Talking Small Business with Marie Kaplan
Here at iZone Marketing, we recently had the opportunity to speak with Marie Kaplan, founder of Next Level Property Solutions, a solar company powering the multifamily industry. As a leader in her industry, Marie saw an issue that needed addressing and founded a company that provided a solution. Keep reading to discover her answers to some pressing questions!
What is the most difficult challenge when running a small business?
“Oh my goodness, for me it was just about everything in the beginning. I had no clue where to start. But now, a couple of years in, I’m having a blast. It’s like being an artist and creating this amazing piece of work that at every turn you are able to decide how it will look with the next stroke. Sometimes it doesn’t come out like you envisioned, but then you add another layer, another color and it becomes even greater than you hoped for.
With Multifamily Solar, there was so much to figure out: utility commission regulations, landlord/tenant law, solar application, virtual net metering, finance options, solar tenant billing transitions, and how to make that all fit together. I was probably in over my head, but I knew I was where I was supposed to be and I was so hungry to find the solution. I started offing other sustainability services while I was working on the solar pieces in the background and through low flow water projects and led lighting projects as well as others, I was able to save my clients hundreds of thousands of dollars in rebates, program incentives and operational costs which only fueled my desire to find the solution for existing Multifamily solar conversion opportunities.”
“After working in property management for 20+ years, I decided I wanted to be able to impact a broader scale of properties; help more owners make money, and positively impact the bottom line of more than just a handful of properties. I didn’t want to be limited by one company’s way of doing business, but help affect change and make a difference in our industry.”
Why should clients work with your company instead of your competitors?
“I spent over 3 years researching and vetting everyone remotely related to any of the key pieces necessary for this program and process to come together and I have the only seamless turnkey solution put together from the perspective of an owner.”
What advice would you give to other small businesses?
“I received two pieces of advice that I will pass on…
- Ronn Ruiz (CEO of iZone): Never allow the highs to take you too high or the lows to take you too low…maintain balance in your thoughts and perspectives always.
- Valerie Sargent (National Speaker, Trainer, & Consultant): Always be willing to adapt. What you envision for your company may need to change, you don’t always get it right out of the gate. Are you willing to adapt to succeed or remain committed to a concept that may fail?”
We are so honored to have had the opportunity to talk about small business and entrepreneurship with the huge influence that is Marie Kaplan. Working with small businesses is a gratifying experience, which is why at iZone Marketing, we love to do what we do. We would love to hear from our readers, so please share thoughts in the comments below!