How to Break into the Solar Business
As the public is starting to clamor for 100% renewable energy, there is still a lot of room for breaking into the solar business. If you're thinking about getting into solar panels or anything related to the business, you'll find that there's a lot of space for you to grow and thrive. Starting a company is hard but this is one of the best industries to break into.
Here are four things you need to do to break into the world of solar.
1. Find Your Niche
Whether you're looking to start a business in a specific geographic area or looking to connect with people in a certain industry, finding a niche is important. There are a lot of different areas of the solar industry ranging from producing panels to selling them to advocating for increased usage of them.
Even if you want to expand later, you need to start off from a place where you can dominate. Check out your local market when it comes to the solar industry. See where everyone is focusing their attention and whether or not there's room for you.
If you immediately find an aspect of the solar industry that they're missing, then think about why before you try to jump in there. Perhaps it was attempted in the past and no one wanted to buy those products or services. Gaps are sometimes opportunities and sometimes craters left when other businesses imploded.
In a lot of regions, solar panels are still deeply technical products with a high barrier or entry. There are a lot of solar products that are smaller, useful, and act as a gateway to get consumers to think about their energy consumption. Solar phone chargers, hiking packs, or outdoor lighting fixtures could be sold or installed by you and your company.
Learn everything you can about the cost of those products, growth potential, and where you could go after you've conquered that aspect of the market.
2. Register Your Business
In just about every state, you need to register your business with your secretary of state and can usually do that via an online resource. Pay for a small registration fee so that you can get your articles of incorporation or organization. This way, you'll be able to file taxes as a business and not via personal income.
You need to also take things to the federal level and apply for your tax identification number from the IRS website. This is the first step that you need to take before you hire anyone to work for you, to get any credit for your business, or to open any sort of bank account.
After you've registered your business, then you need to get all the requisite insurance policies. You'll need liability policies to cover your office or workspace. You'll also need to cover yourself to ensure you're protected from any bad business deals.
If you're going to be dealing with municipal organizations or any government entities, get general liability of at least $1 million. It will be cheaper than you might think. Then get workers' compensation insurance to ensure that you're able to cover any workers who leave or get fired.
3. Get Licensed
When new industries get started, it takes a while for government and regulators to catch up. Sometimes it takes a while for those groups who handle oversight to figure out how to regulate these industries. While there are still a lot of states that don't require licensing, the industry in those states suffers.
People get bad service and end up getting turned off to solar power because of poor regulation. Bad quality products and services along with companies that open and shut overnight end up ruining how people feel about solar power for a long time.
Check with any local contractor's board to see if there's any licensing required for the kind of work that you're trying to do. While some states require you to get a license for plumbing and electrical work if you want to start the installation. If you find that you're not required to be licensed, you'll end up giving your clients more confidence in your ability to get the job done.
There are also voluntary certifications that you can get in the solar industry that show you're interested in the standards that are emerging.
The North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners has a certification program that gives you extra backing to show you care about quality in your work. This helps give your business an extra layer of validation that shows you're listening to what's happening in trends and technology.
4. Market Your Business
While lots of companies go for the wrapped van that drives around town or going door to door selling products, that's not for everyone. Every business is going to have to find their own voice in the world of solar business. Think about your niche and lean into the kind of things your customers will expect from you.
When you're selling your products, pay attention to local laws for solicitation. You need to respect any private property when you're knocking on doors or handing out any paperwork. You don't want to be cited for littering.
Think about ways to team up with other companies. If you're not doing installation in your work, team up with someone who is. You can use each other's marketing efforts and help to ensure your new clients have a secondary resource for clients.
If there is an active chamber of commerce or a local networking group, get involved. Start getting involved in your community, especially if there are any farmers markets or local environmental events.
See what powerdportablesolar.com is doing for more ideas.
Solar Business Is Easy to Be a Part Of
You'll find that few industries are as fun as working in the solar business. There are lots of people who are excited for both the earnings and environmental impacts of working in solar. Once you start getting into the business, you'll find rewards around every corner.
If you're looking for more ways to renovate and improve your home, check out our guide for more info.