How to Position an HVAC Business For Sale

Use these tips to ensure that you end up satisfied with the offers from potential buyers

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Selling an HVAC repair business can be a complex and stressful process. But there are steps you can take to make it easier and ensure that potential buyers are valuing your business properly.

Maintain employees

If you are selling your HVAC business it is important that you have an operation with staff in place that allows the new owner to manage the business, not operate it. Buyers of your business do not want to be out in the field providing services or emergency repairs.

The most important positions to maintain are office manager, service manager, project manager and lead estimator. Keeping these positions staffed when you sell the business will keep a buyer comfortable about your company’s ability to run smoothly when you leave.

Financials in order

An HVAC company owner who is serious about selling their business will always have the books in order. Your records should consist of clean and accurate profit and loss statements, balance sheets and corresponding tax returns. Having these basic financials is essential and extremely helpful to all parties involved.

A company with its books in order will receive a more accurate evaluation, which will ultimately lead to better offers when it comes time to sell the business.

Diversify your accounts

It is important to have a variety of different clientele. A wide array of accounts is a signal of a secure business to prospective buyers. For example, having 100 accounts from 100 different clients shows more security than having one account from a property management company with 100 properties. 

A lack of diversity in your accounts means a prospective buyer is in trouble if they lose that account.  

Maintain a working vehicle fleet

An appealing HVAC company is one that has an active fleet of vehicles. Make sure all commercial vehicles are properly maintained and in good working condition.

A fleet that is not maintained means your technicians will be unable to get to jobs in a timely manner. A potential buyer is less likely to purchase your business if they have to make thousands of dollars in repairs before they can start making money.

Maintain happy customers

An HVAC company with happy clientele is more likely to be sold. While you are positioning your business make sure your current clients are still happy with your work. It is important to have a plethora of good online reviews on Google or Yelp.

A potential buyer can easily gauge the perception of your business and a business with negative reviews is not going to be appealing.

If you are dealing with negative online reviews, make an effort to fix the problem. Improve on your customer service and encourage happy customers to leave a review.

Manage expectations

In my experience, most HVAC companies overvalue their business which leads to some pretty hard lessons about the realities of selling. Manage your expectations during the selling process by understanding that no two businesses in any industry are the same. If you know another owner who sold their business for a certain amount, it does not automatically mean you will get the same value.

A great way to manage expectations is to speak with your business broker and set up a plan that factors in an honest evaluation of your business. Set up a range of offers you would be willing to accept that match that evaluation.

Managing your expectations with your broker will make it easier for you to navigate through the difficult process of selling your business.

About the author

Brian Bond is the principal of Strategic Business Brokers Groupa brokerage firm in Scottsdale, Arizona, that has helped many HVAC company owners sell their businesses across Arizona.   



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