How to start your own web hosting business
Web hosting business startup is a very profitable and flexible business to venture into.
Reasons why you should start a web hosting business
1. Internet is going to be available the foreseeable future The internet cannot be active without the services of website hosting companies and therefore web hosting business will always be needed.
2. The market for website hosting is yet to reach capacity level. There has been tremendous increase in the website hosting environment in recent years but the market is yet to reach the saturation point. There are still pockets of opportunities to host blue chip companies and opportunities still abound in the market for small and medium scale companies which exist already or are being registered everyday.
3. The beauty of web hosting business is that you can start at any time and in a small or medium scale and work to grow, so capital may not be the hindrance but passion and perseverance.
4. Another advantage of running a web hosting business is that the potential for growth and expansion is unhindered. The growth and expansion potential can be achieved through partnering with related businesses such as: web designers, managers of web servers, bloggers, domain registrars and affiliate marketers
Steps by step of starting and running a web hosting business
1. Choose your platform and cpanel
There are basically two options to choose from; windows and Linux. The advantage of windows is that it supports MS SQL, NET, ASP, etc while Linux delivers a better hosting experience and it is cheaper too. It is however advisable to choose the reseller that provides both Windows and Linux
2. Choose your hosting provider
You need to choose a big hosting provider to rent server from. You can rent a dedicated server or go for a reseller plan. The size of server you rent will depend on the scale of web hosting business you plan to run. You can always talk to your preferred provider and get their best plan for your ideal size.
Criteria to look out for when choosing a hosting provider include:
- There must be round the clock customer support
- Control panel must be flexible enough
- Bandwidth must be large enough as well as disk space
- Many years of experience and good reputation
- An education and customer forums may be necessary.
We recommend: HostGator, InMotion Hosting and NameCheap.
3. Your hosting plan and pricing strategy
You offer all relevant plans, from small simple plan, medium to the highest end subscription plans and price them appropriately. This is where you should focus on. If you want your web hosting business to focus on small scale businesses, offer smaller plans with good benefits.
4. Set up a smart and interactive website
Your website serves triple purposes: showroom, signpost and office. There are some vital equipment that a website hosting company should have:
- Web Servers
- Broadband connection
- Robust computers
- Generator set in case of power outage
5. Set up client billing system and payment methods
You must install a billing software that is capable of calculating customers’ bills and bank transfers as well as supporting credit cards.
6. Create electric mail that welcomes prospective customers
When new customers sign up, you should have a strategy to welcome them and ultimately retain them. It starts with a welcome mail. Information on email should include the following:
- Username and password
- Plan confirmation details
- The DSN/register changes
- Link to the cpanel
- Instance access to FTP and email features
- Links to FAQ page.
7. Create a support help desk
You must communicate with your customers to fix some issues and the help desk is just the link. This will help your web hosting business stand out as customers love a good Customer support.
8. Launch/commercialize your new Web Hosting business
Time to launch and commercialize your business by:
- Inform friends and other relatives
- Use the social media – face book, Instagram, Google Adwords, etc.
- Use casual sales representatives
Web hosting business plan
- The executive summary
The XXX Co. web hosting business plan seeks to generate a significant increase in customers enlistment over the preceding year. The customer recruitment target is 100 companies which represents a planned 10% gain over the previous year. The increase should be met through improved advertising, service quality and delivery. The marketing budget will be ₦100,000.00, representing 12% increase over the previous year.
- Situation Analysis
The current marketing situation contains a list of all relevant facts and a brief overview of the progress (or lack of it) XXX Co has made in the past year. It presents relevant background data on the market, product, competition, distribution and the macro-environment. They are:-
- Revenue and profit figures broken down by product line, including annual numbers for the past five years and monthly numbers for the past year.
- Market share by product line.
- New products introduced in the past year and those expected to be introduced in the coming year.
- Position of the firm and its products versus its major competitors.
- Key market segments served by the firm’s products and services.
- Financial performances as measured against last year’s objectives.
- Macro environment situation – this section describes broad macro-environment trends – demographic, economic, technological, political/legal,, social/cultural – that bear on the product line’s future.
These are concerned with what products or services are to be sold, in which markets, in . . what quantities or values and when.
- To achieve a total sales revenue of ₦xx in 2017 representing a 10% increase in 2016 figures”.
- To expand the number of regional representatives to five
- Expand prospective clients awareness of XXX Co offerings from 10% to 20%.
XXX Co offers the following products and services.
- Website hosting services
- Wed designing
- Domain registration
- Electronic mail features
- Security and business features.
- Advisory services in relation to web hosting
- Personnel Structure
XXX Co website hosting has taken giant strides to put in place suitable personnel to man key positions, right from Chief Executive Officer, IT experts, sales and marketing staff to customer care service support personnel.
- Target market
XXX Co. will target potential customers from the following sources:
- Small and medium scale enterprises (SME) members list
- Financial institutions- banks and insurance companies
- Hotels – small, medium and 5 star hotels
- Churches – all well establish churches
- Web designers and IT experts – we compile lists of these and locate them.
- Media houses – television, radio, newspapers and magazines.
Our promotion will be low key because of financial constraints but we shall make maximum use of the social media, flyers, posters, social functions, friends and relations. XXX Co shall make occasional use of the quality newspapers and targeted adverts to industry associations.
Estimated revenue and expenditure should now be compiled to give live to the project
Web hosting business income
Your Web hosting business income will depend on your plans and marketing. There is no limit to how much you can make. If you can put up juicy plans and put effort into marketing your web hosting business, you will reap grate reward.
Let’s say your monthly cost for for your average plan is $50. And you can sign up up to 1000 people to your business. That will mean $50, 000 monthly gross revenue.
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