When it comes to creating a business and coming up with a business idea that will grow and grow, then looking at alternative energy is a sector that is going from strength to strength. In a study by the International Energy Agency, over the past five years, it has been found that solar panels have been responsible for around two-thirds of the power that has been generated around the world. This means that it will be something that is a very profitable venture, and now is the time to get started.
It makes sense that this kind of business is going to be the most profitable in some of the sunnier areas of the work. It can be easier to rely on this kind of power and harness the power of solar technology when there is an abundance of sun! However, this doesn’t mean that only those locations can make the most of it. Using solar panels can improve energy efficiency of a home, and in many cases, help to save money. So from a business point of view, it can be worth doing, in locations all around the world. The other good news from this point of view is that anyone can look to tap into this massive opportunity. What’s more, you don’t really even need any technical expertise to be able to launch a solar business of your own.
If this sounds like the kind of business that you would like to get up and running with, then knowing a few of the steps that will help you along the way can make such a difference. But what does a solar energy company actually do?
Solar Panel Installation Company
If you want to start and run a business doing solar panel installation, then you need to know what it is all about. A lot of people think that it is just purely installing the solar panels. But in reality, while that is part of it, there is much more than a solar panel installation company will do.
One of the things that needs to be done is that the business will need to do some inspections of the proposed locations, to check that they will be suitable for installation. Then a plan will be put in place for the proposed site, and the company will liaise closely with the owner, to arrange the finance of it, as well as the general installation of the solar panels. The job doesn’t stop there, though. A solar panel company will also look into providing maintenance and repairs, to make sure that your customers get value for money. Replacements may be needed too, depending on what you decide to offer as a warranty. So a good knowledge of solar panels and how they all work is advised.
Tips for starting a successful solar panel installation company
If you want to run a successful solar panel installation company, then there are a few steps that are going to help you. Some of which will work for any business that you want to set-up, as there are a number of things that are the same from business to business. Of course, some areas will be completely different and be specific to the industry.
Write a business plan
Much like you would with any business that you plan to create, you need to have a plan. This will involve doing some research, to get an idea of the business, as well as an idea of costs and how things work. If you don’t do adequate enough research, then you can waste a lot of time and money, as you won’t know what to do or what to expect.
Research can help you to know and understand who your target customers would be. For instance, will you be looking at targeting homeowners, or would you look to approach commercial buildings too? When you know who your target customers will be, you can hone your business to suit them, and it will be much less complicated to think about what your customers need and to develop a customer base. Research will also give you an idea about the requirements of the market, as well as knowing how and where to get materials. This will help you to understand costs, and how to make sure that the business would be an affordable one.
Research into the industry can also help you to get to grips with how best to do things, and give you an understanding of the kind of software that will be needed. For example, you could choose some solar software from JobNimbus, as it could help you to sell more, as well as save time, and help you to grow your solar business. That is why research and planning is essential, before you get things started.
You can think about who would be ideal to work for you too. Would they already have experience in this area, or would you think that a general engineer like an electrician would be best suited? With a business plan completed, you will be in a much better position and be much more focused on the direction you want to take, and will have laid the groundwork for it to be a success.
Choose which area to work
The location that you choose to run the business in can have an impact on your earning potential, as well as your costs for going it all. This needs to be decided early on in the business planning process, but of course, things can change over time. As part of your business planning, choosing the area to work is a vital part of that. If you are looking at homeowners only, then a highly populated area, out in suburbs perhaps, could be the best choice. If you are looking to aim your business more at commercial properties, then you need to think about areas with a large number of business are present.
Another consideration is that location should be budget-friendly. You don’t want to spend too much money in the start, before you have even got the business off the ground. So if it involves a lot of travel to get to your chosen area of work, then chances are that it won’t be a good choice. The final consideration when it comes to the location is choosing somewhere where solar panels are legal, as this isn’t the case all over the world. You don’t want to come into any legal issues, or cross any zoning boards who are not supportive of what you plan to do.
Get correct certification and licensing
A similar step to choosing the location of where you want to work, you need to think about the licenses and certifications that will be required to run your business. If you choose to work out of certain areas, then you would need to get an electrician’s license, in order to get a solar installation permit. In some states or countries, you may also need to get a construction licence, as you are going to be going high up on people’s roofs. In fact, some places that you could choose to work out from may require you to have a roofing contractor licence, because of the nature of the work that you are carrying out. So when you know the location that you would prefer to work out of, you need to check what exactly is required in that area, in order for you to get the business up and running.
If you need an electrician’s licence, then you could always hire an electrician with one to do the work, and you could just be the owner. It depends how hands-on you want to be, and how quickly you want things to be up and running. Having the right kinds of licenses and certificates in place can ensure that you don’t have any run-ins with the law, and can get on with your business and let it grow from strength to strength.
Every business needs to have insurance. For starters, if you are hiring people, you need to have insurance. Second of all, for a business like this one, where you will be making changes to people’s homes, and will be dealing with electricity, then you need to make sure that you have things covered. You may need to get insurance for other things, but that could all depend on where you live and where you plan to work. Insurance is a must, though, so do your research to check what you will need.
Hiring employees is one of the next steps, but how many you will need will depend on demand. You may be qualified to do it yourself, and then hire other people as and when you need them. So these are all different things to think about. Starting a solar panel installation company doesn’t need to be hard. Research is key, and as long as you can take time to do that well, then it will help you to be compliant, and get the business off to the right start.