A Guide to Successful Retirement Planning
Let’s discuss an important topic for HVAC dealers, which we don’t often get to talk about: retirement.
By Mike Moore
You've made the important decision to retire, but how and when do you begin? Here's a quick guide from HVAC Learning Solutions on retirement planning in the HVAC industry.
You need to give both yourself and your company ample time to prepare for your retirement. It’s best to start planning no fewer than three years before your intended retirement year.
Three years out:
- Evaluate your finances and make sure you're saving for your future.
- Hire and promote the right team to continue in your absence.
- Assess the current state of the company and identify areas that need improvement.
- Make a list of goals to be executed before the end of your tenure.
Two years out:
- Start preparing the company financially for your retirement.
- Check in on your list of goals and how they're coming along in your three-year retirement process.
- Define your role within the company and identify how you would like that role to perform in your succession.
- See to it that all major marketing, sales, technological, and management projects begin by this point in your retirement process, allowing you enough time to see the project through to its completion.
- If needed, hire your successor.
One year out:
- Make the announcement that your retirement is approaching, giving your successors time to think about and ask questions, as well as identify and consider potential trouble spots down the road.
- Hold a team meeting to announce any suggested changes to the company structure, your plans for the next year, and your wishes for involvement post-retirement.
- Meet with a financial advisor to discuss next steps for post-retirement.
- Train your successor.
- Consider bringing in outside resources to assist with your retirement plans; lawyers, accountants, etc.
Six months out:
- Phase out your time in the office, allowing new management to work on problem solving and working as a team in your absence.
- Cross off the final company goals on your list.
- Take the time to leave. Your company is like your home, and your team is like your family. Begin the process with plenty of time to say goodbye.
- Make a personal announcement to your customers. Change is hard, especially in the HVAC industry, so make a solid effort to ensure that the transition for the customer is as smooth and reassuring as possible.
- Let your company know you are there for them, if they need advice after you leave.
With a long-term plan for retirement, you will give yourself, your company, and your customers a great platform for success in the long-term, both under your leadership and after you’ve hung up your “Gone Fishin’” sign.
Running a successful HVAC company is a demanding business. Save yourself some time and effort with tips, tools and training from Lennox.
- Get AHRI-compliant system matches quick, with the Residential Matchup Tool from LennoxPros.com.
- Help your successors to hone their customer service skills and build customer loyalty with the Customer Service for Managers online curriculum from HVAC Learning Solutions.
- Never be without the parts and supplies you need for a successful job.
Make sure everyone on your team has the training they need to make your HVAC company the best that it can be.