When we approach the end of the year, we tend to ask ourselves the same questions: how will things go for my company? And, in the case of HVAC business, what obstacles will be waiting for me?
Firstly, let’s start with the good news: the HVAC business has a positive outlook.With the hot summers and freezing winters we’re having lately all across the country, it’s likely people will still need heating, ventilation and air conditioning services for a while. In fact, according to the Department of Labor, more than 46,000 new jobs will be created in this field in the next ten years.
Now, the not-so-good news: turns out there may not be enough workers to fill those jobs. At least, not skilled enough for this kind of position. And besides the limited workforce, there are other challenges coming up in 2020. As being aware of them is the best way to success, here’s what to expect in the HVAC business for next year!
HVAC technicians shortage
The reasons behind the shortage of skilled HVAC workers still remain unclear. Is it because school counselors don’t encourage teens to pursue this career? Maybe because a high percentage of apprentices fail to obtain their licenses? Or perhaps the HVAC business is not as sexy as other skilled trades, such as telecommunications?
The answer is probably not just one, but a combination of factors. In any case, the truth is that it’s getting increasingly harder to find HVAC technicians, as the number of new people who join the business is not enough to cover the amount of senior workers who retire.
Of course, this is excellent news for workers: they know their number is scarce, so they can negotiate better terms for their contract – including the salary! But on the other hand, from the customer’s point of view, it doesn’t look that good. If your HVAC business doesn’t have enough technicians to provide service to your clients within the agreed timeframe, they’ll probably never hire you again. And you can’t blame them for that, no one wants to wait while their heating system is not working in the middle of winter.
The important question here is, can you do anything about it? Luckily, there are a couple of options: first, have your chance at mentoring young people at apprenticeships. And you can also collaborate with schools in your area to provide information about the HVAC business, giving a talk to students who may be potentially interested in this line of work.
Unstable work periods
The workflow in the HVAC business is certainly another challenge. You may go from days when the phone doesn’t stop ringing, to days when you can literally spend hours waiting for a customer to call.
This is obviously not an ideal situation. As you may have heard, time is money, so the lower the productivity, the lower your earnings. On the other hand, whenever you have a huge number of incoming calls, it’s also important to know how to manage that or you may end up losing money too, due to an inefficient workflow.
The key here is using the right HVAC business software solution, like Synchroteam. A tool that can help you handle workload and boost productivity during the high season, and also create a resistance plan for the slow periods. A better organization at work means you have more time for other side projects, such as revamping your website, preparing a new marketing campaign, or enjoying a team-building activity with your technicians.
Technology applied to HVAC
In a world like ours, you need to keep up with ever-evolving technologies in order to remain competitive in the market, and the same applies to HVAC business. For instance, if a customer asks you about a new HVAC installation based on renewable energy, you need to be ready to discuss all pros and cons of such technology with them – and of course, you must be able to undertake the job! Otherwise, you run the risk of losing that customer to someone who’s better prepared than you.
But besides that, how does one prepare themselves to cope with future HVAC technology we don’t even know about yet? The least you can do in these cases is stay up to date on technology news related to the HVAC business. For example, subscribe to reliable HVAC news source, either online or in print. Also, consider attending HVAC technology conferences, if you can afford it in terms of time and money.
Taking these opportunities, you’ll improve your reputation as an HVAC professional, as well as learn to cope with workforce shortage and manage slow periods in the trade. As you can see, HVAC business challenges can also be great opportunities to stay competitive.