Starting a Solar Power Business

July 30th, 201112:02 am @ smtd90

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Starting a Solar Power Business

Do you want to start a business dealing in alternative power? The smart entrepreneurs are flocking to solar. How does one get involved in this growing industry? To get into or start a solar business, first you have to understand how the solar industry works.

There are solar businesses that rely on large commercial clients and big purchases to pay the bills. Others rent solar equipment to smaller businesses or homeowners directly. Fortunately, when it comes to solar, how to produce and store the energy is already established. That allows you to focus more on selling the technology than on fixing or developing technological solutions.

You don’t have to be a veteran technician, expert salesperson or crafty entrepreneur to run a successful solar business. You just need to plan ahead, proceed carefully and take advantage of a growth industry.

When starting out your own solar business, you might want to become a kind of Jack-of-all-trades. In the beginning, you may not be able to afford a staff. You may need to take care of marketing, sales and business management yourself. As you get more involved in solar, how you do business will change. You’ll be able to slowly hire staff to help you with business tasks.

There are two primary advantages to this approach:

1. You will be familiar with all aspects of your own business from top to bottom. This will make you a better manager when you do have people to manage.

2. This will save on startup costs and allow you to use your time instead of money to build and grow the business.

You could also get loans or other external funding and hire a team from the start. However, this approach carries a greater risk. It should only be done if you are experienced in business and know how to make your business successful.

You don’t need to know every detail of how solar power and technology work to run a solar business. However, it’s important to be familiar and comfortable with what you are selling to others. Here are some ways in which you can become more familiar with solar technology and the solar industry in general:

1. Some colleges have already begun offering courses and degrees in solar installation and solar business management. Taking these on the side while you build your business (or before you launch it) might be a good idea.

2. You might also wish to consider the merits of an apprenticeship. Working for someone else with a solar business can help you see how the business works from the inside. You can also see what doesn’t work. This information will help you when you strike out on your own.

3. Depending on where you live and work, you might need a special license to run your own solar business. Be sure to check with local sources to see if such a license is required in your area.

As someone starting a solar business, you might find there are more resources than you realized to help you on your way. There are free tools available to help you start a solar business. There are many solar how-to books, websites and brochures out there. There are also organizations that can provide loans and other financial assistance to developing businesses related to alternative energy.

So once you have the necessary education or training, tools, resources and funding what is next? Once you know about solar, how to make a business out of it should be your next focus. Will you cater to small clients or large, private or commercial? Will you rent, lease or sell equipment? Will you also install the equipment or contract out that work? These may change with time, but it is important to understand how solar businesses operate. Keep your knowledge fresh so that when opportunities for new directions come your way you can seize them quickly.