There are several key elements you must take care of before you can go into business as a web hosting reseller and expect to survive and prosper. In this article, we will touch on five basic steps that are required for reselling accounts that are provided by a web hosting firm. Although success for any business is based on the quality of products services, and the perseverance and diligence of owners and employees, you don’t have to reinvent the wheel. And just because it is easy to list or understand these steps doesn’t mean they will be easy to do well or easy to keep going.
While you are attending to these five steps, there are plenty of other things that need to be done, too. You should have a business plan, of course, and know where your operating funds are coming from until such time as your business is self-supporting. This means you will have to guess at some things until you have enough real-world experience to “fill in the blanks.” Follow those who have gone before you, and make use of their experience, especially in regards to what you should not do and what are must-dos.
1. Your name – The first step in a successful host reseller venture is getting a domain name that is catchy, out of the ordinary and at least somewhat descriptive. A domain name is, in fact, your business’s personal ID. Your customers will need to have access to your products and services, and a good company name will help them remember where to find you on the Internet.
2. The equipment – Next you need to locate and set up a hosting reseller account. You could conceivably establish your own domain registration procedures, arrange for connectivity from one or more “major bandwidth” providers and fill a warehouse or two with powerful computers and racks of servers. Or you could get a reseller account from a firm that has all of those things going on already, an established supplier.
3. The software tools – Any good reseller hosting account will offer customers the tools, often combined in a web-accessed “control panel,” to manage website hosting, domains and customer accounts from a central location. That way, you can log in check billing, uptime figures, account status and everything else, all at once.
4. Look, feel and functions – You must look professional to make customers feel safe in signing up with you as their website host. That means your own website must be designed and implemented by a professional. Try not to save money by using cookie-cutter website templates, as they tend to say, “We’re cheap.” One of the major benefits of using a professional designer is that you end up with a unique website, one that looks the way you want it to look and doesn’t look like a copy of someone else’s. One way to save money is to hire a designer simply to tweak and personalize the look of a good, flexible template, an option you should investigate if your funds are limited.
5. Easy sign up – However you decide to design and implement the site, make sure that you make the sign up process easy and straightforward. Keep your order form as simple, uncluttered and easy to complete as you can. One way to do this, as well as steer the customer a bit, is to have some choices pre-selected (default). It is important to supply customers with a summary page of their orders so they can review all of the details before making the purchase.
6. Differentiate yourself – Try to present yourself as being different in some essential way from every other web hosting offer. You can create a special offer, run a contest or promotion featuring a prize, bundle services and tools that other companies don’t offer – it matters less what is different about your hosting offer than that it “seems” and “acts” different.
7. Be a good driver – And that doesn’t mean in a car, either. You have to learn how to drive a lot of qualified traffic to your website, as that is the only way to get customers. There are entire textbooks – make that shelves full of textbooks – on how to market a website, build traffic, qualify leads and convert visitors into paying customers. If you take just one lesson from this article on possible traffic-driving solutions, one that has a proven track record for thousands of small, online businesses, it would be Google’s AdWords program. Check it out, as well as the other million things you can do to get traffic to your site and get customers to sign up.
You never know what several or dozen different things might combine to create success for you and your web host reseller service. But one thing is certain. If you do not provide a high level of customer service, your newfound customers won’t stay around for long. It is true of customers in any kind of store, online or offline, high-tech or not. If you are not taking care of them, and treating them like their business (and they, personally) are important to you, they will move to another web hosting firm as soon as they can.
You will need good luck to succeed in reseller web hosting, like in any other endeavor. If you follow seven steps outlined above, and tend to the other million or so things that are required of a successful business, you could be well on your way. Stay focused, stay busy, stay attentive and stay positive, and you just might stay in business, too.