Today, many people are looking for opportunities to leave their 9-5 jobs and create their businesses. Building your own business is a lot of work, but it allows you to make more money, set your hours, and work in the way you want.
A solar panel cleaning business could be right for you, however, keep reading so you can get all the details and see whether it’s the right fit to make your life better.
Solar panels are installed outside and absorb the sun’s energy for you to use; they are protected by a glass covering to keep the inner machinery clean and working effectively. However, these outside glass coverings are subjected to the elements. As a result, they will start having a buildup of dirt, dust, grime, and other things that will hinder the ability to absorb the sun’s energy.
As a professional solar panel cleaning business, you would be responsible for ensuring that all glass coverings are clean and that nothing is hindering the absorption of the sun’s rays. This ensures that the solar panels work to the best of their ability and the maximum cost savings from installing solar panels are possible.
To start a solar panel cleaning business, you need first to do some research. For example, is there a market for solar panel cleaning in your area, and how many other companies are providing this service?
Suppose solar panels are not big in your area, and there is already a business taking care of them. In that case, you may have difficulty finding customers and making enough money to make the business worthwhile.
If you can determine a need for this type of business, you will need to break down costs and register any licenses or insurance required for your area. You may also need to get training and purchase equipment to do the work.
The actual equipment you need to clean solar panels is relatively minimal. Therefore, you can start with the basics, and as you gain experience, you can find additional tools or methods of cleaning more effectively.
The basics that you’ll want are:
● Water-fed cleaning poles
● Portable water tank optional
● Hose and Sprayers
● Cleaning solution
Something to consider is that you need to transport everything around, so a work truck or van would be optimal.
The total cost to start your solar panel cleaning business will depend on what you already have and what area you’re working in.
● You may want to file as a limited liability corporation. This will help protect your assets if you or an employee damage or cause issues while working. Filing for LLC is $132
● You will need to buy insurance which could range in price, expect around $159/month, but the costs could increase if you have employees.
● You will need to purchase tools and equipment, such as a water-fed cleaning pole, ladder, and cleaning solutions. Expect this to cost a minimum of $1000.
● You will need a utility truck that can carry your equipment, and if you don’t have one, the price could range from $5,000 up to $100,000 or more.
● You can’t always rely on a water source, so you may need to purchase a portable water tank. At a minimum, this could set you back $1000, but the bigger the tank, the more expensive it will be.
● You will need marketing, depending on how much you want to spend, but $100/month is on the low end.
● First-month costs might be $7000 or more depending on how much equipment you buy.
Some other considerations are that most people expect a company to have a website with full details on its pricing and services. This will have additional upfront and then monthly costs.
You may also need a computer as well as accounting software to handle your orders and taxes.
You don’t need anybody else to assist when cleaning solar panels. However, as you get business or the jobs get bigger, you may need to invest in an employee.
What you charge will depend on your area so do some investigation into other solar panel cleaners and see the going rate. Solar panel cleaners are in high demand, especially if you are willing to work with commercial and residential customers.
The critical component will be to set up contracts and not one-off cleanings. You want to get customers into a schedule to clean, which will give you guaranteed and expected income every month. Your target market will be customers that want you to come back over and over again.
The national average is around $150 - $330 per job, depending on how much time is required. But ensure you know the local standard so that you’re not pricing yourself way above or below what others are charging.
You do not need specialized training or licenses to be a solar panel cleaner. However, you should ensure that you have a complete understanding of the process, what is safe, what you shouldn’t do; otherwise, you will lose customers and even be sued.
The most critical thing you will need is insurance in case of damage while you’re cleaning.
● Create a website and spend money on search engine optimization. Customers that need cleaning will turn to the internet first.
● Make sure you’re listed on any local solar panel websites or forums. Ensure people searching have an opportunity to find you.
● Create a partnership with any solar panel installers in your area. Find a way to entice them to provide your details to any new jobs they install.
● Create a partnership or find a way to work with solar panel sellers. Go to the source of where people are starting and ensure they know that solar panel cleaning will keep their investment working optimally.
● Cold calling or providing flyers to anyone you know or can see have solar panels can make a big impact. Take a drive in your area, and place flyers in letterboxes where you see them installed.
Starting a solar panel cleaning business can be extremely rewarding, both personally and financially. First, however, you must investigate if you can get enough business in your area to make it worthwhile for you.
You will also need to invest some time and money to get the equipment, training, and insurance you’ll need to run the business effectively. So make sure you understand how to do the job and the risks involved.