Running a web hosting business sounds easier than it looks. Many business owners fail during the first or second attempts. Here are some tips on how to get your web hosting business off the ground.
Tip 1: Take some time to understand the business. The reason why most business owners fail during the first or second attempts is because they don’t understand what it takes to run a web hosting business. For instance, they don’t know the costs associated with providing support and so on. So they end up running into all sorts of problems and may even price their hosting packages wrongly. As a result, their hosting business failed. So do take the time to visit hosting forums and read up on how to set up a hosting business properly.
Tip 2: Provide in-house support initially. Ultimately, you want to grow big enough to be able to outsource support but in the beginning, it’s always a good idea to provide support yourself. This is to ensure that you get hands on experience on the issues that may arise. After a year or two, when you feel comfortable enough, you can always hire someone else to do the job. Now that you have the experience, you will do a much better job at training this new person up to handle the job. And if he decides to leave, you can always act as a standby support engineer until you can hire someone new.
Tip 3: Promote your hosting services aggressively. Make it a point to run marketing campaigns on a monthly basis. Come up with new promotions to attract new customers. Understanding your own competitive advantages will help you craft effective marketing messages. For instance, where do you think your strength is? If you are good at providing managed hosting services, then your marketing campaigns should be geared towards this direction.
You can easily get traffic from hosting forums, social networking sites, or through pay per click search engines.
Tip 4: Retain your customers. It may cost you a lot of time, energy and resources to acquire new customers. So do your best to retain your customers. The first thing you need to do is to ensure that your servers are up and running 24 by 7! If your servers keep experiencing down time, your customers will leave you one by one.
To retain your customers, also make sure that you respond to support emails promptly. Whenever you get a new support email, try to reply within 24 hours. Many hosting companies usually respond within a couple of hours. That’s hard to beat!
Tip 5: Finally, keep abreast of the changes in the hosting industry. What are some features that customers may be asking for? When you anticipate the needs of your customers, you are in a much better position to build a bigger pool of customers.