(The Hosting News) – One of easiest niches to penetrate in the hosting arena is the web hosting reseller market. For the uninitiated, web hosting resellers essentially build their business by providing services and support as well as leased infrastructure provided by another (typically larger) hosting company. Just as individuals and small businesses have to research hosting partners that they will choose to host their application, site, or business with, web hosting resellers must form a close partnership with the “parent” hosting company and the success or failure of their business is based not only on their own performance and customer support but also that of the parent hosting company as well. In this article, I’ll provide a “Top 10” list of tips for anyone interested in starting or growing a web hosting reseller business…these are tried and true keys to success in reselling web hosting.
- Pick a good partner – at the end of the day, the reliability, scalability, and range of products and services you can offer as a reseller will be limited (or unlimited) based on the products and services offered by your hosting partner.
- Support, Support, Support – at the end of the day, customers will stick with a business partner that they know is listening, technically capable, and always ready to help.
- Differentiate – in a hyper-competitive market, you need a way to stand apart. Whether it’s through custom apps or control panel modules that you deliver to your customers or through some other advantage, find ways to be different and better.
- Be available – the surest way to lose hosting business is to not be responsive or available when your customers need you most.
- Honor commitments – be very clear in your contracts and agreements and always stick to what you’ve promised.
- Don’t over-commit – a challenge of many small business is “biting off more than they can chew”. Know your initial limits and don’t make all customers suffer because you’ve overcommitted your company.
- Stay current – As a reseller, you’re a trusted technical resource to your customers so invest time and energy in knowing the latest technologies and software updates.
- Decide on a target audience – focus your marketing efforts and product offerings on a specific audience (developers, small business, corporate IT, etc.) and don’t try to be all things to all people.
- Automate back-office processes – the more you can automate registration and billing, the more scalable your business will be and the more you can focus on customers, instead of paperwork.
- Always be selling/closing – Don’t neglect your sales efforts as your business begins to grow.
About the Author
Josh Ewin is Director of Marketing for DedicatedNOW, a provider of managed dedicated servers and managed colocation in the NY/NJ Metro Area.