We talked to Jake Hassid on how Simply Solar has made energy independence easy and he had the following to say about it.
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Jake Hassid: Those closest to me are continuing to maneuver the effects of COVID-19. This is an unprecedented time for many, and we are taking the time to slow down and recalibrate as friends and family.
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded Simply Solar.
Jake Hassid: Our co-founders and I started Simply Solar after seeing a need in the solar industry for an organization that could use technology and automation to efficiently run the construction aspects of the business and put a big focus on customer outcomes and community involvement. We all came from diverse backgrounds in construction, medicine, engineering, and sales, and saw an opportunity to improve the solar business model. It was a unique opportunity to apply lessons learned from tech and other industries to the construction space, which has historically lagged behind in adopting new systems. Our first office was born in our garage and quickly expanded into a growing organization, driven by our desire to keep a strong focus on customer satisfaction, a soft educational approach to sales, and keeping community impact at the forefront of our mission from day 1 through a number of charity events, projects, and volunteer work.
Co-founder and I started Simply Solar in a garage, as a number of start-ups do. We had the vision to fill a space that we noticed in the solar industry.
How does Simply Solar innovate?
Jake Hassid: Simply Solar is a company founded on innovation. There are a lot of moving parts in solar and a lot of conflicting information out there. Challenges typically arise because customers do not know all the information required to determine what they need. We have innovated how we educate our customers through an online solar academy where our in-house team of experts shares their knowledge, and our customers can explore at their leisure. Our goal is to share the information so future solar clients can easily move forward with confidence.
With continued innovations in our company technology, we are able to maintain relationships built to last.
Internally we have built our own software so we can determine the most efficient custom system design for our clients. This paired with many automated internal processes, so our staff is able to focus less on “what comes next” and more on customer satisfaction.
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how are you coping?
Jake Hassid: Without speculation, we know that COVID-19 will have lasting effects on our business, like many others. Simply Solar has adapted to the necessary level of attention it takes for a company like ours to maintain operations. Many of our employees are working from home, and a lot of our operations have moved to virtual communication methods. We have sought out and successfully implemented necessary adjustments for those working on job sites and added extra precautions to keep our employees and our clients safe.
Altogether, I would say we are coping with the ongoing pandemic to the best of our ability. With health and wellness at the forefront of our company movements, we will continue to weather the storm.
Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?
Jake Hassid: There are always difficult business decisions, but the pandemic offered challenges that we had never had to deal with before. We always put the health and safety of our employees and clients first; however, Covid created another layer of difficulty. Our business relies on interacting with homeowners and crews working together on a daily basis. If we couldn’t work as crews or meet with homeowners, we wouldn’t have a business, so we had to figure out how to adapt to the new environment and keep everyone safe while keeping them employed. There have been real financial costs and a decrease in efficiency due to the safety measures we have taken, but we are doing what we need to do to keep our business going and our employees paid. With unemployment as high as it is, we wanted to do everything in our power to keep our staff employed and providing for their families.
Of course, there were difficult choices that had to be made during the start of this pandemic. It is an unprecedented time, and I don’t know if there is anyone that could have been fully prepared. We are where we are now because of difficult decisions, and we will hopefully continue to grow past this experience.
How do you deal with stress and anxiety? How do you project yourself and your company in the future?
Jake Hassid: I manage my stress and anxieties by looking at the big picture and keeping my eyes on a brighter horizon. I focus on the amazing group of people that we have employed and the dedication those employees have brought to the table, especially during these current times. It’s not always easy, but I look at what we have already built, which is an organization focused on successful customer relationships. That keeps my belief that our company will continue to be on the front lines of building a brighter future.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Jake Hassid: There are many players in the solar energy space. I keep a certain level of awareness when it comes to the way the market moves, but to stay in the game, I believe focusing on delivering top quality work and excellent client service is how we keep our place. Our customers go with us because we take the time to educate them, and they know that there will be somewhere to answer if they call.
In addition, Simply Solar has built great relationships with our product partners like Solaria and LG Chem.
Your final thoughts?
Jake Hassid: I guess my final thought is that we can build a very different future, and renewable energy resources, like solar, are a way we get to that future. We will continue to persevere and look forward to post-pandemic life. We will be working with home and business owners that choose our company for a very long time. Seeing each other through these difficult times just makes the importance of putting the client and employees first.
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