Are you about starting a solar water heater installation business? If YES, here is a complete sample solar water heater installation business plan template & feasibility report you can use for FREE.
Okay, so we have considered all the requirements for starting a solar water heater installation business. We also took it further by analyzing and drafting a sample solar water heater marketing plan template backed up by actionable guerrilla marketing ideas for solar water heater installation companies. So let’s proceed to the business planning section.
Table of Content
- Why Start a Solar Water Heater Installation Business?
- 1. Industry Overview
- 2. Executive Summary
- 3. Our Products and Services
- 4. Our Mission and Vision Statement
- 5. Job Roles and Responsibilities
- 6. SWOT Analysis
- 7. MARKET ANALYSIS
- 8. Our Target Market
- 9. SALES AND MARKETING STRATEGY
- 10. Sales Forecast
- 11. Publicity and Advertising Strategy
- 12. Our Pricing Strategy
- 13. Startup Expenditure (Budget)
- 14. Sustainability and Expansion Strategy
Why Start a Solar Water Heater Installation Business?
If you are thinking of starting a business with good returns on investment, then one of your best options is to venture into the engineering industry. Of course, there are several money spinning business opportunities in the engineering industry and one of them is to start a solar water heater installation company.
In the united states of America and in most countries in Europe, you will notice that a good percentage of homes and offices have solar water heaters. This goes to show that there is indeed a large market for solar water heater installation business. Solar water heater installation howbeit technical is a business that can be learnt in a few months especially if you have electrical and electronics engineering background.
If you are truly convinced that starting a solar water heater installation company is the right business for you to do, then you need to write your own business plan. Below is a sample solar water heater installation company business plan template that will help you to successfully write yours with little or no stress.
A Sample Solar Water Heater Installation Company Business Plan Template
1. Industry Overview
Players in the Solar Water Heater installation industry basically install solar water heater systems as part of general residential and commercial contracting services. These operators are contracted either directly by the customer or by solar marketing companies that arrange buyers for solar thermal systems and contract an industry operator to carry out the work.
If you are an observer of the Solar Water Heater Installation industry, you will agree that the industry has very low barriers to entry. Companies with knowledge of plumbing and general construction can enter the industry with relative ease.
Successful operators should have a working knowledge of the systems they are installing as well as building codes and state-specific incentives. This information is widely available and does not require a specialized technical background to understand.
The largest barrier to entry for new participants is lacking a proven track record of installing solar water heater systems. This barrier can be overcome relatively easily by initially providing installation services at a discount to gain a foothold in the market. Notably, this strategy will pressure profit margins and may preclude entry by companies with limited capital resources.
The Solar Water Heater Installation industry is indeed a large industry and pretty much active in countries such as United States of America, United Kingdom, Germany, France, Italy, Holland, Switzerland, Australia and Canada et al.
Statistics has it that in the United States of America alone, there are about 786 registered and licensed solar water heater installation companies scattered all across the United States responsible for employing about 1,783 people and the industry rakes in a whooping sum of $188 million annually. The industry is projected to grow at 3.1 percent annual growth within 2012 and 2017. It is important to state that there is no establishment in this industry that has the largest market share.
A recent report published by IBISWORLD shows that the Solar Water Heater Installation industry had an erratic past five years. The industry’s saving grace was an assortment of both federal and state solar investment tax credits (ITCs), which subsidized the cost of solar water heater installations.
Over the next five years, revenue growth is forecast to grow as corporate profit increases and technological advances continue to make solar water heaters more economical than natural gas. Nonetheless, regulatory policies that have been so favorable for the industry remain uncertain in light of an unresolved federal budgetary deficit, limiting overall revenue growth.
Some of the factors that encourage entrepreneurs to start their own solar water heater installation business are that the business is profitable, and it can be started with minimal capital and employees.
The solar water heater installation industry is highly regulated in the United States of America and anyone who aspires to start a solar water heater installation company must apply and obtain a license before they can legally operate in the industry.
2. Executive Summary
George West© Solar Water Heater Installation Company, Inc. is a licensed solar water heater installation company that will be located in a standard facility in the heart of Saint Paul – Minnesota. Although our Head Office will be located in Saint Paul – Minnesota, but we will open our branch offices in major cities in all regions of the United States of America. Within our first five years of operation, we would set up our offices in the following locations; New York City, Los Angeles, Florida, North Dakota, Boston, Dallas and Washington.
George West© Solar Water Heater Installation Company, Inc. will engage in installing solar water heater systems for residential, commercial, institutional and industrial building markets. We will work towards becoming one of the largest solar water heater installation companies in the United States of America with active presence in major cities.
As part of our plans to make our customers our number one priority and to become one of the leading solar water heater installation companies in the United States of America, we have perfected plans to adopt international best practices that can favorable compete with the best in the industry. George West© Solar Water Heater Installation Company, Inc. have overtime perfected plans that will help us walk into the hearts of residents and businesses in the locations where we operate.
George West© Solar Water Heater Installation Company, Inc. 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.
George West© Solar Water Heater Installation Company, Inc. is owned by Engr. George West and his immediate family members. Engr. George West has a Degree in Solar Engineering, The Galileo Master Certificate (GMC) and Solar Heating Installer Certification|NABCEP. He has worked with top electrical and solar installation companies in the United States of America for many years.
3. Our Products and Services
Our intention of starting our solar water heater installation company is to favorably compete with leading players in the solar water heater installation industry both in the United States of America and in the world at large. 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, aim and ambition. Our business offerings are listed below;
- Active solar water heater system installation
- Passive solar water heater system installation
- Closed-loop solar water heater system installation
- Installing solar thermal panels
- Sale and supply of solar water heaters and component parts
- Related consultancy and advisory services
4. Our Mission and Vision Statement
- Our vision is to become one of the top 5 solar water heater installation companies in the United States of America within the first 10 years of starting George West© Solar Water Heater Installation Company, Inc.
- Our mission is to help people, home and property owners in the United States of America to handle all their solar water heater installation and other related installation contracts.
Our Business Structure
Our company’s structure is not entirely different from what is obtainable in the solar water heater installation industry, and we have decided to create a structure that will allow for easy growth for all our employees.
We are quite aware that the success of any business lies on the foundation on which the business is built on, which is why we have decided to build our solar water heater installation company on the right business foundation. We will ensure that we only hire qualified, honest, hardworking and customer-centric employees who are ready to help us build a prosperous business that will benefit all our stake holders.
As a matter of fact, profit-sharing arrangement will be made available to all our senior management staff and it will be based on their performance for a period of five years or more depending how fast we meet our target.
George West© Solar Water Heater Installation Company, Inc. is aware of the modus operandi in the industry hence adequate provision and competitive packages have been prepared for independent sales agents. Our marketing department will be responsible for managing this aspect of our business structure.
Below is the business structure we will build George West© Solar Water Heater Installation Company, Inc. on;
- Chief Executive Officer
- Project Manager
- Admin and HR Manager
- Solar Water Heater Installers/Engineers
- Business Developer/Sales and Marketing
- Customer Service Executive/Front Desk Officer
5. Job Roles and Responsibilities
Chief Executive Officer – CEO (President):
- 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.
- 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
- Accountable for fixing prices and signing business deals
- Responsible for providing direction for the business
- Accountable for signing checks and documents on behalf of the company
- Evaluates the success of the organization
- Responsible for the planning, management and coordinating all projects on behalf of the company
- Supervises solar water heater installation projects
- Ensures compliance during project executions
- Provides advice on the management of projects
- Responsible for carrying out risk assessment
- Uses IT systems and software to keep track of people and progress of ongoing projects
- Represents the organization’s interest at various stakeholders’ meetings
- Ensures that project desired result is achieved, the most efficient resources are utilized and different interests involved are satisfied.
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
- Maintains office supplies by checking stocks; placing and expediting orders; evaluating new products.
- Ensures operation of equipment by completing preventive maintenance requirements; calling for repairs.
- Defines job positions for recruitment and managing interviewing process
- Carries out induction for 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.
Solar Water Heater Installer/Engineers
- Responsible for handling solar water heater installation projects such as active solar water heater system installation, passive solar water heater system installation, closed-loop solar water heater system installation, and installing solar thermal panels et al
- Ensures that the solar water heaters that are installed meets or exceeds standards within a designated geographic area.
Marketing and Sales Executive/Business Developer
- 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 development projects.
- Develops new plans for expanding the business
- Documents all customer contact and information
- Accountable for preparing financial reports, budgets, and financial statements for the organization
- Responsible for financial forecasting and risks analysis
- Accountable 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
Front Desk / Customer’s Service Officer
- Receives Visitors/clients on behalf of the organization
- Receives parcels/documents for the company
- Handles enquiries via e-mail and phone calls
- Distributes mails in the organization
- 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
- Manages administrative duties assigned by the line manager in an effective and timely manner
6. SWOT Analysis
Starting a solar water heater installation business in the United States of America comes with its own fair share of challenges, you would have to abide by the law and also compete with loads of other entrepreneurs in the construction cum real estate business value chain who also are interested in making a living and building a business in the US.
In order to compete favorably in the solar water heater installation industry we have been able to hire the services of tested and trusted business and HR consultants to help us conduct critical SWOT analysis for us. Here is a summary from the result of the SWOT analysis that was conducted on behalf of George West© Solar Water Heater Installation Company, Inc.;
Some of our strengths that we will be bringing to the table in the solar water heater installation industry is our robust relations with construction giants, home owners and properties investment moguls in the whole of the United States of America. Also, we have a team of experts who have cut their teeth in the solar water heater installation industry. Our management team are people who have what it takes to grow business with a short period of time.
As a newbie in the solar water heater installation line of business, we might have some challenges competing with big time solar water heater installation companies that have been in the industry for many years; that perhaps is part of our weakness.
The opportunities in the construction cum real estate industry especially as a solar water heater installation company is massive considering the number of home owners who are now leveraging on green energy and cost cutting that solar water heaters bring to the table. We are well – positioned and ready to take advantage of any opportunity that comes our way.
Some of the threats that we are likely going to face as a solar water installation company are unfavorable government policies, and global economic downturn; global economic downturn usually affects spending power and the solar water heater installation business is known to encounter decline in sales and profits during this period. There is hardly anything we can do as regards these threats other than to be optimistic that things will continue to work for our good.
7. MARKET ANALYSIS
- Market Trends
If you are conversant with green energy and energy cost cutting, you will notice that household and businesses are now switching to the use of solar water heaters as against the regular electric enabled water heater which usually attracts huge electric bills. This goes to show that the market for solar water installation in the United States is on the rise.
Another obvious trend that is common with solar water heater installation companies in the United States of America is that most of them are improvising on more means of making money in the real estate industry and as a matter of fact, they are also involved in all aspects of energy and appliance installations.
One thing is certain for every solar water heater installation company; if they are hardworking, creative and proactive, they will always generate enough income to meet all their overhead and operational cost, keep their business going without struggle and make reasonable profits from all business deals that they are involved in.
8. Our Target Market
Our target market is the whole of the United States of America and we have put plans in place to recruit freelance agents (brokers) nationally to represent our business interests wherever they are located in the United States of America.
Below is a list of the people and organizations that we have specifically designed our products and services for;
- Families that are interested in installing solar water heaters at home
- Corporate organizations that are interested in installing solar water heaters
- Hotels, motels, inns and hostels et al that are interested in installing solar water heater in their facilities
- The government of the United States of America (Government contracts)
- Managers of public facilities who would want to install solar water heaters in the facilities they manage.
The solar water heater installation industry is indeed a very prolific and highly competitive industry. Clients will only hire your services if they know that you can successfully help them install solar water heaters.
George West© Solar Water Heater Installation Company, Inc. might be a new solar water heater installation company, but the management team of the business are considered gurus in the industry. They are core professionals, licensed and highly qualified people that can successfully help their clients install any type of solar water heater in their homes. These are part of what will count as competitive advantages for us.
Aside from our robust experience and the expertise of our team, we have a very strong online presence that will enable us attract clients from all across the United States of America.
Lastly, our employees will be well taken care of, and their welfare package will be among the best within our category in the industry. It will enable them to be more than willing to build the business with us and help deliver our set goals and achieve all our business aims and objectives. We will also engage freelance marketing agents on a commission level to help us market our services.
9. SALES AND MARKETING STRATEGY
- Sources of Income
George West© Solar Water Heater Installation Company, Inc. is established with the aim of maximizing profits in the solar water heater installation industry. We have successfully built a vibrant real estate network that covers the whole of the United States of America so as to help us build a profitable business.
Below are the sources we intend exploring to generate income for George West© Solar Water Heater Installation Company, Inc.;
- Active solar water heater system installation
- Passive solar water heater system installation
- Closed-loop solar water heater system installation
- Installing solar thermal panels
- Sale and supply of solar water heaters and component parts
- Related consultancy and advisory services
10. Sales Forecast
It is a known fact that as long as there are home owners in the United States of America, there will always want to cut cost and install solar water heater as against electric water heater. Hence the demand for the services of solar water heater installation companies to help them solve this need.
We are well positioned to take on the challenges that are synonymous to solar water heater installation businesses in the United States, and we are quite optimistic that we will meet our set target of generating enough income from our first month of operation and grow the business beyond Saint Paul – Minnesota to other states in the United States of America within record time.
We have been able to critically examine the solar water installation line of business, we have analyzed our chances in the industry and we have been able to come up with the following sales forecast.
Below are the sales projections for George West© Solar Water Heater Installation Company, Inc.
- First Fiscal Year: $350,000
- Second Fiscal Year: $650,000
- Third Fiscal Year: $1.150 million
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 and any major competitor offering same services as we do within the locations where we have a strong business presence. Please note that the above projection might be lower and at the same time it might be higher since some factors are beyond our control.
- Marketing Strategy and Sales Strategy
We quite mindful of the fact that there is stiff competition in the market; 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 based on their vast experience in the industry and they will be trained on a regular basis to meet their targets and the overall goal of the organization. The training will not be restricted to only our full – time employees but also all our freelance brokers that are scattered all over the United States.
Our goal is to become one of the leading solar water heater installation companies 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 in the industry.
George West© Solar Water Heater Installation Company, Inc. is set to make use of the following marketing and sales strategies;
- Introduce our business by sending introductory letters alongside our brochure to stake holders in the construction cum real estate industry and also property owners and potential clients throughout the United States of America
- Promptness in bidding for solar water heater installation contracts
- Advertise our business in real estate/properties magazines and websites
- List our business on yellow pages (local directories)
- Attend real estate related expos, seminars, and business fairs et al
- Create different packages for different category of clients in order to successfully install any type of solar water heater in their properties
- Leverage on the internet (social media platforms) and our official website to promote our business
- Encourage word of mouth marketing
11. Publicity and Advertising Strategy
We have been able to work with our 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 solar water heater installation industry by storm which is why we have made provisions for effective publicity and advertisement of our company.
Below are the platforms we intend to leverage on to promote and advertise our solar water heater installation business;
- Place adverts on both print and electronic media platforms
- Sponsor relevant TV shows so as to be able to communicate our brand and what we do
- Maximize our company’s website to promote our business
- Leverage on the internet and social media platforms like; Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ and other platforms to promote our business.
- Install our billboards in strategic locations all around Saint Paul – Minnesota
- Distribute our fliers and handbills in targeted areas from time to time
- Attend landlord and residents association meetings with the aim of networking and introducing our business.
- Ensure that all our workers wear our branded shirts and all our vehicles and trucks are well branded with our company logo.
12. Our Pricing Strategy
Part of our business strategy is to ensure that we work within the budget of our potential clients to help them install any type of solar water heater.
Since we are not directly in control of the pricing system in the industry, we can only abide by what is obtainable when it comes to fixing a price for a solar water heater installation contract. But one thing is certain, we will ensure that we deliver excellent jobs when have we are contracted to do so.
Lastly, we will ensure that we keep our fees below the average market rate for all of our clients by keeping our overhead low and by collecting payment in advance. In addition, we will also offer special discounted rates to our clients from time to time especially when they recommend clients to us.
- Payment Options
At George West© Solar Water Heater Installation Company, Inc. our payment policy is all inclusive because we are quite aware that different people prefer different payment options as it suits them, but at the same time we will not accept payment by cash.
Here are the payment options that George West© Solar Water Heater Installation Company, Inc. will make available to her clients;
- Payment by via bank transfer
- Payment via online bank transfer
- Payment via check
- Payment via bank draft
In view of the above, we have chosen banking platforms that will help us achieve our plans without any itches and we will also pay our freelance agents with same platforms.
13. Startup Expenditure (Budget)
In setting up any business, the amount or cost will depend on the approach and scale you want to undertake. If you intend to go big by renting a place, then you would need a good amount of capital as you would need to ensure that your employees are well taken care of, and that your facility is conducive enough for workers to be creative and productive.
The tools and equipment that will be used are nearly the same cost everywhere, and any difference in prices would be minimal and can be overlooked. As for the detailed cost analysis for starting a solar water heater installation company; it might differ in other countries due to the value of their money.
However, this is what it would cost us to set up George West© Solar Water Heater Installation Company, Inc. in the United States of America;
- The total fee for incorporating the business in The United States of America – $750.
- The budget for permits and license – $2,000
- The cost for hiring Consultant – $2,500.
- The cost for computer software apps (Accounting Software, Payroll Software, CRM Software, Microsoft Office, and QuickBooks Pro) – $7,000
- The budget for insurance (general liability, workers’ compensation and property casualty) coverage at a total premium – $5,400.
- Cost for payment of rent for a suitable Office facility with enough space in Saint Paul – Minnesota for 12 months at $1.76 per square feet in the total amount of – $105,600.
- The cost for office remodeling (construction of racks and shelves) – $20,000.
- The cost for equipping the office (computers, printers, fax machines, furniture, telephones, filing cabins, safety gadgets and electronics et al) – $15,000
- Other start-up expenses including stationery ($500) and phone and utility deposits ($2,500)
- The cost for the purchase of work tools and equipment – $60,000
- The cost for the purchase of a truck – $20,000
- Operational cost for the first 3 months (salaries of employees, payments of bills et al) – $100,000
- The cost of Launching our official Website – $600
- Additional Expenditure (Business cards, Signage, Adverts and Promotions et al) – $5,000
Going by the report from the market research and feasibility studies conducted, we will need over three hundred and fifty thousand (350,000) U.S. dollars to successfully set up a small scale but standard solar water heater installation company in the United States of America.
Generating Startup Capital for George West© Solar Water Heater Installation Company, Inc.
George West© Solar Water Heater Installation Company, Inc. is owned and managed by George West, his immediate family members. He is the sole financier of the business which is why he 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 and sale of his stocks
- Generate part of the startup capital from friends and other extended family members
- Generate a larger chunk of the startup capital from the bank (loan facility).
N.B: We have been able to generate about $100,000 (Personal savings $80,000 and soft loan from family members $20,000) and we are at the final stages of obtaining a loan facility of $250,000 from our bank. All the papers and document have been duly signed and submitted, the loan has been approved and any moment from now our account will be credited.
14. Sustainability and Expansion Strategy
The future of a business lies in the number of loyal customers that they have, the capacity and competence of their employees, their investment strategy and business structure. If all of 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 George West© Solar Water Heater Installation Company, Inc. is to build a business that will survive off its own cash flow without the need for 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 solar water heater installation service a little bit cheaper than what is obtainable in the market and we are quite prepared to survive on lower profit margin for a while.
George West© Solar Water Heater Installation Company, Inc. 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.
We know that if all these are 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 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
- Renting of Office Facility and remodeling the facility in Saint Paul – Minnesota: Completed
- Conducting Feasibility Studies: Completed
- Generating capital from the CEO/President and Business Partners: Completed
- Applications for Loan from our Bankers: In Progress
- Writing of Business Plan: Completed
- Drafting of Employee’s Handbook: Completed
- Drafting of Contract Documents and other relevant Legal Documents: In Progress
- Design of The Company’s Logo: Completed
- Printing of Promotional Materials: Completed
- Recruitment of employees: In Progress
- Purchase of work tools and equipment, 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 key players in the industry (networking and membership of relevant real estate bodies): In Progress
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