Is an HVAC Franchise right for you?
For anyone who goes through the rigors of an HVAC education and training likely has the end goal of one day owning their own HVAC company. While that may not be the first step post-graduation (it is probably a good idea that you work in the industry for a while first) the appeal of having your own business is certainly something every technician should aspire to one day.
Of course, it takes a lot to get there, including lots of certifications and additional training and education on not just HVAC, but successfully running a business. That can take a lot of time and money, let alone the personal investment of running a business.
That is why, for many, a first logical step in the right direction of opening up an HVAC business for yourself is joining and opening an HVAC franchise location.
Opening a franchise location makes a lot of sense for many HVAC professionals, but it also comes with a number of considerations that have to be taken into account as well. Just like opening a business of your own, joining a nationwide franchise is a big decision.
If you are considering joining and opening an HVAC franchise, here are some of the pros and cons that come with the territory you should consider.
Get a taste for running a business
Many of those opening HVAC franchises have only ever worked as a technician or installer for another company and have never had any experience running a business. One of the perks of opening a franchise location is the availability of support and operational help, so franchisees can get a taste for running their own business with the backing of a large franchise.
Franchises often have conversion teams to offer on-site instructions and mentoring for the first several months to help the new owner get up to speed with franchise operations. If you have never run a business before, joining a franchise can help teach you a lot.
Access to great resources
When you run your own HVAC business, you are left on your own for just about everything: advertising, equipment purchases, prospecting, etc. Doing all of the things necessary to running a business and finding new customers is a full-time job on its own. With a franchise, you’ll often have much needed help on all these fronts.
Most franchises give you access to a wide range of marketing tools and assets to help with advertising, as well as that franchise’s customer database to help you keep and grow your customer base.
One of the toughest things for an HVAC business just starting out is earning the trust of local customers. Buyers are (and should) be very particular and weary about who they do business with. For a company just starting out that they have never heard of, this can be a tough task.
The advantage of opening a franchise location is that you more than likely get to skip that uncomfortable step in the process. Their well-established business means it is very likely that they (or someone they know) has hired your franchise before, heard an advertisement on the radio, or seen you on TV. That name recognition goes a long way in earning trust in your company.
You aren’t your own boss
One of the biggest appeals of starting and owning your own business is the satisfaction of being your own boss. As the owner, you get to control every aspect of your business from the name to even what the colors on your trucks are. You don’t have to answer to anyone but yourself. In a franchise, you don’t get this luxury.
While opening a franchise puts you in charge of the location, at the end of the day it is not entirely your business. You still report to the higher ups in the franchise, don’t have control over the name, colors, and much in the way of larger decisions. If being your own boss is important to you, a franchise doesn’t offer complete freedom.
Change can be difficult on current business owners
Franchising isn’t just an option for new business owners. Many businesses opt to join a franchise in order to take advantage of the support and resources they offer. This can be a good move for a rising business who needs assistance fulfilling their potential. However, anyone considering this route should be mindful that change is going to have to happen, whether you like it or not.
For many established business owners, the transition can be difficult to swallow as they see things about their business they once had total control over change without the ability to stop it. Joining a franchise is not necessarily a bad move, but as the owner you need to acknowledge that there are going to be changes and accept them.
HVAC Franchise fees
The process of opening an HVAC franchise location isn’t as simple as just calling them up and getting started. In order to join the franchise, you’ll need to offer up a franchising fee upfront in order to begin.
Franchising fees vary from franchise to franchise, but are often several thousands of dollars, a similar investment to what it takes to start a business of your own. In order to open an HVAC franchise location, you will need to approach the process very similarly to how you would if you were opening your own business.
All in all, opening a franchise location for an HVAC company can be very rewarding and beneficial for business owners starting out (or looking for a change) but does come with its own demands that must be met. Just like starting your own business, it takes time, effort, and serious planning to make sure the process goes smoothly and works out for both sides.
Ready to begin your HVAC career? The Training Center of Heating and Air Conditioning is the perfect place to learn everything you need to know about the industry, beginning your career, finding your first job, and maybe even opening your own business here in the Houston, Texas area.
Learn more about our upcoming schedule of classes today.