry sources report on something, people could have already moved on to the next thing.

As the industry grows, the best way to remain competitive is to keep an eye on your competitors, especially the newer ones. What are they doing that’s different from what you’re doing? Is anyone else doing it? Should you be doing it? You don’t have to do everything the competition is doing, but consider the idea and do some research before dismissing it.

For example, cash discounts are a tried-and-true incentive for customers. But let’s say your competitor is advertising same-as-cash financing as an incentive. You do a little research and learn that about the same number of customers are interested in same-as-cash loans as cash discounts. With prices consistently rising and wages staying the same, offering flexible financing options may make more sense than a cash discount.

Provide Online Pricing And Payment Options

Pricing can be a controversial topic in all industries. Currently, only 80% of contractors don’t post their pricing online — and for a number of understandable reasons, such as being unable to provide an accurate quote and not wanting others to undercut them. However, 71% of customers are more likely to call contractors with online pricing for a quote than those without. With little competition in that area, it’s an easy way to make your business stand out.

Your online pricing doesn’t have to be exact; customers understand it probably isn’t. Consider listing a “starting at” price. Customers are already familiar with this pricing method, as it’s used for businesses like car dealerships and hair salons. They know that the end price will likely be higher, but a starting price gives them a general idea of what they can expect to pay and reduces sticker shock.

Another new, though maybe less controversial, pricing trend is offering financing to your customers. At least a third of contractors already offer financing options, but it’s not too late to hop on this trend. Customers are used to payment options now. They’re offered for everything, from home and car purchases to cell phones to online grocery orders. So, financing options are almost expected when it comes to a large, emergency purchase, like an HVAC repair or replacement. And since less than half of contractors currently offer financing, adding this option can help your business stand out.

Standing out in a competitive market can be difficult. But you can stay ahead of the curve by building your brand, acting on trends, and diversifying your payment options.

Stay ahead of the competition by offering financing.

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