Now that hard installation costs are dropping rapidly in the solar pv industry, everyone’s looking at how to decrease soft costs.

Across the board support for decreasing solar’s soft costs is the result of how well organized the industry is becoming. State governments, the DOE, and private software companies are all working to help.
Note: Download A Free Chapter from Keith’s Book Solar Success Principles, or take his “Best Practices in Solar Sales and Marketing”, or apply for the “Solar Executive MBA” course that Keith is teaching.
Cost reduction and the commoditization of project financing are two keys to building profitable companies and an industry. However, when the costs fall, financial barriers are eliminated, and policy bottlenecks are lifted, the company that has the advantage will be the one that is uber-efficient on the operations side. Companies with marketing and sales engines will have the upper hand. We can already see the early adopters of this strategy in the growth of strongly branded residential and commercial companies: Sungenvity, SolarCity, and SunRun, just to name a few.

There is one lesson for small and medium-sized solar companies going head to head with these huge solar companies: To compete in the residential or commercial solar space, you need to become extremely efficient with your operations. Both with you marketing and sales and more specifically, your overlap with operations.

For this reason, I spoke with Keith Cronin from Sun Hedge. Keith is based on Hawaii and built and sold his solar integration company to SunEdison. Now Keith consults with solar integrators and works as a consultant to companies who are looking to develop large solar projects in Hawaii.

We had a great discussion that lasted almost 45 minutes, here’s what we talked about.