Business Opportunities: Home Solar Power

Exciting Trends and Business Opportunities: Solar Power

What’s so exciting about residential solar power right now is not that solar panels are becoming inexpensive. It’s that homeowners can generate their own electrical power. As you’ll see in the video below, this wise entrpreneur is making a good amount of income from his installation ($5000 from 7000 kw produced).

Do you like earning more money? I’ve pointed out some of the hottest trends going: digital marketing agencies, Keurig coffee distribution, wineries, art, health and wellness, and organic foods. Solar power is a legitimate, sustainable business. Take it seriously.

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Solar power installation by a Canadian Solar Installation Company

Those who own a system can sell their excess power back into the electrical grid at 80 cents per kilowatt. With so few ways for the average person to make extra income, this idea of passive income is appealing to retiring babyboomers, entrepreneurs, or young couples wanting to ease up on their growing mortgage payment.

Solar power installation companies could be entering a very profitable decade ahead. Take a look at Pure Energies Inc. of Toronto (who rank well in Google. Nice work). That’s because materials and systems are inexpensive and ROI is improving, yet companies actually make most of their money on the installation.  These startup companies could be worth a fortune.

Not many homes have solar systems, but you’ve probably seen them around. Where I work in Markham, they are appearing on a number of office buildings. Solar is going to be huge.

Money Making Potential

With homeowners switching to gas clothes dryers, gas kitchen ranges, gas furnaces, and LED lighting, traditional demand for electricity will drop. Doesn’t that make you feel all warm and fuzzy? However, another source of demand (electric cars) will keep demand for electricity high. Electricity is expensive and homeowners want to cut their bills anyway possible.

When natural gas prices return to normal levels they’ll have even more cost added to their outrageous cable bills, internet bills, and cell phone bills.  Solar panel systems may be the only way homeowners can cut their costs and get a sense of relief from all the economic vultures prey on them.

It’s Cool to Be Eco-Conscious – And Solar is Really Sexy

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Solar panels on roof of home in Aurora Ontario

Home solar power systems make homeowners look modern, eco-conscious, and it’s one way they have of feeling unique and special in their community.  People like the feeling that they’re getting attention. And the solar system is a great conversation starter. Now they can throw away the old 62 Chevy that’s been taking up space in their garage. Solar power is much more interesting to most people, especially millenials.

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Ontario’s Microfit Program – See How it Works here.

How Here’s someone in London who has a good sized solar power installation and no hydro bills..

Will governments support home based power generation? In most cases they will. They’ll have to. Increasingly, voters don’t want to agree to billion dollar nuclear or coal fired power generation. It’s dirty and potentially lethal to human beings.  The introduction of LED lighting and LED displays will reduce power demand by 20%. Taxpayers will breathe easier when governments give up on billion dollar power plant debt projects. This article discusses the solar power situation in the US.

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Directional solar panel units on ranch home near Stouffville Ontario
Battery technology has grown faster than anyone dreamed of. Here's another business opportunity for smart entrepreneurs.
Battery technology has grown faster than anyone dreamed of. Here’s another business opportunity for smart entrepreneurs.

The eco-conscious consumer segment is rising. As more homeowners and property owners recognize the potential in solar power, they’ll jump on the bandwagon. The economic spinoff of this homegrown industry is staggering.

There are batteries, transformers, panels, electronic controllers and many more accessories that will create jobs.

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A great use of scrubland near Keswick, Ontario, is a solar farm which produces 10 Megawatts of power.

Although the price of oil and natural gas has dropped recently, it’s expected to rise back up in a couple of years. The electric powered car is coming into vogue and they will require huge amounts of electricity — creating demand for homegrown electrical power generation.

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Popular Coffee Brands on Twitter

Social Media Listening Tools

Are you using social media as a marketing performance measurement tool?  Twitter tweets, follower counts and other data are an excellent source for marketers. You can learn more about how consumers interact with brands and use that to improve your product/service and brand UVP.

twitter-successWhy is twitter becoming an important measurement tool? Of all the social media channels, Twitter is the most responsive, open ended and it uses text, which can be understood. Sure there’s Facebook too, however Facebook doesnt cooperate with marketers.  And the range of followers on the introverted Facebook accounts is minimal compared to the extravert Twitter channel.

You can measure your brand’s performance using a variety of paid or free social media listening apps and tools.

Coffee brands are being measured. Thousands of tweets carry a surprising amount of information about what makes a coffee brand special and why consumers like a particular brand.

You can pick out the brand’s UVP, it’s market, consumer profiles, and times of day that social media enthusiasts are talking.  Find out how a brand is promoted in a grass roots way.

If you own a new Tassimo or K cup coffee brand or operate a local cafe in Costa Rica or a coffee shop in Toronto, using social media listening tools can help you listen to customers and generate awareness of your business.  When you’re conducting your marketing audit, ensure social media analysis is done in detail. It’s only going to increase in importance.  These tools are key to a hyper accelerated growth strategy too.

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Coffee Brand Infographic courtesy of Unmetric

Read up on the success stories of businesses such as Markcol Coffee Distributors, Solar business opportunities, Leanne Laine Wine Art. Inspiring ventures and people show you your idea just might work too.

Help! Our Brand is Stuck

Is your business stagnating or even beginning to fail?  Are sales falling and you’re wondering what has happened?

brandpackagingThere could be hundreds of things wrong with your product, services, promotion and customer relations, but what’s likely failing is your brand. It’s one of the most complex topics but as a business owner you need to grow your knowledge of branding and the brand image.

You could hire a branding expert, which isn’t a bad idea because they understand the complex intricacies of brand theory, planning and development. And they can help you with the “hows” of packaging a new brand image so it’s continually relevant to your customers.

I only mention that because branding is becoming the most important task in marketing today. The reason: competition, media and technology. Your brand must be powerful and clear, continually top of mind, and relevant to your customers.

This post is about giving you the courage to examine your brand image and unique value proposition. This should be a fascinating journey of discovery if you haven’t ventured into the topic of branding.

Markets and competition change. This is why 90% of businesses fail.

The Brand is King — Only if it’s Relevant

Your brand is the promise of value your customer sees and remembers.  It’s reflected in everything from your customer service to your advertising to your web design. It’s the first impression prospects see and it’s the memory they take with them. So if your business is failing, your product/service is no longer relevant (is uncompetitive) or your brand promise has missed the moving target. Are you certain you know what your customer wants?

Your Brand and Your UVP

All businesses start with a statement of the unique value they will deliver to customers — why their business, product, service is relevant. This is your unique value proposition. It’s clear, compelling, personalized and even gives you a reason to believe. The UVP is also your brand promise.  Your UVP is at the center of your branding which is how your UVP is packaged and communicated.

Your brand isn’t your logo or your web design. It is something very complex. It might help to view your brand image in terms of packaging.  That helps with clarity, but with a business, your packaging is how your unique value proposition is put in context — presented as the clear choice for your target customer using images and words.

And in the era of social media, your brand or UVP  is expressed in your Tweets, Linkedin comments, blog posts and comments, and Facebook posts along with your web page copy and design. Are you even doing social media? Traditionally, brands relied heavily on print ads and other graphical design strategies to get the brand value across. But with social media pages negating custom design, the brand value has to be communicated through your content. This is likely where your brand is failing. Your web and social media content may not suck, however they may not  be presenting your brand promise effectively.

Brands Gone Bad

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Are you on the verge of becoming the next Hummer, Oldsmobile, or Blackberry?

Traditional branding promotes consistency over years, but by the time that message is fully ingrained in the audience’s mind, the market has changed. All your patience is wasted time. We need to be on our toes and up to date.

How do brand’s go bad? They don’t keep up with the competition. Customers see that your product is aging or doesn’t have the new fancy designs they saw online; or they discover your staff aren’t knowledgeable or competent; or you’re not talking about all the latest events and trends they care about; or you don’t appear to want to deliver top value to them. It all comes through in how you package your communications.

Why Are You the Most Compelling and Relevant?

If you can’t answer that question, you’re in trouble. It’s so easy to go out of style and become irrelevant. And relevance is the key. Customer’s mindsets, perceptions and understanding change. They discover new types of value, new desires and expectations, and new alternatives. Their loyalty to you is minimal. Get over that. Relevance equals loyalty. So you create your own customer loyalty.

The imagery, stories, colours, style, context, and benefits must communicate a relevant promise. And today, brands need to be personalized.  We endorse or recommend products and people because they’re personally relevant — they reflect our values, hopes, desires, preferences, and the importance of our experience. What shared values does your brand have with your target audience?

When you revitalize your brand, you reposition it to delight, surprise, satisfy and assure your prospect.  A brand becomes most relevant when it:

  1. embodies the customer’s personal values and beliefs
  2. comes across as credible
  3. differentiates via the customers key decision points
  4. makes itself memorable by attaching itself to customers values and beliefs
  5. uses images and messages customers relate to right now
  6. is crystal clear about the benefits everything points to

What’s the Next Step?

This blog is all about progressive, leading edge thoughts on building a compelling, competitive, sustainable, and profitable business. Explore the topics and return often for more insight.

From creating your UVP and improving your personal brand image, to developing new businessexploring new markets, learning from failure, improving employee performance, to the more esoteric assets of being attractive and fascinating, I want to help you build a new era business.

If you’re truly hungry for survival and success, you’ll explore these topics.