G'day, so basically my problem is i am going to be starting a web design business at the end of the year, and I am going to be targetting small businesses. These people are not likely to have a solid understanding of the process of how a website is made and then how it is put online, so everyone can see it.
So what i want to offer is a full start to finish solution where I make the website, organise hosting and also a domain.
At this stage, I have 3 options:
Hosting: Reseller hosting so that I can delegate hosting to clients and monitor it.
Domain Registration: sign the client up to a domain through a 3rd-party resgistrar, in their name of course.
B) Get a reseller package where I have a site that is run by a 3rd party for both hosting and domains. That way all the customer service is done by the 3rd party organisation and I just get a cut of the price.
C) Just become an affiliate of a 3rd party site and receive a cut when i refer my clients. problem being that i can't set prices and have direct access to their cPanel and domain settings without permission etc.
I'm not quite sure what you mean by B with a reseller account and how they provide customer service and you get a cut of the price.
If you're truly set on providing hosting along with your design services, I would opt for a simple reseller account, which I believe is your option A. A VPS, as mentioned above, will not only add to your costs, but will add to your responsibilities as you now have to manage or pay for someone to manage the server for you.
If you haven't thought about this yet, really consider if adding hosting to your design services will add enough value to swing potential clients your way. I was in your situation a few years back when I did freelance design work and I concluded that I really did not want to be receiving calls from clients about why their website/email are down. I'd rather educate them the best I could about hosting providers and let them make the choice and fully understand that it's a completely separate service/entity. Anyways, just something to consider if you haven't already.
Joining an affiliate program is something you should consider especially if you do not have the resources to provide 24/7 support. Otherwise you can set up a partnership with a local host and set up a commission schedule, in case your clients want to deal with someone they can reach easily.
I personally would go with a reseller account. If it's for local small businesses then really they'll only be contacting you during office hours, so you'd get away without the 24/7 support.
Or you could take a look for providers offering EndUser Support with their plans, I've heard great things about InnoHosting who appear to offer EndUser support and whmcs. Might be worth a look, as you'd still keep all the profits but wouldn't have to do anything but create the accounts in WHM and manage the websites
Yea, I agree with MB's second paragraph. You'll spend a little more on hosting, but you'll get to keep much more of your gross income.
Small start-ups generally don't have the resources to provide effective 24/7 support, while doing the face to face local selling they need to do.
Small VPS you can offer specific prices and options for your clients and then you can also gain access to their control panel when needed
or why dont you speak to a small hosting company look at getting a partnership with them and have the hosting on their servers that way you dont have to have technical staff to hand if something goes wrong