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The Marginator


Instructor: Keith Cronin

Length: 1 module


Imagine knowing if you will make money on a job, before you did the work?

Predicting profitability is the difference between a growing company or a shrinking one.

The solar industry is struggling with low margin projects. Every dollar counts in a highly competitive business.

What if you could have the unfair advantage?

Instead of guessing if you are going to make money, don’t you want to know, in advance?

Solar projects are essentially 3 components. Materials, labor and profits. That’s it.

Yes, there is overhead. Yes, there are sales commissions. Yes, there are taxes.

Ultimately companies thrive or die because the difference between what they sell a project for, and what it costs them is unclear. And when that delta shrinks, it is even more essential to know why.

Gross margin is the one (and often) only metric to give you a sense of how you are doing. Like going to the doctor to get a checkup. This is the one thing the doctor will say to you: “How are your gross margins?”. This applies to all businesses. Sales and marketing organizations. Manufacturers. And you and your business.

If you know what they are, then you can manage the busy times and the slow times. You will be able to determine the difference between taking work because you are slow or turning away work because it won’t make financial sense to do this.

And the data is important.

Using this simple yet powerful excel tool will revolutionize how you and your company thinks and how you lead your company into the future. This tool takes the emotion out of decisions.

And when you share this knowledge with your team, something else happens. There is a shift in their ability to understand the business. They know they can influence outcomes.

Ownership thinking is born.

Now the sales team works more closely with the ops team. They share information (actually they share knowledge). The ops team knows how long things really take. The sales team incorporates that vital knowledge into their proposals.

Managers know how to pull the information together and make short and long-term decisions. The health of the company goes beyond numbers. People feel their input matters and are part of the solution.

After all, that is why we are in solar in the first place.

Come grab the “Marginator” excel tool and video training. You’ll know how to use the tool with the step by step video training. Everything is done for you. All you need to do is enter information and the outputs will show you where you are at and more importantly- where you want to be.

This tool will take the guesswork out of estimating a solar projects profitability.

Your thinking will change about only looking at what something is installed for in the usual language of “cost per watt”. You won’t be just talking about how many million in sales you did but more importantly, how many million did you get to keep.

Important: You will need to have a copy of MS Excel 2013 or newer (for PC or Mac) as we will be using Slicers and pivot tables for the calculations.

Ready To Sign Up Today? Click Here to Enroll

Preview the Course Material

Check out a free preview of the course by clicking the button below. This is a live assignment from the course and will give you a good sense for what the course will be like.

Free Preview - Marginator Demo Video
Flexible Online Training for Industry Professionals

This online course is self-paced. You can begin instantly upon enrollment.

Access Information and Build Your Training Library

After enrolling, the course materials will remain in your account and be accessible 12 months (1 year) after enrollment. Access can be extended beyond 1 year with a monthly membership. Rewatch videos and review assignments as many times as you want. View updates the instructor makes to the course as the industry advances. Return to your course anytime with online access from anywhere in the world.

Earn A Certificate of Completion

When you complete this course you are eligible for a certificate of completion from HeatSpring. You can download your certificate as soon as you have completed all of the course requirements. Students can easily share their verified certificates on their LinkedIn profiles using our LinkedIn integration.


Keith Cronin

SunHedge LLC

Keith Cronin is an in-demand business consultant. He has helped solar companies achieve their goals through his perspective, recruiting, coaching sessions and products. After his company was acquired by SunEdison, he decided to help people and serve others in Hawaii and across the globe. After his tenure with SunEdison, he founded SunHedge. SunHedge assists small...[more]

Free Preview - Marginator Demo Video

Course Outline

Welcome - Orientation Materials

This course is self-paced, so you don’t need to be logged in at any specific time. You can get started immediately after you enroll and the course materials will remain in your account with minimum guaranteed access for 12 months (1 year) after enrollment.

  • Introduction to HeatSpring (Video - 01:25 minutes) Preview
  • Set up email notifications and your student profile (Text)
  • Introduce yourself on the discussion board (Text)
  • Marginator Demo Video (Video - 11:13 minutes) Preview
Module 1 - Solar Cost Estimating ScoreCard

Want to know the difference between sales and profits? You've come to the right place. This is an extensive excel tool to help you wrap you and your team around performance. It will help you make better team decisions from this day, forward.

  • The Marginator 1 - Introduction (Video - 04:42 minutes) Preview
  • The Marginator Excel File (Download .xlsm)
  • The Marginator 2 - Workbook Layout (Video - 06:34 minutes)
  • The Marginator 3 - How to Share Profits (Video - 04:51 minutes)
  • The Marginator 4 - How to Use Each Worksheet (Video - 04:36 minutes)
  • Marginator 5 - Estimating your first project (Video - 09:28 minutes)
  • The Marginator 6 - Data Validation and Macros (Video - 04:12 minutes)
  • The Marginator 7- Name Ranges and VBA (Video - 04:32 minutes)
  • The Marginator 8 - Macros and the formulas (Video - 08:41 minutes)
  • The Marginator 9- Client Data Saving and Retrieving (Video - 04:11 minutes)
  • The Marginator 10 - Did You Make Money (Video - 07:00 minutes)
  • The Marginator 11 - Index - Match and Finding Information (Video - 09:32 minutes)
  • The Marginator 12 - Slicers and Sorting Data (Video - 05:25 minutes)
  • The Marginator 13 - Deep Analysis - Pivot Tables (Video - 08:17 minutes)
Feedback and Additional Resources

This is our last module but you still have access to the all of course materials for 12 months (1 year), so keep working and you'll be able to complete the course at your own pace. After your year of access expires you can optionally extend access with a HeatSpring Membership. Enjoy the course and keep in touch!

  • 1 Year of Access to Course Materials (Text)
  • Feedback: 2-minute Exit Survey (Survey)
  • Consider Joining as a HeatSpring Member (Resource)
  • Certificate of Completion: Request a Certificate (Certificate)
Free Preview - Marginator Demo Video