Do you want to start a wind farm? If YES, here is a complete guide to starting a wind farm business with NO money and no experience.
Okay, so we have provided you an in-depth sample wind farm business plan template. We also took it further by analyzing and drafting a sample wind farm marketing plan backed up by actionable guerrilla marketing ideas for wind farms. In this article, we will be considering all the requirements for starting a wind farm business. So put on your entrepreneurial hat and let’s proceed.
Why Start a Wind Farm Business?
If you have the capital and technical capacity, and you are looking towards starting a technical related business, one of your options is to go into wind farming. Power, especially power from renewable energy that does not harm our environment is the most preferred option in our world today, hence the world is going green to save the world.
If you live in the United States of America and in some developed countries of the world, you will agree that legislation is geared to supporting and promoting business ventures such as wind farms because they are a good source of power generation. Besides, there is indeed a large market for wind farm companies.
If you have decided to start your own wind farm, it is very important that you analyze the existing wind farms in and outside your area. Also, you would be required to check the existing competition to know their strength and weaknesses. Knowing the weaknesses of the existing wind farm facilities around you means that you would be able to learn from their mistakes and in turn come up with a better and more preferred business devoid of the mistakes and weaknesses of others.
So, if you are serious about starting your own wind farm business, all you need do is to read this article and you will be well equipped.
Starting a Wind Farm Business – A Complete Guide
- Industry Overview
To start with, a wind farm is a group of wind turbines in the same location used to generate electricity. A large wind farm may be made up of several hundred individual wind turbines, spreading over an extended area of hundreds of square miles, but the land between the turbines may be used for agricultural or other purposes. It is important to state that a wind farm can also be located offshore.
The Wind Power industry generates revenue from owning and operating wind farms and selling the produced energy to downstream customers. Over the years, government support has made this energy source more cost competitive than other electricity-generation sources, with net generation from wind continuing to soar high.
Because of this, the industry revenue is expected to grow going forward. Industry operators benefit from the federal production tax credit (PTC), a government incentive that pays producers per unit of energy sold. The PTC offers renewable power generation operators a tax credit and it has been instrumental to the growth enjoyed in the industry.
The Wind Power (wind farms) industry is indeed a thriving industry in the United States of America and in some developed countries. Statistics has it that the Wind Power industry in the United States of America is worth $9bn, with an estimated growth rate of 11.6 percent.
There are about 272 registered and licensed wind farms scattered all across the United States. Wind farms are responsible for employing about 4,662 people. NextEra Energy Resources and Avangrid are dominating the available market share in the industry.
A recent research publication released by IBISWorld shows that wind power production in the United States is growing at a rapid rate. The report stated that the Industry value added, which measures an industry’s contribution to GDP, is anticipated to increase at an annual average rate of 19.1 percent over the 10 years to 2021. In comparison, GDP is projected to grow at an annualized rate of 2.1 percent over the same period.
As a result, the Wind Power industry’s importance to the economy is increasing, which indicates that the industry is in the growth phase of its life cycle. The report further stated that government support has been leading the industry’s growth, with tax credits and utility mandates guaranteeing markets for the industry’s products.
The Wind Power industry will continue to blossom because people and organizations will not relent in ensuring that they source for clean and renewable energy with the advocacy for going green and saving the planet.
Some of the factors that encourage entrepreneurs to start their own wind farm business are that the business is a thriving business and it is still pretty much enjoying immense support from government and relevant international donors. So also, stronger economic activity and a focus on energy independence will contribute to attracting investors in wind power production industry.
Starting a Wind Farm Business – Market Research and Feasibility Studies
- Demographics and Psychographics
The demographic and psychographic composition of those who need the power generated from wind farms cut across businesses and households hence the demographic composition for a wind farm, is all encompassing. The truth is that when it comes to wind farm companies, there is indeed a wide range of available customers; and it includes every facility that makes use of electrical power supply.
So, if you are thinking of starting a wind farm business then you should make your target demographics all encompassing. It should include households, corporate organizations and public facilities within the location where your wind farm is located.
List of Niche ideas Within the Wind Farm Business That You Can Specialize in
All wind farms or wind power generating companies tend to carry out services that have to do with operating wind farms that are used to generate electricity that is why it seem that there are no niche areas in the industry. But on the other hand, some wind farms may decide to major in some key areas or niche area such as;
- Onshore wind farming
- Offshore wind farming
- Utility scale generation
- Distributed generation
The Level of Competition in the Wind Power Industry
The competition that exist in the wind farm line of business goes beyond competitions amongst wind farm companies, but includes every player in the electrical power generating industry especially those that generate electrical power from renewable sources in your city or country. So, it will be right to say the competition in the wind farm line of business is tough.
The truth is that no matter the level of competition in an industry, if you have done your due diligence and you brand and promote your services or business properly, you will always make headway in the industry. Just ensure that there are no fluctuations in your electrical power generations and you know how to attract and reach out to your target market.
But over and above, there is a good number of wind farms scattered all around the United States of America. So, if you choose to open your own wind farm business in the United States, you will definitely meet stiffer competitions amongst other players in the electrical power generating industry especially those who generate electrical power from renewable sources in your city or country. Besides, there are larger wind farms that determine the trends in the industry and you should be ready to compete with them for customers.
List of Well – Known Brands in the Wind Farm Industry
In every industry, there are always brands that perform better or are better regarded by customers and the general public than others. Some of these brands are those that have been in the industry for a long time, while others are best known for how they conduct their businesses and the results they have achieved over the years.
These are some of the leading wind farms in the United States of America and in the globe;
- NextEra Energy Resources
- Alta (Oak Creek-Mojave)
- Buffalo Gap Wind Farm
- Capricorn Ridge Wind Farm
- Fowler Ridge Wind Farm
- Horse Hollow Wind Energy Center
- Meadow Lake Wind Farm
- Panther Creek Wind Farm
- Roscoe Wind Farm
- Shepherds Flat Wind Farm
- Sweetwater Wind Farm
- Greater Gabbard wind farm
- Caribou Wind Park
- Bear Mountain Wind Park
- Centennial Wind Power Facility
- Enbridge Ontario Wind Farm
- Kent Hills Wind Farm
- Prince Township Wind Farm
- Leon Wind Farm
If you are looking in the direction of successfully launching a business and maximizing profits, then you need to ensure that you get your economic and cost analysis right and try as much as possible to adopt best practices in the industry you choose to build a business in.
In spite of the fact that the wind farming business has been around for a while now, it is indeed a competitive business, as a matter of fact, you will come across several wind farms and renewable electrical power generating companies when you go out there sourcing for one.
So, if you are mapping out your economic and cost analysis, you should carry out thorough market survey and costing of the amount needed to build a standard multipurpose wind farm, secure the required tools and equipment and also the cost to successfully run the business.
Over and above, if you are considering starting a wind farm business, then your concern should not be limited to the cost of registering the business, securing the required license, leasing and equipping the wind farm, purchasing the needed work – tools, but also on branding and on how to build a robust clientele base. The truth is that if you are able to build a robust clientele base and far reaching business network, you are sure going to maximize profits in the business.
Starting Your Wind Farm from Scratch vs Buying a Franchise
If you are looking towards starting a wind farm, you would have to start from the scratch because you can hardly get the franchise of a wind farm facility to buy.
Besides, starting a wind farm business from the scratch is straightforward and usually receives support from government and other stakeholders when compared to other businesses that have to do with generating electrical power.
In the wind farming business, you should just try as much as possible to get the right business license and permits, secure a suitable, standard and secured farm land facility, the required tools and equipment, build business relationship with key stakeholders and then leverage on every marketing tool within your disposal especially the internet to market your electrical power.
Please note that most of the big and successful wind farm facilities around started from the scratch and they were able to build a solid business brand. It takes dedication, hard work and determination to achieve business success and of course you can build your own wind farm facility to become a successful brand with corporate and individual customers in your city and from all across the length and breadth of the United States of America if you choose to branch out.
Possible Threats and Challenges You Will Face When Starting a Wind Farm Facility
If you decide to start your own wind farm company today, one of the major challenges you are likely going to face is the presence of well – established wind farm companies and other players in the electrical power generating industry especially those who are also engaged in generating electrical power from renewable energy sources. The only way to avoid this challenge is to create your own market.
Some other challenges and threats that you are likely going to face are natural disasters, cost of maintenance and repairs and also economic downturn; if the economy is in bad shape, history has it that businesses such as wind farms and the likes usually struggle to maintain their old customers or even welcome new customers.
So also, unfavorable government policies can also hamper the growth of your wind farm business. There is nothing you can do as regard these threats and challenges other than to stay positive that things will work well for you.
Starting a Wind Farm Business – Legal Matters
- Best legal entity to use for this type of business
Generally, you have the option of either choosing a general partnership, limited liability Company which, or even a sole proprietorship for a business such as wind Farm Company. Ordinarily, sole proprietorship should have been the ideal business structure for a small – scale wind Farm Company especially if you are just starting out with moderate start – up capital and covering just a community or a small city.
But people prefer limited liability Company for obvious reasons. As a matter of fact, if your intention is to grow the business and offer your services to customers all across your state and throughout the United States of America, then choosing sole proprietor is not an option for you. Limited Liability Company, LLC or even general partnership will cut it for you.
Setting up an LLC protects you from personal liability. If anything goes wrong in the business, it is only the money that you invested into the limited liability company that will be at risk. It is not so for sole proprietorships and general partnerships. Limited liability companies are simpler and more flexible to operate and you don’t need a board of directors, shareholders meetings and other managerial formalities.
These are some of the factors you should consider before choosing a legal entity for your wind farm company; limitation of personal liability, ease of transferability, admission of new owner, investors’ expectation and of course taxes.
If you take your time to critically study the various legal entities to use for your wind farm company with the ability to offer retail electrical power to customers all across the city and state that you operate from and throughout the United States of America, you will agree that limited liability company; an LLC is most suitable. You can start this type of business as limited liability company (LLC) and in future convert it to a ‘C’ corporation or an ‘S’ corporation especially when you have the plans of going public.
Catchy Business Name ideas Suitable for a Wind Farm Company
As it relates choosing a name for your business, you should be creative because whatever name you choose for your business will go a long way to create a perception of what the business represents. If you are considering starting your own wind farm company, here are some catchy names that you can choose from;
- James Bridge® Wind Farm Company, LLC
- Point Turbine™ Wind Farm Company, LLC
- Bruno Blades© Wind Farm Company, Inc.
- Three Fan Blades® Wind Farm Company, Inc.
- Green Field© Wind Farm Company, Inc.
- Safe Power® Wind Farm Company, Inc.
- Out of the Blues™ Wind Farm Company, Inc.
- California Space© Wind Farm Company, LLC
- Crist Cross Wind Farm Company, Inc.
- Ultimate Electric® Wind Farm Company, Inc.
In the United States and in most countries of the world, you can’t operate a business without having some of the basic insurance policy covers that are required by the industry you want to operate from. So, it is important to create a budget for insurance and perhaps consult an insurance broker to guide you in choosing the best and most appropriate insurance policies for your wind farm company.
Here are some of the basic insurance covers that you should consider purchasing if you want to start your own wind farm company in the United States of America;
- General insurance
- Health insurance
- Liability insurance
- Energy Insurance
- Risk insurance
- Workers compensation
- Overhead expense disability insurance
- Business owner’s policy group insurance
- Payment protection insurance
Intellectual Property Protection/Trademark
If you are considering starting your own wind farm company, usually you may not have any need to file for intellectual property protection/trademark. This is so because the nature of the business makes it possible for you to successfully run it without having any cause to challenge anybody in court for illegally making use of your company’s intellectual properties.
But if you just want to protect your company’s logo and other documents or software that are unique to you or even jingles and media production concepts and special technology invented by you, then you can go ahead to file for intellectual property protection. If you want to register your trademark, you are expected to begin the process by filing an application with the USPTO.
Is Professional Certification Needed to Run a Wind Farm Business?
Apart from your ability to generate clean energy (electrical power) via wind farm, professional certification is one of the main reasons why some wind farm companies stand out. If you want to make an impact in the wind power industry, you should work towards acquiring all the needed certifications in your area of specialization. Certification validates your competency and shows that you are highly skilled, committed to your career and up-to-date in this competitive market.
These are some of the certifications you can work towards achieving if you want to run your own wind farm company;
- Wind Farm Project Certification
- Offshore Wind Farm Certification
- Wind Turbine Certification
- Degree in Electrical Engineering
Please note that you cannot successfully run a wind farm company in the United States and in most countries of the world without acquiring professional certifications and business license even if you have adequate experience cum background in the wind power industry.
List of Legal Documents You Need to Run a Wind Farm Company
The essence of having the necessary documentation in place before launching a business in the United States of America cannot be overemphasized. It is a fact that you cannot successfully run any business in the United States without the proper documentations. If you do, it won’t be too long before the long hand of the law catch-up with you.
These are some of the basic legal documents that you are expected to have in place if you want to legally run your own wind farm company in the United States of America;
- Certificate of Incorporation
- Business License
- Tax Payer’s ID/Tax Identification Number
- Business Plan
- Non – disclosure Agreement
- Employee Handbook
- Employment Agreement (offer letters)
- Operating Agreement for LLCs
- Insurance Policy
- Company Bylaws
- Memorandum of Understanding (MoU)
- Contract Document
- Franchise or Trademark License (optional)
Financing Your Wind Farm Company
Starting a wind Farm Company is indeed capital intensive even if you choose to start on a small scale. If you choose to start the business on a large scale with a standard and well – equipped wind farm and over a handful of full time employees, then you need to go source for fund to finance the business because it is expensive to start a standard large-scale wind farm company.
When it comes to financing a business, one of the major factors that you should consider is to write a good business plan. If you have a good and workable business plan document in place, you may not have to labor yourself before convincing your bank, investors and your friends to invest in your business.
Here are some of the options you can explore when sourcing for startup capital for your wind farm company;
- Raising money from personal savings and sale of personal stocks and properties
- Raising money from investors and business partners
- Sell of shares to interested investors
- Applying for loan from your bank
- Pitching your business idea and applying for business grants and seed funding from donor organizations and angel investors
- Source for soft loans from your family members and your friends
Choosing a Suitable Location for a Wind Farm Company
Even though you can afford to start a wind farm company from any part of the United States of America, when it comes to choosing a location for your wind farm company, you should be guided by the access to suitable land, and of course securing the required licenses and permits in the location. Of course, if you are able to start your wind farm company in the right location for such business, you won’t struggle to make headway in the business.
It is important to note that a business facility in a good location does not come cheap hence you should be able to allocate enough fund for leasing/renting in your budget. If you are new to the dynamics of choosing a location for a business such as wind Farm Company, then you should feel free to talk to a business consultant or a realtor who has full grasp of the city and perhaps country you intend starting your wind farm company.
Most importantly, before choosing a location for your wind farm company, ensure that you first conduct a thorough feasibility studies and market survey. The possibility of you coming across similar business that just closed shop in the location you want to open yours can’t be ruled out. This is why it is very important to gather as much facts and figures, before choosing a location to set up your own wind farm company.
These are some of the key factors that you should consider before choosing a location for your wind farm company;
- The demography of the location as it relates to the number of households and corporate organizations that have the capacity to patronize your electrical power and of course the nature of the land as it relates to supporting wind farming
- The demand for electrical power in the location
- The purchasing power of residents of the location
- Accessibility of the location
- The number of wind farm companies and related companies that also generate electrical power from renewable energy sources in the location
- The local laws and regulations in the community
- Traffic, parking and security et al
Starting a Wind Farm Business – Technical and Manpower Details
On the average, the special technology/equipment needed to run this type of business are wind power generating equipment and tools (wind turbine, hub, nacelle, tower structure, generator, controls, and foundation), inventory-management software and other relevant software applications. So also, you will definitely need computers, internet facility, telephone, fax machine and office furniture (chairs, tables, and shelves) amongst other and all these can be gotten as fairly used.
When it comes to hiring employees for a standard wind farm company, you should make plans to hire a competent Chief Executive Officer/Manager (you can occupy this role), Admin and Human Resources Manager, Electrical Engineers and Technicians, Sales and Marketing Officer, Accounting Clerk, and Front Desk Officer. These are some of the key employees that you can work with. On the average, you will need a minimum of 5 to 10 key staff members to run a medium – scale but standard wind farm company.
The Business Services Process Involved in a Wind Farm Company
The business services process as it relates to wind farming is straightforward and in most cases clearly defined. Basically, wind farms are known to produce clean energy and this is done by using a large wind turbine usually consisting of propellers; the turbine can be connected to a generator to generate electricity, or the wind can be used as mechanical power to perform tasks such as pumping water or grinding grain.
As the wind passes the turbines it moves the blades, which spins the shaft. The speed of the wind turns the blades of a rotor (between 10 and 25 turns per minute), a source of mechanical energy. Wind turbines convert the kinetic energy in the wind into mechanical power. This mechanical power can be used for specific tasks such as grinding grain or pumping water or a generator can convert this mechanical power into clean electricity.
Starting a Wind Farm Business – The Marketing Plan
- Marketing ideas and strategies
Generally, running a business requires that you should be proactive when it comes to marketing your goods or services. If you choose to launch a wind farm company, then you must go all out to employ strategies that will help you attract customers or else you will likely struggle with the business because there are well – known brands determining the market direction for wind power industry.
Your marketing strategy should center on reliability, swiftness, safety, pricing, secured payment platform, and above all excellent customer service. You should ensure that whenever your customers patronize your company, they will get excellent service. The truth is that if you are able to put the above stated in place, you won’t struggle to retain your old customers and at the same time win over new customers.
Businesses these days are aware of the power of the internet, which is why they will do all they can to maximize the internet to market their services. In other words, a larger percentage of your marketing effort should be directed to internet users.
Here are some of the platforms you should utilize to market your wind farm company;
- Introduce your wind farm company by sending introductory letters alongside our brochure to government ministries, agencies and parastatals, the organized private sector, households, and every organization that has the capacity to purchase electrical power within the location where your wind farm company is located
- Advertise your wind farm company in relevant business magazines, newspapers, TV and radio stations
- List your wind farm company in yellow pages ads (local directories)
- Attend relevant international and local expos, seminars, and business fairs et al
- Create different packages for different category of clients in order to work with their budgets and still deliver electrical power to them
- Leverage on the internet to promote your wind farm company
- Join local chambers of commerce around you with the main aim of networking and marketing your business; you are likely going to get referrals from such networks
- Engage the services of marketing executives and business developers to carry out direct marketing
Factors That Will Help You Get the Right Product Pricing
One key factor that will help you sell your electrical power at the right price is to ensure that you cut operational cost to the barest minimum, and channel your efforts towards marketing and promoting your brand name. Asides from the fact that this strategy will help you save cost, it will also help you get the right pricing for your electrical power.
You can also try as much as possible to work with independent contractors and marketers; it will help you save cost for paying sales and marketing executives.
As regards the servicing and maintenance of your wind farm equipment, you need to ensure that you purchase your spare parts directly from the manufacturers or from wholesale distributors in pretty large quantities. The truth is the higher the quantity of items that you purchase directly from the manufacturers or wholesale distributors, the cheaper you tend to get them.
Strategies to Boost Your Wind Farm Brand Awareness and Create Your Corporate Identity
If your intention of starting a wind farm company is to grow the business beyond the city where you are going to be operating from to become a national and international brand, then you must be ready to spend money on promotion and advertisement of your brand.
No matter the industry you belong to, the truth is that the market is dynamic and it requires consistent brand awareness and brand boosting cum promotion to continue to appeal to your target market. Here are the platforms you can leverage on to boost your brand awareness and create corporate identity for your wind farm company;
- Place adverts on both print (newspapers and energy magazines) and electronic media platforms
- Sponsor relevant community based events
- Leverage on the internet and social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google + et al to promote your services
- Install your billboards in strategic locations all around your city or state
- Engage in roadshows from time to time in targeted neighborhoods to create awareness for your wind farm company and the benefits of using green and renewable energy
- Distribute your fliers and handbills in target areas
- Contact government ministries, agencies and parastatals, organized private sector, households, and every organization that has the capacity to purchase electrical power within the location where your wind farm company is located, informing them about your business and the products and services you offer
- List your wind farm company in local directories
- Advertise your wind farm company in your official website and employ strategies that will help you pull traffic to the site
- Position our Flexi Banners at strategic positions in the location where your wind farm company is located
- Ensure that all your staff members wear your branded shirts and all your vehicles and trucks/vans are well branded with your company logo et al.