Are you about starting a home energy audit business? If YES, here is a complete sample home energy audit business plan template & feasibility report you can use for FREE.
Okay, so we have considered all the requirements for starting a home energy audit business. We also took it further by analyzing and drafting a sample home energy audit marketing plan template backed up by actionable guerrilla marketing ideas for home energy audit companies. So let’s proceed to the business planning section.
Table of Content
- 1 Why Start a Home Energy Audit Business?
- 2 Home Energy Audit Business Plan – Executive Summary
- 3 Home Energy Audit Business Plan – SWOT Analysis
- 4 Home Energy Audit Business Plan – MARKET ANALYSIS
- 5 Home Energy Audit Business Plan – SALES AND MARKETING STRATEGY
- 6 Home Energy Audit Business Plan – Publicity and Advertising Strategy
- 7 Home Energy Audit Business Plan – Financial Projections and Costing
- 8 HOME ENERGY AUDIT BUSINESS GROWTH: Sustainability and Expansion Strategy
Why Start a Home Energy Audit Business?
There are loads of households and businesses that don’t have the faintest idea of how to cut down their energy consumption rate; hence they spend huge amounts on energy bills. If you are an energy consultant, then you can leverage on the gap in your city to launch your own home energy audit business.
You can be certain that your services would always be in demand by households and small businesses within your business coverage area. One good thing about this business is that you can handle more than 20 clients per time depending on how organized and hardworking you are.
So, if you have decided to start your own home energy audit business, then you should ensure that you carry out feasibility studies and market survey. Business plan is yet another very important business document that you should not take for granted when launching your own business.
Below is a sample home energy audit services business plan template that can help you to successfully write your own with little or no difficulty.
A Sample Home Energy Audit Business Plan Template
- Industry Overview
Home energy audit services business falls under the energy-efficiency consultants’ industry and Energy-efficiency consultants help their clients, most of which are manufacturers, to reduce energy consumption and pollutant emission. A range of energy-saving services, from technical consulting to project construction and management, are included in this industry. It is important to state that the manufacturing of energy-saving appliances is excluded.
The Energy-Efficiency Consultant industry went through a slight downturn during the recession due to a decline in national employment and of course a decrease in disposable income. However, the industry rebounded immediately after the recession phase as the national unemployment rate fell, and revenue increased as more Americans were required to audit their energy consumption.
At about same period, the energy-efficiency consultant industry landscape begun to change, with consumer preferences increasingly tending toward establishments that offer green energy. Despite the fact that the recent improving economic conditions are expected to support the growth of revenue generated in the industry, some home energy audit businesses performance will be stunted, as online providers pose a big threat to traditional brick-and-mortar firms.
The Energy-Efficiency Consultants industry is indeed a large industry and pretty much active in countries like United States of America, United Kingdom, France, Italy, Holland, Switzerland, Japan, China, Germany, and Canada et al.
When it comes to starting a home energy audit services business, if you are able to conduct your market research and feasibility studies, you are likely not going to struggle to secure clients because there are always individuals, households, mom and pop shops, startups and facility managers who would want to hire your services.
Lastly, with home energy audit services business, you can afford to partner with other smaller firms that are into real estate consulting services. The bottom line if that if you have a robust network and you are well positioned, you can indeed maximize your home energy audit services business.
Home Energy Audit Business Plan – Executive Summary
Sam Trenton® Home Energy Audit Services, LLC is a licensed energy efficiency consulting firm with strong bias in home energy audit services that will be based in Saint Paul – Minnesota. The firm will handle all aspects of home energy audit services; services that will help our clients reduce their energy consumption. We are aware that to run an all – round home energy audit services firm can be demanding which is why we are well trained, certified and equipped to perform.
Sam Trenton® Home Energy Audit Services, LLC is a client – focused home energy audit firm that provides broad – based services at an affordable fee that won’t in any way put a hole in the pocket of our clients. We will offer professional energy efficiency consulting services to all to our clients. We will ensure that we work hard to meet and surpass our clients’ expectations whenever they hire our services.
At Sam Trenton® Home Energy Audit Services, LLC, our client’s best interest would always come first, and everything we do would be guided by our values and professional ethics. We will ensure that we hire professionals who are experienced in the energy efficiency consulting industry with bias in home energy audit services.
Sam Trenton® Home Energy Audit Services, LLC will at all times demonstrate her commitment to sustainability, both individually and as a firm, by actively participating in our communities and integrating sustainable business practices wherever possible. We will ensure that we hold ourselves accountable to the highest standards by meeting our client’s needs precisely and completely.
Our plan is to position the business to become the leading brand in the home energy audit services line of business in Saint Paul – Minnesota, and also to be amongst the top 20 home energy audit services businesses in the United States of America within the first 10 years of operation.
This might look too tall a dream but we are optimistic that this will surely be realized because we have done our research and feasibility studies and we are confident that Saint Paul – Minnesota is the right place to launch our business.
Sam Trenton® Home Energy Audit Services, LLC is founded by Sam Trenton and Mike Emerson. The organization will be managed by both of them since they have adequate working experience to manage such business. Sam Trenton who is the lead partner has over 5 years’ experience working at various capacities within the energy efficiency consulting industry in the United States of America. Sam Trenton graduated from both MIT with a Degree in Electrical Electronics, and University of Harvard (MSc.).
- Our product and services
Sam Trenton® Home Energy Audit Services, LLC is going to offer varieties of services within the energy efficiency consulting industry in the United States of America. Our intention of starting our home energy audit services firm is to work with individuals, households and smaller organizations who want to cut the cost of their energy consumption.
We are prepared to make profits from the industry and we will do all that is permitted by the law in the United States to achieve our business goals. Our business offerings are listed below;
- Energy consumption diagnostics services
- Energy-efficiency project design services
- Energy-efficiency project reconstruction services
- Energy-efficiency project operation management services
Our Vision Statement
Our vision is to build a home energy audit services brand that will become the number one choice for both households and corporate clients in the whole of Saint Paul – Minnesota. Our vision reflects our values: integrity, service, excellence and teamwork.
- Our Mission Statement
Our mission is to provide professional, reliable and trusted home energy audit services that will assist households and small businesses in maximizing their energy consumption. We will position the business to become the leading brand in the home energy audit services line of business in the whole of Minnesota, and also to be amongst the top 20 home energy audit services firms in the United States of America within the first 10 years of operation.
- Our Business Structure
Ordinarily we would have settled for two or three staff members, but as part of our plan to build a standard home energy audit services firm, we have perfected plans to get it right from the beginning which is why we are going the extra mile to hire competent, honest and hardworking employees.
The kind of home energy audit business we intend building and the business goals we want to achieve is what informed the amount we are ready to pay for the best hands available in and around Saint Paul – Minnesota as long as they are ready to work with us to achieve our business goals and objectives.
As a matter of fact, we are set out to build a home energy audit services business that will be a standard for the home energy audit business in the United States of America. We want to build a dedicated workforce that will ensure that our customers are satisfied and they get value for their money.
We aware that it takes a business with the right employees and structure to achieve all what we have set to achieve, which is why will be putting structures and processes in place that will help us deliver excellent services and run the business on auto pilot.
Below is the business structure that we will build in Sam Trenton® Home Energy Audit Services, LLC;
- Chief Executive Officer
- Home Energy Auditors/Energy Efficiency Consultants
- Admin and HR Manager
- Marketing and Sales Executive
- Customer Care Executive/Front Desk Officer
Roles and Responsibilities
Chief Executive Office:
- Increases management’s effectiveness by recruiting, selecting, orienting, training, coaching, counseling, and disciplining managers; communicating values, strategies, and objectives; assigning accountabilities; planning, monitoring, and appraising job results; developing incentives; developing a climate for offering information and opinions.
- Responsible for fixing prices and signing business deals
- Responsible for providing direction for the business
- Creates, communicates, and implements the organization’s vision, mission, and overall direction – i.e. leading the development and implementation of the overall organization’s strategy.
- Responsible for signing checks and documents on behalf of the company
- Evaluates the success of the organization
Home Energy Auditors/Energy Efficiency Consultants
- Responsible for handling all aspects of home energy audit services; services that will help our clients reduce their energy consumption.
- Responsible for handling energy consumption diagnostics services
- Responsible for handling energy-efficiency project design services
- Responsible for handling energy-efficiency project reconstruction services
- Responsible for handling energy-efficiency project operation management services
- Handles other related services as assigned by the lead partner
Admin and HR Manager
- Responsible for overseeing the smooth running of HR and administrative tasks for the organization
- Designs job descriptions with KPI to drive performance management for clients
- Regularly hold meetings with key stakeholders to review the effectiveness of HR Policies, Procedures and Processes
- Defines job positions for recruitment and managing interviewing process
- Carries out induction of new team members
- Responsible for training, evaluation and assessment of employees
- Responsible for arranging travel, meetings and appointments
- Oversees the smooth running of the daily office activities.
Marketing and Sales Executive
- Identifies, prioritizes, and reaches out to new partners, and business opportunities et al
- Identifies development opportunities; follows up on development leads and contacts; participates in the structuring and financing of projects; assures the completion of relevant projects.
- Writes winning proposal documents, negotiate fees and rates in line with company policy
- Responsible for handling business research, marker surveys and feasibility studies for clients
- Develops, executes and evaluates new plans for increasing sales
- Helps increase sales and growth for the company
- Responsible for preparing financial reports, budgets, and financial statements for the organization
- Prepares the income statement and balance sheet using the trial balance and ledgers prepared by the bookkeeper.
- Provides managements with financial analyses, development budgets, and accounting reports
- Responsible for financial forecasting and risks analysis.
- Performs cash management, general ledger accounting, and financial reporting for one or more properties.
- Responsible for developing and managing financial systems and policies
- Responsible for administering payrolls
- Ensures compliance with taxation legislation
- Handles all financial transactions for the company
- Serves as internal auditor for the company
Client Service Executive/Front Desk Officer
- Welcomes guests and clients by greeting them in person or on the telephone; answering or directing inquiries.
- Ensures that all contacts with clients (e-mail, walk-In center, SMS or phone) provides the client with a personalized customer service experience of the highest level
- Through interaction with clients on the phone, uses every opportunity to build client’s interest in the company’s products and services
- Consistently stays abreast of any new information on the company’s products, promotional campaigns etc. to ensure accurate and helpful information is supplied to clients
- Receives parcels/documents for the company
- Distribute mails in the organization
- Handles any other duties as assigned by the line manager
Home Energy Audit Business Plan – SWOT Analysis
Our plan of starting our home energy audit services business covering clients within Saint Paul – Minnesota is to test run the business for a period of three to six years to know if we will invest more money, expand the business and then extend our services all over major towns in Minnesota.
We are aware that there are a number of home energy audit firms all over Saint Paul – Minnesota and even in the same location where we intend locating ours, which is why we are following the due process of establishing a business.
We know that if proper SWOT analysis is conducted for our business, we will be able to position our business to maximize our strength, leverage on the opportunities that will be available to us, mitigate our risks and be equipped to confront our threats.
Sam Trenton® Home Energy Audit Services, LLC employed the services of an expert HR and Business Analyst with bias in the energy efficiency consulting industry to help us conduct thorough SWOT analysis and to help us create a business model that will help us achieve our business goals and objectives.
This is the summary of the SWOT analysis that was conducted for Sam Trenton® Home Energy Audit Services, LLC;
Our strength lies in the power of our team; our workforce. We have a team that can go all the way to give our clients value for their money; a team that is trained and equipped to pay attention to details and to deliver excellent jobs. We are well positioned and we know we will attract loads of clients from the first day we open our doors for business.
Part of what is going to count as a weakness for our business is the fact that we will be competing with well-established energy efficiency consulting firms who are already defining the direction of the industry.
The opportunities in the energy efficiency consulting industry is massive considering the number of households and businesses who want to hire the services of home energy audit firms. As a standard home energy audit firm, we are ready to take advantage of any opportunity that comes our way.
Some of the threats that we are likely going to face as a home energy audit firm operating in the United States are unfavorable government policies, the arrival of a competitor within our location of operation and global economic downturn which usually affects purchasing/spending power.
Home Energy Audit Business Plan – MARKET ANALYSIS
- Market Trends
A notable trend in the industry is that in the last five years, the industry has performed impressively as a reduction in unemployment boosted the revenue generated in the industry. So also, the energy efficiency consulting industry has benefited from the advancement of online and computer energy efficiency services, with new cloud-based offerings providing new revenue stream for operators, and attracting new customers.
Going forward, increasing product penetration and of course an expanding customer base is expected to drive growth in the industry.
- Our Target Market
The demographic and psychographic composition of those who need the services of home energy audit services providers cut across small businesses and households.
Sam Trenton® Home Energy Audit Services, LLC will initially serve households, small to medium sized business and other clients, but that does not in any way stop us from growing to compete with leading home energy audit firms in the United States.
Our target market cuts across businesses of different sizes. We are coming into the industry with a business concept that will enable us work with the small businesses and bigger corporations in and around Saint Paul – Minnesota. Below is a list of the businesses and organizations that we have specifically designed our services for;
- Mom and Pop Businesses
- Blue Chips Companies
- Corporate Organizations
- Religious Organizations
- Hotels and Restaurants
- The Government (Public Sector)
- Schools (High Schools, Colleges and Universities)
- Sport Organizations
Our Competitive Advantage
The level of competition in the energy efficiency consulting industry depends largely on the location of the business and of course the niche of your services. If you can successfully create a unique brand identity for your home energy audit services firm or carve out a unique market, you are likely going to experience less competition.
For instance, if you are one of the few firms in your location that also offer energy-efficiency project financing services, you are likely going to have a competitive advantage over your competitors. Top on the list when it comes to the competitive advantages that we are bringing to the table are our ability to attract local support/patronage, our ability to manage risk and of course our ability to quickly adopt new technology.
We are quite aware that to be highly competitive in the energy efficiency consulting industry means that we should be able to deliver consistent quality service, our clients should be able to experience remarkable difference cum improvement in the amount they spend on energy and we should be able to meet the expectations of clients.
Sam Trenton® Home Energy Audit Services, LLC might be new in the industry but our management staff and owners of the business are considered gurus. They are highly qualified energy efficiency experts in the United States. These are part of what will count as a competitive advantage for us.
Lastly, our employees will be well taken care of, and their welfare package will be among the best within our category in the industry meaning that they will be more than willing to build the business with us and help deliver our set goals and achieve all our aims and objectives.
Home Energy Audit Business Plan – SALES AND MARKETING STRATEGY
We are mindful of the fact that there is stiff competition in this industry; hence we have been able to hire some of the best business developers to handle our sales and marketing.
Our sales and marketing team will be recruited base on their vast experience in the industry and they will be trained on a regular basis to meet the overall goal of the organization. We will also ensure that our excellent job deliveries speak for us in the market place; we want to build a standard home energy audit service business that will leverage on word of mouth advertisement from satisfied clients.
Our goal is to grow our home energy audit consulting firm to become one of the top 20 home energy audit services firms in the United States of America which is why we have mapped out strategies that will help us take advantage of the available market and grow to become a major force to reckon with not only in the industry.
Sam Trenton® Home Energy Audit Services, LLC is set to make use of the following marketing and sales strategies to attract clients;
- Introduce our business by sending introductory letters alongside our brochure to corporate organizations, schools, households and key stake holders in Saint Paul and other cities in Minnesota.
- Promptness in bidding for energy efficiency consulting contracts from the estates, religious organizations and other cooperate organizations
- Advertise our business in relevant energy and business related magazines, newspapers, TV and radio stations
- List our business on yellow pages ads (local directories)
- Attend relevant international and local finance and business expos, seminars, and business fairs
- Create different packages for different category of clients (startups and households) in order to work with their budgets and still deliver quality services to them
- Leverage on the internet to promote our business
- Engage direct marketing approach
- Encourage word of mouth marketing from loyal and satisfied clients
Sources of Income
Sam Trenton® Home Energy Audit Services, LLC is established with the aim of maximizing profits in the energy efficiency consulting services industry and we are going to go all the way to ensure that we do all it takes to attract clients on a regular basis.
Sam Trenton® Home Energy Audit Services, LLC will generate income by offering the following energy efficiency consulting services;
- Energy consumption diagnostics services
- Energy-efficiency project design services
- Energy-efficiency project reconstruction services
- Energy-efficiency project operation management services
One thing is certain, there would always be households, mom and pop shops, startups, NGOs and corporate organizations that would need the services of professional energy efficiency consultants.
We are positioned to take on the available market in Saint Paul – Minnesota and we are quite optimistic that we will meet our set target of generating enough income from our first six months of operation and grow the business and our clientele base beyond Saint Paul to other cities in Minnesota.
We have been able to examine the home energy audit market, we have analyzed our chances in the industry and we have been able to come up with the following sales forecast.
Below is the sales projection for Sam Trenton® Home Energy Audit Services, LLC, it is based on the location of our business and the wide range of home energy audit services that we will be offering;
First Year: $250,000
Second Year: $450,000
Third Year: $750,000
N.B: This projection was done based on what is obtainable in the industry and with the assumption that there won’t be any major economic meltdown within the period stated above and there won’t be any major competitor offering same services as we do within same location. Please note that the above projection might be lower and at the same time it might be higher.
- Our Pricing Strategy
Hourly billing for home energy audit consulting services is a long – time tradition in the industry. However, for some types of services, flat fees make more sense because they allow clients to better predict consultancy costs. As a result of this, Sam Trenton® Home Energy Audit Services, LLC will charge our clients a flat fee for many basic services such as energy consumption diagnostics services.
At Sam Trenton® Home Energy Audit Services, LLC we will keep our fees below the average market rate for all of our clients by keeping our overhead low and by collecting payment in advance.
- Payment Options
The payment policy adopted by Sam Trenton® Home Energy Audit Services, LLC is all inclusive because we are quite aware that different customers prefer different payment options as it suits them but at the same time, we will ensure that we abide by the financial rules and regulation of the United States of America.
Here are the payment options that Sam Trenton® Home Energy Audit Services, LLC will make available to her clients;
- Payment via bank transfer
- Payment with cash
- Payment via Point of Sale Machine (POS)
- Payment via online bank transfer
- Payment via check
In view of the above, we have chosen banking platforms that will enable our clients make payments for our services without any stress on their part. Our bank account numbers will be made available on our website and promotional materials.
Home Energy Audit Business Plan – Publicity and Advertising Strategy
We have been able to work with our brand and publicity consultants to help us map out publicity and advertising strategies that will help us walk our way into the heart of our target market. We are set to take the energy efficiency consulting services industry by storm which is why we have made provisions for effective publicity and advertisement of our business.
Below are the platforms we intend to leverage on to promote and advertise Sam Trenton® Home Energy Audit Services, LLC;
- Place adverts on both print (community based newspapers and 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 our brand
- Install our billboards in strategic locations all around Saint Paul – Minnesota
- Distribute our fliers and handbills in target areas
- Ensure that all our workers wear our branded shirts and all our vehicles are well branded with our company’s logo
Home Energy Audit Business Plan – Financial Projections and Costing
Starting a home energy audit firm can be cost effective because on the average, you are not expected to acquire expensive machines and equipment. What you should be concerned about is the amount needed to secure a standard office in a good and busy business district, equip the office, purchase required software applications, pay bills, promote the business and obtain the appropriate business license and certifications.
These are the key areas where we will spend our startup capital on;
- The total fee for registering the Business in the United States of America – $750.
- Legal expenses for obtaining licenses and permits – $1,500.
- Marketing promotion expenses (2,000 flyers at $0.04 per copy) for the total amount of $3,580.
- The cost for hiring Business Consultant – $2,000.
- Insurance (general liability, workers’ compensation and property casualty) coverage at a total premium – $30,800.
- The cost of accounting software, CRM software and Payroll Software – $3,000
- The cost for leasing standard office facility- $60,000.
- The cost for facility remodeling – $6,000.
- Other start-up expenses including stationery – $1000
- Phone and utility deposits – $3,500
- Operational cost for the first 3 months (salaries of employees, payments of bills et al) – $40,000
- The cost for the purchase of furniture and gadgets (Computers, Printers, Telephone, TVs, Credit card machine, POS, tables and chairs et al) – $4,000.
- The cost of launching a website – $600
- Miscellaneous – $5,000
Going by the report from the market research and feasibility studies conducted, we will need about one hundred fifty thousand (150,000) U.S. dollars to successfully set up a medium scale but standard home energy audit services company in the United States of America.
Generating Startup Capital for Sam Trenton® Home Energy Audit Services, LLC
Sam Trenton® Home Energy Audit Services, LLC is a business that will be owned and managed by Sam Trenton and his business partner Mike Emerson. They are the financiers of the firm, but may likely welcome partners later which is why they decided to restrict the sourcing of the startup capital for the business to just three major sources.
These are the areas we intend generating our startup capital;
- Generate part of the startup capital from personal savings
- Source for soft loans from family members and friends
- Apply for loan from the bank
N.B: We have been able to generate about $50,000 (Personal savings $40,000 and soft loan from family members $10,000) and we are at the final stages of obtaining a loan facility of $100,000 from our bank. All the papers and documents have been duly signed and submitted, the loan has been approved and any moment from now our account will be credited.
HOME ENERGY AUDIT BUSINESS GROWTH: Sustainability and Expansion Strategy
The future of a business lies in the number of loyal customers they have, the capacity and competence of their employees, their investment strategy and the business structure. If all these factors are missing from a business, then it won’t be too long before the business closes shop.
One of our major goals of starting Sam Trenton® Home Energy Audit Services, LLC is to build a business that will survive off its own cash flow without injecting finance from external sources once the business is officially running. We know that one of the ways of gaining approval and winning customers over is to offer our home energy audit consulting services a little bit cheaper than what is obtainable in the market and we are prepared to survive on lower profit margin for a while.
Sam Trenton® Home Energy Audit Services, LLC will make sure that the right foundation, structures and processes are put in place to ensure that our staff welfare are well taken of. Our company’s corporate culture is designed to drive our business to greater heights and training and retraining of our workforce is at the top burner of our business strategy.
As a matter of fact, profit-sharing arrangement will be made available to all our management staff and it will be based on their performance for a period of three years or more as determined by the board of the organization. We know that if that is put in place, we will be able to successfully hire and retain the best hands we can get in the industry; they will be more committed to help us build the business of our dreams.
- Business Name Availability Check: Completed
- Business Incorporation: Completed
- Opening of Corporate Bank Accounts in various banks in the United States: Completed
- Opening Online Payment Platforms: Completed
- Application and Obtaining Tax Payer’s ID: In Progress
- Application for business license and permit: Completed
- Purchase of Insurance for the Business: Completed
- Conducting Feasibility Studies: Completed
- Generating part of the startup capital from the founder: Completed
- Applications for Loan from our Bankers: In Progress
- Writing of Business Plan: Completed
- Drafting of Employee’s Handbook: Completed
- Drafting of Contract Documents: In Progress
- Design of The Company’s Logo: Completed
- Printing of Promotional Materials: Completed
- Recruitment of employees: In Progress
- Purchase of software applications, furniture, office equipment, electronic appliances and facility facelift: In progress
- Creating Official Website for the Company: In Progress
- Creating Awareness for the business (Business PR): In Progress
- Health and Safety and Fire Safety Arrangement: In Progress
- Establishing business relationship with vendors and key players in the industry: In Progress