“It’s not easy being green,” lamented Kermit the Frog.
But that was then and this now. If your goal is to create a business that replaces current energy sources like crude oil or coal with wind, solar, and other more environmentally friendly methods, then this is your time. Renewable energy is the future, and smart entrepreneurs are seizing this moment to be at the forefront of what will become the predominant energy source globally going forward. PRWire360 outlines the latest on the green economy and how it affects your business.
The cost of using solar power will decrease by 35% by 2024 according to industry experts. That means a more affordable means for you to start your own solar energy business and a chance to offer less costly solar options for your clients. The National Renewable Energy Laboratory says 40% of total US electricity could be easily be provided just with solar roof panels alone. And the solar panel industry is expected to grow at a remarkable 35% by 2026.
You don’t need experience in energy either to get in on the market, but you’ll want to consult with experts in the field to ensure you’re making the right choice using your financial opportunities. The cost to enter the market strong is estimated at $500,000.
A wind farm could involve more upfront cost in regard to land and materials, but tax incentives can offset much of that initial and ongoing investment.
Ecopreneurship’s Expanding Opportunities
When we think of “Green Businesses,” we sometimes limit our vision to solar and wind farms, but there is a rapidly growing market for sustainable business practices and products, too. Businesses that produce recycled and compostable packaging, natural cleaning products, and clothing made from sustainable sources are all part of the new and smart green business that consumers are demanding.
Globally, 85% of consumers say that in the past five years they have shifted their purchasing behavior to be more sustainable, according to The Global Sustainability Study 2021. And businesses are changing how they operate to fit the new paradigm by employing practices that use less energy and water, thus reducing their carbon footprint. There are other ways to start an earth-friendly business like the following:
- An eco-minded catering company using organic. farm-to-table, locally grown, free-range meats and produce, and offering vegan and gluten-free items as well. An organic food truck is another way to go in bringing customers more natural options.
- Green housekeeping businesses using all-natural, chemical-free cleaning products is a service busy eco-minded clients are asking for.
- A local recycling company to replace or augment the city’s recycling program fills the need for a more comprehensive method of recycling household products. (Many city programs actually toss their recycled collections into landfills.)
- A bicycle sales and repair shop that also takes in older cycles, refurbishes, and sells or rents them aids the environment in encouraging more earth-friendly means of transportation. and recycling the old bikes that might have ended up in a landfill.
Where to Begin
The biggest concern most everyone has when contemplating starting their own small business is how to pay for it. Loans, crowdfunding, and using personal assets (a second mortgage) and savings are what most people initially consider. There is another way to obtain the capital, though, and that is in the form of a grant. Several departments within the US government offer grants to small businesses, the primary source being The Small Business Administration, but there are others that might be a possible source of grants for solar energy start-ups like The National Association of the Self-Employed.
Before applying for funding anywhere, you’ll need a comprehensive business plan and complete financials. Knowing how much to ask for by consulting experts in the field and researching the cost of materials and labor is, of course, vital to knowing the dollar figure you’ll be requesting.
As you launch, marketing your green business is paramount. If you're launching a brand-new product, you may be surprised by how complicated this process can be. To ensure you don't miss any important steps along the way, a go-to-market strategy template can help you keep everything on track. This template will include, for example, your business plan, marketing strategy, and other information relevant to your product's release. Instead of creating a template from scratch, use a premade template, which can help you streamline the process from start to finish.
Whatever type of green business you choose, make sure it’s one that you’re passionate about because, like Kermit, you may find that there are times it’s not easy to be green, but if it’s something you love, it will definitely make the effort that much more satisfying.