As the cost of traditional energy rises, homeowners are seeking “greener” energy options and solar energy is the solution. Solar Energy Definition reports that, although only 1 percent of American households currently use solar panels as the only energy source, solar energy is still one of the fastest-growing types of Earth-friendly energy in the world. For entrepreneurs in the beginning stages of a solar energy startup, this is the time to enter the industry.
To start strong, there are definitive steps a new solar company must take.
Step 1: Think about the customer
Clean Technica advises solar companies to know everything possible about their audience when developing marketing and business plans. Think about what makes people tick in regard to solar power. The main points to consider include the consumers’ concern over high utility bills, the price of fuel and perhaps their desire to live the green life.
By using advertising and social media to to educate potential customers about solar energy and explain its affordable alternative to traditional energy sources, solar startups are already at a major advantage.
Step 2: Team up with established organizations
The next step is finding like-minded businesses to partner with and that already support the expansion of solar energy. Why is this important? From a marketing perspective, a partnering company is another resource for spreading the word about your company to their social media pages and blogs.
Great example: Apple Rubber and Nissens Cooling Solutions. An article on the Apple Rubber blog shares the news of a partnership with Nissens Cooling Solutions to develop and produce a specialized rubber mount that is strong enough to withstand the intense power of a wind turbine. The mount will also allow the cooling system in the turbine to properly adapt to the surrounding environment. By posting an article about their partnership, Apple Rubber helps spread the world about Nissens Cooling Solutions and their eco-friendly mission.
Step 3: Focus on what works
Sometimes small business owners feel obliged to apply certain marketing techniques simply because it’s “the right thing to do.” But it’s important to rethink ineffective marketing tactics. Example: instead of spending hours handing out business cards and raising awareness about solar energy options, it may be more conducive to spend that time focusing on other (new) ways to get the word out. It might be an obvious fact, but it is crucial for solar startup owners to focus time and efforts on what works and ditch what isn’t.
Step 4: Seek out funding from different sources
Expenses during the first year are typically enormous for a solar startup; this is due in large part to not having the resources to run a day-to-day operations department, which needs to happen before completing any sales. Tip to owners: research grant funding from both private and federal sources and also inquire at banks to see if you qualify for business loans to help the company run smoothly during its first year.