7 Tips for Starting a Solar Energy Business

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Solar energy and environmental concerns are becoming more important than ever. This is an effort that involves governments, businesses and citizens alike and everyone is making changes in their lives to accommodate to the new reality of global warming. It’s the most noticeable in the energy industry where customers tend to turn to eco-friendly solutions if they are also cost-effective.

All of this makes starting a solar energy company one of the best business decision that you can make both in the short-term and in terms of possible long-term plans.

The Scope of the Business

The first thing to determine is the scope of the business you plan to open. It’s a more complex decision to make because a lot of young companies tend to overestimate their abilities and underestimate the complexities of the market they are trying to get into.

When it comes to solar panel businesses, this decision basically translates into whether you plan to be a sole proprietor or you want to open a franchise that will expand its services to a variety of other companies and areas. It’s mostly a matter of funds, but it also depends on the network you have built and the drive you have personally.

The Technology

The next thing to do is to find the technology in the field that you want to invest in and that can have the most effect on the market and on the customers. There’s no reason to stick to one particular technology during the whole tenure of your business, but it’s best to start with something comprehensive.

For instance, solar heating and cooling company are gaining traction. They are based on the traditional solar panels technology but they are used to heat water.

The Target Market for Solar Energy

It’s important to know who your target customers are before you can get the business up and running. This is partly because that’s the only way to advertise properly and partly because by knowing your customers you know what they can afford and is the business worth getting into.

There is a variety of ways to find this out, but sometimes the simplest surveys are the best way to go. It isn’t enough to know how much your customers are making; you also have to go into details as to how they use electricity and how your company can help with minimizing their costs.

Safety

The most important investment you’re going to make is the safety precautions that will keep your employees safe and healthy while on the job. This is especially significant with a solar energy business because installing the solar panels can be a rather dangerous task, since it’s done on the roofs and there’s never enough caution when electricity is involved.

The first thing to do is to invest in an insulated scaffolding screen that can withstand high voltage currents and is the best way to protect workers that work with power lines.

Licenses

Working in the solar energy business can be rather difficult because the industry as a whole is regulated. The company needs licenses to open its doors, you’re going to need licenses to operate some of the machinery and each of your employees will also require a license just to do their job. This is necessary in order to keep everyone safe.

While obtaining these licenses will be expensive, the money is the least of your problems in this regard. When you need to deal with a complicated bureaucracy, waiting is the least productive thing you can do, but there’s not much else left.

Business Partnerships

If your company isn’t established as a franchise right away, it will probably have to rally on a variety of business partnerships to find a market and customers for its work. Most of the time, these partnerships are made with construction businesses because that allows you to share customers.

There are downsides to this approach as well. Tying your business with another company that you can’t control, also means that when that company goes bust, yours will as well regardless of what you do. It’s an incredibly important decision and you can’t make it lightly.

Marketing

Solar energy companies usually put very little thought into marketing efforts. It’s a business that usually gets its clients and customer through personal relationships and finding yourself in the right area that you’ve researched thoroughly beforehand. It’s a mistake to approach it in this manner – a good marketing campaign could mean a lot for a solar energy company.

Marketing such a business doesn’t have to be done via mass media. Sometimes it’s enough to place a variety of small ads in the selected publications, that aren’t famous, but are important in the industry. Visiting industry related events can also help in this regard.

Starting a solar business can take some time and cost you a bit of money, but when you establish it, it can dominate the market and be lucrative for years.