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  1. #1
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    Employ Staff? Go solo?

    Hi,

    just creating this thread to get a feel for how many of the businesses on here employ staff and if so how many.

    Just reply with details of your business (how long you've been operating, rough number of customers, how many employees).

    Thanks

  2. #2
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    It really depends on your work load - can you handle it all or do you need some help? If you need help, do you think it may be more cost-effective to start out with outsourcing support?
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  3. #3
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    Yeah, I'm currently just looking to get an idea of what the other guys on here do. Like, how many customers to how many employees. Do they employ their own staff or just outsource bits of work to other companies? That kind of thing

  4. #4
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    I think it also depends on if it is a primary source of income. If that is all someone is doing, and there aren't too many clients, I think doing it themselves would be more beneficial for the bank account!

    One thing I am looking at doing (slowly starting my company up) is taking care of everything up until a certain hour of the day. Then outsource the overnight support so I can still advertise 24 X 7 support. I think that is going to be key in developing the initial customers for my market.

  5. #5
    Well, around 1 staff per 100 account should be enough.

    The best way to start is to have great knowledge in networking/hosting, hire an outsourced staff for the "overnight shift" and management compagny to handle servers side issue.

    You still need to manage yourself your server farm since management compagny at 35$/month aren't really reliable per my experience. But at least they can do action when your not online.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by iPad View Post
    Well, around 1 staff per 100 account should be enough.

    The best way to start is to have great knowledge in networking/hosting, hire an outsourced staff for the "overnight shift" and management compagny to handle servers side issue.

    You still need to manage yourself your server farm since management compagny at 35$/month aren't really reliable per my experience. But at least they can do action when your not online.
    1/100 in my opinion, if a bit much. Most companies actually go by 1/1000, but this does depend on what type of market you are in. Let me stress that if you do decide to outsource, from my experience, it is best to do so within your own respective country. So, if you are US based it would be best to only use US based outsourced support!

  7. #7
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    Outsourcing certain hours of the day sounds like a good idea. I'd not thought of that one..

    Why is it that you'd only outsource within the same country? I'd have said timezones, but I guess there are multiple timezones across the USA?

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by DeanHarper View Post
    Outsourcing certain hours of the day sounds like a good idea. I'd not thought of that one..

    Why is it that you'd only outsource within the same country? I'd have said timezones, but I guess there are multiple timezones across the USA?
    Let me say I have never outsourced support and I never will, I believe having your own company handle your customers is a much better approach. However, it is completely understandable that in the beginning this is not possible for some. From my experience outsourcing to places like India will reflect poorly on your business because even though they might speak the same language they have a much different accent, and from what I have seen, there English writing skills could use some work. That is not to say that if you do find excellent India outsourced support you do not go with them!

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by DeanHarper View Post
    Hi,

    just creating this thread to get a feel for how many of the businesses on here employ staff and if so how many.

    Just reply with details of your business (how long you've been operating, rough number of customers, how many employees).

    Thanks
    Are you just starting out? If so, then it might not be a bad idea to bring in some outsourced assistance to help with the learning curve.
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  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by TBradley View Post
    Let me say I have never outsourced support and I never will, I believe having your own company handle your customers is a much better approach. However, it is completely understandable that in the beginning this is not possible for some. From my experience outsourcing to places like India will reflect poorly on your business because even though they might speak the same language they have a much different accent, and from what I have seen, there English writing skills could use some work. That is not to say that if you do find excellent India outsourced support you do not go with them!
    Is it purely accent based? I was talking more outsourcing from the UK if you're a US company vice versa.

    Quote Originally Posted by AvailHosting-Jeff View Post
    Are you just starting out? If so, then it might not be a bad idea to bring in some outsourced assistance to help with the learning curve.
    I'm not actually in the process of creating a hosting company myself, I'm just looking to gain some background knowledge for the future. I have a keen interest in businesses in general and how they operate

  11. #11
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    Outsourcing can be a good way to reduce costs, if you can get it on an as needed basis, which you mostly can. Of course, most companies use outsourcing as a way to get labor from cheaper places around the world and increase their profits or lower their prices.

    A lot of small companies will find themselves in a position where the business is not big enough to afford two full wages, yet at the same time they find themselves operating in a market where 24/7 customer support is almost a standard. Having expenses beyond your means would be a mistake, so that's out of the question. The mathematical solution is outsourcing, the social solution is lying (more or less). To expand on the second, you offer 24/7 support, and use whatever means necessary and available to notify or wake you up, so that you can attend to your customers within minutes, almost 24/7. Obviously this is not something you can do indefinitely, so you must grow the business fast, to afford sharing the load with one or two employees, so that you can lead a more normal life.

    Another use for outsourcing would be to handle growth spurts. Hiring is not something you can do within minutes or even days. And depending on where you live, firing people might not be as easy as you'd like it to be, due to laws protecting employees.

  12. #12
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    I outsource my many works it enable me to save money and liabilities also. Outsourcing of works also gives specialized work done.

  13. #13
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    I recommend it to you outside help your business but always monitor the response and help if necessary.

    If you are starting also sure to have a good managed server or VPS. This will allow more time to customers.

    Just some ideas, good luck with your business
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  14. #14
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    Thanks for the input guys - I'll keep it all in mind if I do choose to branch out into providing hosting services!

  15. #15
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    Sorry I'm late on this one. I'm run a single operator hosting company. I work 10 to 12 hours a day. I'm not in a position to hire anyone. Down the road I might outsource support, but I can handle the number of customers I have and even a few more as it grows because I manage my time well. I have an HTC Android incredible phone and I use host-tracker.com for uptime monitoring. In the rare event that a server goes offline or becomes unresponsive, my phone starts making noise. It will wake me up if I'm sleeping. High priority support tickets are also set to make a lot of noise on my phone. Besides that, I can also run most aspects of the business from the phone when I'm not near a computer.

    If I outsource, it will be to a company in the U.S. I have nothing against people from other countries earning a living, but we have a jobs problem here. I'd rather keep it domestic. That way I will be able to save money on employees but keep the jobs in the U.S. at the same time. Having in-house support staff is still the best option and is part of my very long-term strategy. It's more expensive than outsourcing, of course.

  16. #16
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    Hiring your own support staff gives you more control over quality and you trust them more. Also hiring locally helps the community as well.
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  17. #17
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    If you are just starting out on hosting, you don't need support staff. As you gain clients and grow, your staff should grow with it.

  18. #18
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    I have opened my company on the 14th February.
    I have myself as the CEO, I have three district managers who have their own team dedicated to one country(UK, USA and AU) and a department. Each manager has their own strengths and the team show their dedication and at the moment all my staff are volunteering and when we making money they will be on a contract and will be paid. They get hosting or resellers at discounts at the moment and when we get our customers coming, i'm looking at perks i could allow my staff to choose from.

    If you want a strong team i recommend having a few managers.
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  19. #19
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    MichaelDance
    I agree with you and I think it's a great idea (it is hard to recruit volunteers) but if you do, your business can grow quite fast.

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  20. #20
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    Another factor to consider is what is your knowledge? If you have experience in running a company, marketing, advertising, financials, accounting, technical, etc...

    Sometimes you find it overwhelming and you look for help, and other times you just want to reap all the rewards and take it on yourself.

  21. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by vectro View Post
    Sorry I'm late on this one. I'm run a single operator hosting company. I work 10 to 12 hours a day. I'm not in a position to hire anyone. Down the road I might outsource support, but I can handle the number of customers I have and even a few more as it grows because I manage my time well. I have an HTC Android incredible phone and I use host-tracker.com for uptime monitoring. In the rare event that a server goes offline or becomes unresponsive, my phone starts making noise. It will wake me up if I'm sleeping. High priority support tickets are also set to make a lot of noise on my phone. Besides that, I can also run most aspects of the business from the phone when I'm not near a computer.

    If I outsource, it will be to a company in the U.S. I have nothing against people from other countries earning a living, but we have a jobs problem here. I'd rather keep it domestic. That way I will be able to save money on employees but keep the jobs in the U.S. at the same time. Having in-house support staff is still the best option and is part of my very long-term strategy. It's more expensive than outsourcing, of course.
    If you are experienced in hosting industry go solo till you have 50 accounts. after that you can outsource it or make an in-house team.
    sorry for this off topic. You are truly awesome man, like your views and your passion towards hard work.

  22. #22
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    The key to growing a business is delegation and finding talent. They say that if someone can do the same work 70% as efficient as you, delegate it. In the long term, I'm-all-in-my-company will not work out.
    "You got a dream... You gotta protect it. People can't do somethin' themselves, they wanna tell you you can't do it. If you want somethin', go get it. Period." - Pursuit of Happyness

  23. #23
    Id say for my own personal time running a business.

    I dont hire staff due to the lack of clients and a little slow startup. so i try myself solo until i do actually need staff to tender my clients. but myself i dont need staff until i grow better with more clients.

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