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Meet Edwin Baranian of American Solar Power in Montrose and La Crescenta

Today we’d like to introduce you to Edwin Baranian. His team share his story with us below.

Please kick things off for us, we’d love to hear the story.
American Solar Power started in 2009 but our story goes back a few years before that. Our founder Edwin was working for a construction company and felt that he had more to offer to himself and homeowners. The company he was working for went out of business and Edwin decided to follow his ambitions and decided it was time to be his own boss. He was able to not only obtain his contractor’s license, but also a keen understanding of photovoltaic systems.Operations ran from his backyard with one truck, borrowed ladders from friends, and a backpack with folders of the weeks projects. His employees were his personal friends whom he called when he needed help finishing up installations. Fast forward to today and American Solar Power Inc has more than 20 employees and a full operations staff to help coordinate all installations for both residential and commercial clients.

Edwin never forgot how important the client experience is and it is a hallmark of American Solar Power’s operations today.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
There was definitely a learning period we had to grow through to get to where we are today.

Edwin’s vision was always clear so it was challenging at times when an obstacle got in the way. The company is self-funded and started with virtually no capital. You can imagine how challenging it would be to learn how to budget to ensure there was enough for all the expenses, some of which are very difficult to predict. It was a struggle at times to be sure we could cover all costs. He now had to make sure he kept food not only on his table, but his employees’ as well. You couple that with learning a fast changing industry whose regulations changed frequently in those early days. Edwin was also learning to project (?) manage on the fly and it took a while for him to learn how to get the right team in place. This is an ongoing process and there were some lessons learned from the past, but we are proud of the team we have now and feel positive about the future.

Please tell us about American Solar Power Inc..
American Solar Power is mostly a business to business company, we are what’s called a white label company. We serve as a subcontractor in a lot of cases. This allowed us to gain access to some opportunities early on in the history of our company that we otherwise would not have gotten. This also led to ASP’s specialization in custom installations. We are known to be able to handle difficult/unique installations and we pride ourselves in always finding a solution that is best for the owners and within budget. As the company owner, Edwin is most proud of how the team has evolved. We are honest and always deliver the best quality construction to all our clients. Our work is always polished and clean and we treat every install as if it is our own. We care about what we do and it shows.

We can’t say it enough, we care. We believe it is our attention to detail and ability to put ourselves in the client’s shoes that sets us apart.

If you had to go back in time and start over, would you have done anything differently?
Having a financial partner at the time ASP was founded would be one of the main changes. Edwin believes this would have allowed the company to get financially organized to take bigger challenges early on. We are proud of where we are today, but setting a financial plan early on would have helped us avoid a lot of headaches. Edwin would also have trusted his instincts more when hiring and building his team, as well as had a different approach with some projects and clients.

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