Home Forums Women in HVACR Women in HVAC – Confessions of an HVAC Chick

This topic contains 3 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of DavidMarshall2 DavidMarshall2 3 months, 1 week ago.

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  • #3571

    Karen Lamy DeSousa

    Here’s what you need to know about me. I am a woman. I own an HVAC company. I cannot fix your air conditioner. Or your heater. And I cannot ventilate anything. Unless you count cracking a window. For years, I’ve felt that this is something that I need to apologize for. Something to be embarrassed about. But, here’s the real deal. Twelve years ago, when my father offered me half of the HVAC business that he had started when I was just a kid, I had a choice to make. I could either spend the next twelve years learning how to fix air conditioners, or I could learn how to run an HVAC business.

    Now, twelve years later, though I still have much to learn – and truthfully will always have much to learn – I realize that NOT learning how to be an HVAC technician was one of the smartest things I’ve ever done. The fact of the matter is that running an HVAC business actually has very little to do with fixing HVAC units. I think anyone who’s ever run any type of business can probably tell you the same thing. It usually starts out that you are good at something. For example, let’s say you are a fabulously talented widget-maker. So you decide to start your own widget-manufacturing company. But soon you quickly discover that great widgets are only part of the equation. You have to finance your widget-making business and make sure it turns a profit. You must market your widgets, hire people to help you make more widgets, maintain quality control of your widgets, provide customer service to your widget customers, establish excellent relationships with your widget raw materials suppliers, become an expert in public and private widget contracts, make sure you have appropriate widget insurance coverage and so on. And guess what? The skills you need to do all of those things, have nothing to do with the supreme widget-making abilities that got you started in the first place.

    Granted, had I had the experience of being an HVAC technician before taking ownership, my job would be just that much easier. But when it comes down to it, there are a dozen people in my company who are really great at fixing HVAC units but there was only one – my Dad – who knew how to run the company. And his goal was to get the heck out of New England and soak up some Florida sun. Which is exactly what he’s doing today, while I and my brother – who is a very skilled HVAC technician – run the company he started more than twenty-eight years ago.

    So I confess. I own an HVAC company and I do not know how to fix your air conditioner. And that’s OK. Because I do know an awful lot about how to run an HVAC company. Visit me on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/AdvanceAirHeat on the web at http://www.advanceair.net and see.

  • #4029
    Profile photo of abbieyellow

    Very inspiring. I’d love to have a company of my own, too! 🙂

  • #7301
    Profile photo of SamGibsonRBI

    Wow, that inspired me too, I’m a HVAC technician and I’m thinking about opening my own business too.

  • #7302
    Profile photo of DavidMarshall2

    Your story is inspiring!

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