Diesel at N800/litre: How to start a solar panel business in 90 days
With the price of diesel currently at N800 naira per dollar, a lot of Nigerians are seeking alternatives by exploring options such as solar energy that will allow them to save, especially as inflation hits.
According to a study by Boston Consulting Group (BCG) and All-On, a Shell-funded impact investment company, about 500,000 constituting 1.25% of the total households in the country use solar energy.
While the number shows a slow adoption rate, there is no denying the fact that Nigeria is among the fastest-growing in Africa, increasing at a 22% average annual rate during the past five years and importantly, spelling opportunities for anyone looking to invest or start a solar panel company as the Nigerian electricity is nothing to write home about.
In addition to saving costs, the use of solar is actually a clean source of energy that is environmentally friendly and solves problems around noise pollution.
While starting an entirely new solar company with a low budget may not be feasible without the right amount of expertise, finance and right connections made over time, providing energy solutions may be something you may want to consider. If you are looking to jump into the space, here are a few steps that would help you;
Find your niche
First, you need to define what kind of solar company you are looking to start as there are a number of opportunities in the space. Meanwhile, this decision is usually largely determined by the amount of capital at hand.
Areas like consultancy allow you to easily start a consultancy business with low capital however, it requires established expertise in the area.
In the course of finding your niche, extensive research is required and in most cases, you will need to decide here on getting a partner who has been in the business for a while if you are not an expert in the field.
Some of the areas you can specialize in are;
- Solar Sales Business
- Energy Consultant
- Solar Manufacturing Business
- Solar Parts Business
- Solar Consultant
- Solar Maintenance Business
- Solar Installation Business
Draft a business plan
A business plan that gives direction to the business. Irrespective of how small you are willing to start, a good business plan would help you to target the market, and describe your business as well as products.
A well-drafted business plan also gives entrepreneurs and small business owners and their employees, the ability to lay out their goals and track their progress as the solar business begins to grow. This is important for attracting investors so they can determine if your business is on the right path and worth putting money into.
Register your business
In registering your business, you will need to go through some processes getting the company’s name, preparing a memorandum of association, filling of pre-registration form, paying stamp duty and filing fee, submission of original documents, etc.
While some people trivialize the need to register their businesses as a result of ignorance and the need to avoid the long process of registering a business or paying tax, it is important to know that there are benefits tied to registering your business with the Corporate Affairs Commission, some of which are the protection of business name and trademark, protection from personal liability, credibility, getting loans amongst others.
The importance of insurance to businesses cannot be overemphasized. One mistake some people make is waiting to have a billion-dollar valuation before recognizing insurance. In actual sense, small businesses need insurance as much as large corporates do.
Business insurance protects you financially from some of the financial consequences of your business activities and helps to reduce the potential financial loss by transferring the risks via insurance.
Create your solar panel business website
In recent times, when you talk about running a business, the first question people would likely ask you is the name or link to your website where they can check you up online. As a matter of fact, a large portion of the market may not consider you as an option when they are looking to buy, if you don’t have one.
The website is expected to be well built capturing the most of the things you do as well as your value proposition that distinguishes you from other competitors.
Partner with solar business companies
One of the very important things you should consider when setting up your solar business is partnerships with credible solar companies. This is because having a business partner makes it quite easy to get some things done as relationships are important connections and resources as needed to conduct jobs as well as build knowledge about products, changes and trends.
Go get customers
While you may have done all of the necessary things needed to get a business running, they are not enough for you to go and sleep. There is a need to keep reinforcing on marketing so as to expand your customer base.