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  1. #1

    Feedback Please on Business Assumptions

    Hi,
    I appreciate all the information I've been able to find in reading WHT for the past couple of months. I am cautiously excited about starting into this business. I'm going to stick my neck out and see if I can ask some questions.

    I wonder if I can get some feedback (free advise) on what I'm about to do?

    Overview.
    I want to leave the industry in which I currently own and operate a successful company. I plan to start setting up and hosting web sites for others in that same industry, and there is ample demand. My initial research tells me that I can sell web sites for $50 per month, maybe more. My expectation is to have 200 clients within 2 years.

    My clients will all be small business owners in just that one industry and all in the US. I won't be trying to sell hosting to individuals or any other type of businesses. I want to do just one thing and do it very well.

    Business Setup.
    Rackspace looks to have a turnkey solution in which I can have all signup, billing, and even trouble ticket support handled with their h-sphere solution on a managed server. Choosing them would seem to fall in the "nobody ever got fired for buying IBM category", but I still holding back on pulling the trigger.

    Questions.
    1) Is there another company that can provide what Rackspace can with regard to the totally integrated signup/billing/support? I care more about having an easy to operate business and good service than I do saving money. Everything I've read at WHT says go with Rackspace. But I'd like to have at least 1 or 2 other companies to compare their offerings with. I won't even consider anyone that I can't get on the phone 24/7 though.

    2) What configuration should I buy to host 200 small (5 to 50 meg), light traffic (10 to 200 unique hits per day) web sites? One standard server would handle that right?

    3) I want to make $100K/year. Is it unreasonable to think that $20K/year ($1650/mo.) would take care of the operating expenses for the server and support (excluding my time) and figuring that I don't need expensive office space? What other costs should I be aware of?

    4) I know I can sell these sites, and in fact already have people waiting for me to get started. If not lack of business or laziness, what would you predict would be the next most likely reason I might fail to meet the 200/50 target I've come up with?

    Any feedback is appreciated.

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    United kingdom
    Posts
    1,003
    I've already sent you a PM message, but I'll just also answer your questions on here.

    1) Is there another company that can provide what Rackspace can with regard to the totally integrated signup/billing/support? I care more about having an easy to operate business and good service than I do saving money. Everything I've read at WHT says go with Rackspace. But I'd like to have at least 1 or 2 other companies to compare their offerings with. I won't even consider anyone that I can't get on the phone 24/7 though.
    I don't think any other company offers the service that you want from Rackspace, but the other good managed dedicated server company is DialTone. There are other companies who provide H-Sphere, but they wouldn't also provide support for your clients.

    2) What configuration should I buy to host 200 small (5 to 50 meg), light traffic (10 to 200 unique hits per day) web sites? One standard server would handle that right?
    One server can certainly handle all those sites since they're all small sites. You wouldn't need a powerful server for that, maybe PIII 1GHz, with 512MB or 1GB RAM and about 30GB bandwidth.

    3) I want to make $100K/year. Is it unreasonable to think that $20K/year ($1650/mo.) would take care of the operating expenses for the server and support (excluding my time) and figuring that I don't need expensive office space? What other costs should I be aware of?
    As long as you get the clients, you'll obviously make what you want ... $20K/year should be enough to do everything that you need, you just need to find the right people. But if you really want to keep your customer happy stick with Rackspace servers and network as they are very reliable (I've been with them for just over one year now and have got no complaints at all).

    4) I know I can sell these sites, and in fact already have people waiting for me to get started. If not lack of business or laziness, what would you predict would be the next most likely reason I might fail to meet the 200/50 target I've come up with?
    If you've got the clients for it already, there's no reason to think that other people won't want it too. But as you get more and more clients, it may get harder to get newer clients. Over a 2 year period, you should be able to do it and build up a reputation for your current clients to recommend you.

    Alan
    Alan Ho
    Former Systems Administrator

  3. #3
    I think it's difficult to start with dedicated server for you.
    Do you have experience of web hosting business?
    what you think is under ideal condition but the true is quite hard to find clients.
    If you can find so many clients within 2 years, please share your experience to us or me.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Posts
    636
    haha...

    personally (and this is just me), if you are starting out, i would definately consider purchasing a reseller account with another web host and allowing that to gather enough profit margin to get your own server. WHY? Because the first 2 months, you'll be in the hole. NOT because of poor biz (heavens no), but because of the amount of setup $$'s, domain name, ip addys, private nameservers and blah blah (not to mention merchant accounts),etc... can be pricey. I think that if you put some dedicated effort into a reseller account over a 4-5 month period of time, and things look good, to then invest in a dedicated server and put the front costs up.

    I'm just saying I've SEEN people invest and plunder and it hurts me to see them give up. REGARDLESS of what you do.. DON'T give up!!

    Over a 2 year period, you should be able to do it and build up a reputation for your current clients to recommend you.
    it may not even take THAT. GOOD SUPPORT is what has your clients brag about you. AND YOU OWE IT TO THEM ANYWAY (they will be the ones helping you get to success).

    Ok, i'll stop preachin' haha
    Geek 3 Computer Repair

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Posts
    1,315
    Sounds like you got a plan As everyone is saying, and we can't stress enough, support your clients, treat them well, and they will keep coming back to you and refering you... I recommend dialtone, they monitor your server 24/7 and will reboot your machine and bring it up at 3am new years eve, (even for the $35 if they have to do any typing - its better than having it down until you realize it!)

    Welcome to the biz
    Avi Brender
    Reliable Web Hosting by Elite Hosts, Inc
    CPANEL Reseller Hosting - Fantastico - Rvskins - ClientExec

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