It’s one of those things that’s so simple, you wonder why everyone isn’t doing it. Starting your own hosting business is cheap, easy, and safe, considering that every company (and plenty of individuals) need their own websites. But why bother starting your own hosting business when your plate is already full? Here are some reasons:
- Little Effort — Really, the web hosting provider is doing most of the legwork and it handles the technical difficulties that scare most people away from the industry. All you have to do is keep your individual clients happy.
- Additional Income — You can put a little extra padding in your wallet without losing your day job. Aside from the initial setup and registering new clients, your only duty is watching your bank account grow.
- Great Extra Offering for Digital Firms — If you already run a digital business, especially web design, then throwing hosting into your package makes your service more “all-inclusive.” This could give you the edge you need over competitors.
To top it all off, it’s easier than you think to get started. In fact, you can have your own hosting business up and running after only 5 simple steps…
1. Find Your Niche
The competition is fierce in the web hosting business. You won’t be able to compete with the giants of the industry (at least not yet), but you can still target a specific niche group and start from there.
Basically, you need to offer something unique to separate yourself from other companies. Maybe that’s an additional service like web design, maybe it’s a revolutionary pricing plan, or maybe you’ll target a specific community (like webcomics or homemade jewelry stores).
Whatever your niche turns out to be, you need to figure it out first before you get into the nitty-gritty of your hosting business.
2. Research Competitors
Next, you want to separate yourself even more from other hosting companies within your niche. Ideally, what you offer will be so unique, you’ll have no competition… but that’s rare. Chances are, even if you’re specializing your market, you’ll still have more than a few competitors.
Research their business models and see what they’re doing that works — and where there’s room for improvement! Analyzing your competitors is the best strategy for discovering ways to outdo them.
3. Choose Your Server Type
Assuming you’re reselling server space from a hosting company (as opposed to building your own server in your garage), you still have a few different options to choose from.
- Dedicated Server — As the name suggests a dedicated server is a server dedicated to a single client. While the features are extensive, it’s the most expensive of the types.
- Cloud — Cloud servers are great because you don’t have to worry about scaling or infrastructure — even with an unexpected spike in traffic, performance remains consistent. In terms of pricing, cloud hosting is somewhere in the middle.
- VPS — A Virtual Private Server is a single server (cloud or otherwise) that is partitioned to suit multiple systems at the same time as smaller dedicated servers. While space is limited, it’s easily the cheapest option, and a good place to start for beginners to the hosting business.
There is no one “best” server type… rather, you’ll want to choose the one that fits together with your niche and business model.
4. Create a Business Model
Here we get into the “business” part of the hosting business. You’ll need to fine-tune the details of your niche marketing as well as invent your brand. In this stage, you need to finalize plans for your…
- Brand — This includes your company name, logo, and tag line. Be aware of which domain names are available, since you’ll inevitably need to build a company website.
- Pricing Plan — Hammer out the details of your pricing plans to find that sweet spot between how much you’re buying the hosting for, and how much your clients are willing to pay for your services. This can also play into your niche marketing if you’re trying to undercut the cost of your competitors.
- Website Design — As with all digital industries, your web hosting company’s website is it’s main storefront, so spare no expense in making it top notch.
After fulfilling all the necessary legal requirements, you’re ready to start your hosting business; although, there is one more consideration worth noting…
5. Launch Customer Service and Support
Customer service & support is optional in theory, but in reality it’s so important that it’s practically a necessity.
With the web hosting business, part of your appeal to potential clients is that they don’t need to worry about the technical concerns. Even for hardware engineers, these tidbits can get frustrating, so you can imagine the anxiety it causes laypeople.
Customer service should be a top priority for your new hosting business. That’s why we here at Liquid Web invest so much into our Heroic Support® program. Our customer support is what endears us to our clients and keeps them loyal: features like our 59 Second Guarantee and 24/7 access not only set us apart from our competitors, but also turn what could be a negative customer experience into one our company’s greatest strengths.