Would you say you have a successful HVAC business? As a small business, it may not always be immediately clear whether you can define your organization as a winner. At Sensible HVAC Wholesale, we work with hundreds of HVAC contractors all over the nation, so we know what it takes to say you’ve made it.
Here’s one thing we know for sure: success is not an opinion. Business owners should be tracking real data about their business. Understanding how your business is performing is critical to measuring your success. Plus, numbers don’t lie! Here are some ideas of what you should be tracking:
Finances – As all fans of the TV show “Shark Tank” know, you have to know your numbers. Revenue, expenses, debt, and profit are all critical to being informed about your business. At a minimum, you should run these numbers on a monthly, quarterly, and yearly basis.
Customer Satisfaction – Tracking your customer ratings from an online review site or from an internal system is an important metric in business success. As an HVAC business owner, customer satisfaction is essential to understanding whether you are successful.
Customer Acquisition – How are people finding out about your business? By tracking how customers find out about you, you can gain valuable insights into where to invest time and marketing dollars.
Time – Do you know the average amount of time spent on a job? How many hours per week do you spend in your car? What is your average rate of callbacks? Understanding how you and your team spend your time is a surefire way to boost productivity.
You can (and should!) also track a variety of other metrics. For example, employee satisfaction, sales data, and types of projects are all helpful pieces of information. You might also consider tracking marketing figures. Even if you’re not investing heavily in marketing, you can still track how your website and social media perform using free tools.
Once you have data in hand, you can combine that with the knowledge you have of your own business to determine your success. Here are 5 ways you’ll know for sure if your business is successful:
You’re Profitable – You saw this one coming. Your business is successful if you can maintain profitability. A business that makes money is one that is viable. So, this is an easy call. Stay profitable, stay successful.
Customers Refer Your HVAC Business – Whether you have a 5-star rating on Yelp or a majority of your new customers come from referrals, getting business from referrals is the highest compliment. Plus: referrals cost you exactly nothing. Translation? Providing quality service is the best form of marketing.
You Can Walk Away – One of the best ways to know your HVAC business is successful is if you’re able to walk away from a customer that isn’t a good fit. When your business is young, you’re more likely to take on any job to make some cash. More mature businesses can step away from a client that is more trouble than they are worth.
You Offer a Consistent Experience – People love to know what they’re getting before they get it. After all, that’s why fast-food chains are so successful. As you grow your business and hire more staff, it can be challenging to control the customer experience. Regular training and communication about the customer’s HVAC service experience is almost a guaranteed route for success.
Measure against competitors – Depending on your market, HVAC dealers may be a dime a dozen. As you evaluate whether you are successful, look to see how your competition is fairing. One helpful insight that you might gain from keeping tabs on the other guys is understanding the market. For example, if everyone’s business is down, it might just be a lull or just the weather. You may not be doing anything wrong!
Ultimately, defining the success of your business is up to you as the owner. Many HVAC business owners say they are successful if they have trucks full of happy techs. Other people think their close rates need to be above-average. But consider for a moment: how do you feel about your business? If your numbers are solid and you’re happy with the state of your operation, then your answer is pretty simple: your HVAC business is successful!