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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Bay Area, CA
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    521

    Started hosting business with no costs?

    I know it might not be what everyone comes across. But I was wondering if there were any web hosting companies who started out with free bandwidth and space/power?

    If the cost of space and bandwidth (which would otherwise be $400 - $1000/mo. estimated) were at no cost to you, what other monthly or one-time costs might be involved besides a control panel and billing/support solution?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Richmond, VA
    Posts
    3,102
    You can start off "free" with ResellersPanel --- but then, you can never truly get around the need for purchasing a domain name, marketing, etc.
    Daniel B., CEO - Bezoka.com and Ungigs.com
    Hosting Solutions Optimized for: WordPress Joomla OpenCart Moodle
    Data Centers in: Chicago (US), London (UK), Sydney (AU), Sofia (BG), Pori (FI)
    Email Daniel directly: ceo [at] bezoka.com

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Seattle, WA
    Posts
    1,167
    I don't think thats what he means - I assume he has a friend or an associate providing him with free colocation or something to that extent.

    Other costs would include software, like cPanel or directadmin and a centralized billing system like modernbill or clientexec. Other costs are things like advertising, licensing (incorporation fees, ect) and miscellaneous costs (can't think of anything off the top of my head though)

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Richmond, VA
    Posts
    3,102
    Sorry - I interpreted it to mean he was asking if there was a way it could be done.
    Daniel B., CEO - Bezoka.com and Ungigs.com
    Hosting Solutions Optimized for: WordPress Joomla OpenCart Moodle
    Data Centers in: Chicago (US), London (UK), Sydney (AU), Sofia (BG), Pori (FI)
    Email Daniel directly: ceo [at] bezoka.com

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Bay Area, CA
    Posts
    521
    Thanks for the info. Hopefully someone who might have been able to take a similar route as described can comment on how they went about it and how it worked out.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Posts
    1,033
    Payment processing fees are a pretty significant expense.

  7. #7
    Hi Mate,

    Not exactly sure if this is what you are going for - however it is my belief that you can start a VERY small business with minimal costs, though I would not go as far as to say free. It should be added, that me and my partner got very lucky in getting into the industry.

    While software is indeed an expense, my business did not get any for some time, not until our client base got big enough that we deemed it necessary. While client-exec is great (we use it now), we started of by using Excel Spreadsheets for peoples information. Payment was done via pay-pal, so even as a merchant, fees were kept minimal. We started off on a re-seller plan, so although it was not free, it was cheap. If you have free space lined up, all the better.

    Web-sites make a big mark on Hosting businesses and we were lucky in that we had a friend who designed a very passable web site. Nothing flashy, but not a template either. If you have the skills, or know someone who does, I suggest employ them. HOWEVER - please do not fool yourself if you don't have the skills - I have seen too many people who *think* they can design and their pride gets in the way of them thinking otherwise. This will have a negative impact on your image. In idea would be to offer a decent designer free web space in exchange for their services.

    Marketing is a tricky beast. Most people here will tell you to keep paid marketing to a minimal and I can't agree more. There are many resources out there that you can implement for free. Including things like free hosting databases, directories, search engines, link swaps and much more. Stick to these until you can a) afford to pay for marketing b) can figure out where to market.

    Labour will obviously be handled by you, so that should prove inexpensive. The need for a domain however cannot be overlooked. Sub-domains or other cheap moves will equal 100% failure. That said, a domain can cost you as little as 6 bucks if you know the right people, so you should be able to afford it.

    I think that covers most things:
    1. The space
    2. The design
    3. The Marketing
    4. Funds processing
    5. Domain
    6. The software.

    Good luck!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    Bay Area, CA
    Posts
    521
    Heh, not exactly what I was looking for. Was hoping there might be someone who had an opportunity at free space and/or free bandwidth that took the opportunity to use it to start a business and how did it work out and what was the route they took.

    I understand most people start small with reseller plan. But if someone had the opportunity to setup your own bandwidth, IP space, switch, cabinet space, and servers at not cost...would you take that route?

  9. #9
    Hi Again,

    Right - well scrap that post then Though I'm not still sure of the question I will say this If I had the opportunity to start a proper business for in effect free - then of course. Assuming you are ready for the time input and the effort of not only setting the company up but then also effectively running it. In the end, all that opportunity would be wasted if you did not want to put your effort into it.

    Anyhow - good luck with anything you go with mate!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Southwest UK
    Posts
    1,159
    would I take the free server route... probably not - how long would the server stay free for? If the answer is 'indefinitely', then would there be a situation in the future where that free space disappeared for some reason?

    eg. you have a mate in a hosting industry that'll offer you some space on the side, what happens if that person quits his job? You do not want to wake up one morning to find the plug's been pulled on your entire business.

    On the other hand, if your business takes off, you can then go and buy your own space. I think though that you are looking at it from the wrong viewpoint - you're trying to say, 'how can I do this in a no risk way', when you should be thinking about how to make the business work.
    Do not meddle in the affairs of Dragons, for you are crunchy and taste good.

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