Still catching up here, but this post brings us right to the present!
August was all about stock market decline and Hurricane Irene. The first affected us deeply; the second did not (except that we sympathized with all our troubled pals in Vermont).
The August stock market decline reminded us once again, that the footing sure is slippery on this hill we’re climbing.
We had completed, during that month, thanks to the fine efforts of Ryan and Matt, three very successful schematic designs for major projects. All three clients loved the plans.
Two of them didn’t like what was happening in the stock market, however. Projects postponed.
The third was uncertain about moving forward for a variety of reasons. Project postponed.
We got walloped, folks, all in one week!
So, although we had plenty of immediate work for all, I was a little worried about our year ahead.
It was hard to be very worried, however, because this perfect storm of postponements and hold-ups coincided with two other things:
- A veritable explosion of interest and new contracts in Energy, partly precipitated by a new leasing system from SunPower (more about that later); and
- Although the postponements made our schedule of actual 2011-2012 ready-to-go projects lighter than I would have liked, I am unable to recall a time in the recent past when we had more active inquiries than right now.
So September and October have been about building it right back up again. Things are looking entirely different than they were during the August swoon.
One of the most exciting things to happen for us in awhile is the SunPower lease program, which allows us to offer solar electric systems in three ways:
- all up-front purchase (the usual)
- partial up-front lease
- no money down lease
This puts photovoltaics favorably within the reach of everyone, whether they have savings to spend or not. For anyone with a home, a south-facing roof (or un-shaded grounds), a meter, and an income, solar is ready-to-go! This already looks like it will be very big at the residential scale, and a big backlog is beginning to accumulate.
At the same time, we are working on several commercial-scale solar projects, with others incubating.
The moral of the whole story is this:
We will keep running down every opportunity and keep doing everything possible to grease the skids. We will keep adjusting, stay flexible, and become more and more resilient. We will continue to refine our internal processes for getting work done more efficiently and effectively and we will continue to refine and diversify our marketing.
Twenty-eight remarkable people doing different things, doing them together, doing them well. We plan to keep it that way—through constant exploration, open minds, continuous improvement, supporting each other, and making the constant case to the region we serve that we’re the ones that oughta be serving it up!!
We can’t do much about the stock market, or hurricanes, or other forces too numerous to mention, but we sure can hunker down and do everything we can to change with the times and serve our mission too. Hope is not a strategy, so each time we come to a wall too tall to climb, we throw our best hat over to the other side—so we’re motivated to follow.
Meanwhile we have been doing several kinds of long-range planning, which, given the uncertainties of the times, seems almost like an oxymoron, doesn’t it? I’ll tell about this in the next post and you can judge for yourself. Onward we go. . . .