The solar power brand has moved beyond standard sales-based solar franchising options, allowing business owners to educate, sell and install. This establishes strong client relationships rather than relying on pushy sales tactics alone.
Astrawatt Solar, founded by Keith Murphy, grew from a motivation to do things differently. Murphy worked in the solar industry for about three years before starting his own business. Years later, with the help of Spadea Lignana Franchise Attorneys, Astrawatt is bringing its top-notch service to communities nationwide.
“When I started my own business, the primary reason was that I recognized an opportunity to do things differently, and that primarily resided in the sales process,” he said. “With a lot of these solar companies, the status quo is to hire really pushy salespeople that are well informed about anything other than a script.”
That leaves a lot to be desired, especially for homeowners looking to transition to solar power and find themselves unable to get the information they need to make a decision. With Astrawatt, the entire process is fully vertically integrated, allowing the homeowner to build a relationship with a knowledgeable team that will see the project through.
“If we have control over the project from start to finish, we know it’s going to be done right,” Murphy added. “Most of the industry is split up into two groups. Either you’re a sales company or you’re an install company; we are both.”
The business was born in 2016 and focused on slow and intentional growth for the first year, developing a strong foundation for the future. Through organic growth, Astrawatt has continued to open new locations.
For the core leadership team at Astrawatt, maintaining the brand’s values has been a top priority. Because of this, franchising seemed like an appealing way to expand the business while placing it in the hands of responsible, committed franchisees.
“As we grew, the next step was to expand across multiple states. But with company-owned stores, the downside is that most people who take that approach lose sight of the customer experience. They lose sight of reviews. You’re hiring so many people that it’s hard to establish the culture,” explained Tyler Tucker, chief development officer at Astrawatt. “So we said, ‘How do we do this? How do we keep a five-star rating and keep the reputation that we currently have in every market?’ And it was with local ownership.”
Sourcing business owners who care about the mission just as much as founders do has allowed Astrawatt to grow across the nation without losing sight of its core values and original purpose.
Once this plan was set in stone, the Astrawatt team reached out to Spadea Lignana.
“As soon as I talked to Spadea, I was just floored. I mean, it was very obvious that Spadea has a ton of experience and has helped a lot of franchises get off the ground with the FDD,” Tucker added. “Building the FDD is basically like giving birth. That’s the first box you have to check.”
Astrawatt has access to the Client Access Portal (CAP), a cloud-based platform that helps house franchise agreements, franchise disclosure documents (FDDs) and state-specific restrictions in one convenient and easy place. The system “allows franchisors to easily know where they can sell and where they can’t. The cornerstone of the program is an ‘ounce of prevention’ mentality to prevent small problems from becoming big (and expensive) problems,” the firm’s website states.
“Now that we’re four to six months into beginning to market our franchise, they’re constantly in touch with us, connecting us with the right people and providing us support,” Murphy added. “The software provided by Spadea has made both the development of the FDD and the next couple of steps a very easy process. I really don’t know how we would have done it without their help and the resources they’ve provided us.”