A residential solar installer’s journey to 1,000kW per month

A residential solar installer’s journey to 1,000kW per month

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Almost a decade ago there was a particular Blog our CTO read almost every day.

We discussed how we can fulfill our mission of making solar businesses stronger. We wanted to help others to install more panels, not only build software, free tools or a community of Solar CEOs. So we quickly settled on a similar idea:

What if we shared the inner workings of our company? A fast growing $10m in revenue solar installer with over 60+ employees.

We wanted to put out in public what usually stays behind closed doors. Or is only discussed within tight knit industry associations only a few of us are lucky enough to be part of. This way everybody can enjoy from both our mistakes and learnings.

If you are reading this you are most likely one of these:

  • A solar installer that tries to keep improving their business over time.

  • Part of the solar movement as an advocate.

  • Fighting climate change and saving our planet.

Are you tired of exploring every possible avenue to grow your solar business?

A fellow solar CEO once gave us wise words. “If you can’t take two weeks off without the thing running on its own, you don’t have a business, you have a job.” We know dozens of Solar CEOs who don’t take any vacation because there is so much going on.

For what it’s worth up until recently even we still felt guilty for taking a single week off ourselves.

But by now through trial and error we know proven ways to remedy this and other problems you might face. This is the blog we wished existed years ago. We needed that kind of support when we started Ipsun Solar.

Like climbing on Mount Everest, the air becomes thinner the larger your company grows. We want to support the growing solar installer community. Our mission is to help solar companies install more panels, pure and simple.

We are going to cover the lessons we learn from our own experiences. We will also talk about our successes and failures both in the past and future, backed up with real numbers. Everything from sales, operations, marketing, hiring, firing, culture, customer support and more.

You might be wondering:

Aren’t there already dozens of places you could learn from?

Yes. But none are from the perspective of an actual solar installer. We have real takeaways from the real world that will make a real difference to your bottom line.

Our perspective is different. This is not theoretical for us.

Everything we write about will be hard-earned lessons from our own experience. It’s all part of our internal goal to install 1,000kW/month at Ipsun Solar.

Why 1,000kW in residential solar per month?

Because big goals matter. We can rally our whole team behind a big hairy audacious goal (BHAG). By tracking it we hold ourselves accountible to make sure that we actually stay focused.

Of course there is some seasonality in the solar business. That’s why we decided to track in real time the monthly average of kW installed over the past 365 days and update it moving forward. And you will see in realtime how our decisions impact our goal.

Where Our Journey Starts

Within the solar industry Ipsun Solar is still a relatively young company. We got started in 2016 and grew year over year to $10m in annual revenue with around 60 employees.

We do a few hundred projects a year. We do most of our work in residential with some light commercial work. And we’re riding the same solarcoaster as everyone else. Wondering what carrots or sticks might come up next.

Our 12 month average of residential kW installed (as of today) is about 200kW (as tracked in Sunvoy).

With our current growth rate it should take us a few years until we actually reach our goal. Although we already have some ideas we will share in upcoming posts on how to reach it faster.

What You’ll Learn

Starting with our next post, we’ll outline the biggest lessons that got us to where we are today. In all our upcoming posts we’ll talk about the strategies and tactics we applied. We’ll talk about the mistakes made and the lessons we learned including:

  • How we tripled our referral business 3x year over year
  • What exactly we did to go from $0 to $100k, from $100k to $1m and from $1m to $10m in five years
  • How we failed with company culture on our first try and what changes we made to build a company people want to be part of
  • Which lead sources are the most effective ones and which ones barely work (actual numbers)
  • All the CRMs we have tried and looked at, the one we have settled with (for now) and why it makes a massive difference in our business
  • Why we invested over half a million dollar in building our own software

But here’s the catch:

We strive to write excellent content.

But we are neither professional writers nor content marketers.

We are real people building a real down to earth business, sharing what we have learned the hard way over the years.

And while our posts might be free, they will still be value-packed with detailed explanations we have paid dire for in both time and money.

If you can even get a fraction of that value, we’ll be more than happy.

We’ve got a lot of ideas and areas to work on and will share all the results with you. And if all goes well, will continue to share our insights and lessons all the way to 1,000kW installed and beyond.

So what’s next?

Please join us on our journey. It’s free and you don’t have to be a Sunvoy customer (though you’re more than welcome to check your eligibility here).

We’ll be posting a new article each week, starting with the ones outlined above. If you don’t want to miss anything and get them emailed to you, sign up for the 1000kW list right below.

See you next week. Have something you would love to hear more about? Let us know in the comments below or hit us up on LinkedIn (Joe & Herve)

From "aha" to "oh crap", we’re sharing everything on our journey to install 1,000kW in residential solar per month.

We’re learning a lot and so will you.

Avg. monthly kW installed in past year:

0 kW250 kW500 kW750 kW1,000 kW

Real time metrics bysunvoy

written byHervé BillietCEOHerve is the Co-Founder and CEO of Ipsun Solar – a top residential solar installer in Washington DC with 60+ employees and $10M+ in annual revenue.
Hervé Billiet

2 thoughtful comments:

Leave a great comment

Chelsea Thaler

Chelsea Thaler·13 days ago

So exciting! Can’t wait to read more blog posts. Congrats Herve and Joe.

Jascha Brinkmann

Jascha Brinkmann·14 days ago

Wohoo! Super excited to see this happening and can't wait for the next few posts to get published. Thanks Herve & Joe!

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