We are living in a time where the internet and social media are so widely used the world over. Businesses understand now more than ever the unavoidable need to have a website. The demand for websites has surged so much that web development has become such a lucrative business. The web space offers many possible profitable ventures and today we discuss one of them. This article shall be exploring the starting of a web hosting business. Web hosting is what makes it possible for websites and their related content to be available and viewable online. Therefore, the provision of web hosting services is much needed especially these days.
There are several ways in which you can roll out your web hosting business. In order to know how best to do that you need to have a basic understanding of how web hosting works. First of all, you must know what web hosting entails in the most laymen of terms. Web hosting entails the hosting or storage of websites on servers – servers being computers uniquely designed for those functions. This means for you to be able to host websites you need to either get your own servers or you enter working agreements with those who already have them. Obviously the former is more costly than the latter.
The best approach when starting out is reseller hosting. This is whereby you purchase hosting from another service provider then you come up with your own hosting packages that will constitute your web hosting business. Such a service provider is what is usually called a dedicated server partner. As earlier on highlighted this is the most affordable entry strategy into the arena of web hosting businesses. The other great thing about reseller hosting is that it is virtually hassle-free. The technical and operational issues are the sole preserve of your dedicated server partner.
You can always scale as the business grows and ultimately work towards having your own servers. Surveys even show that most reputable web hosting companies started off using the reseller hosting model. The other key issue regarding approaches is how you put together your value proposition. Most web hosting businesses tend to offer services to any willing client – there is really nothing wrong with that. However, some industry experts advise that it is expedient to niche rather than just offering a blanket service. Examples of niches can be small-scale business, civic organizations or music artistes – niches are infinite.
Before embarking on a business journey it is always a rule of thumb of do market research. Particularly for web hosting there is vicious competition because there so many players out there. What even makes the competition fiercer is the fact that a web hosting business is not necessarily bound by physical borders. A web hosting business halfway across the world can provide services to clients across its borders. So it is very crucial to study the industry and comprehensively study your competitors. The best place to start is by studying already established business players that are into web hosting.
Find out what type of services they offer, how they market businesses, their clients and many other metrics to help inform your own business. You must also take a look at their pricing regimes, their approaches, their partners (e.g. server partners) and so on. The beauty of conducting this market research is that most of the information is available online. You need only go to the website of web hosting businesses and you will be able to get insights from there alone. You should also have a good web hosting business.
Make Sure You Have A Comprehensive Web Hosting Business Plan
The failure to plan is the beginning of business failure. The web hosting business plan must be clear and succinct enough to give your potential partners, clients and investors an overview of what your objectives are. At the same time, it must be detailed enough to explain the operations of the business that you propose. At the very minimum you need to have the following included in your web hosting business plan:
- The mission, vision and operational strategy
- Market Analysis And Customer Segmentation
- A business case showing that the business is financial viable and sustainable
- A marketing and customer care plan
- An organizational chart and human resource policy
- A three-year expansion outlook
- A risk and rewards Analysis
The primary and most basic service you will be offering is web hosting for your clients’ websites. Most web hosting businesses go beyond to also provide other related services. For instance, web development or FinTech services. An example of a Fintech service is by developing a site where people can purchase airtime, pay utility bills and other related services. Basically it is wise to diversify your services rather than just solely focusing on web hosting. Turning your web hosting business into one-stop shop will definitely lure more clients and that means more revenue.
Market And Marketing
The market is vast and ever-growing so you can always carve out your own share of the market. The best way to advertise is to use the internet and social media. The very same website through which clients will explore, choose and pay for services is a billboard of sorts. Thus marketing can be done using your main website. You can also use social media platforms to market and redirect people to your main website. You can include testimonials on the site and you can also include links or names of some of the clients you host or maybe websites you have developed. In order to create a positive public perception towards your brand it is highly recommended that you include trust seals on your site. You should have trust seals that show how secure, accredited, reputable and trustworthy your services are. This will do great exploits for your marketing efforts.
Staff And Management
This depends on your scale and sophistication of operations. Generally, not many employees are needed but they usually have to be tech savvy ones. Especially when you are using the reseller hosting model there are not many hands that are needed on deck.
Hopefully this article will help you start your own web hosting business. It is a great business venture because you can start small and scale over time. Please do not take shortcuts or use dedicated server partners simply because they are affordable. Take time to do your homework so that you end up with top-notch components for your business. It would be such a shame and very problematic if you always experience hurdles like downtime simply because you settled for substandard service providers.