Did you know that the net worth of the mass market web hosting industry is currently estimated to be well over $15 billion? Yes, billion. A 2012 report from 451 Research noted that the amount spent that year on mass market hosting (which includes shared, VPS and dedicated server plans) was set to grow year on year, and if current trends are anything to go by, such predictions have certainly come true.
With that in mind, it comes as little surprise to us to hear that you’re thinking of getting a piece of that action for yourself. You’ve done a little research, and you already know that by buying a dedicated server and partitioning it off as a hosting reseller, you could start your own web hosting company without having to invest huge sums of money in vast physical servers. What you don’t yet know however, is how to get started.
If that’s the case, then worry not, intrepid entrepreneur. Here’s a few helpful tips to get you on your way to reseller hosting success.
Get to know your industry
If you’re already in the hosting game in some capacity -even if its as a web developer, a marketer or in any other ‘fringe’ role where hosting only plays a small part- you’ll likely have an easier time of this than if you’re going in blind, motivated only by the potential rewards to be had.
Either way, it’s worth getting to know the industry as well as you possibly can. After all, the more informed you are, the better your chances of success. If you can present yourself to customers as knowledgeable and insightful about web hosting, they’re far more likely to trust what you have to say, and to develop those long-lasting customer/company relationships that will play a major factor in the longevity of your reseller hosting company.
Familiarize yourself with the competition
Of course, that means understand the competition too. Take a look at what the leading providers are doing, to get an idea of the kind of costs involved and of where your new business fits into the market.
It’s important to look at how you can be different from your competitors, but by the same token, it’s also just as important to look at what you need to do that’s the same. If every reseller company on the block is offering free domain name registration for example, isn’t this a good sign that this is something customers want?
We certainly think so, though that’s not to say that you can’t look to improve on the current tried-and-tested business models. Using the above example, if everybody is offering a free one-year’s domain registration, could you up the ante on your competition and offer registration for two years, three, or even for life?
Search for dedicated reseller hosting plans
You could use a review site such as Discount Dedi Servers to track down the latest offers and check out genuine reviews on exactly what you’re investing in. Doing so will not only save you countless hours of trawling through Google in search of a good deal on a dedicated server, but also means you get the real truth about what you’re signing up to, rather than just a hosting company’s sales pitch.
Set it up and configure
When you’re happy that you’ve found the right dedicated server for your new reseller business, it’s time to go ahead, make the purchase, and set about with the critical task of configuring that server. The good news is that if you sign up for a managed service, most of the really technical ‘under the hood’ stuff is done for you by the company. The bad news is that there’s still work to be done on your side in terms of deciding how you’re going to partition that server and what you’ll include in your packages. Again, this is where a little research may come in handy.
Look at what others are doing, look how you could do it better, and get to work on claiming your part of that $15 billion plus industry.