Editor’s Note: The following remarks were made onThe NEWS’group,The NEWSNetwork, on LinkedIn concerning how to start an HVACR distribution business.

Can Get Help From Different Sources

As someone who recently took the plunge to become a business owner, I commend you on your courage. It is critical you take the time to work this idea out until you feel you have covered every angle 70 times.

First, I recommend you connect with your local SBA [Small Business Administration] office for all the free advice you can get your hands on. They can give you great ideas on financing as well as developing a sound and complete business plan.

I would also encourage you to consider partnering with a major firm and/or buying groups. There is a reason franchises have a much higher success rate than stand-alone start-ups. Leverage in buying power, systems, logistics, and business processes are immense advantages to the firm that is part of a larger network or cooperative.

Jim Rutz
VP Marketing and Sales
United Electric Co. — Magic Aire
Wichita Falls, Texas, area

Find Out What Contractors Want

Define your target market and get as much information on what they [the customers of the local distributor in the area of the person asking the question] buy, why they shop where they do, and what they like and don’t like from their distributor. Identify at least three product categories, purchased by that group, that you can be superior in service and/or price. Always plan based on what you can do to help a contractor save cost or generate revenue.

Arthur Berg
Marketing Manager
Rheem AC
Greensboro/Winston-Salem, N.C., area

If you would like to send a letter to the editor, go to www.achrnews.com/letters or send an email to letters@achrnews.com and include your name, title, company, city and state/province, and daytime phone number.

Also, you can join us on LinkedIn in The NEWS Network group.

Publication date: 11/28/2011