There are many rewards to owning your own business. For one, it’s something you love to do, whether it is helping animals, selling shoes, or making fuzzy bunny slippers with googly eyes.
But the sad reality is approximately 44 percent of businesses fail within the first three years. And that’s not just the businesses that are based on bad ideas.
One of the major reasons businesses fail is lack of capital. They simply don’t earn enough to cover operation costs, such as rent, merchandise costs, and utilities.
Smart and successful entrepreneurs pay attention to the numbers. They find a way to reduce even the fixed costs so that overhead doesn’t overwhelm revenues and shut them down.
Once upon a time, legendary businessmen achieved this by saving scraps of paper, keeping a close eye on postage stamps and making sure no one touched the thermostat.
In today’s day and age, it’s possible to not only reduce expensive electrical usage at the office, in some cases it can be eliminated all together. That’s right, you can keep your business running at peak efficiency and still eliminate electric bills.
The reason is solar.
How Solar Can Lower Your Bills
At the beginning stages of any startup, money is tight and hard to come by. Therefore it is essential for business owners to save as much money as they can in any way possible. You might think solar can’t really be cheaper than just paying your utility bills as you always have.
Well, let’s think about it. It is 100 percent free to produce energy from solar panels, and you are not going to get a monthly bill for electricity. Even if your solar panels do not produce enough energy to cover the electricity needs of your business (that will depend on how much you use vs. how big your roof is), you will still need to pay for electricity, but it will be significantly less than if you did not use solar panels.
Of course, the little ledger sheet in your head is saying to you, “OK, solar panels may produce energy for free, but you still have to pay the price of buying them and you’ll have the added expense of hiring someone to install them.
True, you will have to pay for those things, but it’s not as expensive as you think. The cost of solar has decreased 60% alone since 2011. And that is not the only reason solar has become affordable.
The state of Maryland provides a variety of financial incentives for reducing the purchase and installation costs of solar panels, including rebates, grants and tax exemptions. You can read more about Maryland’s financial incentives here. Federal investments add up the savings and include tax credits and an accelerated schedule for depreciation on your system.
The upshot is with all the state and federal government incentives, a brand new solar system can take as little as three years to pay for itself. After that you can generate your own free and clean electricity for many years to come.
All that money you are saving? It can go right back in your pocket or you can invest it into your business to help assure its future success.
Even if you can’t afford the initial costs, a solar system can be obtained for your commercial building by leasing your panels or acquiring a $0-down loan. You can also get a PPA, where you don’t actually own the system, but you pay for each kilowatt hour produced from borrowed solar panels. The rates for electricity this way are generally much cheaper than paying the utility company for electricity.
Solar is Serious Business
The solar bottom line? It’s a great investment. It usually returns about 25% to the investor. Compare that to the ups and downs of the stock market or the conservative returns of bonds.
So, be clean. Be green. But, most of all, be wise with your green. That is the real secret to success.