Striking out on your own to start your own renewable energy (RE) installation and service company can be daunting primarily because of two unknowns: who will hire you and when. More difficult still is the discipline that it takes to keep track of bills for various jobs and making sure that you indeed invoice people in a timely manner before they forget who you are. And then there’s the agony of actually telling someone what a particular job is going to cost.
For whatever reason, putting a price on our work when we first start out in business is not only dreaded but also blundered through. Price a job too high and you may not make the sale. For this reason, all too many first-timers lowball both the RE equipment as well as the installation. Many entry-level companies do this intentionally just to get into the trade. As one established installer once said, “any idiot can give away equipment.” Unfortunately, this has negative ramifications for the entire industry. All too many in the buying public already have the idea that renewable energy is “free energy.” And that includes not only the equipment but also the cost of the installation.