Web hosting is a high-demand service these days, and since it won’t be going away anytime soon, it could be a great business opportunity for you. If you’ve been considering it or are just looking to become your own boss, starting a web hosting company might be the thing for you. Here’s how you go about it:
1. Pick a platform. Look into options for UNIX and Windows or both. Decide which platform will provide you with the most opportunity to serve the diverse needs of your customers. You might also want to consider a host provider that will give you both operating systems under a reseller arrangement.
2. Choose a control panel. These are available in very basic and user-friendly types, to the incredibly advanced. Do a little investigating and see which one is right for your needs.
3. Find an exceptional reseller hosting provider. You need plenty of options with your provider, especially with bandwidth. Look for a provider that gives you the most flexibility in development and reliability in support.
4. Formulate your plans and pricing. Look into what the going rates are and develop your pricing criteria accordingly. Especially in the beginning, you may want to offer rock-bottom deals to drum up business. Be concise and honest; you want to keep them coming back!
5. Build your business web site. If you don’t already know how, there are plenty of places on the web or software packages that will teach you or basically do it for you. You can pick a basic template and take it from there. Make a list before hand of all the functions you will need and anticipate a place for them on your site. Don’t forget to create a great logo that people can remember you by!
6. Get ready for e-commerce. You need to be capable of accepting payments from your customers; make sure the reseller host outfit you sign-up with supports everything you’ll be setting up like an SSL certificate, payment gateway and merchant account. Long before you ever open for business, test all of your payment systems for bugs, glitches and anything else that will blow up in your face later.
7. Establish your help desk environment. If it’s just you, make sure you are able to handle the business and technology you’re dealing with. Figure out when and how you will be available to handle customer problems and issues that are bound to arise. The commitment you make to this aspect of your business must be kept at all costs: your e-life depends on it!
8. Select your billing software. Although PayPal is one of the most common, it’s not always the most popular; try and diversify your options to garner the most business. Learn about your software and be prepared to handle complications and questions. Also, make sure you can integrate it into your control panel.
9. Create a solid welcome notice to your business. When people sign-up with you, there must be a notification sent to them detailing exactly what they ordered, when they get it, how they will be billed and so forth. Plan this way ahead of time and operations will go smoothly.
10. Promote your business. Use SEO, newsletters, blogging, contacts and more to get the word out. Join relevant forums and have a brief ad about your company in your signature, but don’t try and push people on it. Learn about marketing in this environment and make a good name for yourself; business should gradually develop and if you take care of your customers and keep your promises, you should be very successful.
Owning your own business is the American dream; think over what you have read here and decide if becoming a web hosting company is right for you!