The need for positive change and support in terms of energy sources in the world today is imminent. Therefore, starting a renewable energy business in Africa is profitable. Energy is getting expensive and scarce by the day, and it is advantageous to start a renewable energy business of your own.
Furthermore, you do not require initial fees or costs to start a renewable energy business, and neither do you need to be a college graduate or an expert. The essential step as you begin is to educate yourself as much as possible about renewable energy and get quality training. Also, know alternative energy sources to guide your clients where the need arises. In this article, we will give you a complete guide to successfully start the business.
Where do you obtain renewable energy?
You can get renewable energy from natural processes that do not involve consumption of exhaustive resources such as uranium, fuels and fossils. The following are some of the constituents of renewable energy:
- Geothermal energy
- Solar products
- Wind and wave power
- Combustible renewables
- Renewable wastes, for example, solid biomass, landfill gas, liquid biofuels and waste incineration
Determine the product and type of business you want to establish
As you start the business, you will have different objectives, goals, expenses, as well as operational procedures. It is essential to determine early in advance which area you want to specilize in the renewable energy business for better planning even financially. For instance, Energy Automation Systems provides an affiliate sales program while dealing with solar products for energy conservation. Therefore, you will need a start-up fee of 59,000 USD during publication. On the other hand, you will not need any royalties or franchise fees to start a solar panel cleaning trade with the help of Solar Maid Company.
The renewable energy industry is vast, and there are a variety of business opportunities you can venture into. These niches include:
- Bio-fuel production
- Solar panel sales
- Energy auditor
- Repair and maintenance
- Geothermal power
- Power storage systems
- Photovoltaic systems
- Consultancy services
Check what licenses and permits you need
Find out from relevant legislations in your country to determine what types of permits and licenses you require and the licensing bodies. For example, if you want to start a renewable energy business in Ghana, you need to obtain a license from the Energy Commission of Ghana. If there are any licenses and documentation to acquire, the sooner to obtain them, the sooner you can legally run your business.
Conduct background checks on companies you intend to work with
This process includes scrutiny of potential suppliers. We have seen some renewable energy businesses not being successful due to inferior products and poor business routine. Once you narrow your investment options, service agreements or affiliate participation, conduct a background check on the companies you decide to work with. Moreover, that information will be readily available on client ratings and reviews on business bureaus, which will help you make a more informed decision before investing.
In June 2019, two start-ups from Kenya and Zambia, Sistema.bio and Renewable Energy Efficiency Program respectively, were declared winners of the 2019 Ashden Award that seek to reward organizations on the frontline of green energy revolution.
Create marketing and business plans
The business plan’s essential role is to guide you through each step when building your business. Therefore, the plan includes product information, financial aspects, executive summary, operational procedures, as well as projections and goals. The marketing strategy that you create will clearly outline your target consumer and how you intend to reach them. Some of the ways you can get them are through making cold sales calls, advertising, using social media platforms and other venues.
Choose a suitable location for your business.
The decision you make for the location of your renewable energy business is crucial as it can be costly and difficult to undo. A good site should be by a passable road where consumers can easily access, and you can give directions. Some locations have restrictions as to what activities can happen there, and thus, you need to find out the regulations of that location before you set up your business.
Make financial plans
Some renewable energy businesses require capital to start. Depending on the type of business you are looking to establish, you can check whether you are eligible for the business grants. The process involves writing a proposal, completing an application and providing copies of your marketing and business plans. Also, explore other loan options as early as possible in case you require additional funding. These options include:
- Personal savings
- Interest-free business loans
- Community-based loan schemes
- Loans from friends and family
- Bank overdrafts
- Small business loan
- Attracting investors
You can try these funding sources for startups or instant mobile business loans in Kenya, mobile loans without collateral in Ghana and Nigeria, and online loans in East Africa.
Execute the business and marketing plan
Once you identify your target consumer, you can begin to execute the business and marketing plans. After all, you will have already settled the logistics of your business and obtained the funding that you need in order to thrive. The only step remaining is to make your sales pitch as you engage your target consumers, and hence, you will generate sales and grow the business.
To obtain potential clients, proper research of the local demographics is necessary. More so, homeowners, construction companies, school districts, landlords and other organizations are potential consumers. Communicating with these consumers gives you a chance to provide them with your renewable energy services according to their requirements.
With the scarcity and high expenses involved with obtaining sources of energy on earth, starting a renewable energy business is essential. The company helps in providing an eco-friendly environment and green living to the people. With the right business model and plan, the above insights on how to start your own renewable energy business will be helpful.