by Ivan Walsh
Web Hosting Business for Fun and Profit
As per study conducted by the Forrester Research, the current market is an ideal one for the emergence new web hosting companies, currently there is “positive — if modest — growth for Web hosting and managed IT services, at both the enterprise and SMB levels.”
It is an ideally suited business if one indulges as a web designer or rather IT consultant. This business suits best for small consulting firms. Now the question arises why to ignore such services which several small businesses potentially require? Hosting is a supreme source of revenue on monthly basis.
If one talks about the flourishing sectors of Internet then name of hosting industry will be among one of them. Several corporations such as Yahoo are in the race of providing web hosting services. Anyone who wishes to join this highly profitable business is always welcome and has the right to grab his/her financial share, except when he/she can rightly perform his/her duty.
For a dream web hosting company, one should adopt two tested and wrathful rules as mentioned below:
1.) The prime aspect of the user should be on offering high-quality services in a two-tiered pricing schedule.
2.) The user should know about the importance of an automated infrastructure for development of self-sufficient customers. In the case of marketing, it is very important for the user to increase the chances of accurate opportunities.
The facility of automation will not only enhance the self-sufficiency of the client but also will reduce the expenses of the user to a low level. For the purpose of giving level best services, the prime thing which user requires is at least the following processes to be automated:
1.) Order forms (in case of new customer account set up or existing customer updates),
2.) Billing system,
3.) Administration system,
4.) End-user control panel, and
5.) Technical support interface.
It is mandatory that the front end of user’s order form should provide a minimum of the four key functional aspects given below:
a.) It should ensure the information of domain for registration purposes,
b.) It should legalize entered results,
c.) It should provide the facility to process the customer’s credit card or else provide creation of an invoice,
d.) It should register customer’s information into billing database for the future prospects.
It is must that the backend of the order form must process the domain registration, in case it is required by the customer and should generate the Web hosting account.
One should know that the administration system is quite an essential factor in the purpose of managing ordered accounts. The user might require manually adding or eliminating several new domains, change passwords, etc.
End-User Control Panel
If one wants his/her customer should manage his/her account, then an end-user control panel is necessary. At the end, the customers should be in the condition where they can set up their own e-mail accounts, view Website statistics and can manage files etc.
Another very important thing is the presence of automated billing system. The billing system should not only perform the functions like making e-mail invoices, charging credit cards, suspend overdue accounts etc, but should also enable user to issue credit or discounts as per requirement.
Technical Support Interface
There is a wrong opinion that technical support interface is merely a system that generates trouble rather it is an effective tech-support interface that automatically generates an FAQ-interface that customers can look out for before submitting trouble tickets. The advantage of these interfaces is that they can reduce technical support requests by a factor of 10.
Not only that, the company with which the user go with offers the option of taking care of technical support on his/her behalf but branded with user’s brand. Thus one can concentrate his/her potential on other parts of his/her business which requires greater attention.
How to maximize good marketing opportunities
If one knows about what platform to use, what packages to offer and set up a tiered pricing schedule and automated systems. So now how one does maximizes good marketing opportunities through new hosting service?
Pay per Click
This facility allows user to reach to a large segment of customers. In this case although one needs not to pay to list his/her site, he/she does pay when a customer clicks on one’s listing and connects to user’s site. Now an important question arises in one’s mind i.e. how does one gets his/her site high on the results lists? One option is user must engage in a bidding war over how much he/she is willing to pay for each person who clicks through to his/her site. Recently the prices of bidding have grown too high, so one needs to act careful. There are cases where one clicks into one’s site but didn’t convert into a new account. Thus, one needs to be sure to just select targeted keywords and not contending with everyone else for the same keywords. It is not at all an easy game, so one should find his/her role.
How to host Directory Sites?
There are plentiful Web sites known as hosting directories that intend to attract Web hosting customers. The utility of these directories lies in the fact that they are an excellent place to advertise, but one needs to be selective in his/her placement. There are several sites offering banner placement, spotlights, search enhancements, and other forms of advertisement. A key tip in this case would be one should always keep in mind that banner ads are considered much better for building brand recognition rather than generating new accounts, so one should advertise based on his/her budget, and should not just focus on his/her expectation for new customers.
How to influence current Client Base?
If one is running an established Web design firm, information portal, or domain registration service, he/she can quickly start marketing to his/her current clients. For him/her its not easy to generate clients as by sending a simple e-mail to his/her current customer base he/she can immediately generate a large number of accounts. Talking about marketing strategies, there are permission-based email marketing services that work best for earning more revenue from one’s current customers and gaining additional customers. Thus, one should try a free trial of one or more of these services to find one that works well for his/her needs.
How to retain customers?
One should always keep in mind that in order to retain his/her customer; one has to develop and offer new products and services and to make them feel better. This will not only help in retaining customers but also to generate additional revenue. But the most important factor is quality should not be compromised as it is in reality a key to success.
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