Solar sales represent one of the hottest high-growth opportunities currently available, and as a result, there are plenty of entrepreneurs looking to put out their shingle and grab a piece of the solar pie. That also means there’s a ton of competition, both for customers and for funding. To stand out above the crowd, you need to ensure your new solar company’s business plan is as comprehensive and professionally produced as possible, and the following tips will help you do exactly that.
Utilize a Professional Template
There are certain aspects and elements that must be present in every professional business plan. These common elements both help focus the picture of the business for the prospective owners and make it clear to prospective lenders that proper due diligence has been done and that funding is a (relatively) safe bet. Those common elements include:
- Executive Summary
- Business Description
- Market Analysis
- Competitive Analysis
- Management and Organization
- Products and Services
- Marketing Plan
- Sales Strategy
- Financial Projections
The best bet when creating a new business plan is to use a professionally or academically developed template, which will include all of these relevant subsections (and some others) and will provide section, by section guidance on how to fill out each. Doing so will ensure that once you present the plan, there won’t be any glaring omissions in the important information that banks and lenders need to see.
Know Your Numbers and Be Realistic
When creating a business plan, it can be extremely easy to fill it out with pie in the sky projections and to paint exceedingly rosy pictures of market conditions and competition. It’s important to remember that the business plan isn’t a piece of fiction, and it isn’t a document designed to describe what you hope will happen. It’s a document designed to provide a reference for you to look back on for guidance as you grow your business, and to convince financial institutions and investors to hitch their wagon to your horse. So, if you fudge the numbers or analysis in your plan, you’re setting yourself up for trouble. First, banks and experienced lenders will be able to tell right away, and in an industry as tight as solar, if you paint an overly rosy picture of the competition level, in particular, you’re going to give yourself away. Second, you only hurt yourself, because you’re setting yourself up for surprises down the line and making it harder to succeed than had you done careful, brutally honest analysis and identified your true challenges upfront.
Make Sure to Include Technology
Solar is a subcategory of the greater tech industry, and it’s also an industry in which sales technology can be immensely helpful to you. Customer resource management software, in particular, is a must for any competitive solar sales company, so make sure your plan includes not only the cost of acquiring a solar sales CRM but also how you intend to use it to boost your revenues. A good customer resource management platform will provide tools to help you with everything from lead management, to proposal delivery, to cold calling, to billing and payments, to customer support and beyond. Your lenders will want to know how you plan to leverage the significant technological advantage a good CRM provides in order to maximize your sales volume and profitability.
CRMDialer is the ideal tool for new solar sales startups looking to hit the ground running from day one. It provides an advanced lead management suite, a built-in power dialer, a customer service portal, electronic transaction handling through Authorize.NET and the Paya network, and much more.
For more information on CRMDialer’s robust customer and lead management software, or on any of the platform’s built-in sales and productivity features. You can schedule a free demonstration, reach out to our team, or, better yet, start your free trial now!