Many people are unaware of the benefits and opportunities that come with having a solar energy system installed. Solar energy is one of the most effective ways to:
- Decrease your electricity bills
- Save money on utility costs, and
- Reduce your environmental footprint.
With so many benefits in tow- it’s no wonder why more homeowners are investing in solar panels! If you’re thinking about selling solar or want some help getting started, read this blog post for all the details.
Find a Niche: Research the Needs of Your Area
One of the most critical elements that go into starting a successful solar company is finding your niche. The first step in this process should be research – what are the needs of your area?
Researching the market will help to ensure that you can provide solutions for people and businesses who have been looking for these services but haven’t found them yet. To start researching your local market, try talking to homeowners, representatives from community organizations, or other business owners about how they find their providers.
You can also look at data like average energy bills by zip code, so you know where to put down stakes. If you find something that seems like a good opportunity, run with it!
Get the Required Licenses
Now that you’ve reviewed the solar industry and are prepared to buy, it’s time to think about getting your license. The license or permits required for a salesperson who sells solar equipment vary by province and municipality. For instance, some areas require a permit to operate as a solar installer while others don’t.
To become licensed, you’ll need an application form signed by your employer or school’s president/director. The next step is to review all licensing regulations for where you live, which might include: checklists, premium sales tax exemptions, PUC registration forms, certificate of insurance, and permits from electrical contractors’ associations.
A company’s legal department often manages the process. In contrast, sales and marketing departments are responsible for assessing the solar industry landscape to understand the potential license requirements in each province or municipality before engaging with prospects. With this information at hand, it should be much easier to start thinking about how you’ll communicate your license requirements to your prospects.
Set Up the Business Entity
To start a business in any industry, you need to set up the appropriate entity. For example, you can either set up as an LLC or a corporation in the solar industry. To start an LLC:
- Create Articles of Organization (requires name and address)
- File with Secretary of State’s office to start a corporation
- Choose what type of entity to be (C Corp, S Corp)
- Pay fees at the state level for incorporation and then file paperwork in federal court.
Regardless of which business structure you choose, it is essential that your company name does not look like a utility company name. Utilities often have names like SolarCity or SunPower. This will lead to confusion with customers, who may be directed to think you are a competitor of the utility and not worth their time.
Obtain Business Insurance
No one wants to be the victim of theft, damages or lawsuits. That’s why you need business insurance such as general liability and workers’ compensation. If your solar installation company has employees, make sure they have worker’s compensation coverage in case someone gets injured on the job or hurt by an object dropped from above.
You’ll also need some form of property insurance not provided through another provider (like your landlord). This will protect against damages like fire, lightning strikes, vandalism, and other natural disasters like hail storms or hurricanes.
With adequate protection for all types of risks involved with running a small business, you and your employees can focus on the day-to-day operations of what truly matters; providing high-quality solar installations to homeowners across the country.
Become an Expert in Your Niche
Make sure you have a solid grasp of the basic concepts behind solar power. A key step in becoming an expert is to learn about all there is to know about your topic. This will give you confidence and credibility when dealing with other people who may not be as knowledgeable on the subject.
The solar panel industry is one of the fastest-growing industries. With more people coming on board every year as homeowners interested in renewable energy, there will be increased demand for qualified installers like you!
You might have been hesitant at first about getting into this industry due to the potential challenges and difficulties. But with these tips, you should have no problem starting your own business in solar panel installation!