Green Energy: Join the Revolution with an Eco-Business

17/11/2018 08:00 | Start a business

green energy

The green sector is booming, and a greater number of entrepreneurs are now looking to launch their own business in this growing market. Here, we take a look at how the industry is performing and how you could start your business by partnering with a franchise.

The green sector

Though the UK economy has been through a troubled ten years, one of the brightest hopes for the future is a strong, vibrant, and growing green sector. In 2016, the low carbon and renewable energy (LCRE) sector grew at three times the pace of the general economy and was worth an estimated £42.6 billion.

At the same time, the green economy workforce grew by 3.3% to establish itself at roughly 208,000 full-time employees. These statistics demonstrate that the green energy sector is capable of consistently outpacing the general economy and that it's likely to become one of the key areas of focus in any future national economic plan. They also emphasise the remarkable amount of opportunities there are for business-minded individuals who believe themselves capable of operating their own business in the industry.

Green energy jobs

Within the sector, theres great diversity of work and employees perform a wide array of tasks. A business in the green industries may research, develop, and manufacture more efficient batteries or they may install solar panels on homeowners roofs. They might operate wind farms or retail innovative insulation solutions.

As a relatively young industry, the commercial landscape is populated by a larger number of smaller businesses than other comparable sectors. This means that the sector is well-suited to start-ups and franchises that believe they can deliver high-quality goods and services in a particular niche or specialism.

How to start your own eco-business

If you are looking to start your own eco-business, the most profitable way to go about doing so is by partnering with an established franchise. Not only will this ensure that you have the expertise and support required to launch a new business, but it also means you benefit from assuming the identity of a recognised brand. To launch a new franchised business, youll need to follow these five steps.

1. Establish what your strengths are

If you're starting a new business, you need to know that you can make it a success. To do this, you have to understand where your strengths lie and what you're good at. There's no point in launching a sales-orientated business if you don't enjoy interacting with customers or don't want to spend time on the phone. Likewise, if you have a particular passion, it's good to focus your attention on that area.

For instance, if you enjoy a hands-on role that involves getting out of the office, a green-tech installation business may be best for you. On the other hand, if youre experienced in and enjoy working with solar technology, you may want to launch a solar technology retail franchise. Starting a franchise is a big commitment, so you need to be sure that youre going to excel in and enjoy the role.

2. Find the right franchise for you

Having established your strengths and weaknesses and considered how they apply to the green sector, its time to begin researching potential franchises. You can find information about franchise opportunities in many different places. Start by looking online or contacting a franchise broker, but dont limit your search to the digital realm. Franchise expos and exhibitions can be a fantastic source of information and give you the opportunity to meet and talk with franchisors and other would-be franchisees. This networking can prove invaluable further down the line.

Likewise, franchising trade publications will also provide you with an insight into what franchises are out there and which are looking to take on new franchisees. Particularly when it comes to newer industries, like the green sector, these publications are where youll find the most up-to-date and cutting-edge news. Finally, talk to as many people in the green industry as you can. Theres nothing quite like an insider tip to set you on your way to franchise success.

3. Discuss the opportunity with the franchisor and franchisees

Having whittled down your possibilities to a few key franchises, getting in touch with the franchisors and have a chat is your next step. Youll work closely with any franchisor you go into business with, so you need to make sure that you feel as though youll be able to get on well with another and establish a mutually beneficial relationship.

This doesn't mean that you have to get on like a house on fire, but you should be able to trust the franchisor and feel confident that they're offering you a legitimate business opportunity. To corroborate what the franchisor has told you, ask for a list of existing franchisees that you can contact for further information. Don't let the franchisor cherry-pick for you. If you do, you may end up hearing from the franchisor's preferred cheerleader.

4. Perform your due diligence

As with all business ventures, its necessary to perform due diligence before you sign any contracts. This involves calculating whether its a financially viable business by collecting as much information regarding the opportunity as possible. Youll have to look at financial projections, previous performance reports, and industry news, as well as examining the competition and establishing whether there are any obstacles to your franchise units success. At this stage, you need to seek out potential problems with the franchise actively. Dont let your enthusiasm for a business get in the way of reality, either. If your due diligence suggests there are issues with the business model, step away.

5. Seek legal advice from a franchise specialist

Finally, all franchisees should employ the services of a legal specialist who has experience of franchise law. There are a large number of contracts and legal documents involved in the creation of a new franchise unit, and you need to be sure that youre not committing yourself to a poorly worded agreement that may put you in a bad position.

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