View Poll Results: Would you be interested in a business such as this for your hosting services?

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  • Yes, definitely.

    1 14.29%
  • No, thanks.

    2 28.57%
  • Possibly, want to hear more.

    3 42.86%
  • 50/50 Chance.

    1 14.29%
Results 1 to 9 of 9

Thread: Unique Company?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Boston
    Posts
    7

    Question Unique Company?

    Do you think there would be much consumer interest in a unique company such as I am about to describe. The company would have a couple of servers only, and would limit it's customer base to what it could adequately fit on those servers, perhaps say, 500 websites/clients at most. This company would service these customers and these customers only - they would in turn pay a small monthly fee, $5-$20 per month, for the services of a full-time webmaster to assist with anything needed with their sites - assistance with programming, design, layout, technical installations, etc. The company would not be seeking to expand beyond those customers and would be there solely for those customers.

    Do you think consumers (web hosting seekers) would be interested in such a company that provided complete personal service, hands-on service, etc.? They wouldn't be signing onto a huge company with thousands of customers and hundreds of servers, just a small business dedicated to keeping a few hundred customers happy, and that's it.

    I'd be interested in hearing your thoughts.

    Pacifica

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    2,123

    Re: Unique Company?

    I'm sure this personal approach is what many designers offer their clients but not at those #s I'd say.

    Your #s seem a bit worrysome, let's work with them:

    500 clients
    $5-20 per month

    so you're looking at 2500-10000 per month revenue.

    let's say you need 5 servers (dual xeons?) @ $300 per month, then you're looking at $1500 per month towards the server. Add $30 per month per machine for licensing fees, so that's another $150 making it $1650 per month.

    Assume your average client pays $12.50, so you're looking at $6250.

    Let's assume there's no overhead in collecting payment, so that leaves you $4600 per month.

    Let's assume you'll admin your own servers and this will take 1 hour per day, so 30 hours per month.

    Let's say you work 12 hours per day, 30 days a month, or 360 hours per month. Now assume each client requires 2 hours of your time per month (it's possible right?), then you're looking at 1000 hours plus your admin time making it 1030 hours.

    However, you only have 360 hours, so 670 hours need to be divided by staff. Assume they work 40 hours a week, so approximately 180 per month, you'd need around 4 people. Assume they work for $5 an hour, then they'd require $900 per month or $3600 per month.

    Leaving you with $1000 per month for 360 hours or worked for 2.77 per hour.

    Anyhow, I didn't even count in taxes, merchants fees, etc. plus not many people will work for $5 an hour....

    A system like that can work, but not with a lot of clients paying $5 or even $20.

    correct me if I miscalculated.
    www.idologic.com - Reseller, VPS and dedicated hosting - Friendly Customer Service - DirectAdmin - cPanel - InterWorx

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Boston
    Posts
    7
    I guess the next question would be... will consumers pay more for this kind of dedicated personal service? I understand your math.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    2,123
    Originally posted by pacifica
    I guess the next question would be... will consumers pay more for this kind of dedicated personal service? I understand your math.
    that's called market research

    Some people buy a mercedes, while a toyota will drive you to where you need to go as well....

    I'd say, yes, there will be people who will pay you for a personal service...
    www.idologic.com - Reseller, VPS and dedicated hosting - Friendly Customer Service - DirectAdmin - cPanel - InterWorx

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Boston
    Posts
    7
    What seems to be more popular right now in the web hosting industry, toyota's that are reliable or mercedes reliable, too, but more personalized? I guess I'm trying to do a bit of market research myself....

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Woking, England
    Posts
    1,396
    Are you wanting to set up a "co-operative" hosting company, where you work for your clients & workers...and not making the boss a big fat pay cheque?

    I think your main problem would be having enough support staff so people don't have to wait ages for instant messenging and stuff.
    Web Handyman - Website and Internet Marketing Service

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Boston
    Posts
    7
    I think that's more of the idea, yeah. Just a few hundred websites, some very dedicated customers who want to enjoy very personalized service, and making enough to cover costs and a descent income, but nothing outrageous. If people could get personalized service, how much would they be willing to pay per month or so? Would it be per domain or per customer with a maximum # of domains allowed per customer? etc.?

    Just tossing ideas around with this.

  8. #8
    Very interesting idea.

    Personally, I think it has the potential to work with a lot of work. I know a few years ago when I was new to the web, I would have opted for your service. I do think your target market will prodominantly be "newbies" therefore you'd need very strong tutorials before you considered starting up to avoid support costs rising through the roof.

    I don't think the case of having very few clients would be cost effective, and $20 is a little cheap for this kind of service. You'd need quite a large customer base to efficiently satisfy customers. No one wants to wait ages for their questions to be answered and work to be honoured, however a larger customer base would ensure you could afford to employ more people thus ensuring support times decrease. This is because not everyone will be requesting support and work at the same time, so its best not to limit yourself. Explore your options and do a little market research, because I like your idea. Bear in mind it may be quite costly initially to start up, however thats the case with any business
    BeeServe
    * Rock solid shared & reseller UK webhosting. No downtime™ *
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  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Vancouver
    Posts
    200
    I think it's a great idea, as there are many hosts out there who offer hosting at terrible prices (ie. 10mb/1gb $19.95) and people think that their services are quality. You would really need to make your potential customers know that you are in it for quality of customer service. To me, one of the most important things in a company is customer service. Sure you can have great products, that will just get the customer to sign up. Customer service is what makes them stay.

    It seems like your target market would be, as Jeff said, would be newbies. You could even try the old local thing, and offer local businesses your services.

    The largest barrier I would see is having enough funds to employ a couple people at the beginning to start this up. You *may* be able to do it on your own, but to staff around the clock is important, as this is your main selling point.

    Good luck.

    I had a small eureka moment while I was writing this for a service like an 'expanded' yellow pages. Offer customers services to not only list their business location and phone number, but photos of the location, a map, pricing for products/services. Maybe I'm just crazy.
    Cody Watson
    Business Student @ SFU [Marketing, Entrepreneurship, Management & Technology, Co-op Certificate, Honours]

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