My name is Noah and I am new to both this site and energy auditing and retrofitting.This group seems great, and I was just wondering what's everyone's take on how they market themselves and to who particularly? Property Managers, Landlords, obviously home owners....
Bud I plan to make this a self sustaining profitable business. I hear this trend more and more that you can not survive on auditing alone. Is that because contractors like me, are willing to give audits for free to customers (after 150 utility rebate). Also see me reply to john.
I know that it takes an investment to get started, I have my equipment, and am a BPI BA. I have a bachelors degree in Business management and marketing from Penn State. I am young, 24, and have recently left my steady corporate job in pursuite of this dream. Well, that makes a long story short, but I left my corporate job to work with the Builder that employed me for 7 years, throughout college and after. It did not work out and I began working with another contractor as a subcontractor working in various forms of residential construction.
I know I can market these services like all other service based businesses, but I was just interested in what successful firms were doing, and who they were targeting. Have we found a specific tribe that is exceptionally acceptive of our common message?
Electricity Deregulation has been big in PA recently, has anyone added this to their services?-- Im not sure if they would mix.
Bud, I am way to young for that show,...lol :)
I sent my post before reading it, a statement I made should have been a question. i Should have typed"I know I can market these services like all other service based business....right??
Where are you located? Are there rebates and incentives for the customers from your state? If so, what are they like. Im in Pa, and am partnered with the utility company where the electric customers receive $150 for a test in audit, $900 in direct rebates for improvements (.30 cents per kwh saved annually up to $900) and then $150 for an exit audit.
I plan to offer my audits for free, after a $150 rebate, ( we also install light measures on the test in audit free to the customer. We get paid on avg. $100 for $30 in cost of light measures. So for the audit alone test in, avg. $225 for my time. I'll provide retrofit work as well, as you do. I plan to concentrate on insulation and air sealing and sub out the rest. Also I am a general contractor, Painting, flooring, roofing, ext. Do you offer the same? I plan this to be my foot in the door.... agree, disagree?
How does your sales process work? How are you doing thus far if you don't mind I ask , (revenue)
Let me ask this question, what does your avg. customer look like? Age, income, special interest, type of person ?
I believe that Maryland has a program similar to yours. I've just started so I haven't reached into that market yet. Here in Pa, the incentives are weaker, however, we do have a program called keystone help that finances the projects 100%, with no down payment and an unsecured loan. I have checked out your website and from what I can tell, what you have built is similar to what I aspire. I am not full blown builder like you however, one day.
I live in colonial america, next to Gettysburg and the need for retrofitting is as strong here as anywhere. However, Pennsylvania is dead. When talking to the utility program administrator, he informed me that out of the 5 auditors that are participating, NONE have completed any audits. Like i had said, I am about 4 miles from the md line, and I don't know if all the auditors are going to md. due to the better incentives.
How about heating fuel type? That is half the reason i started to look into this field, after finding out that it would cost around $700 a month to heat my home. (propane) Heating oil is also very big as well. The last company that I had worked for was actually an energy company who had 50,000+ home heating oil customers. I saw their bills, and its not even fair to compare their needs to someone who say spends on avg. $150 in natural gas to heat their home.
John, what are you doing right now to specifically market your business
Ps. I checked out your website and it looks great, did you build it yourself?
What do you do to market your business specifically. I guess that's why I posted this question. I want to know specifically what works for them. I have been figuring out what my competitive advantage might be, but its an evolving process, at least for me. If its one thing I've learned in my very little experience in business, its that yes it is definitely important to think outside the box, but only once you've done the the things in the box very well.
Pa's energy cost are a bit higher than avg. at least for natural gas and electricity. Not to sure about heating oil or propane.
Where are you located? What have you done in the last 7 days to market your business? I can understand where your coming from not really worried about making money, youv'e done the hard work that people have to do in order to consider yourself retired or at least semi retired. What line of work were you in before you got into this business? Sorry I don't mean to sound antagonistic with the questions, its just hard to get a feel for your situation with out them, and knowing yours I feel can help me adapt mine.
and by the way, thanks for taking the time to reply to my post! :) And I really appriciate all advice you have given thus far.