After several lackluster experiences working for door-to-door businesses and solar companies, Kota Ivers did what entrepreneurs do: built his own company.
But he didn’t want to build any old solar company; he wanted to build the best one possible — one that delivered exceptional experiences to both customers and representatives. After cutting their teeth with a successful solar coaching company, Kota and his partners decided to start a new solar sales company, and GR8FL Solar was born.
At first, the company had teams spread across three different regions. While they were doing OK, Kota knew the company could soar to greater heights.
“We made the decision to move to Houston, where we planned to go all in one market,” Kota says. Fast-forward to today, and this proved to be a wise decision. “This month, we’re going to triple our volume from last month.”
Rapid growth without cash flow problems
While rapid growth is a great thing, it doesn’t come without problems. Chief among them for GR8FL? Cash flow.
As Kota and his team found themselves routinely waiting on payments to come in from finance companies, they began struggling to pay representatives as fast as they wanted to. As someone who had experienced waiting to get paid by a solar company before, Kota knew how important it was for his business to pay workers quickly.
“It was kind of like a coin flip every week on whether or not I was getting paid,” Kota says about his previous employment experience. “Maybe I’m getting paid thousands of dollars, or maybe I’m not getting paid anything. You never really knew where you were with your money.”
As Kota learned from his own experiences, this type of situation is less than ideal to say the least.
“When your very first experience with a company is a late payment or an incorrect payment, that’s really, really bad,” Kota explains. “You’ve got bills to pay. You’re stressing out. You’re out working hard and knocking on doors, and you’re counting on this money, and it doesn’t come in. It’s a huge red flag for people.”
So when Kota created GR8FL Solar, the team agreed they would always pay their workers on time.
“We always want to make sure that payroll is accurate because, in my experience, that’s the biggest way to establish trust — especially if you’re brand new and working on commission only,” Kota says.
To overcome this challenge and make sure his team was paid promptly every week, Kota began searching for a payment solution that would allow his company to pay workers quickly. After doing his due diligence and researching “all of the payroll companies that are out there,” Kota ultimately found Everee, which offers payroll finance via Everee Credit, and the rest is history.
Predictable payments made easy
Thanks to Everee, Kota and his team no longer have to wait on payments to come in from financing companies before settling up with workers.
“Everee has been super clutch for us because we can just make sure our people are paid on time, and we never have to stress, even if we’re two weeks behind on receiving payments we’re owed,” Kota says. “It’s great to know that when we process payments in the morning, our team will literally have money in their accounts that afternoon, which is huge.”
Prior to finding Everee, GR8FL was using bank wires to pay its 1099 contractors. Typically, they processed payroll on Friday mornings. But one time, they submitted payroll a little bit too late, and the team didn’t get paid until Monday.
“It happened once, and we were like, this will never happen again,” Kota explains. For the last two years, it hasn’t happened thanks to Everee, which has been a true game-changer for the solar company.
Tax management simplified
Today, GR8FL has roughly 100 1099 contractors and four W2 employees. Before Everee, Kota and his team struggled to track payments to 1099 workers and send accurate 1099s to each of them at the end of the year. Thanks to Everee, this worry is a thing of the past.
“It makes it way easier because Everee takes care of the forms. When somebody onboards, whether they need to fill out a W2 or a W9, the platform automatically prompts them and then automatically sends documentation each tax season, which is amazing,” Kota says. “The process is literally the easiest thing in the world for us. The fact that we have no background doing this before and we’re able to pick it up and do it correctly 99% of the time is awesome.”
Set up to scale
Looking ahead, GR8FL Solar aims to scale, with Florida being the next region they’re targeting. At the same time, they’re laser-focused on becoming the best solar company in the country.
“We’re not being reactive in our business approach like our competitors; we’re being proactive and trying to solve new problems with new solutions that haven’t been done before,” Kota says. “We want it to be so dialed in that when we have a new customer come in, they’re blown away from step one, and they genuinely feel that we care — not like we’re a business trying to make a quick buck and then bail right after install.”
As GR8FL works toward achieving these goals, the company is happy to have their payments powered by Everee, which makes the process that much easier.
Would Kota recommend other entrepreneurs use Everee?
“I have no idea why you wouldn’t use it,” he says. “It’s just a really, really simple way to pay people that’s also extremely cheap. It works flawlessly. It’s a no-brainer — especially if you’re like us and have cash flow problems because you’re growing quickly.”
For more information on how your organization can use Everee to overcome cash flow problems and simplify payments, request a demo today.