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  1. #1

    Not getting any clients

    I must be doing something wrong. My web hosting company has been up for almost 2 weeks and I only have 1 customer sign up so far (i know him personaly). Anyway i have submitted my pages to search engines and hosting directories. I have also spent money to be toward the top of the search engine listings. Any ideas what i need to do? I am also going to start advertising locally with some ads in the newspaper and whatnot. Thanks

    -Dan

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    1,598

    *

    It will take time for your company to grow.

    On average, how many unique visitors does your site receive each day?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Posts
    189
    Also, submitting to search engines and getting listed can take some time...

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Posts
    82
    Any ideas what i need to do?
    You could develop a little signature for when you post here and on other forums. Let folks know about you.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    New York, NY
    Posts
    667

    Re: Not getting any clients

    Originally posted by dbbrock1
    I must be doing something wrong. My web hosting company has been up for almost 2 weeks and I only have 1 customer sign up so far (i know him personaly). Anyway i have submitted my pages to search engines and hosting directories. I have also spent money to be toward the top of the search engine listings. Any ideas what i need to do? I am also going to start advertising locally with some ads in the newspaper and whatnot. Thanks

    -Dan
    Hello,

    Well friend... Don't you think that you are a bit impatient ? It requires a bit of time... Making money is not that easy to just open a web hosting business, submit to search engines and directories, and then money goes straight away to your account !

    Of course the whole the story is this, but step by step... Two weeks it's nothing... you may also post your web site's URL address to those experts around can check it and let you know if you've done a mistake or so...

    And how many visitors you've got per day ? Can you monitor them ?

    PS: As a quick note, never mention in your web site that " A new web hosting company was established " !

    Have a great day !
    Amir Golestan
    Executive Director | Micfo
    delivering the divine hosting experience™ | AS53889
    www.micfo.com

  6. #6
    PS: As a quick note, never mention in your web site that " A new web hosting company was established " !
    That's a good point.

    One thing i'd like to add to that is you should advertise as much as possible. Once I read your post saying you had a web hosting company, the first thing I looked for was a link to your website in your signature. I didn't see one. Spamming on somebody eles's site is never a good idea, but adding a simple link to your site is perfectly fine and and it's free advertisement.

    Other then that, you'll just have to be patient

  7. #7

    ok

    Lol. I looked at the my site and it seems im not getting any new visitors. I guess the guy who said it takes awhile to get listed was right! Thanks for the help guys!.

  8. #8

    test

    Testing my sig
    Download my eBook + Videos: Starting your own successful web hosting company.
    Learn from a web host with 7 years of experience.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Posts
    189
    Maybe, this helps you with the search engines: http://spider-food.net

    You'll find lots of useful information there.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    California
    Posts
    7

    Lightbulb

    What I've done for my design business, I'll do the same with my hosting business when it is complete.

    Get your local paper and go to the classifieds or business section. Papers usually publish new businesses and newly submitted fictitous business names. The name and address is published as well. I have a pre-made letter I print out and mail them a nice "Congrats on your new biz" type of letter and introduce myself and my services. All I need is a reply or phone call to sell them.

    You can also write or call some businesses that already have websites and offer them a "local discount" on hosting. Look in the paper, phone book, and even junk mail. Pass out flyers, post ads at your local grocery store, join the local chamber.

    I've even gone so far as to go to book stores and put my business card in all of the computer books!

    Don't wait for business to come to you...go out and get it!!

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2000
    Location
    San Diego
    Posts
    3,407
    A few things I noticed.

    1) You have a portfolio page with nothing and a forum page with no post. Makes you look like you did just start.

    2) You have this on your about us page "Although we can't offer 24/7 support, we can provide a quick response between the normal US business hours of 9am to 5 pm."

    Honest? Yes. Is it going to help sooth your possible customers decision to host with you. NO!

    3) Your name. WarpGateFX. To me it doesn't sound professional for a service provider.

    4) Your give away. "If you order a package between August 11th to September 11th, you will be entered into the free domain name pull." No real value. Domains are $8.00/yr now. Plus the Sept 11th thing. Some people feel using it to promote (even in good faith) is not right.

    Just some ideas. Good luck.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Posts
    431
    Patience and hard work are key here. Be happy for that first customer, and pamper them. Your customers will eventually become your largest source of new signups. Make them happy and they will make you very happy later. I really like breaweb's idea of grabbing new businesses out of the newspaper. Other good places are local businesses, think of friends and family who might have contacts.

    I went to vistaprint.com and ordered 250 business cards. If you are handy with photoshop you will get the cheapest full color business card anyplace if you order from them. Take those cards and ask if you can drop them off at cafe's, restaurants, put little flyers up at colleges. Also many small town papers (ie not the newspaper but the little freeby paper that comes for just your town) usually have very low advertising rates and will cut a deal for a first time advertiser.

    Invest some time locally, there is less competition. Don't get caught up in the cutting too good to be true deals on the web to compete thing. Once you've proven yourself a bit with people and customer referrals come in then net advertising will have a better return. Until then, local clients will be easier to grab and most likely more long term customers.
    Jordan Bouvier

  13. #13

    wow

    wow i didn't even realize i had it on september 11th. It just picked a random date. I guess that date was stuck in the back of my head. THanks for the help!
    Download my eBook + Videos: Starting your own successful web hosting company.
    Learn from a web host with 7 years of experience.

  14. #14

    Re: Not getting any clients

    Originally posted by dbbrock1
    I must be doing something wrong. My web hosting company has been up for almost 2 weeks and I only have 1 customer sign up so far (i know him personaly). Anyway i have submitted my pages to search engines and hosting directories. I have also spent money to be toward the top of the search engine listings. Any ideas what i need to do? I am also going to start advertising locally with some ads in the newspaper and whatnot. Thanks

    -Dan
    Well, at the offset, congratulations are in order for your new business.

    Well, I do not run a web hosting company myself so I guess that gives me a better perspective on the outside from the viewpoint of a customer.

    I did a search but did not find any posting from you in the Advertising forums at WHT. They are pretty powerful and free resources and that is the first place I'll go to when I want to look for a new host. The 'Request' forum is also a good way to introduce yourself by replying to those requests which you could meet with your current plan or one with slight modification which does not put you at any real disadvantage. Of course, it must thus match the client's request. I am sure if you are proactive in this area, you could see some inquiries and thus some sales along the way.

    Also search around for other web hosting related listing sites and have your business listed there.

    Actually being a new host has two advantages from the viewpoint of the customer, one is that I know I would not be sharing with some 300 odd customers on that same machine. I would probably get the best bandwidth money can buy, almost like dedicated . And also that you would want to keep at least the first few customers happy.

    On the downside, being new to the industry means that you may not have the experience to handle certain quirks in the business or in the technical avenue. But I am sure that many would help you along the way here and also you could find solutions by browsing the web, asking around or through books and most importantly through the experience you gain along the way.

    On the issue of search engines, simply listing right away might not get you anyway. It takes time for the url to be included and that may take weeks if not months. My experience is that the easiest to get on may not be of any real used. You may want to look at Google's Adword Select. I do see quite a number of web hosting companies using them. Not sure what the success rate is but I guess it has to yield something. The paid advertisement would usually be lots faster to get noticed then free ones.

    Another thing, not to fault you on anything, but your caption reads 'A New dimension of web solutions'. As a customer, I am interested in knowing what 'extras' or 'what is this new dimension' which sets you apart from other web hosters around. Of course, if you could state that in your profile or somewhere visible and sell yourself more to the customer, without overselling yourself or stating things beyond what is true, I am sure you will make heads turn.

    Another thing, as for the forum you have on your site, like someone has mentioned, being bare does not help. You might want to remove that and replace it with Perl Helpdesk with tons of FAQs in the knowledgement or something. I am sure that would help you not to appear too 'new'. Having very little help ticket numbers may mean that your FAQs are comprehensive enough and/or that you are pro-active in fixing problems before the clients notice them.

    One more thing, your order form seems to be unsecured. You might want to invest in a SSL certificate or something and not one of those self-generated ones for online orders. In this time and age, people may be sceptical if things are transmitted unsecurely.

    I can go on and on.. but that's just my thoughts.

    For my own web business, it took over 6 months to gain recognition and many more to build it to what it is right now. So hang in there if you are serious about the business. Do not give up or be discourage. If something fails, take the time to reflect what could have gone wrong and try to fix it before moving on.

    All the best in your venture.
    http://www.batchimage.com - Offering Batch Image Processing and TIFF/PDF Software Solutions

  15. #15

    thanks

    Wow man, I appreciate all the information you have given me. It was pretty helpful. Oh yeah, about the advertising on the WHT forums, it seems that mostly everyone asks for large amounts of space and bandwidth for very low price which I just simply can't offer.

    Anyhow thanks to everyone that spent time writting to my topic.

    - Dan
    Download my eBook + Videos: Starting your own successful web hosting company.
    Learn from a web host with 7 years of experience.

  16. #16
    No prob.

    Well, there is always the other advertising forum which you can post in there too. There are people who may not have those wildly high requirements which may be interested.

    Not everyone would consume tons of bandwidth of require a lot of webspace. If they do, they might be better off looking at dedicated hosting.

    That's why I move myself to one just recently.
    http://www.batchimage.com - Offering Batch Image Processing and TIFF/PDF Software Solutions

  17. #17
    warpgatefx, hehe, i think your domain needs to be changed or something. Your domain really compromises your company image. I think it needs to sound professional and rational. Let me know if you need your site redesigned, because I recommend one.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Posts
    431
    BTW if you go to www.comodo.net or www.ipsca.com they both will give you a free SSL certificate for anywhere between 3 and 6 months.
    Jordan Bouvier

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Location
    I'm right behind you.
    Posts
    1,143
    Here is something you may find useful:

    http://www.webmasterbase.com/article/828
    Marketing For Hosting Companies:

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Location
    AU
    Posts
    1,048
    Dont go too hard at promoting, because you will grow too big overnight and will then become unreliable

  21. #21

    Domain Change

    The Problem with changing my domain is that all the advertising i signed up for was under that domain. Maybe I could buy another domain and have the current one link to main page. I could change the logo company name, but I don't know if customers would really like that.
    Download my eBook + Videos: Starting your own successful web hosting company.
    Learn from a web host with 7 years of experience.

  22. #22
    Join Date
    Aug 2000
    Location
    Tacoma, Washington
    Posts
    9,576
    two things that struck me in your about page:

    "we can't offer 24/7 support, we can provide a quick response between the normal US business hours of 9am to 5 pm"

    "The servers are connected to the internet via a 100 megabit cogent line"

    While I think the honesty is a refreshing change in this industry you might seriously think about getting someone on during the 'off' hours. I think you should look at getting a few more providers onboard as a failsafe too (we use over 20 through NAC.net but still worry about it). If that single line goes down, and stays down for a few hours you might end up with more than a few e-mails.

    To get up and running so you can expand I'd seriously look into your local area (the business card idea mentioned earlier is a stroke of brilliance ) Local small business can be a goldmine for someone starting out.

    Hmm, I might reconsider that logo too before Dot5 see it.

    Greg Moore
    Former Webhost... now, just a guy.

  23. #23
    Time...give it time. 2 weeks is nothing!

    Dot5Hosting inspired logo?
    Lime Drop Marketing!
    Web Design | Graphic Design | Logo Design
    http://www.limedrop.ca

  24. #24
    Join Date
    May 2001
    Posts
    1,349
    Web hosting, like any other business, is fraught with successes as well as failures. Don't think that it's that easy to set up a company and expect the money to roll in. There are literally thousands of competitors out there vying for hosting customers.

    My words are probably not easy to digest, but that is the truth. You'll have to work really really hard if you want to succeed in this business. If you have the right expectations then you will have a better idea of the challenge that's ahead of you and adjust your efforts accordingly.

  25. #25
    Join Date
    May 2001
    Location
    Colorado, USA
    Posts
    812
    I have a pre-made letter I print out and mail them a nice "Congrats on your new biz" type of letter and introduce myself and my services.
    Do you have a sample that you could share with us? When I started my own business I got tons of letters for credit card processing but nothing that really caught my eye ....

    Thanks!

    The Fish

  26. #26
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    1,541
    Stick with it, it takes time to grow your business. Concentrate on making that one customer very happy and he will tell others, then do the same to them.
    Word of mouth is just about the best type of advertising you can get, until that kicks in, as mentioned advertise in your signature on lots of forums.
    Also try webdesign forums etc they are usually looking for hosts.

  27. #27
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Location
    South
    Posts
    64
    "Dedicated Game Servers"

    " Instant Messanger"

    "Allow 12 hours for you account to be created"


    These are a few spelling errors I found in about a minute of looking at your site.

    I can assure you that when potential clients see this, they'll be assuming that your service will be as poor as your grammar.

    So - even if you have the best technical support on the planet, your sales message will be working against you.

    Also, if you don't have any sites in your portfolio - don't have a link to it.


    All the best,
    Eric G.

  28. #28
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Location
    Philadelphia, Pa
    Posts
    949
    "Wow man, I appreciate all the information you have given me. It was pretty helpful. Oh yeah, about the advertising on the WHT forums, it seems that mostly everyone asks for large amounts of space and bandwidth for very low price which I just simply can't offer."

    lol, welcome to WHT

  29. #29
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    1,541
    Not everyone, I have picked up quite a few of my clients from here and i don't offer huge amounts of space and bandwidth.

    Re: the spelling and grammar, I am sure there are a few mistakes on my site still, and i know there are lots in my posts on here.
    That is why i get a friend of mine to sort all that, double check it etc. Also run a spell check on your site that will point out at least a few errors if there are any, then proof read it and get others to check it

  30. #30
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Chandler, Arizona
    Posts
    2,564
    Originally posted by bzman
    warpgatefx, hehe, i think your domain needs to be changed or something. Your domain really compromises your company image. I think it needs to sound professional and rational. Let me know if you need your site redesigned, because I recommend one.
    whats the catch?
    -Robert Norton
    www.SophMedia.com

  31. #31
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    New York
    Posts
    1,700
    Don't assume that your prices aren't good. The prices here aren't what you may think the entire market looks for. Your pricing is good. Just try to expand your market. Look to other forms of advertising. Look to affiliate programs and other click through programs. The money will come soon enough.

    Thanks

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