Building a Successful Web Hosting Business - By: Noah Mander
Building a web hosting business can be very lucrative. Just as with any business, there are certain steps that you have to take to make your business a success. You need a solid business plan in place before you do anything else.
With a web hosting business, you have to figure out if you plan to be a web hosting reseller, or if you plan to start your own hosting business from the ground up. If you are going to open a web hosting reseller business, you have to choose your hosting service provider and get your account set up. If you are going to start from scratch, you are going to have to find bandwidth to purchase and get your hosting servers set up so that you meet or exceed the quality and service offered by your competitors.
Don't lose sight of putting together the infrastructure that you need for your business to be successful. For example, many new business owners overlook setting up the ever-important bookkeeping system as well. This can lead to both serious cash flow and tax problems.
Of course, once your business is up and running, the next thing you have to do is attract customers to your business. To succeed in web hosting, or any business, you need customers. Without customers, you have no revenue. Without revenue, you have no business.
How To Attract Customers
To attract customers to your business, the first thing that you will need is an effective website. As a hosting provider, having a top-notch web site that works flawlessly is a pre-requisite to success.
Most prospective customers who are in need of Internet-based services are going to use the Internet as their primary means of gathering information. If prospective customers visit your website and finds it unappealing, difficult to navigate, or slow to load pages, they are certainly not going to hire you to host their own sites.
As a web hosting provider, your web presence has to send a positive message about your company. It must convey to prospective customers that your company has expertise in all aspects of web development.
Designing Your Website
The field of web hosting is one in which there is a significant amount of competition. Your site should not look like a clone of one of the thousands of other websites on the Internet. Use the design of your site to establish a unique corporate and professional corporate identity for your company.
Make sure that your site is easily navigable. The design should be intuitive. As you are setting up your site map, think about what customers will be looking for when they visit your site. Create the design so that it will be very easy for customers to get what they need.
If you go to a doctor to seek help losing weight, and the doctor is seriously obese, you aren't likely to consider that doctor to be a credible source for weight loss assistance. If a website owner comes to your site seeking a professional web hosting company and finds an amateurish looking web site, or one that is slow and hard to navigate, that site owner is going to leave because you will not seem credible to him or her.
Website Content Matters
Your website must offer specific information about the services that you offer. Prospective customers should be able to learn virtually every detail of what they need to know in order to make a purchasing decision from reading the information on your website.
Be sure to include information about the different packages that you offer on your site. Also include information about software compatibility, details of technical support, information about your billing process, and other relevant information. Of course, no matter how thorough you are when putting together information for your site, different customers are always likely to come up with unique questions from time to time. Make sure that your site content includes an easy way for customers to contact you to obtain answers to any questions they may have that are not included on your website.
The above information is the bare minimum required to have any chance at attracting customers through your website. However, to experience the greatest success with attracting customers, there are many other content techniques that can position your web hosting business as a value-added choice for your customers.
One way you can demonstrate commitment to your customers and to encourage customers to view your site and your company as a resource that can help them grow their businesses is to establish a support forum as part of your site. A forum will allow customers to interact with each other and with representatives of your business. This is a very appealing feature to many customers.
A major technique for positing your company as an expert in the area of web hosting is to post articles on your website on topics of interest to website owners. For example, people who are shopping for web hosting are likely to be interested in information about setting up shopping carts, how to be market a website properly, and tips for driving traffic to their websites.
When prospective customers find interesting and relevant content on your website, they are likely to see you as a web hosting company who both understands their situation and needs, and as one that is committed to helping its hosting clients be successful.
Ad added benefit of having article content included on your website is that having such content can actually help direct prospective customers to your site. Search engine spiders love content-rich sites, and if the articles you include on your site are written so that they incorporate sound search engine optimization (SEO) principles, they are going to help drive you to the top of relevant web searches.
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