Basically I am looking for some source of info that is all-telling as far as what it takes to get a home-improving solar cell installation
company off the ground. I would work residentially and commercially in my local area. Nothing too complex other than the installation.
Solar power is a great source of renewable energy, but it has its downfalls: price and reliability (clouds are a solar panel's worst enemy) are
notable among them. But this is not about the pros and cons of solar energy.
Before you start any business, you must
know what you are getting into. To do commercial work anywhere or residential work most places, you
will need a contractor's license. Usually that requires some advanced knowledge of your proposed receipts. Any idea how much you expect to make in
the first year?
Have you given any thought to insurance costs? Not just liability but usually a bond is required and then there's unemployment, workers comp, and
preferably umbrella insurance for those unforeseen legal problems.
Have you ever installed a solar system before? The fact that you are needing general information concerns me. A customer will be looking to you for
all the answers, and it is your job to provide them.
Do you have a source for the equipment you will be installing? You'll need a wholesaler willing to supply your business, or even better, a few
Do you have any prior business experience?
Corporation or Proprietorship? If corporation, are you thinking S, C, or LLC?
What competition will you have in the area? What form of advertising do you plan to use? How many people will you need, and are you familiar with the
governmental red tape on employees? Don't need that surprise visit from OSHA or the NLRB...
Basically what I'm getting at is that starting a new company is a major event, at least as major as a marriage. It's foolhardy to get into any
business unless you are extremely familiar with what you will be selling. You have a lot, and I mean a lot, of research to do, and it's into more
than the solar panels. You will need a business plan, cost estimates on every aspect of your business, a very good familiarity with the local laws and
regulations (expect to spend a few days waiting in lines at City Hall), sources, and preferably a few customers ready and waiting for you to get the
paperwork signed. You will also need a huge chunk of cash, at least enough to keep your company running for a year with no customers. That last part
is why most businesses fail so quickly.
I would suggest you start with your own home, install some solar systems you can use as demo systems (make them flashy and fancy, that attracts people
with money) and start offering to do your neighbors' homes first at a reduced rate before you make a huge leap. Get the experience you need while
working wherever you are now, and in a short year or two, maybe you can swing a successful business as you dream.
It just sounds like you are woefully unprepared at present. Great business concept, poor forethought. I wish you well.