An HVAC technician on an orange ladder troubleshoots a ceiling cassette in a commercial building.
Business Insider

How HVAC business training can help you succeed

The dream of owning a business is shared by millions of people. For HVAC contractors, that dream can become a reality very quickly. However, when it comes to navigating strategy and project management, some business owners fall short due to a lack of proper business training.

Discover how other HVAC contractors are taking advantage of continuing education to grow their businesses.

Online HVAC groups

Both current and upcoming business owners can benefit greatly from seeking out and participating in a wide variety of business-related courses or seminars. For Nick Berendt, an HVAC business owner working in the Chicagoland area, the motivation to get better at the business was personal.

“I started my business 17 years ago and had no formal business training,” he explained. “I had no business plan, no mission statement, nothing. A couple of years ago, I was stuck at about half a million dollars in revenue and knew something wasn’t right. That’s also when I found a group online of other HVAC contractors who were in similar situations looking for business training or best practices to help grow their businesses.”

Berendt joined the online group and immediately began taking marketing and customer service classes.

“I learned about brand awareness and how to advertise my business the right way by creating a style guide for social media posts, how to coordinate different ads for different social media sites, and the importance of logo design,” he said.

“Now I’m able to increase my advertising budget and take the money and allocate it in the proper places because I see what an extra five percent can bring in revenue.”

HVAC business training

For some business owners, the vast number of courses and programs offered can get overwhelming. Ruth King, a business training consultant, recommends starting with the basics, like:

  • Pricing

  • Budgeting

  • Financial statement analysis

  • Service management

  • Dispatch management

  • Installation management

  • Residential and commercial maintenance programs

“I recommend any business owner take advantage of business training because it gives you a head start,” King explained. “You won’t struggle as much, and the training gives you a roadmap to become and stay profitable, build wealth and achieve the goals you want to achieve.”

Monte Lewis, an independent training consultant, explained how business training is like learning any other skill.

“I do mostly workshops with distributors and contractors, and the main business skill to develop is customer service,” he says. “[As a business owner] you’re creating a customer service organization where everybody is giving good customer service. These skills are mostly in management and sales.”

General HVAC business tips and training

If you’re thinking about going directly to social media for business training or guidance, Berendt said to think again.

“There are a lot of fakes out there. I got lucky finding my business group online,” he explained. If you’re just starting out and don’t really know where to start, Berendt says it’s all about mindset and just talking to people.

“Don’t be afraid to speak with other contractors to learn their processes for advertising or ask business questions. I talk to a lot of contractors from all over like New York, Dallas, Canada and even New Zealand, and there’s no competition because they’re not in the same area.”

For King, the advice is simple: do the work.

“When you go to training, participate and do the homework. Then implement what you learn. If you don’t do that, you’ve wasted your time and money.”

“I call business training the great equalizer between large and small companies,” Lewis said. “It’s up to management to learn and create that great customer experience because the customer doesn’t care if you have 100 employees or four employees; it’s who’s performing better in the field.”

Get HVAC business training with Ferguson

Ferguson offers a range of seminars and workshops for HVAC contractors and managers to continue their education and grow profits. Explore HVAC business management training.