Thanks Dad

Thanks Dad

Dad taught me a lot about business, although I’m not sure he realized it. In the mid-90s he started a marketing company named Clear Site Creative that sold marketing solutions to local businesses in Faribault, MN.

My now business partner Chris became a salesperson for my Dad and learned firsthand the honest business practices that my dad held in such high esteem.

We focused on this tiny little market and these tiny little clients but the work was honest. We weren’t in the business of selling fancy marketing to big companies. The work we did was classic, simple, and inexpensive.

I learned a lot of honesty during this time. We gave people clear websites for an honest price at a time when people knew they needed a site but anything more than basic was overkill.

That’s what made the lesson Dad taught me so good. I never realized he was teaching and I don’t think he realized he was teaching, but I sure am grateful for it now.

His idea was to sell people exactly what they needed for a price they could afford with no extra mumbo-jumbo nonsense. It turns out that this lesson proved to be the fabric of my understanding of business, it’s really my guiding light.

So when the opportunity came along to get into solar, the first thing I did was ask myself, “What would Dad do?” Could I deliver a good value at a fair price? Could I make a successful business by selling people the solar they need and nothing extra? Could I sell equipment that was reliable and durable?

Turns out the answer is yes to all of those questions.

I learned that we are living in the golden age of solar and the time has never been better for homeowners to add it. Solar finally makes sense.

The easiest thing to talk about is the technology. We would have never gotten into this business even three years ago, because the technology and pricing just didn’t make sense.

The easy way to think about it is that over the last 20 years, solar has gone through the same journey as cell phones. We’ve gone from flip phone solar, to smartphone solar, to iPhone solar, and finally we are here at the ultimate iPhone solar moment. That moment is right now.

The panels output a ridiculous amount of power, they last for decades and don’t decay at the rate of old panels which could lose half their output in the first ten years.

The brains behind the panels have grown up too. Now the whole system is connected to the internet, constantly monitored and self-adjusts to squeeze out every watt of power.

So technology, check. But what about state and federal incentives? You read a lot of good and bad about both but it turns out we’re also in an iPhone moment around these programs.

Minnesota has one of the best state programs going. Not only will they finance the system at a low-interest rate, but they have forced electric companies to issue credits for the energy your system produces that you might not use right away.

This is really a double win because you get these one-for-one credits for the power you generate but don’t use immediately. You get a credit for this unused power you can use anytime so nothing is wasted. How cool is that? 

The closer I looked at these incentives the more I realized the hidden benefit behind Minnesota’s program. You don’t need batteries. No batteries means saving a lot. By a lot, I mean a lot.

It’s not uncommon to spend as much as fifteen or even twenty thousand dollars on batteries, so not needing them is kind of a big deal. That’s a win for Minnesota and a win for the community.

Between the incentives and the technology it never made more sense to buy solar, and we’re happy to serve the community in the way Dad taught us.

Dad passed away in 2020 but the lessons he taught me are wrapped around this solar business like a big bow. In his honor, we’ve kept the same name, the same dedication to clear honest service, and a commitment to sell people only what they need and nothing more.

Thanks Dad, for all of the lessons you taught us, and most of all for just being you. We’re out here trying to make you proud.

Love you Dad,

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