Whether you want to have an additional income or be a boss of your own self, starting a small business at home will always sound like a great idea. What if you take a bold step and make a dream come true?
Among endless small business ideas, starting a solar business at home is a promising option. The reason is that more and more people promote eco-friendly living. Businesses also have been shifting to use solar panels to reduce electricity bills.
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Starting a solar business at home may sound daunting for you. But save your worries! We’ve compiled the way to run the business from home or over the phone, from preparing the basics, developing a business plan, creating a solar marketing strategy, and finding the best solar business ideas.
Without further ado, let’s get the discussion started! Keep scrolling.
- 1. How to start a small home-based solar business
- 2. What to prepare to start a solar business from home
- 3. Solar business ideas you can try
- 4. Developing a marketing strategy for your solar business
- 5. Extra tips
1. How to start a small home-based business
Starting a small business from home can be tricky and challenging. It requires you to be strategic and well-prepared to overcome any hurdle and improve along the way.
Even though it won’t be plain sailing, it will be very rewarding once you see the results. You can also seek insights from experts to make the best of your plan. Here are two steps to help you get started with your own business:
Conduct market research
Research your target market and competition to understand the demand for your product or service. You can look for local solar businesses in your local area first and identify your competitors.
A small business will always start small, so don’t set your expectations too high. Instead, study your competitors’ products and marketing strategies, including their expertise. You can gain valuable insights from them.
If your competitors are big enough to sell specific products or services, offering different things and extra services would be better. We will give you some solar panel business ideas later in this article.
Create a business plan
A business plan is a roadmap that outlines your business strategies and goals, strategies, and financial projections. It can also be helpful when developing strategies and allocating your budget.
You can create an initial business plan draft and expand it along the journey. But the essential thing to finalize from the start is your solar business idea, what products to sell, and financial allocations.
If you’ve figured them out, you can continue by developing your marketing strategy. In today’s digital age, you must build an online presence by creating a website and social media accounts to create a buzz and promote your business.
You can also leverage the AI digital marketing tools to support your business. We’ll discuss more comprehensively how to create the best marketing strategy for your solar panel business later in this article.
2. What to prepare to start a solar business from home
Before starting your solar business, it’s better to have a robust plan and strategy. However, the things you need to prepare depend on what kind of solar business you want to do. For example, do you sell solar equipment? Or do you offer solar services?
If you have to have supplies, start researching for suppliers. It’s better to have trustable suppliers close to your area so that you can pick the materials yourself. Even if you have to use a delivery service, it won’t cost you much.
More than that, you also need to build marketing strategies to promote your business. The best way to start is by studying your competitors. You can find out what channels they use to market their products.
You can consistently market your solar products or services through online platforms. You can start developing a website and social media, as well as enhancing your business with local SEO.
Local SEO is crucial to make your business well-known in your area. People can find your business through search engines and give ratings, which can be excellent social proof to attract more customers.
3. Solar business ideas you can try
Before preparing your home solar business, let’s clarify your idea. What kind of solar business do you want to do at home?
The following solar business ideas are suitable if you want to start a business from home or even with a phone.
Selling solar products
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The eco-living style has been expanding rapidly, whether for houses, offices, and public buildings. The main reason is that using solar energy can be more cost-efficient for long-term use. Besides, it’s also environmentally friendly.
Solar products like solar lights, gadgets, and rechargers are getting popular now and ahead. Products like solar PV, thermal systems, cooling systems, and solar attic fans are highly requested.
Products worth millions of dollars are sold yearly, including additional installment parts. So, define what products you want to sell, and you can start looking for trustable suppliers close to your area.
Starting a solar farm business
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The typical person is familiar with solar panels installed on household rooftops. They are single panels mounted on the roof to receive energy from the sun and convert it into Alternating Current (AC) for household use.
However, solar panels installed at houses and solar farms have different degrees of providing energy. Solar farms (photovoltaic power) are land areas where solar tracking towers are installed to provide power to a community.
To start a solar farm business, you need a large enough land and a considerable number of solar panels. So it requires more budget to start.
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When a solar installation project is being/is about to be completed, solar energy consultants oversee, monitor, and provide recommendations. Many individuals are interested in learning whether installing solar in their homes makes sense.
People also seek a professional perspective that considers all their alternatives and leads them through the entire procedure. You can start a solar project consulting if you have experience developing solar projects for high financial returns. You can work alone or with other consultants who share your views.
Solar product marketing
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The marketing of solar products is another wise business move. One of your duties will be to explain to business owners the advantages of converting to solar energy as a source of electricity.
You can carry out this activity alone or as an associate of a solar installation business. It’s a flexible job you can do at home using a laptop or phone. Moreover, if you’re an experienced marketer, you already know the best practices to do the job.
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Blogging about solar energy is one interesting method to establish a solar energy-related company. Blogging is about providing helpful and educational content for a specific internet audience.
If you have an in-depth understanding of the solar energy market, you may make money by sharing your information with a diverse audience through your blog. You can expand your blog and earn money from the comfort of your own home.
Starting a solar energy training online
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If you’re confident with your knowledge about solar energy and systems, why not try to educate people? Many institutions, organizations, businesses, and mainstream audiences need educators who are competent in explaining solar energy.
You always have the choice to do your classes online or offline. You can also make extra profits by selling solar products to your class participants. So, if you want to create a business in the solar energy value chain, one of your possibilities is to start a specialized solar energy training center.
4. Developing a marketing strategy for your solar business
Every business needs a marketing strategy to go toward success. Today, digital marketing is the most suitable strategy to grow your business.
Leveraging the online space is excellent for nailing your solar pitch, meeting prospects, and generating sales. Below we’ve compiled the essentials to build a marketing strategy.
Identify your target market
Target market identification is the process of identifying specific groups of consumers that a business wants to sell its products or services. This involves analyzing the potential customers’ demographics, behaviors, needs, and buying habits to determine the best audience to target.
Once you’ve identified the target market, you can tailor your marketing efforts and product offerings to better appeal to that group. It can increase the effectiveness of marketing campaigns and ultimately lead to more sales.
Building your brand’s online presence with local SEO
A powerful brand presence is key to making your business visible on search engines. It requires you to work on local SEO, such as optimizing your business website and creating valuable content.
It may take a while to build your brand’s online presence. But below are some steps you can do to make your solar business rank well and be discoverable on search engines.
Verifying your business on Google My Business: This allows you to manage your business information, such as your address, phone number, and hours of operation, on Google.
Optimizing your website: This includes including relevant keywords in your website’s content, meta tags, and title tags, as well as making sure your website is mobile-friendly and has a fast loading speed.
Building backlinks: Backlinks from other websites to your website can help boost your search engine rankings.
Encourage customers to leave reviews: Positive reviews on sites like Google, Yelp, and Facebook can help boost your search engine rankings and increase trust in your brand.
Utilizing Local Directories: Add your business to local directories such as Yellow pages, Yelp, and TripAdvisor.
By implementing these strategies, your brand will be more visible in local search results, which can help drive more traffic to your website, increase brand awareness, and ultimately lead to more sales.
Leverage social media and create engaging content
Social media is a must-have channel for B2B and B2C industries. Platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn can be great channels to educate audiences and pull them into your sales funnel.
The social media you choose must tailor to your target audience. But you can always use more social media platforms to expand your business and reach a wider audience. Besides, you can try advertising features to boost your reach.
Leveraging social media requires you to be creative and consistent. You must create high-quality, engaging content that aligns with your brands, such as blog posts, infographics, videos, and more.
You also have to be active in responding to your audiences. You need to respond to comments and messages in a timely manner and actively seek out and engage with potential customers. Not to forget, use analytics tools to track engagement, reach, and conversions to see your content performance.
5. Extra tips
Consider the following tips for managing and developing your business. You can be an authorized solar panel seller to build trust and improve your interpersonal skills to maintain good relationships with other parties.
We’ve compiled five extra tips you can try to develop a trustworthy solar business and provide excellent service to your prospects. Keep reading.
Become an authorized solar panel seller
Selling solar can be very challenging. Acquiring a legal license is a way to make your solar business recognizable and have good credit.
To become an approved solar panel distributor, you must sign a contract with a manufacturer that will provide and install the solar panels. In this case, you must carefully research your manufacturer.
Ensure that your suppliers or manufacturers provide high-quality solar products and are trustworthy in the industry. After you sign the contract, you still need to pass an exam. This step is required to ensure that you follow safety precautions during installation.
After all, getting authorization as a trustable solar panel seller can bring you many benefits. It’s also a way to build brand credibility and gain the trust of potential buyers.
Improve your communication and interpersonal skills
Excellent communication skills are vital in making connections with parties related to your business. You have to make good relationships with other parties related to your business, including your suppliers, prospects, and customers.
Communication and interpersonal abilities help you manage long-lasting relationships. You have to be good at bargaining and providing a win-win solution. Moreover, your existing customers may recommend you to other people.
Work with an accountant
Even though you want to run your business from home, you can’t get everything done by yourself. You need to employ other people, most notably an accountant.
Having an accountant can help you handle the finances matters so that you can focus on other tasks. It’s key to making your home-based company thrive and continue to supply its services to the market.
You must hire an accountant from the beginning of your business. Accountants understand how to manage a company’s finances properly, and they can provide the most rational financial solutions for your company.
An accountant may also create a financial strategy for the company, set a budget based on earnings and savings, and supervise financial operations.
Create a dedicated bank account for your business
When launching a business from home, it is critical to distinguish between business and personal expenses. It will be easier for you to manage the company budget and calculate profits.
You can create a budget for your business expenditures, examine the spending, and determine if it is earning profits or losses. So, having a separate bank account for your business is always better.
Have a private office
When you sell solar panels from home, you will receive multiple phone calls from people. It can be your potential customers, your suppliers, or anyone else.
Creating a distinct space dedicated to the business’s activities is essential to have a comfortable working environment. Having a separate office also allows you to divide your attention between business and personal life, which may sometimes be tough.
Starting your own solar business at home can be daunting. Having a robust plan and strategy can help you be more prepared to manage and develop your business.
Moreover, you can register your business with your state and obtain any necessary license and permit, if there are any. You can choose a legal structure such as a sole proprietorship, partnership, LLC, or corporation.
All in all, the above discussions can help you start a solar business at home. It may be challenging to take the first step, but with consistent work, you can make your business thrive well and drive good revenues.
Andre Oentoro is the founder of Breadnbeyond, an award-winning explainer video production company. He helps businesses increase conversion rates, close more sales, and get positive ROI from explainer videos (in that order).
LinkedIn: Andre Oentoro