5 Ways HVAC Companies Can Handle the Slow Season
All businesses with seasonal lulls and peaks need to prepare for slow periods. In HVAC, business tends to drop off after people turn off their air conditioner or their furnace for the season. When it does, you have significantly less revenue but not significantly reduced costs. Some HVAC companies will cut their marketing efforts, but that can make their slow season even slower and allow their competitors to have more market share when things do heat up again. So, how do you make more in the slow season? Here are our tips on handling it.
1. Schedule Your Maintenance Calls
Focusing on selling maintenance contracts is wise for any HVAC business, as it helps you get steady work and maintain better relationships with customers. Maintenance should be done before your customer turns on their unit, so it is the perfect call for the slower seasons. Don’t leave it to customers; start calling them to schedule their maintenance a few weeks before your busy season ends, so you can for sure get them in before you get busy again.
2. Call Customers with Old Equipment
When the busy season starts, you tend to get calls from people who just turned on their air conditioner or furnace, only to realize that it isn’t working or isn’t efficient enough for them. While you can’t predict exactly who will need emergency work or a replacement, you can catch many of them if you call your customers with old equipment and offer them incentives to get the work done now. Have your technicians make a note of the age of the equipment during other calls, so you’ll have a great list to work on once things slow down.
3. Market New Installations
There are other opportunities for new installations that you can find during the off-season. People who are adding home additions, building custom homes, or doing major renovations may need new installations done. Shifting your marketing efforts towards them can help you make more sales. Plus, as these are typically time-consuming clients who need advice, its great to at least start the process with them before you get busy.
4. Optimize Your Business Practices
You don’t have a lot of time during your busy periods to think about whether you could be doing things a little more efficiently. During the off-season, you have time to refine your business practices and time to adjust to new systems so they are ready when you get busy. Some efficiencies you might look into include:
- Switching to accounting software that better integrates with other systems.
- Using a call answering and scheduling service.
- Adding customer relationship management software.
- Changing how you contact, track and interact with your technicians.
5. Handle Training, Hiring, etc.
Keeping good employees busy over the slow season can be tough. One great outlet is to plan your hiring and training for the slow seasons. Update technicians’ certifications or have them participate in extra training that can make them even more effective when you get busy.