Its Russell French from Energetic Consulting. Today, I want to…
Russell French from Energy Consulting. Today, I’m going to share with you how to thrive in any market.
The 4 keys to success.
No matter what industry you’re in, there can be challenges with peaks and troughs in your revenue flow. There’s challenges with industry performance, government support, external forces up against your business. Thats natural and is in every industry, whether it be solar power, clean tech, manufacturing, or whatever.
So we need to become very resilient as businesses and know that this will always be the case. It will go up and down. But you want to thrive, not just stay alive!
#1 Build your brand
So many businesses just start trying to sell something to the market without actually having built their brand. You need to stand for something and have values and communicate that effectively to your audience. If you if you are just trying to be another solar power company putting blue rectangles on a roof, you’re actually very vanilla and look like everyone else. You all look the same.
What do you stand for?
And can you communicate that effectively to your audience, to your customers, and to your potential new customers. How do you add value to those customers?
Do you have like a unique customer service model? Is there some unique product that you have that other businesses don’t have, some unique data monitoring solution. Safe solar products or an incredible educational process that you take the customer on. This is all a part of your brand offering, whether it be your customer value proposition or being unique with your unique selling proposition.
Now, you don’t need a marketing agency necessarily to be able to do this kind of work, You can actually just start to write down what is unique about your business. How are you different? What value do you add to your customers? And how can you tell that compelling story, or create a story about the history of the business and what you stand for. You don’t necessarily have to have tens of thousands of dollars of marketing budget. I’ve had $500,000 marketing budgets before and I’ve had $0 marketing budgets and I’ve done pretty well in both.
So whatever budget that you have, there is something that you can do today. Build your brand.
Often in business, we feel like we need to go it alone. But there is so much strength in partnerships. In partnering with other businesses that have similar complementary products or services, that can actually boost your brand and you can boost theirs. It’s a great synergy.
Who can you partner with? Could it be builders? If we’re talking about solar power, it’s just a natural fit. Many companies have partnered with builders, but some haven’t thought of it. Even if you’re a one man show, you can go around to all the builders in your neighbourhood and have a conversation with them and say, hey, I would like to be able to offer you a solar power system for your customers. But I’m going to incentivise you that for every system that we sell, I’m going to give you something, whether it be a financial amount or some other kickback. Make it worth their while.
What about partnerships or bulk buy schemes? Go into a local area, find a champion. Maybe it’s a football club to partner with. Offer the club a discounted offer. Say, if we get 10 systems sold or five systems sold, I can offer a five percent or 10 percent off the regular cost. Or if we sell 10 systems, the champion at that association gets a free solar system. It’s an old model and it still works. But many businesses haven’t been around long enough to try that. Going back 10 to 15 years, this was an incredibly popular model. So try something different.
What about wealth creation agencies? Sometimes we don’t even think about that. Financial planners, or other agencies out there that we can partner with that can provide an incredible income or return on investment.
If you if you go to a bank and get one percent interest on your money, it’s sitting in the bank do nothing. Or you can get a 20 percent return on investment for paying cash for a solar system. That’s a no brainer. So maybe you could partner with those wealth creation agencies.
#3 Get visible
Now, again, we may feel like we need a huge marketing budget to do this. We may feel like we need to be able to have TV or radio campaigns. But actually we can do guerilla campaigns that we can get us visible.
If you’re not in front of people’s faces, they’re not going to buy from you. How could people possibly buy from you if you’re not in their face, if you’re not present and showing them what you have, your products and your services? Even with no budget, you can get a local radio station to interview you on sustainability or renewable energy. You can get in a local newspaper editorial and talk about renewable energy and the benefits for the customer in going solar. Or about sustainability and the behaviour change things that we can do in the home. You need to give to get.
What about educational webinars? In this day and age there is a saturation of webinars, but we can still do a presentation to a local association or companies. Many years ago I partnered with a very large business that was a multibillion dollar company in Australia, and offered them a bulk buy scheme for their employees. I got visible instantaneously right throughout their entire network of staff and employees. It was the first time it was done in Australia.
Maybe you want to take that and try it for yourself. I no longer need it for the work that I do now in coaching you.
What about electronic mail to existing customers? Emailing them EDM campaigns with referral offers. Maybe a $150 or $200 voucher. Get visible with your existing low hanging fruit customer database. Get back in their awareness to access their friends, family or colleagues.
What about social media? Maybe you could invest in some low cost Instagram or Facebook ads and build it up slowly. Start to get a presence online. If you’re not creating content in 2021 when this video is made, then you’re behind the curve, you’re behind the eight ball. In this day and age, it’s the information era. We’ve got to create content video to get visibility. It doesn’t matter if you don’t know how to present or if you stumble. Just create two or three minute videos about your business, and the value that you can offer customers.
#4 Try something new
The old saying goes, that if you’re not growing, you’re dying.
That’s all about innovation. And it’s true, we can’t just keep doing the same thing over and over.
If you do the same thing over and over, you’re going to get the same old results which may not be working for you.
So we’ve got to keep pivoting and trying new things. And guess what? If you get knocked back and you try a marketing campaign and you spend $5,000 or even $30,000 and it doesn’t work, learn from it. Pivot and try again. Try something new.
It could be diversifying your product range if you’re selling solar power systems and that’s all you do. What about selling energy efficiency products or led lighting? What about smart energy management for the home? Maybe it’s a unique data monitoring solution that has a subscription model and ongoing revenue for you. What about EV chargers. By 2025 there is going to be a huge amount of electric vehicles in Australia. It’s already been announced. All the major car companies are getting on board anywhere between 2025 and 2040. These businesses are actually going to change their entire model from combustion engines to electric vehicles.
So maybe get in early with EV chargers and some of the infrastructure to support that. Again, try something new and innovate.
Summary – The 4 keys to success
#1 Build your brand
#3 Get visible
#4 Try something new
We need to thrive in any market, no matter what’s happening. These are some of the fundamental key things to do with your business, even on a low budget. Stand out from your competition and rise above to get the sales that you’re looking for. More conversions, and more referrals for more business so you can stay in business for many years to come.
I hope this was of value to you. We wish you all the best in your business, and if we can be of service at energeticconsulting.com.au please get in touch. We do business coaching, sales, training and marketing support, specifically for the renewable energy, solar, clean tech industries.
Don’t forget to like this video, subscribe and hit the notifications button for the next update. We look forward to being of service and please get in touch at with us, so we can support your business and help you grow and scale.
You can listen to the Soundcloud recording below:
If you need help with your business or marketing needs, contact Energetic Consulting today and start creating raving fan customers!
Article by Russell French – Founder of Energetic Consulting Australia
Russell is a veteran of the Australian renewable energy industry of 17 years and an innovative business leader with a proven track record spanning over 20 years. Alongside Warwick Johnston of Sunwiz, and Donovan Craig, he is the co-founder of Sunfluence and Solar Guide, which are solar business automated marketing platforms and services to help solar retailers win more business.
He is also the Founder of Solar Social, a new and innovative meet-up bringing together like minded businesses and professionals to discuss innovation and the latest technology developments.
He has served as a Director for several well known renewable energy companies like:
- Enphase Energy as their APAC Director and Australian Country Manager and brought the business to Australia and setup their operations in the region
- Sungrow ($2.2B, world largest solar inverter manufacturer in partnership with Samsung SDI) as their Marketing & Strategy Director
- Sun Empire as Founder and Managing Director. Sun Empire was a founding company member of the Clean Energy Council of Australia.
Russell has also worked in the award winning Sustainability Strategy team for the City of Melbourne developing the city’s renewable energy and solar program, and helped develop the new Solar & Storage division for one of Australia’s largest energy retailers, Red Energy which is owned by the iconic Snowy Hydro.
He served as the Secretary & Convenor for the Melbourne Chapter of the Smart Energy Council of Australia (formerly Australian Solar Council) for 5 years.