As the first rays of dawn lit up the morning skies of 2016, respected bellwether Forbes Magazine announced that ''(2016) will be the biggest year for solar power the United States has ever seen.” By September however, the same publication --its seeds of faith in the fledgling industry apparently having fallen upon a fallow ground-- regressed. Its own assessment was now changed to that of “solar skepticism.”
So why did Forbes commit an about-face on its previously expounded views about the bright solar prospects for the year 2016? Forbes’ Christopher Helman explains it thusly:
- Solar Power only works when the sun is shining
- It only supplies a small percentage of America’s energy
- Investors are putting their money elsewhere
- Declining stock valuations of solar energy firms Sunrun, SolarCity and Vivint Solar
- Bankruptcy of solar panel manufacturer SunEdison
- Overcapacity of Chinese solar panel manufacturers.
Avoid Investing in Stateside Solar Panel Manufacturing
Sadly, American companies can't compete because of encumbrances like the Minimum Wage, Social Security, Disability & Unemployment Insurance and other entitlements due to labor hired in the United States.
Therefore, the smartest thing to do is to not get too involved in competing in the domestic manufacturing side of solar panels. That's where foreign countries such as China and others will always have the upper hand due mostly to their low labor costs.
Unless of course, you are an Elon Musk, playing with other peoples' money, you cannot afford to roll these dice...And bear the fiscal losses that would follow to get to the noblest state of locally built. Musk could afford to overlook the lessons of Solyndra for such a reason, because with his SolarCity project in New York State, he was playing with the taxpayers' money.
Always Look on the Sunny Side of the Street
Forbes notwithstanding, there are just too many reasons not to be bullish on the future of solar prospects. However, as long as you avoid the above-noted quagmires, there is still a killing to be made in the solar energy field.
The ten following clever ideas are devoted to that desirable end:
1. Use a Solar Lead Generation Software
Keep yourself constantly abreast of the latest developments in your field, such as an innovative solar prospects lead generation contact management application like ours, which is designed especially for solar professionals. For those just getting started in the solar energy business as well as those that are already deeply entrenched therein, the more that you can translate complex new technologies into simple savings for your clients, the more often you will close the sale.
2. Ride the Cloud
If your company has not yet found its rightful place in the clouds, what are you waiting for? Today’s cloud apps empower you to take your business to the next level like never before. Why reinvent the wheel or spend payroll dollars that you cannot afford when cloud providers like Microsoft Dynamics 365 offer effective Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) that provide an easy to use and ready-made business infrastructure?
3. Use the Federal Tax Credit
With the renewal of the thirty percent federal tax deduction's extension, the field is clear to harvest the benefits thereof. Become intimately familiar with all of its provisions and milk it for everything that it's worth. This program alone will drive up the number of your solar prospects for years to come.
4. Employ Improved Batteries
Incorporate the newest higher capacity battery technology into all of your solar installations. The integration of these results in increased energy savings for your customers, as they will be able to actually store the energy produced.
5. Quote the Kilowatt Per Hour Price
As solar energy gains a greater share of the energy market through the improvements noted above, its price continues to fall. Showing potential customers the downward trend in the price of solar energy over time will yield higher sales gains for solar specialists smart enough to use the figures to close more of their solar prospects.
Source : Forbes
6. State Subsidies
Many states are offering their own incentives for homeowners and businesses to go solar. Remain on the lookout in order to always be the first to know which states do offer them, which ones do not and which ones are planning to.
Source : Forbes
7. Promote your service correctly
Make sure that you advertize what the client is looking for and most of the time, what they're looking for; is a stress-free, turnkey solution that has the most bankable materials to profit fully from their system. Focus on their ROI, what's in it for them financially. Make it as comprehensive as possible for them to understand what's at stake and how easy it can be to switch to solar.
8. Carbon Credits
Cap and trade are the order of the day. In order to avoid possible EPA fines or just to become better global citizens, many corporations are looking to reduce their carbon footprint. See if there is a way that you could grow your list of solar prospects by incorporating carbon credits in your business. Carbon emission trading markets will continue to expand, so why not surf the wave?
9. Social Media
There are probably a few old school solar professionals out there that find social medias childish. However, the facts are more important than the opinions; everyone, including your solar prospects, is either on Facebook or one of the other social media platforms. You need to have a presence in all the relevant ones and to update your content therein as often as possible.
10. Play the Climate Change Card
Global Warming is here. As a solar professional, you are intimately involved in helping to mitigate its devastating effects. Stress the benefits for your client as well as for the environment in order to help your solar prospects feel even better about their wise investment in their solar installation from your firm.
Other than the manufacture of solar cells, most other areas of the solar energy field appear very bright indeed. With the specter of Climate Change ever increasing, the Green Technology movement is most certainly here to stay.
Now that you know about them, employ the above clever ideas with confidence and watch your solar prospects become as bright as the sun that nourishes them...while making sure to remind Forbes why their about-face was based on shaky assumptions!