5 Ways to Use Your 2018 Tax Refund to Reinvest in Your HVAC BusinessBy Mahrukh Karimi on Friday, March 16, 2018
There are smarter ways to spend your tax refund than just paying off debt.
As an HVAC business owner, you know your seasons. There’s the cooling season, the heating season, and that hectic period in the middle we like to call tax season. Tax season is a time of great stress, hasty calculations, and then, at last, HOPEFULLY getting a little something back into your account. In the United States, the IRS reported in 2016 that the average tax refund an individual gets is about $3,500. When you’re running a small business, it can be much higher. With your HVAC accounting done, now comes the question, what should you do with that cash?
The easy answer is a boring answer. Put it all into savings. Pay off your debt. Yada yada yada. You know the drill. However, sometimes being responsible may not actually be the most responsible thing to do. Investing the money back in your HVAC business could hold better returns than those “boring” choices.
1. A New HVAC Truck
If you have more work orders than you can handle and enough technicians, purchasing another truck for your fleet could have significant benefits. You would be able to continue to expand your business’ reach and hold on the market. Or, if one of your trucks has taken a beating, it might be time to retire and replace it with a newer one. You put a lot of miles on a vehicle driving it from job site to job site, it’s time you reward yourself with some shiny new wheels.
2. Your Team
Your team of technicians are like your family. Investing in your family is investing in your business. You want them to be happy with what they do and how they do it. You can accomplish this by investing in more training for them, hiring a new worker, and finding ways for them to gain more knowledge on the industry.
If your business has more than enough work, it might be time for a new addition to the team. Hire a new worker so that your business can take on more work orders and continue to grow.
Investing in training for your employees can advance the skillset of your entire crew and the services that your business offers. It also boosts employee retention for your HVAC business. Like Richard Branson says, “Train people well enough so they can leave, treat them well enough so they don’t want to.”
Send some of your technicians to a trade show. This experience can inspire them to take more of a lead in your business and think in a more innovative way.
You could also show your technicians how much you care by using your sweet tax refunds on bonuses or raised wages for them. After all, a happy crew is a happy you.
3. New HVAC Technology
Is your phone on its last string? Is your laptop so chunky people mistake it for a lunchbox? If so, it might be time for an upgrade. When you’re running a business, communication is key. HVAC companies and small businesses use smartphones for everything from phone calls and texts to emails and dispatching applications. So it is important to make sure you have the proper equipment! This could mean a rugged phone, or just one that can do more (and do it more efficiently). Or, if you need something bigger, maybe it’s time to get tablets for your HVAC business so that customers can read and sign forms more easily!
Communicating efficiently can be difficult when you spend more time waiting for your phone to load than you do actually using it. Tom, a 96 year old customer, could be dying of a heat stroke while you wait for your phone to tell you that you need to fix his AC! Upgrade that equipment and go save poor Tom.
If you haven’t caught up with the current century yet, it’s time. Paper forms are old news. (Heck, even paper cash is old news nowadays.) It’s time to digitize, my friend. Business management software lets you dispatch more effectively and manage your team outside of the office. This can lead to some serious return for your company. Bada-bing, bada-boom.
4. HVAC Marketing
A refund could be the perfect opportunity to work on marketing your HVAC business. You’ve been putting it off for a while, but now you have no excuses. Revamp that website! Hire someone for social media! Get those new uniforms! Put your logo on that truck! The world is your oyster.
5. A Smart Office
You spend your days selling energy efficient AC units and setting up smart thermostats. Why not practice what you preach? We’ll save the pitch for this one, you know it like the back of your hand already, don’t you? Take the smart HVAC system one step further and install solar panels! Yay for going green! (Plus you can now advertise your HVAC business as a green HVAC business. Hoorah!)
Tax returns provide an opportunity for you to reinvest into your HVAC business, propelling you into the following tax year. Whether you decide to invest in HVAC software, get a new truck, or go the (boring) route of paying off debt, you’ll be sure to be a step further than you were before. This sure puts a nice twist on “spring forward,” doesn’t it?