- 1 What Is Solar Energy?
- 2 How To Start Solar Energy Business In Nigeria
- 3 Challenges Of Solar Energy Business
- 4 Conclusion
Inadequate power supply has always been a major barrier to the economic development in Nigeria. The introduction of solar energy in Nigeria will to a great extent help to curb this challenge in due time and will also create another avenue for much-needed jobs if fully utilized. As a good citizen, you can be a part of the solution to this problem facing our country by starting a solar energy business.
What Is Solar Energy?
Solar energy involves capturing energy from sunlight and subsequently converting the sunlight into electricity. It has proven to be a great substitute to fuel and diesel and it also save the environment from noise pollution caused by generators
The solar energy business is a viable business because the availability of constant power supply is still a big issue in Nigeria. Both businesses and households are expending money on fuel and diesel on a daily basis. As a result, many are beginning to seek an alternative lasting solution to power issues.
How To Start Solar Energy Business In Nigeria
Register Your Business
In Nigeria, the first step to structuring your business is to register it with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC); an approved body for business registration in Nigeria.
You can either register a business name or a limited liability company. The cheapest form of business registration is the business name. It is important to register your business because without it you cannot open a corporate account with any bank in Nigeria. More than that, it makes customers see your business as credible and reliable.
Additionally, you need to register with relevant government ministries or agencies to avoid any form of business interruption or court action. Importantly, register with the relevant union in the solar energy business so that you can fall back on them whenever you need help or when you face any challenge.
Choose A Niche
When starting a solar energy business, you can start in four ways:
1. Sell Solar Product To Customers
Here, you will need to partner with companies manufacturing solar energy products, some of the popular companies in Nigeria are:
- Astrum Energy Solutions Ltd, Enugu
- GreenPower Overseas Ltd, Lagos
- Infinite Solar Solutions Nigeria Ltd, Abuja
- Luminity Technologies And Gadgets, Lagos
- Mpower S.E Nig Ltd, Abuja
- BERSH (Solar House) Ltd, Lagos
- Haipo Solar, Delta
- Phlemin Integrated Global Ltd, Lagos
- Frepower Technologies, Lagos
- VPS Energy, Lagos
- GEKEL Integrated Ventures Ltd
- ICellPower Energy Ltd, Lagos
- Orgone Tecnergy Ltd, Kaduna
- Raph Mart Engineering Services Ltd, Lagos
- Indra Power NG, Abuja
You don’t need to have a huge start-up capital to begin. You can visit these companies, bargain prices with them, and begin advertising to your prospective customers. Once you get pictures of the equipment, you can post them across social media platforms and advertise them. As soon as your customers makes payment, you then place an order from the manufacturing company at an agreed specified price and sell at a profit.
There are three major components you would be selling:
i. Solar Panel – This helps in tapping energy from the sun.
ii. Inverter – This stores the energy in the battery for future use.
iii. Battery – The inverter automatically switches to the energy stored in the battery once the sun goes down. This battery can also be charged using generator or power supply. The batteries comes in different sizes: 50ah, 100ah, 200ah etc.
If the inverter draws energy from electricity, it switches to the battery once the light goes off. Therefore, you will need to invest in the three equipments mentioned above if you are going into this business.
2. Be An Installer Of Solar Energy Products
Usually, not everyone in the solar energy business can install it. This means that anyone that purchases an inverter will need someone to install it. This niche involves good electrical and electronic knowledge.
If you are an electrician or have experience connecting wires and the likes, this may be the best niche for you. All you need to do is to partner with sellers of solar energy products so that they can contact you whenever a customer buys from them and needs an installer.
3. Be A Solar Energy Equipment Repairer
The last niche you can choose is the repairer niche. You can learn how to repair these equipment and offer your service to inverter users when any of the equipment develops a fault. This niche also requires collaboration with both sellers and manufacturers.
Draft A Business Plan For Your Solar Energy Business
Once you select the best niche for yourself, draft a business plan that will accompany it. A business plan is a document setting out your business’s future objectives and strategies for achieving them.
This step is important because it will contain detailed information that can help you improve your business chances of success. More than that, it will help you achieve both the short and long-term objectives of your business.
Get An Office Space
Note that this step is not compulsory if you are starting small. But, if you are starting on a large scale, it’s best to get an office space where prospective customers can easily locate you. Preferably, acquire an office where electricity is scarce. Also, choose a location around people who can afford your equipment.
Market Your Solar Energy Business
This is one of the very important steps to take when starting any business. Today, advertisement has been made easy due to the advent of the internet and social media. Open accounts on social media platforms and advertise your business on them.
Other ways to market your business include:
- Word of mouth
- Referral marketing
- Social media influencer marketing
- Google ads
- Collaboration and partnership
Challenges Of Solar Energy Business
Usually, the common problem encountered in the solar energy business is that most customers find it difficult to operate the equipment. So, they tend to always call back or mishandle the equipment. To avoid this challenge, ensure you follow up on customers with a manual on how to use these equipment even after installation.
The solar energy business is profitable if you know how to navigate your way around the business. The start-up capital required to start this business depends on the size of your business. However, with N300,000 – N500,000, you can kickstart the solar energy business.