Wondering how to start a radiant heating and cooling business? We take you step-by-step from start to success.
Getting Started in Radiant HVAC
Radiant heating and cooling is a HVAC technology that has been praised by the U.S. Department of Energy (and others) for its energy efficiency and customer satisfaction. In contrast to baseboard or forced air HVAC systems, radiant HVAC radiates heat through panels located in floors, walls or ceilings, reducing the amount of wasted energy and providing consumers with a more uniform heating/cooling experience.
Many HVAC contractors offer radiant energy services alongside more traditional heating and cooling solutions. However, radiant technology requires a specialized skill set, so you'll need to make sure your startup is staffed by technicians who have been trained in radiant HVAC installation and repair.
Equipping a Radiant Heating & Cooling Startup
It's obvious that you'll need to secure startup capital before you can launch your radiant heating and cooling business. But the amount of startup capital you'll need depends partially on your ability to find good deals on the equipment it takes to properly outfit a radiant HVAC operation.
In addition to a standard list of HVAC power and hand tools, your startup will need to invest in an inventory of radiant heating systems. Although system components may vary slightly, plan to stock up on heat sources, hydronics control panels, supply & return materials and distribution system parts.
Tips for Becoming a Forward-Thinking Radiant Heat Provider
The U.S. energy industry is constantly changing and evolving to accommodate new technologies and processes. Since radiant heating and cooling is an important part of the larger energy industry, you'll need to make an effort to stay on top of industry developments and new technologies.
Membership in the Radiant Panel Association (RPA) and other trade groups can go a long way toward accessing industry news, training events and networking opportunities that are essential for new business owners in the radiant heating and cooling industry.
Characteristics of a Good Radiant Heating & Cooling Company Business Plan
Your radiant heating and cooling company's business plan should be tailored to your business's unique traits and goals. Yet good business plans universally hit on sound business plan elements:
- Mission Statement – A foundational statement of your company's direction and strategy.
- Goals & Objectives – Goals are broad targets; objectives are the tactics you'll use to reach your goals.
- Financial, Marketing & Action Plans – Specific plans that describe your business environment, demographic targets and quantitative estimates.
Take a Look at the Competition
Prior to opening a radiant heating and cooling business within your community, it's essential to determine how you will fit in the competitive landscape. Try our link below to find competitors near you. After clicking on the link, type in your city, state and zip code to get a list of radiant heating and cooling businesses near you.
If there's too much competition, it may be wise to consider starting the business in a less competitive marketplace.
Finding a Non-Competitive Business Mentor
If you are interested in starting a radiant heating and cooling business, the next step is to have a conversation with someone who is in the business. Local competitors are not going to give you the time of day, mind you. It'd be crazy for them to teach you the business.
However, a fellow entrepreneur who has started a radiant heating and cooling business outside of your community will be much more likely to talk with you, after they realize you reside far away from them and won't be stealing their local customers. In fact, they are often very willing to share startup advice with you. It can take a while to find an entrepreneur who is willing to talk, but it's well worth the effort.
How do you find a radiant heating and cooling business manager in another city who you can speak with?
Easy. Find them using our link below and start calling until you are successful.
Three Arguments for Buying a Radiant Heating & Cooling Business
At Gaebler, we think it makes a lot of sense to explore a radiant heating and cooling business purchase before committing to a startup.
You'll want to conduct a comprehensive due diligence process, but here are three arguments why you should think about buying instead of a startup.
- Proven Profitability. If you're careful in your research, the radiant heating and cooling business you buy will have a track record of profitability – a big plus since it may take months or even years for a startup to turn a profit.
- Established Operations & Processes. Existing businesses are established operations, with the necessary processes, people and other resources already in place.
- Capital Acquisition. Lenders, investors and other funding sources almost always prefer business purchases to startups.
Consider Buying a Franchise
The probabilities on your becoming a successful entrepreneur increase if you decide to franchise and benefit from the prior work of others and their lessons learned.
As part of your process in starting a radiant heating and cooling business, it's worthwhile to investigate whether there are good franchise opportunities available that might increase your chances of success.
The link below gives you access to our franchise directory so you can see if there's a franchise opportunity for you. You might even find something that points you in a completely different direction.
These additional resources regarding starting a business may be of interest to you.
If you currently own a radiant heating and cooling business, these resources will come in handy:
If you came here to learn about selling to radiant heating and cooling businesses, you're in the wrong place. These resources are more appropriate for you:
If you are interested in starting a different kind of business, please browse our directory of guides below.