Congratulations on deciding to start a solar panel business.
Below is a step-by-step guide to start a solar panel installation business.
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Business plan is your blueprint to start, run, and manage your solar panel installation business. A business plan is essential if you are planning to get funding via business loans from commercial banks or from individual investors.
Your solar panel installation business plan must include the following sections.
Executive Summary - This is the elevator pitch for your solar panel installations business. In this section summarize the key aspects of your business including company description, solar panel installation services that you will provide, market analysis, competitive analysis, management overviews and financial goals.
Business Description - In this section describe what your business is about and what solar panel installation services and products you are offering. Describe how your services and products differ from those of competitors and what market gap you plan to fill.
Market Analysis - In this section summarize the market analysis that you performed, results of that analysis, and then highlight how your products and services fills an existing gap in the solar panel installation business.
Competitive Analysis - In this section summarize the competitive analysis that you performed, results of that analysis, and then highlight how your products and services differs from those of competitors.
Management Summary- In this section describe about yourself and why you are passionate about starting a solar panel installation business. Describe your background, your past experience in solar panel installation business, your passion and love for solar technology, manufacturing, fabrication, etc.
If you have partners describe their background as well, and state their role and duties in your company.
Operations Plan - In this section describe the operations plan of your solar panel installation business. How and where will you source solar panels and parts from? How many employees you will hire? Wjat is you pricing strategy? etc.
Marketing Plan - In this section describe the marketing and advertising plan for your solar panel installation business. What is your plan for digital and non-digital marketing plan?
Financial Plan - In this section describe the financial plan for your solar panel installation business. Will you need loans or funding to start your business or will you invest your own money? What are your financial goals for next 3 years? What are the financial goals for the next 5 years?
Business Name - Decide on a unique and catchy name for your business.
Business Entity - Apply for a business entity in the state where you will be providing solar panel installation services. You can open a LLC, Corporation, Sole proprietorship, or Partnership.
Insurance - Get a general liability insurance policy to protect yourself, your employees, and others from accidents. If you are renting space then the insurance policy should cover accidents on your property. If your business is mobile then your auto insurance policy should be enhanced to include commercial activity.
Permits and Licenses - You will need specific local, state, and federal permits and licenses to start and operate a solar panel installation business.
Certifications and Training - There are no specific certifications for solar installers. But professional training will help you in your business and also to convince your customers that you are qualified to install solar panels.
Installation tools- These include tools such as power drills, multimeters etc.
Van - You will need a van to carry the installation tools and equipment.
Supplies - Stock up with cleaning and other supplies such as masks, sanitizers etc.
You will require employees with specific qualifications to help you with your solar panel installations.
Decide if you will requires non-installer help, like a receptionist to take calls, setup appointments, greet customers etc.
Setting the right price for your solar panel services is an art that needs to be continuously refined based on various factors.
To be competitive, your price should be comparable to the price of your competitors, providing similar services.
The set price should consider costs such as taxes, insurance, employee salaries etc.
Branding - Setup branding for your solar panel installation business. At a minimum you will need a company logo and a professional website.
Social media - Setup your company profile on social media - primarily on Facebook, Twitter.
Advertise - Advertise your business. This has to be both digital as well as physical advertising. Advertise your solar panel installation business by buying Ads on Google, Facebook, and twitter.
In addition to advertising on digital channels, use traditional non-digital advertising as well. This includes physical mailers, and distributing pamphlets in areas such as home stores, vets etc.
Promote - Promote your business in events such as home construction events etc. Form a relationship with local solar businesses such as solar panel distributors, solar panel sales companies etc.
Start building teams and professional relationships, you will need them to scale up your solar panel installation business
Groomers - Keep in contact with a list of certified technicians. You can hire them either full-time or part-time as your business scales up.
Accounting and Tax - Accounting is a vital aspect of your business. Hire a good accounting firm who can take care of your accounting needs as your business scales up.
Marketing and Advertising - When you start your business you will most likely market your business yourself. But as your business scales up find ways to delegate the marketing of your business.
Digital - As your business scales up you have to maintain the digital presence of your business. Hire people to write blogs, maintain your website, keep posting on social media channels etc.