The solar industry is growing faster than ever. Maybe you own a solar business that has been booming, or you’re looking to expand into more local markets. We sat down with Will White, Solar Energy International (SEI) curriculum developer and instructor of PVOL206: Solar Training-Solar Business and Technical Sales, to get his expert insight on the most important things to consider before growing your solar business.
Know your market
It is crucial to do your research before entering a new market. Here are some of the most important considerations:
- What competition is out there?
- How big is the potential client base?
- Are there any utility, state, or local restrictions?
- What’s an average return on investment?
- What financing options are there?
Don’t sell systems for less than cost
It might be tempting to offer ultra-competitive pricing, but selling systems at negative margins to get more jobs could easily lead to running out of funds and going bankrupt.
Don’t just grow for growth’s sake
A note of caution, it may be tempting to move into a new area or market segment, but often it’s more profitable to stick to what you know. Many companies start out small with low overhead and grow to a point where the overhead becomes unsustainable and then the business fails. Be weary of growing for growth’s sake and use your discretion on how beneficial it will be to your business.
Remember to keep your focus on top-notch customer service and quality installs
Treating your customers right and providing quality installs will lead to better and more referrals. Referrals are the best leads because they close at much higher rates and they’re less expensive to obtain. Provide great customer service by communicating often and setting realistic expectations. For example, if it’s going to take 9 months from contract signing to install make sure the customer understands that timeline.
Train your team at SEI! SEI offers discounts and contract trainings for businesses interested in having their employees complete SEI trainings. Learn more about SEI’s contract training offerings here: https://www.solarenergy.org/contract-training/
Learn more from Will in SEI’s PVOL206: Solar Training-Solar Business and Technical Sales.
Full class description:
There are many opportunities for different careers in the residential PV industry, including the business and sales side of it. Addressing the topics in the NABCEP PV Technical Sales job task analysis, PVOL206 focuses on technical details for sales professionals, financial analysis, and system financing. This course is geared toward students who are interested in, or who already are working in, the business or sales side of the residential PV industry and are looking to improve their knowledge and sales techniques or are working towards the NABCEP PV Technical Sales Certification.