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  1. #1

    * Teenager Setting Up Hosting Business

    Hey.

    Hereís a little background on me before I begin. I'm 15, and do some web design/development work at the moment locally in Australia (my site, envisagecreations.com/ec2/). However, I'm looking to expand into the hosting market (seperatley). Please keep in mind that because I am reasonably young, realistically my budget is under $100, and the hours I will be available for support won't be as big as I'm sure some of you might recommend, and unfortunately there's nothing I can do about it.

    Anyway, my ambition for getting into hosting is to make some extra money on the side (is that so bad?), and even though the market is arguably over-saturated already, I still think thereís room for someone like me to make a relatively decent profit (I'm talking 2/3 figures only). I think that because in the past I made an attempt at it and despite making huge numbers of avoidable mistakes (which Iíve learnt from), I ended up breaking even. And, now that I'm equipped with some decent experience I'm confident I'll be able to achieve better results. That being said, I know for sure it's going to be hard and I was wondering whether some of you with more experience in this area could give me some critique on my reasonably skeletal plans, and anything I haven't yet (and should) consider.

    So, the plan? Well, I guess that my goal is to be hosting 30 or more customers on a VPS within 12 months and making profit. I'm planning on targeting medium to low budget users that want good quality service/support, at a reasonably low cost. I'll begin with a reseller plan, moving onto a VPS when breaking even with the costs. As for pricing, I think beginning at $3.95 for 400mb/10,000mb upwards is reasonable for my demographic. Unfortunately due to budget constraints my marketing capacity is very limited, and will only involve free methods like weekly forum advertisements at WHT. As you can see it's pretty low key, but I think it has potential to be successful for me if I put in enough planning and effort.

    Iím pretty sure you get what my vision is, and Iíd really love to get some feedback before I take the plunge again!

    Thanks for your time in advance.
    Luke.

  2. #2
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    My advice: don't do it until you have more than "under $100" to invest in a business.

  3. #3
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    My advice would be the same as Ariel, however maybe you could get some more money to invest somehow, BEFORE you start!

    Just in short, think more closely before you start your company. Customers for example hate migration, so your path of expansion might not be the most wise to follow.

    Think also about incorporation of the firm. You really must consider registering the hosting company as a 'real company' with all costs involved with that, but also all benefits!

    Points of advice:

    - Get a dedicated server, preferably two servers in different networks, to keep DNS/MX fallback and backup separated from eachother.

    Nowaways you can have a well serviced completely managed server for about $100 a month, if you don't take one with too high specs and bandwith, you won't need it anyway. Make sure your number 1 server will be on a stable network, well secured, well managed.

    You second server, for second DNS/Fallback MX can be a little more basic, you can look for offers on this forum, as low as $29 a month even, make sure you don't host your primary things on this server, whatever the claims, a server for $29 cannot be much and i definately would not trust/run my core business on it!

    - Get well made Terms&Conditions and Contracts, don't rip it off someones site, let them be custom made for your company by a attorney.

    - Make sure you have a good administration program and preferably someone who helps you setup and maintain the book keeping. This program can also send out your invoices. I heard modernbill is good, i wouldn't know, since our company uses a custom made program.

    - Get a good reseller account for domains, for example a very low cost/domain reseller account with Enom. You can fill it up with 2500$ to get good discount or you can buy this low cost domain reseller accounts for a few 100$, you could also search on this forum for alternative accounts.

    - Support by Email is untrackable, use a ticket system to make sure you keep track of all that requests.

    - Get two landlines numbers, one for support/sales, one for a fax. Preferably you have even support and sales separated. If you have a very good and stable VOIP provider, you can also consider using this, but make sure you have number to call to!

    - Make sure you can save minimum 50$ for unexpected things, like having to hire someone to fix something for you, programming something for you or any unexpected cost you might run into!

    - Insurances! get those!

    - Ways to pay, consider how a customer can pay you, usually there are costs involved just to offer many various ways to pay, but remember, the more ways customers can pay you, the more customers you will likely have.

    - Have a good and well managed abuse report system! make sure that abuse @ yourdomain.com is readed a few times a day, respond on abuse reports, make sure spammers and phising sites and the like are not active on your servers. Before you know it, your IPs will be blackholed accross the world and your customers will then complain about mails that never arrive

    Still there? still thinking 100$ is ok?

    Now comes the hard part, getting customers.

    - Get yourself a nice proffesional looking website, templates bought somewhere and used by hundreds is a nono! don't use too much flashy things and make your website organised, unless kids are your primary target market. Also consider making a business concept first including identification of your target market(s), think of a logo design, hire a good designer of logos for this and make sure he/she knows what market you aim for.

    - Advertise locally, usually your friends, family, familiy friends, friends of friends and business contacts of people you know are the first batch of clients you will receive.

    - Advertise on google, you will need to play optimizing your page for google, maybe even pay an agency for this. Also make use of google advertisement programs, get the right keywords etc. You will need a nice budget for this

    - Print visit cards, you never know who you meet.

    I am sure many things are to add on this, but i hope i pointed you in the right way. Your budget of $100 is unrealistic and your reseller host start unwise. Try to do it good from day 1!
    Last edited by swiftway; 10-14-2005 at 09:31 AM.
    M. Leil
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  4. #4
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    LukeBlack - Speak to a host that hasn't been around for very long who may swap services with you for a reseller account in exchange for a bit of programming or design... that way, bring in a few clients, and it grows from there really.

    That is how I started off all those years ago, and it worked for me.
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  5. #5
    Luke,

    It is doable. My advice to you is to sell variety for better prospects. Also look for a host with Anonymous Support so that your customerís technical issues get resolved while you are not available.

    I have personally seen hosting website for sale which did not have even address and phone number advertised. Owner was making around $ 2000 per month in paypal account. I have also seen some offer where group of young owners were selling a company making $ 200,000 yearly. They wanted to sell the business so that they can join college. They grew this company to this size in 2-3 years.

    From first company, you can see that there are some customers who are willing to do business in spite of some shortcomings. Also second company will inspire you to dream big and go for it.

    To sell hosting services, you can focus on local market and also at forums, which you regularly visit. Running a hosting business is lot of hard work. However by reseller approach you have less risk. Also you are not required to spend that much time initially.
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  6. #6
    swiftaway,

    that was very well written. did you copy and paste that from another post? ;/


    Do you have any more suggestions for going in the right path. So far I have already ran into everything you suggested.

  7. #7
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    No Copy/Paste.

    If you run into all this problems already, WHY you consider starting on a 100$ budget?
    M. Leil
    Swiftway Communications AS35017
    [email protected]
    A Neoworld Limited company.

  8. #8
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    Something you need to consider is writing an indepth business plan. You shouldn't start a business without the business plan.

    Important things to include in your business plan:

    1) What are the business goals? Short and long-term?
    2) How are you going to reach those goals?
    3) In the event things go wrong, what's your backup plans?

    I personally have bought and sold numerous hosting companies. There's always a point in time where you have something unexpectingly go wrong. What are you going to do in those events? No matter how failsafe you write your business plan, you will always have those events. It's important to have a system in order, or money set aside, in those events.

    At a young age, it's important that you expand your knowledge. You should get a taste of the business, before you jump in. "Check the water," if you will. I would suggest you getting a VPS. They are excellent. It's close to a reseller account, only you have root.. a mini server. From there you can play in the backend, test your knowledge when it comes to installing apps. If you mess it up, you can easily reinstall the OS of your choice via Power Panel, for example. It's important that you learn from failure... in all aspects of life.

    Anyway, I'm running off topic. That's just my 2 cents.
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  9. #9
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    Then i add a small advice: "if" you decide to start on a VPS:

    - Make sure it is scalable, that the host tells you they can indeed upgrade your account

    - Make sure you go for a high end VPS from a well known provider with a good and stable reputation.
    M. Leil
    Swiftway Communications AS35017
    [email protected]
    A Neoworld Limited company.

  10. #10
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    Re: Teenager Setting Up Hosting Business

    Originally posted by lukeblack
    and the hours I will be available for support won't be as big as I'm sure some of you might recommend, and unfortunately there's nothing I can do about it.
    Originally posted by lukeblack
    I'm planning on targeting medium to low budget users that want good quality service/support, at a reasonably low cost.
    If you say you can't provide enough support, why would you target customers looking for quality support?

    There is something you can do about it... Don't do it, you're not ready.
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  11. #11
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    My only thoughts are what happened to being a kid? If I could go back to being under 18 I would still work a part-time job make a few pocket dollars, but then I would be a kid.

    There is so much time and investment that must be put into a business. It isn't just something that you can put 2 hours a day into. For most it tends to eat up there life during startup. Most accept this because they are in it for the long-term and they know when it grows enough they will be able to hire the employees, etc... to allow themselves a rest and time for there stuff. But while starting up I believe most here would agree that 20 hours in a day is not a rare thing.

  12. #12
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    Larry is right. One of the reasons I got out of hosting was the fact that it's really a 24x7 business. If you have an exam the next day and your server's kaput, guess which one comes first?

  13. #13
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    Originally posted by Ariel74
    My advice: don't do it until you have more than "under $100" to invest in a business.
    Very good idea. Also, to start out you could host for close friends and familie members, just to get a feel for the web hosting business.

  14. #14
    I also started at a young age with a little budget.
    I always kept the targets in the borders of logic, never dreamed of buying a Ferrari from the money that I earn from web hosting business.
    When I look back, I see nobody that is talking negatively about me, which is much more important than the amount of profit I have made. In my opinion, this is what you have to think about all the time. Always try to make your customers happy. Speak to them gently no matter what they say, try to help their problems even though they are not related to the hosting you have sold. If you can make 1 person happy, he/she will bring you a new customer and your business will grow if you can keep up with that hard work. Making people happy is not that easy.

    In addition, make a detailed plan before you begin, and get ready for working, working and working for many hours. And sometimes you work for nothing, people may decide not to buy from you. Get ready for all disappointments.

    Good luck
    Last edited by atshosting; 10-14-2005 at 05:55 PM.
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  15. #15
    Thanks for the responses so far guys. There is a lot of stuff I want to respond to but I'll just try and deal with the two main issues.

    Firstly, is $100 enough? Well I definatley take your points. Costs for a dedicated server and outsourced support will add up to be much more than my budget, but I honestly don't think I need that yet! I already have a good design, WHMAutoPilot and Helpdesk software. A decent quality VPS will be around $40 a month, and I can provide reasonable support by myself. Sure the ticket turnaround might not be brilliant but I'd like to think it would be good enough to satisfy my customers. keliix06 I definatley understand what you're saying, thats the reason I started this thread.

    As for getting my feet wet, I think I already have. My previous hosting attempt tought me a lot about what to do and what not to. I think that will save me a lot of time and effort if I do everything right from the start this time.

    I'm still thinking about whether I should do this, because it's clear there are two sides to the coin. On the one hand it's going to be a huge workload, and I might not be able to provide service at the quality of my competitors, but I also honestly believe there are enough customers that would be happy with what I provide to justify giving it a shot.

  16. #16
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    Originally posted by lukeblack
    Thanks for the responses so far guys. There is a lot of stuff I want to respond to but I'll just try and deal with the two main issues.

    Firstly, is $100 enough? Well I definatley take your points. Costs for a dedicated server and outsourced support will add up to be much more than my budget, but I honestly don't think I need that yet! I already have a good design, WHMAutoPilot and Helpdesk software. A decent quality VPS will be around $40 a month, and I can provide reasonable support by myself. Sure the ticket turnaround might not be brilliant but I'd like to think it would be good enough to satisfy my customers. keliix06 I definatley understand what you're saying, thats the reason I started this thread.

    As for getting my feet wet, I think I already have. My previous hosting attempt tought me a lot about what to do and what not to. I think that will save me a lot of time and effort if I do everything right from the start this time.

    I'm still thinking about whether I should do this, because it's clear there are two sides to the coin. On the one hand it's going to be a huge workload, and I might not be able to provide service at the quality of my competitors, but I also honestly believe there are enough customers that would be happy with what I provide to justify giving it a shot.
    It may be months before you get any clients, and it may be hard to keep them if you're not going to provide a great level of support. VPSes are severely underpowered and overpriced compared to dedicated servers - A $40 VPS that includes a control panel will probably not give you more than 400Mhz speed and 192MB RAM... When we sold our company, we were running on-site and off-site backups, support 24/7 (on-site and outsourced off-hours), had a damn good and extremely dedicated server admin, and even then we pulled in an outside admin for security consulting. You'll still need to have server admin skills for a VPS - I'm not saying that as a teenager you can't be a linux admin, but you can't go straight into the business and expect to be a good admin. When we purchased another company and their server, the server was hacked a week or so later - Turns out that the security company that "secured" their server missed some holes, which we had to patch manually, and clean the server. You'll need to be able to do things yourself in order to get things done in an efficient manner, and to keep your clients safe and happy. If your server is hacked, and a user submits a ticket about it at midnight (let's say you're sleeping), how long is it going to take you to respond? Anything more than an hour will probably send that client looking for a new host.

    You can run a business and still enjoy everything that other teens do, but you're going to need more than $100 to enable that to happen (hiring outsourced support & admin staff).

  17. #17
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    Originally posted by swiftway

    Nowaways you can have a well serviced completely managed server for about $100 a month,
    Please tell me where you are getting this offer? I have never seen a completely managed server for that price.

  18. #18
    Originally posted by ResellersHQ
    Please tell me where you are getting this offer? I have never seen a completely managed server for that price.
    servstra ?

  19. #19
    You seem like a fairly capable individual, and if you believe you are able to do this efficiently, then you should go ahead and do it.

    You will learn a lot from sifting through these forums, but this is analogous to sifting through chemistry books, or reading a baseball book, and thinking you know how to play. You have to get into it and get dirty before you really learn anything.

    But the fact of the matter is you will probably end up in the negatives long before you see any positives in terms of profit. And if your main objective isn't to spend a year trying to get your startup capital back, but rather to get a little money in your pocket, then maybe this business isn't for you. It takes a lot of time and a lot of hard work. But if you've got the ambition, then anything is possible.

    Hope this helps.
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  20. #20
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    Quote:
    Please tell me where you are getting this offer? I have never seen a completely managed server for that price.


    Well then you don't search hard enough, you obviously would not get a high powered server with huge bandwith, but a decent machine with few hundred gigabytes traffic (what is enough really for hosting hundred or more of normal company websites) with management for 100$ a month is not too hard too find.
    M. Leil
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  21. #21
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    Originally posted by swiftway
    Quote:
    Please tell me where you are getting this offer? I have never seen a completely managed server for that price.


    Well then you don't search hard enough, you obviously would not get a high powered server with huge bandwith, but a decent machine with few hundred gigabytes traffic (what is enough really for hosting hundred or more of normal company websites) with management for 100$ a month is not too hard too find.
    I have searched plenty. I dont have a need to rent servers because I own my hardware, but I was shocked to see someone found fully managed servers for that price. I looked at the site and found out that the managment isnt proactive, so the op will still need to tell the dc whats broken so they can go in and fix it. They also wont install certain software. That to me doesnt make a fully managed server, but that is just my opinion.

    They also dont secure the server for that price, so the op will also need to have the server secured.

    I am not trying to discourage the op, I just want to make sure that he is aware of all the facts before he invests his money and realizes he doesnt have enought to do this right. It sucks to get caught out with not enough funds.

  22. #22
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    Fair enough, but there are companies who do pro active management and security and include a server with bandwith for 100$ a month.

    If you like a small list, just let me know by Email or something
    M. Leil
    Swiftway Communications AS35017
    [email protected]
    A Neoworld Limited company.

  23. #23
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    Hi Luke,

    You have great ambition! I started young in the business (and I'm still young!), though not as young as you are!

    I would very strongly recommend starting with more than $100 though. Also, be very, very sure that you know who your target market is and how you're going to sell to them. The best way to succeed in the hosting business today is to do both of the following two things:

    1. Market locally
    2. Provide whole website solutions, not just hosting services

    Good luck!
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  24. #24
    "the hours I will be available for support won't be as big as I'm sure some of you might recommend, and unfortunately there's nothing I can do about it."

    If you don't have the time, you won't make any money. I suggest you not to start until you have the time for the business.

  25. #25
    Get more funding and you would be fine. The thing is, data centers which are by far the best and (in many cases *picky customers*) the only option. If you want anything even REMOTELY decent you need to cough up $100 a month. Not to mention the servers, you can always rent, but members also perfer your own, so do DC (datacenter) managers. A "decent" one can cost $30,000. Of course, if you know how to shop, you can get an acceptable server for around $1,000.

    My advice, start with reseller. You won't get much of a market selling someone else's hosting, but you need money, lots of money, to expand.

  26. #26
    Hrm... I'd like to point out one major point here, as a minor you are not able to enter any legally binding contracts. This includes renting equipment, hiring staff, etc etc etc.

    I'd strongly suggest that if you want to do it, do it properly and speak to your parents about it and probably a lawyer to get the company structure setup correctly.
    Nathan
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  27. #27
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    hehe, i started up my free shell hosting server when I was 14, so dont worry about the age

    Now I'm planning to start up a company too, mainly targetting my local people here
    Systems Developer/Programmer

  28. #28
    Quote Originally Posted by lukeblack
    Firstly, is $100 enough? Well I definatley take your points. Costs for a dedicated server and outsourced support will add up to be much more than my budget, but I honestly don't think I need that yet! I already have a good design, WHMAutoPilot and Helpdesk software. A decent quality VPS will be around $40 a month, and I can provide reasonable support by myself. Sure the ticket turnaround might not be brilliant but I'd like to think it would be good enough to satisfy my customers. keliix06 I definatley understand what you're saying, thats the reason I started this thread.

    As for getting my feet wet, I think I already have. My previous hosting attempt tought me a lot about what to do and what not to. I think that will save me a lot of time and effort if I do everything right from the start this time.
    Although it might not be a settling thought for companies to be hosted by a 15-year old, it sounds like you are very mature, have some basic experience, and given this some serious thought.

    Your plan to start out with a VPS sounds good, but I have yet to find or hear about a VPS solution that is rock solid. But if you are looking for the experience of running a dedicated server, then yes that would probably be best as opposed to running a simple reseller account.

    A lot of the people in this thread are missing the fact that you want to get experience and earn a little money on the side. If you host sites that you make and other local businesses I'm sure you won't get in over your head and you'll learn a lot and make that extra money that you want.

    Whatever you do, just keep lots of backups of your customers! I don't want to hear about your hosting company's VPS failing and them losing all their data! Other than that, you're going to do great.
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  29. #29
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    My question is this:
    In your past failed attempt, what happened to the customers? You seem to be in this to make a buck. WHile that is a ncie overall goal, serving your customer should be more important that you seem to be putting it.

    Does any customer deserve to be with a host that doesn;t really care about them?
    Forum Troll

  30. #30
    Thanks very much for the advice guys. To let you know, I have decided to pursue this. schmeg007's comment that "A lot of the people in this thread are missing the fact that you want to get experience and earn a little money on the side" put things back into perspective for me after considering everyone's opinions. That being said, from the time I made my last post I have managed to accumulate enough money to raise my budget to $1,000 - a step up.

    My plan is to ease into it. Over the next 3-4 months I will design my website, setup a test-environment server to familiarise myself with administrative tasks and develop a reasonably in-depth business plan. I decided I may aswell keep things slow while I can, and hopefully this will prevent some issues arising when I am operating at a mission-critical stage.

    To answer some of the more specific statements.

    Quote Originally Posted by schmeg007
    Whatever you do, just keep lots of backups of your customers! I don't want to hear about your hosting company's VPS failing and them losing all their data! Other than that, you're going to do great.
    This was my downfall last time, rest-assured - I will keep backups.

    Quote Originally Posted by TacticsFan
    My question is this:
    In your past failed attempt, what happened to the customers? You seem to be in this to make a buck. WHile that is a ncie overall goal, serving your customer should be more important that you seem to be putting it.

    Does any customer deserve to be with a host that doesn;t really care about them?
    In my last attempt, I was younger and much poorer. My customers endured frequent migration, stability issues and eventually complete data loss (which can be attributed to a script-kiddy's serial exploitation). None of this means I did not care about my customers however. In fact I believe it was my personable nature that was primarily responsible for maintaining their loyalty. Customer service is undoubtebly one of the most important factors for success in this business, and I will do my best to adhere to all the promises I make.

    Now that I have begun, I will remain active on this forum and be sure to keep anyone interested, updated on my progress.

    Yours faithfully,
    Luke
    Last edited by Luke-b; 07-03-2006 at 04:49 AM.

  31. #31
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    lukeblack = Luke-b

    ?
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  32. #32
    Bit of an old thread to bring back up but I presume so Elix One of his accounts is disabled though - presume this is due to the 1 account per person rule.

    8 months and he's decided to pursue his idea - lets hope he's managed to get some decent business plans written up in this time

    Good luck Luke!
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  33. #33
    Quote Originally Posted by elix
    lukeblack = Luke-b

    ?
    Yes, I had my account name changed.

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by lukeblack
    Hey.

    Hereís a little background on me before I begin. I'm 15, and do some web design/development work at the moment locally in Australia (my site, envisagecreations.com/ec2/). However, I'm looking to expand into the hosting market (seperatley). Please keep in mind that because I am reasonably young, realistically my budget is under $100, and the hours I will be available for support won't be as big as I'm sure some of you might recommend, and unfortunately there's nothing I can do about it.

    Anyway, my ambition for getting into hosting is to make some extra money on the side (is that so bad?), and even though the market is arguably over-saturated already, I still think thereís room for someone like me to make a relatively decent profit (I'm talking 2/3 figures only). I think that because in the past I made an attempt at it and despite making huge numbers of avoidable mistakes (which Iíve learnt from), I ended up breaking even. And, now that I'm equipped with some decent experience I'm confident I'll be able to achieve better results. That being said, I know for sure it's going to be hard and I was wondering whether some of you with more experience in this area could give me some critique on my reasonably skeletal plans, and anything I haven't yet (and should) consider.

    So, the plan? Well, I guess that my goal is to be hosting 30 or more customers on a VPS within 12 months and making profit. I'm planning on targeting medium to low budget users that want good quality service/support, at a reasonably low cost. I'll begin with a reseller plan, moving onto a VPS when breaking even with the costs. As for pricing, I think beginning at $3.95 for 400mb/10,000mb upwards is reasonable for my demographic. Unfortunately due to budget constraints my marketing capacity is very limited, and will only involve free methods like weekly forum advertisements at WHT. As you can see it's pretty low key, but I think it has potential to be successful for me if I put in enough planning and effort.

    Iím pretty sure you get what my vision is, and Iíd really love to get some feedback before I take the plunge again!

    Thanks for your time in advance.
    Luke.

    envisagecreations.com/ec2/ = 404 not found

  35. #35

    It's possible...

    I think you need to work on your initial budget...

    I'd recommend you get the following to start out in your situation...
    - Premium Helpdesk (such as kayako)
    - Premium Billing Management (such as clientexec)
    - Outsourced Technical Support (such as Touch Support)
    - Fully Managed VPS (many companies in the market)

    Some VPS providers will give you clientexec or a similar product free with the cost of the VPS, and Touch Support give you kayako esupport free with their 'per domain' billing so lets presume you get the kayako esupport helpdesk, and the clientexec billing management package free...

    You'd be paying -
    $59.95 for touchsupports 75-domain plan - includes kayako esupport
    $60.00 for a fully managed VPS solution - includes clientexec (estimate)

    Your looking at... $120/month for a reliable and secure VPS, which is fully managed so they can carry out most level 3 issues which you need, and the outsourced support company would deal direct with your clients.

    So... it can be done - with you doing graphics/ website design that is free so you can handle that, you could even use your skills to include free logo/banner design with your plans, etc...

    Important in todays market...
    work out a USP (unique selling point) so your business is abit different from others, this will attract clients.

    Goodluck anyway.

  36. #36
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Athens, Greece
    Posts
    1,528
    It would be better to start with a reseller account that offers end user support (with little or none additional cost).
    Antonis Adamakos @ FuzzFree :: Fully Managed Web Hosting, Development, Online Marketing

  37. #37
    Quote Originally Posted by kanee
    I think you need to work on your initial budget...

    I'd recommend you get the following to start out in your situation...
    - Premium Helpdesk (such as kayako)
    - Premium Billing Management (such as clientexec)
    - Outsourced Technical Support (such as Touch Support)
    - Fully Managed VPS (many companies in the market)

    Some VPS providers will give you clientexec or a similar product free with the cost of the VPS, and Touch Support give you kayako esupport free with their 'per domain' billing so lets presume you get the kayako esupport helpdesk, and the clientexec billing management package free...

    You'd be paying -
    $59.95 for touchsupports 75-domain plan - includes kayako esupport
    $60.00 for a fully managed VPS solution - includes clientexec (estimate)

    Your looking at... $120/month for a reliable and secure VPS, which is fully managed so they can carry out most level 3 issues which you need, and the outsourced support company would deal direct with your clients.

    So... it can be done - with you doing graphics/ website design that is free so you can handle that, you could even use your skills to include free logo/banner design with your plans, etc...

    Important in todays market...
    work out a USP (unique selling point) so your business is abit different from others, this will attract clients.

    Goodluck anyway.
    This is pretty much my plan at the moment. However, I believe I can keep the costs down further by firstly using the integrated clientexec ticket support system. Whilst not ideal, it will probably suffice until I've built up my customer base and have become self-sufficient as a business. If it really doesn't work out for me, I have installed/used Cerberus' free Helpdesk before and had good experiences, so I'm sure that eitherway I will be able to manage the ticketload for the first few months.

    And yes, I will be doing my own website and logo.

    Thanks for your advice,
    Luke

  38. #38
    Quote Originally Posted by jt2377
    envisagecreations.com/ec2/ = 404 not found
    Oops, wasn't aware it's against WHT policy to post links to a commercial website. Anyway, the link is in my signature.

    (At the stage I made the opening post my website was still in development, it has gone live now so it is available at the root of the site)

  39. #39
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Location
    Beverly Hills, CA.
    Posts
    242
    Here is something to think about:

    If you need to come to a forum to ask if you should start a business then you are not even close to being ready or able to start a company. Not to be harsh but this industry is littered with people who are on this train of though and think hosting is not a "real" business and anyone with "around $100" can start a "company". This is far from the truth. This is a 24/7 job and requires time and money. I suggest you do not open a company becuase if you are 15 and are at school 8+ hours a day (plus homework) you wont have enough time to put into a company to make it anything that will get customers. Also from a legal standpoint, this is a horrible idea. You are not old enought to sign an agreement or make your company legal to the government, etc. Also, from a marketing standpoint, who wants to put the faith of there company, if not their WHOLE company, in the hands of someone who is doing a throw together hosting company? Are you going to tell your customers that you are 15 and just doing this becuase it may turn you an "easy buck"?

    Overall this sounds like another hosting company that will last a little move a month then fall to the ground like many other hosts on WHT have done in the past. People need to relize this is a REAL business and takes REAL time and effort (not to mention hundreds and thousands of dollars). You are going into a business with little to no plans and expecting it to do well. If you read a book about business you would notice how most books harp on the importance of planning your ENTIRE operations out before you even drop a single dime into the idea (Business legal stucture such as LLC, INC, ETC - Profit forcasting, software pricing, server pricing, company layout, support details, hours, timelines, etc, etc, etc, the list goes on and on and on. Google business plans and ready how they work. I will stop here.

    I am not trying to burst your bubble or be a jerk about it I am trying to point out all the issues with this idea. If I was you and REALLY wanted to do open I would start saving my money and create a very DETAILED business plan and organize the whole company. This is the only way to ensure any level of success, unless you consider hosting 30 customers on a VPS a successful company. This is a TOUGH industry and you need to make sure you know what you are doing before you just hop into it or it will bite you.

    Good luck!

    *Note* I will NOT be subscribing to this thread so if you want to contact me please email or PM me.

  40. #40
    Quote Originally Posted by Eifel
    ...unless you consider hosting 30 customers on a VPS a successful company....
    Thanks for the advice Eifel; but again, I feel my intentions have been misinterpreted. I would consider hosting 30 customers on a VPS a successful company; success is subjective, remember? I'm more realistic than you give me credit for. I'm not starting this up with the intention to knock 1and1 off their perch - this is an exercise in running a business, and the day my customers are happy and I'm turning a profit, will be the day I consider this venture a 'success'.

    Secondly I'd like to recommend you stop considering the eventual materialisation of my company as an embodiment of every crap host out there. Why is it that you assume my business will be a "throw together hosting company" with the sole intention to turn me an "easy buck"? You may say..

    Quote Originally Posted by Eifel
    I am not trying to burst your bubble or be a jerk
    That's all well and good, but it wont be until the day you stop treating me like a naÔve imbesile, devoid of integrity that I will believe you. Don't take your grief for all the sub-standard hosting companies around out on me. I look forward to proving you wrong in the months ahead.

    Yours faithfully,
    Luke

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