to Running a Successful Hosting Company
Secrets to Running a Successful Hosting Company
The market is hot for new web-hosting companies! According to
Forrester Research, revenues in the U.S. are expected to reach $19.8
billion in 2004. Learn from expert Dan Forootan, founder of EZ Publishing,
as he explains the secrets to running a lucrative hosting business.
The hosting industry is one of the few profitable sectors of the
Internet. As such, large corporations such as Dell, Yahoo, Hewlett
Packard and Microsoft are offering web-hosting services. You, too,
can join this highly profitable business and reap the financial
awards -- but only if you do it right.
"The hosting industry is one of the few profitable sectors
of the Internet"
To build a successful web-hosting company, I offer the following
two time-tested and proven rules: Focus on offering high-quality
services in a tiered pricing schedule.Infrastructure to create self-sufficient
customers. Maximize intelligent marketing opportunities.
Leverage an automated infrastructure to create self-sufficient
Automation will create a self-sufficient client-base and reduce
your expenses down the road. In order to provide the best-possible
service, you'll want the following automated: order forms (for new
customer account set up or existing customer updates), billing system,
administration system, end-user control panel, and tech-support
The front end of your order form should serve four key functions:
- Verify domain information for registration purposes
- Validate entered results
- Process the customer's credit card or create an invoice
- Enter the customer's information into billing database for future
The backend of the order form must process the domain registration
(if necessary) and generate the web-hosting account.
The administration system is necessary to manage ordered accounts.
You may wish to manually add or remove new domains, change passwords,
End-User Control Panel
The end-user control panel is necessary for allowing your customers
to manage their accounts. At the very least, customers should be
able to set up e-mail accounts, view website statistics, and manage
An automated billing system is a must! The billing system should
e-mail invoices, charge credit cards, and suspend overdue accounts.
The system should also allow the you to issue credit or discounts
By tech-support interface, I'm not referring to a system that
merely generates trouble tickets. An effective tech-support interface
automatically generates an FAQ-interface customers can search before
submitting trouble tickets. These interfaces can reduce tech-support
requests by a factor of 10!
Maximize intelligent marketing opportunities.
You know what platform you want to use, you've figured out what
packages to offer, and set up a tiered pricing schedule and automated
systems. So how do you get the word out about your new hosting service?
"hosting directories are an excellent place to advertise"
Pay per Click
Pay per Click search engines (such as Overture.com, FindWhat,
Sprinks, and Click4Host.com) allow you to reach large numbers of
customers by listing your site at the top of search engine results.
Although you don't pay to list your site, you do pay when a user
clicks on your listing and connects to your site.
How, then, do you get your site high on the results lists? You
must engage in a bidding war over how much you're willing to pay
for each person who clicks through to your site. The stakes have
recently grown pretty high, so be careful about bidding too high.
Just because someone clicks through to your web-hosting site, doesn't
mean they'll convert into a new account. Also be sure to select
targeted keywords such as “UNIX web hosting."
Hosting Directory Sites
There are numerous web sites known as hosting directories -- that
attract web-hosting customers. These hosting directories are an
excellent place to advertise, but be selective in your placement.
Many offer banner placement, spotlights, search enhancements, and
other forms of advertisement. As a general rule keep in mind that
banner ads are better for creating brand recognition than generating
new accounts, so advertise based on your budget, not on your expectation
of new clientele.
Leverage Your Current Client Base
If you run an established web-design firm, information portal,
or domain registration service, you can immediately begin marketing
to your current clients. A simple e-mail to your customer base can
instantly generate a large number of accounts.
Offer New Products and Services
Keep in mind, once you acquire a solid customer base, you can
consider developing new products and services to generate additional
revenue. But always remember: Quality is key!
Dan Forootan founded
EZ Publishing, Inc. in 1998. EZ Publishing www.ezpublishing.com
has since emerged as a leader in providing hosting-automation solutions
for companies offering superior-quality web-hosting services. EZ
Publishing Backend Hosting Suite provides you with the infrastructure
needed to achieve total automation, from the order forms to the
billing system to the tech-support interface.