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Step-By-Step Guide to Starting a Solar Installation Company

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.

Get insurance

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.

3 Things That Will Make Working From Home Easier

Right now, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, more people are working from home than ever before. Whilst thas a range of benefits, from helping keep each other safe during this difficult time to being able to stay in your pajamas all day – it also changes how you approach your work. As a result, you may be finding it harder to focus and complete your tasks on time. Similarly, you may have noticed a dip in the quality of work you produce. 

With that in mind, here are 3 things you can do to make working from home easier!

Invest in technology

Technology is constantly evolving, meaning we now have a whole world of technology sitting right at our fingertips that we can now take advantage of. As a result, you can make working from home easier by getting your hands on some work-friendly gadgets (at an affordable price). This could include:Bluetooth speakers/keyboard 

  • A webcam/microphone – perfect for improving the quality of your zoom meetings.
  • A second monitor for your PC/Laptop. This makes it easier to manage your tasks. 
  • Noise-canceling headphones – to block out distractions.
  • A portable hard drive 

The above list is by no means exhaustive but is a clear example of how technology has evolved to allow us to work more efficiently – both inside and outside of the office. For example, the technology that we once considered cutting edge, such as these fun tech items from the 90s are no longer part of our everyday lives. This is probably for a good reason, as download and internet speeds were once unbearable!

Don’t skip the ‘commute’.

Although wearisome and sometimes overcrowded, your commute to work actually helps you get into the right mindset for the day ahead, and can help brush of some your sleepiness from the morning.

When working from home, you might choose to spend this extra time in bed, catching up on any missed sleep and getting up just a short amount of time before you are due to start work.  As a result, you will likely be less alert when you sit behind your desk and your work could suffer as a consequence. Therefore, to maintain some kind of routine, you should take a short walk before you begin work. This allows you to spend some time outdoors and prepares you for the day ahead. 

Take a break

When working from home, you may find yourself working longer hours than you are used to. This is due to the fact that you are constantly battling distractions, or perhaps you feel as though you simply aren’t working as hard. However, it is important that you give yourself a break when you need it. Don’t eat your lunch at your desk. Go for a walk or spend some time doing something you love – be that reading a book or making music. Taking a break will allow you to release any feelings of stress and tension, and mean you will return to work with a clearer mind. 

Essential Business Decisions You Need to Make for the Coming Year

You need to ensure you are making the perfect decisions to help you improve the business moving forward, and this is essential for the future. There are a lot of things that can help you with this, and you have to think about it moving forward right now. Your company can evolve and grow over this timescale, and there are so many different elements to keep in mind right now.

It is important to make sure you are focused on doing as much as possible to focus on taking things to the next level as a business, and this is important to keep in mind. So you are going to need to work on improving this moving forward. There are a lot of things to keep in mind when you are trying to make the best of this, and these are some of the key decisions you should be making as a business owner right now. 


Streamline the Business

Streamlining your business is one of the key things you are going to get right moving forward in the future. Make sure you do as much as possible to look at some of the best ways of streamlining and helping your business grow. Try to make sure you are focused on doing as much as possible to cut costs, be more efficient, and come up with as many ways as possible to streamline your company. This is one of the best ways of being able to take things to the next level as a business owner, and you need to try to streamline things even more in response to the coronavirus pandemic. 

Cut Costs

Cutting costs as a modern business is really important, and there are a lot of ideas that play a major role in helping you do this. You have to make sure you cut costs and try to reduce the expenditure and outgoings as a business as much as you possibly can. There are lots of different elements that you can work on when it comes to cutting costs as a business. For instance, you can do things that will help you to reduce overheads, such as working remotely from home so that the company doesn’t require office space. You should also make sure you do as much as possible to cut expenditure, reduce waste, and try to come up with ideas that will help you to run the company on a smaller budget and with lower costs.

Have a Post-COVID Plan

It is absolutely imperative to make sure you do as much as you can to have a post-COVID plan for the business. Coronavirus has altered the business world irrevocably, and it is really important to make sure you have a plan to help you move forward. There are so many ideas that you might have to juggle right now, and you need to make sure you have a plan of action that is going to help you to navigate and negotiate your future as a business in a post-COVID world. So many companies have folded already, and you need to make sure you come up with ideas that are going to help your company to survive this pandemic. 

Hire the Best People

You have to make sure you are focused on improving your business by hiring the right people, and there are such a lot of great benefits to this. Try to come up with a strong mandate for the hiring of candidates, and there are a lot of things that you need to focus on doing this as much as you can. Hiring the top talent as a business owner is something that you need to make sure you focus on doing as much as you can to find the perfect talent for the company. This is something that you need to keep in mind, and there are a lot of different attributes that you should look for when it comes to finding the perfect employees for the company. You are going to need to come up with ideas that will help you when it comes to hiring the ultimate talent to take your company forward right now. 

Improve Innovation

Innovation as a business essential to achieving success, and there are so many ideas you can use that are going to help you with this moving forward. Try to make sure you work on doing as much as you can to take things forward in the right way, and this is something that you need to make sure you focus on. There are plenty of ways to improve innovation as a business, and it is important to make sure you think about the different ways of doing this. Using things like Reveal’s business intelligence software is so important for helping you to innovate and generate the best possible business ideas moving forward right now. Trying to improve your innovation is one of the best things you need to make sure you work on right now, and there are a lot of things that play a part in this moving forward. 

Be More Efficient

Another thing you need to focus on is efficiency as a modern business, and there are a number of factors that you can use to make the most of this. Try to come up with ideas that will help you here, and it is clear that the best way of doing this is to focus on making the right business decisions for the future. You need to look at the techniques you can use that will help you to be more efficient and effective as a company, and this is important for the future. Focus on taking steps to make the best of this, as well as the different ideas you can use to help here. Make sure you look at what is needed to increase company efficiency and make it easier for your employees to be more productive on a day to day basis. 

Revamp Your Marketing

There are a lot of things that businesses need to focus on when it comes to thriving through the coming years, and revamping your marketing is one of the key ways of being able to do this. You have so many different ideas that you are going to need to work on when it comes to business success, and revamping your marketing is one of the key things that you need to work on as much as you possibly can, and this includes things like increasing blog revenue and redesigning your website. Try to focus on what you can do as a business to improve upon your marketing and advertising as a company. Make sure you have several ideas and strategies in mind that can help you to tackle this and get the best possible outcome for your company right now. 

Adjust Business Values

Adjusting and reassessing the values of your business is something that you need to work on as much as you possibly can. There are so many factors that play a part in this, and it is something that you need to work on as much as possible. Business values are so important to people these days, and it is important to make sure you do as much as you can to make sure you reassess your values and what matters to you as a business. Make sure you come up with ideas that are going to help you improve your company values, and make it clear to people what matters to you as a business.

Why Your Business Needs to Outsource

Traditionally, large companies outsourced certain business functions to minimize costs. Today, however, businesses of any size can increase their profitability with outsourcing. Whether you’re launching a startup or growing into a mid-size firm, you can streamline your workflow by outsourcing certain processes to third-party specialists.

The gig economy has made it easier than ever to find professional freelancers and subcontractors. With a global workforce, you can access the skills and expertise you need to achieve greater commercial success. To learn more, take a look at the benefits outsourcing can bring:

Save Time

If you’re a small business owner, you probably spend a significant proportion of your time performing tasks that aren’t related to your core business. If you manage your own books, for example, you’ll be responsible for financial data entry. Similarly, if you don’t outsource your IT requirements, you might spend days troubleshooting IT issues.

When you outsource business functions, you can save time and put your efforts to where they’re needed most. Only you can drive your business forward, so using other professionals to complete administrative tasks is an effective way to give you the time and freedom you need to grow your business.

Cut Costs

Paying a freelancer or a third-party company to carry out specific business functions is typically more cost-effective than handling them in-house. Instead of hiring permanent employees, you can simply access the skills you need, as and when you require them. Furthermore, the time you’ll save via outsourcing will mean that you can increase turnover by prioritizing core business areas, instead of being distracted by tasks that are really outside of your remit.

Build a Customer Base

When you outsource customer-facing tasks, like telephone answering or online chat, you can ensure that your customers receive consistent, high-quality care. This helps to establish your brand and enables you to implement effective customer service strategies. By doing so, great customer care becomes one of your company’s USPs. This alone can be a valuable selling point and certainly plays a significant role in helping you to retain your customer base.

Facilitate Growth

By saving you time and money, outsourcing facilitates business growth and helps you to achieve your commercial goals, whatever they may be. When you generate more revenue, this can be reinvested into your business and help you to get to the next level. Similarly, the extra focus on core business areas gives you the opportunity to explore growth possibilities and to strategize your next move.

Using Outsourcing to Grow Your Business

With dedicated platforms designed to connect businesses to freelancers and subcontractors, as well as specialist companies offering white label services, there are plenty of opportunities to outsource your business functions. By doing so, you’ll gain access to a wide range of expertise.

Similarly, you’ll have the opportunity to work with professionals who have years of experience in their respective industries. By harnessing their knowledge and skills, you can ensure your business benefits from a wide range of talent and use it to drive your business forward.

Expanding Your Small Business the Right Way

When you start a business, it’s likely that you’ll spend the first few years working alone. This is no bad thing – it will save you money, teach you new skills, and means you’ll have holistic control over your business that most large business owners would kill for. However, as you get used to this way of life, it may become difficult to know when it’s time to expand and bring a couple more people into the fold. Even when you do decide to take the plunge, making sure you expand safely and sustainably is easier said than done. Going from working alone to being a ‘boss’ in charge of other employees is a big step, and it brings its own challenges you’ll need to navigate in the right way.

Space and Systems

The first problem you’ll need to solve is simply where to put your new employees. As a self-employed trader, you may have been working from home all these years – do you want to ask your new employee to do the same? Or would it be more effective if you could work in the same shared space; in this case, do you need to invest in an office space? You’ll also need to ask yourself exactly what you are hiring this new person to cover. Do you want someone to share the load of your admin, or to take charge specifically over sales, or another area? When you’re working with others, job roles need to be clear and distinct.

Financial Planning

Self-employed tax returns are hard enough. When you start complicating this with wages, expenses, and other expenditures, the job can grow overwhelming. It’s important to put systems and structures in place to help you keep control over everything. Small lending businesses use products like FISCAL to streamline their transactions and track tax returns and the like, and there are plenty of tools out there for every aspect of your business needs if you know where to look. Do not leave your financial accounts to chance; it’s not worth the risk.

Communication

As your company grows, it’s no longer good enough to assume that just because you know something needs to happen that it will get dealt with. Similarly, if you decide to make big changes you will need to inform the people working for you to avoid misunderstandings and inefficient workloads. Communication is a key skill for any business owner to have, and it’s time to retrain yourself to listen to and communicate clearly with your employees.

Slow and Steady

When you finally break the barrier and start to grow your business, it can be addictive. Suddenly you want to expand as quickly as you can, employ more people, and grow your profits! This is a trap. Slow, steady expansion is the only way to sustainably grow your business into the future. Make sure to fully bed in each new employee before hiring another, and make sure you’re always in a position where your profits outweigh your expenditure on wages and the other costs of growth.

Parenting 101: Making Forever Memories the Easy Way

Once you have children, photos become even more special to you than they were before. As a parent, you want to save all the memories of your child. From when they’re sleeping, suckling, when they first start to talk, or when they turn a year old, every moment is unique, exciting, and adorable, making it impossible to stop taking videos and photos.

The new digital world has provided us with a lot of potential in taking videos and photos and saving them. Through this platform, children of today’s generation will have a more clear sense of where they lived, what they did as children, and the people who were around them during their childhood compared to those of former generations.

Tips on How to Make Lasting Memories

Invest in a Hard Drive or Memory Card

Although hard drives and memory cards are becoming a bit obsolete, they are a great and easy way of storing memories. Most people still prefer this method because they are small and tangible, and you can gift them to your children. Nowadays, there are rugged hard drives that are water and fire resistant compared to the old kind that got corrupted with time.

Hard drives and memory cards offer a safe, free system and more personal feel when storing your photos because you can manage and upload your photos however you want through your computer.

Social Media Storage

Whatever you upload on the internet remains there forever because the internet never forgets. When you upload photos or videos on your social media accounts like Instagram, Facebook, your blog, and Twitter, you can always retrieve them. As scary as this may sound, social media offers a good platform for you to store your baby’s picture. During special occasions in your child’s life, when you upload their photo, it can be downloaded, printed, and shared with ease. However, not all pictures are suitable to be posted on Social media.

Print your Photos

Printing photos of you and your children may seem a bit old-fashioned, but it never gets old. Printed images can easily be put into a photo album or displayed around your home by hanging them on the wall.

With printing, you can get creative and print photos on a coffee mug, a baby blanket, a DIY project, or on a poster. Making memories tangible makes them all the more special.

Save your Printed Photos

If you have photos in your album taken before the digital age, scan these photos, even though it is time-consuming, to secure them for the future.

Store Photos in the Cloud

 Most parents take photos using their smartphones, and the chances of losing all of them are high, especially with a toddler around. To avoid this, you can set up your smartphone in a way that all your photos will be backed up to a cloud automatically. A cloud storage system allows you to synchronize photos from various devices like your camera, computer, and phone, then share them with family and friends.

Backup cloud systems offer different plans. It is, therefore, necessary to determine the one that works for you according to the number of videos and photos you take monthly. Some of them include:

  • Amazon Cloud Drive: Allows you to access stored images from eight devices, an unlimited plan for everything with unlimited video and photo storage.
  • Apple iCloud: Offers an automatic free 5GB storage after you sign up, with the option to upgrade your plan once you exceed the storage limit.
  • Flickr: Allows users to upload, share photos, and give friends and family permission to organize the pictures at no cost.
  • Dropbox: It is a cloud storage system that allows synchronizing of files so that users can upload, save, and share photos with friends and family members easily. A free account offers 2GB with the option of upgrading at a fee or even sharing it with your spouse.
  • Google Photos: Google provides this video and photography storage and sharing service. The best part about this application is that it analyzes and organizes photos into groups like things, people, and places. It also sends you fun collages and videos it creates using images from a particular date. Google photos enable you to search for photos according to how you remember them, for example, the color of what you were wearing. These features have made it popular amongst most parents.

The following are steps to help you learn more about Google photo storage, how to get started, and stay organized.

  1. Create or sign in to your Google account.
  2. Sync everything on your smartphone or computer once you download the Google Photos App.
  3. Allow Google Photos to find all your photos on your computer.
  4. Ensure your settings are correct both on your smartphone and computer to get the most out of Google Photos.
  5. Follow phone and computer instructions.
  6. Ensure Google Photos on your phone is syncing and backing up with your Google Account.
  7. You can now confidently delete photos from your phone storage that have already been backed-up.

Use Multiple Options

Although there are many options to backup your photos, none of them is faultless. To be on the safe side, backup your photos on multiple options like two hard drives and memory cards, two cloud storage systems, or sharing your cloud storage albums like Google Photos ‘partner’ with others.

Burn Photos on DVDs and CDs

They are an easy and affordable back-up option. However, it is easy to lose or destroy photos, so consider another additional option.

Inform Friends and Family of your storage passwords and methods

Data experts are now recommending the addition of a memorandum to people’s wills on what action should be taken with their data in case of death; photos are no exception. Parents should appoint someone, whether a friend or family member, to be in charge of their children’s digital videos and pictures. Include the time frame and passwords for accounts before their expiry.

Bottom Line

Taking photos of children is the easiest way for parents to keep a record of their memories and show them to the kids when they are older. With the new digital methods of storing these photos like backing them up on Google photos, parents can now organize, edit photos and back them up on multiple platforms without worrying that they’ll get lost so that they can pass them onto their children.