With a name like Simple Solar, the going-solar process has to be as easy as possible for new customers. And that’s what the Missouri installer has done for its residential clients since 2017. Luke Arthur started Simple Solar after working at other installation companies and wanting to pare down all the extra noise. Sales calls are quick, product choices are limited to only what works best, and service is the best in the region.
In this episode of the Contractor’s Corner podcast, Solar Power World editor-in-chief Kelly Pickerel talks with Arthur about why he wanted to keep Simple Solar focused even though he could be considered a jack-of-all-trades himself.
A portion of the interview is below, but be sure to listen to the full podcast for even more insight, including more about the growing Missouri solar market, how Simple Solar got involved with subcontracting and how it conveys the importance of its NABCEP certification.
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How did COVID alter your sales process?
We did do the online sales thing right from the beginning. That was one of the gambles that I was scared of when I started this. I knew that some companies in other states did sales that way, but I wasn’t familiar with anybody that did that in our area. Luckily it worked out well, and I think that positioned us great for the COVID situation where people couldn’t go to people’s houses and sell. People wanted to do everything remotely. We were already trained in that method of sales and already comfortable with it. The sales process hasn’t changed, but we have fewer in-person meetings and more people working remotely. Installers wear masks and protective gear when they’re out at people’s houses — that was definitely a change.
What’s your view on social media? Do you think it’s important to have representation on every platform?
I think social media is important. You can overdo it. Some of the different social media platforms are not necessarily relevant for a local solar installer, but we have a presence on Facebook and LinkedIn. We run ads and videos and get reviews on Facebook. You’re going to have to focus on what works best for you marketing-wise and put your dollars and time there instead of trying to get really good at everything.
Do batteries make sense in your area?
We’re learning how to do them effectively — how to sell and install. We don’t offer them on a wide spectrum. This year we’ve started doing some just so we can learn how to do them the right way and figure out a “simple way” to do them. We’re not experts in that area, but we are getting into it. I think batteries are definitely important in the future of solar. We’ve had a lot more people interested in them since COVID hit. There are people thinking about prepping and being prepared with all the craziness lately.
What’s next for Simple Solar?
We want to keep growing our customer base in Missouri. We’ve developed a pretty good reputation in the area, and I think it’s started to create more referrals and more word of mouth about us being quality solar installers. From there, we can keep expanding into other geographic regions, like different parts of Missouri, northwest Arkansas, southwest Illinois. There’s room for us to keep growing from this area slowly. I don’t want to get too big too fast, but there are more opportunities. We’re doing subcontract installations for some other out-of-state companies that do sales in Missouri. I think there’s a huge opportunity there to keep growing that part of the business. I like that. It’s fun to partner with other companies and they just have pipeline sales that you can install and do a good job. We’re really good at fulfillment and installations. That gives us an advantage, and that’s something we could continue to grow.