The Internet and a host of print media have a lot to share when it comes to starting your own energy company. Do you prefer to "go green" and consider renewable energy sources, or would you rather deal with traditional paths--producing power through coal or finding oil? These are but a few of the questions one must consider before launching an energy business. There is good news for entrepreneurs, however, as experts from an array of industries predict that energy production will continue to be one of the top growth industries for decades to come.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Challenging
Decide on which energy source(s) you want to produce or distribute. Then consider such factors as: competition from other energy companies in the particular region you want to start your business; availability of the selected energy source; and legal constraints imposed by local government. There are several other points to think over, but these general considerations provide a good starting point.
Once you've decided on the kind of energy you can and will produce, steps must be taken to file your business properly within your state. Government-run websites provide a way for you to check the availability of your proposed company name, establish an Employer Identification Number (EIN), file necessary paperwork, and notify the IRS office of your intent to start a company. Each state varies slightly in regard to some of these steps, so it's a good idea to consult someone who knows the ropes of setting up a new venture in your specific area.
At this point, as a business owner you will need to consider key marketing objectives. By now, hopefully, you have chosen an energy source where there is some kind of proven demand. For instance, in remote parts of North Dakota, towns may buy electricity that comes from water-driven turbines at local reservoirs. Thus, wind-produced electricity might be welcome to help drive down the cost imposed by the existing energy provider. So first you must evaluate what the needs are and tailor your marketing campaigns to enlighten your audience of at least two points: 1) Alternative power is available and 2) Conversion to your service is both cost-effective and feasible.
Most energy start-ups must rely on venture capital to begin operations. Once you establish some basic objectives to advance your business, creating a well-thought-out business plan is a wise idea. Next, seek capital-lending firms in the state where you operate. Energy continues to be on these firms' radar, and likely will continue to do so according to the most credible, economic indicators. Also, you should consider advice from other entrepreneurs and small-business owners who have solicited start-up funds before. Be wise in who you do business with, especially when it comes to lending.
Most states have energy associations that you can join. Seek these out. They can help you gain access to expertise, find useful resources, and make starting a business easier. Producers of renewable energy and resellers will also find a great deal of assistance from these organisations. Your state government will surely guide you to these organisations if you are willing to make a few phone calls or search the web.
Tips and warnings
- In some states like Texas, you may need to file for applicable licenses and permits from a proper authority. Generally speaking, these organisations have something to do with environmental quality. Again, you should be able to find them through a government directory (state agencies), yellow pages, or on the Internet.
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