Here at the blog we like to talk an awful lot about the various tools, technologies and other such items that make up the physical realm of web hosting. This is something we enjoy, probably a lot more than we like talking about software, productivity, or any of that other rubbish. However, even we have to admit that there’s something to be said for running an effective and efficient reseller hosting business. In fact, if you use the right tools and procure the right methods, you’ll very quickly find that your profits will shoot straight through the roof.
Don’t believe us? We thought you might not. With that in mind, you’ll find a full list of all our best tips and strategies to ensure that your business is making the most out of each and every day below. Follow them to a tee, and if you start to see serious results, go ahead and tell us about it in the comments section!
But before all that:
Keep Contact Information Close at Hand
Easily one of the best and absolute best things that you can do to ensure that you can do to ensure that your system runs smoothly is to simply keep all of your clients’ contact information easily available and at hand. What does this mean? It means keeping things organized from the ground up, retaining information from those signup sheets, and ensuring that you have more than one way to reach a client if you need to.
This is important for one reason and one reason only: Clients aren’t always the smoothest gears in the machine. In fact, if something goes wrong with your server, or you wake up to an unexpected error, we wont’ be surprised if it turns out to be one of your customers doing something squirrely on the other end. Know who these people are, keep regular tabs on them, and be prepared to pull them up out of the blue if you have to.
Keep Payment Records
On the same note, we’re just going to be honest for a second: If a customer of a less than savory nature can, he will try to scam you out of a dollar or too. This is just the way of life, and though it’s a little less than pleasant, that doesn’t mean you have to live with it. One of the absolute best ways to safeguard yourself against any improbably or unlikely claims is to simply keep good records.
Most reseller hosting accounts come with some kind of billing or payment service, which makes things easier. If you have such a setup, just take a moment to ensure that all of your clientele’s payment information is being saved and is easily found in a single place. If it isn’t, try to figure out a way to have it all backed up on the cloud somewhere.
If you don’t use such a system, we very highly suggest that you purchase some kind of billing and invoice software. There are easily five hundred and seven good ones out there, and all of them offer some sort of backing up procedure to file away and lockdown your records. It’s quick, it’s simple, and if someone is trying to claim a false payment or double charge, it will arm you with the documentation that you need to wiggle out of the sticky situation. And trust us—that’s easily worth a few minutes of today’s time to prevent.
Have a Quality Tech Support System
Now, you might think tech support is just a big way to waste your time trying to help your customers with their easy-to-solve and time-draining problems. And you’d be right! We spend a whole lot of our time just ensuring that our customers are happy with their services, which more often than not means helping them figure out how to do some easily explained installation that can be found on 1,007 places on the Net.
So how does one save time and avoid the whole mess? It’s simple, really! Just have a quality tech support system in place, that way everything moves more efficiently. This might seem obvious, but there are a number of ways in which you can boost the productivity of this side of your business. For instance, do you offer help documents for your clients to peruse? A lot of people, believe it or not, are really quite self-reliant and will take the time to have a look at a tutorial. For the rest, be sure to include some kind of automatic ticketing system, that way you can steam through the questions like lightning.
If you need even more ways to smooth it up, why not keep some stock responses on hand to common questions? You don’t want to do this for every problem that arises, but you can pass off a few every now and again without much trouble. And if you frequently hear, “How do I setup WordPress on my account?” then you have a golden opportunity to save yourself the pain of typing up the same bloody email again.
Enjoy Your Job
Lastly, be sure you’re taking some time out of your day to really enjoy what it is that you do. After all, not everyone is their own boss, or gets to control their own little microcosm of the Net. It’s a nifty thing, and if you’re like us, you’re always thankful for the opportunity.
Then again, if you’re like us you might not always be so enthusiastic about the opportunity. So often we tend to get bogged down by all the stuff that we have to deal with. Instead, try to take some time out of your day to simply relax, and enjoy the benefits. Interface with your customers, work on a new project for your business, or just breathe a little. You’re very blessed, and you’ve got a lot of potential left to live out.
Improve the Actual Design of Your Site
Okay, so up until this point we’ve talked a lot about what reseller hosting is, as well as what you should physically include to make your site a worthy opponent to your competitors. However, we have yet to follow up on the title of the entire article: If you’re looking for our top ways in which to improve the efficiency and design of your reseller hosting website, you’re now at the right place. We’ve got all those choice pointers lined up and ready to roll just below the break, so without further ado, it’s time to wax-on-wax-off, Grasshopper.
1. Find a Niche:
The very first thing we tell any new hosting reseller to do is to find their niche within the market. No, this doesn’t mean you should go out and find the most obscure set of web users out there, and then cater exclusively to them—though we have seen this work for some of our friends. On the other hand, you should also shy away from being a simple general web host, with no special incentives or market bents. No, your absolute best method to hook clients is to instead find a core group of users that may have specific needs, and then pander as much as you can to those needs.
This sounds more complicated than it really is, and we promise it’s within the realm of possibility. Here are some quick examples to help you along:
Think about bloggers for a second, specifically first-time bloggers who have no real experience other than using a free Tumblr account to post their data. They’re now looking for a richer, more complex, and more personable way to get their name out and on the Internet. As a web hosting provider, it’s your job to cater to those needs. To do so with this target group, you could provide easy installations of popular blogging softwares like WordPress, Drupal, Joomla, etc. Furthermore, you should also make the process of establishing a domain name, setting up the website, and accessing data through FTP as simple and as idiot-proof as possible. If your target market isn’t very well-versed with computers, it only makes sense to ease their pain. This will win you more of a market share within the group, and will help to establish that all important niche that we’re talking about.
There are literally hundreds of different markets and people groups that you could cater to. Consider the elderly who may want to try hosting a website, or the graphic designer who wants a quick, personable, and creative web hosting company to manage his data. The possibilities are just about endless, and it’s up to you to decide who you want to work with, how you want to work with them, and what services you’re willing to offer.
2. Brand it Hard, Cowboy:
On a similar note, the very next thing you’re going to need to do—and we seriously mean need to do—is to establish your own brand. This means coming up with a name, a logo and a tagline that sets you apart from the herd. This is much harder than you might think it is, and if your name sucks, so will the revenue stream. You have got to hit this on the head, which is why we’re going to explain how:
We have a lot of experience within the realm of graphic design, and we’ve helped more than one lonely business create a new image for themselves. As such, we like to think our tips are just about the best. And the very first tip that we pass along to a new client that’s in this position is simple—What kind of tone do you want to set? Are you strictly business, or do you have a creative side that might work best with your target audience? Who is your target audience? What sort of adjectives would you use to describe them, and how might those also apply to you, as the business they’ll be interfacing with? Keep these in mind, and then move onto the next paragraph.
The best thing you can do to arrive at a solid brand is to simply come up with a few brainstormed ideas. Then, sift through them with that list of adjectives from above. Which ones fit the best? Which ones fit the least? Can you improve your thoughts any more? Once all of that is out of the way, head onto the next point before tying a ribbon on the whole thing.
Once you have a solid idea of how you want to present yourself, simply do it! Use the branding options you’ve created as much as possible, especially the logo you’ve created, or a mascot if you have one. What sets sites like HostGator and GoDaddy apart? It’s the brand! It’s the gator, and the racy commercials. Use this to your advantage, and become a unique, quirky (or professional) brand.
3. Flow the Whole Thing Like a Hawaiian:
We’ve spent a lot of time in the Hawaiian islands, and one of the things we like most about the state is the fact that all the roads on an island flow towards a destination. There are no excess options, nor any avenues that don’t lead you somewhere. We talk about this with reseller web hosting design, because it’s a vital concept to have down.
When designing your website, be sure to have everything (all the pages, posts, and links) flow towards a single, end point. Typically this will be the sing-up for services page, but then again, it doesn’t have to be. Either way, direct the flow of traffic from the landing page to where you would ultimately like your customers to end up. In this way, the user feels guided through your company’s statistics, and lead directly to the point they’re presumably after. It’s not rocket science, and when in doubt, just imagine a smooth, graceful road. It works for us.
4. Simplify the Checkout:
We talked a bit about this earlier, but we really can’t harp on it enough. One of the first points you should strive for is a competent and capable checkout system. After all, if it’s nearly impossible for your clients to signup for your services, they aren’t very likely to do so. It’s all well and good for us to say that, though, but what does it actually mean? It means this.
Firstly, your prices should be spelled out in the clear without any excess room for interpretation. In no way should the customer feel like they haven’t got a good handle on how much this will cost them. Secondly, you want to reassure from the get-go that your site is secure, encrypted, and will not accidentally bankrupt your new clients. This is extremely important, as we’re sure you’re aware of: Assuming you’ve ever shopped online.
However, this also means that the client should be guided through the entire process. They’ll have to input information like their PayPal accounts, credit card numbers, etc. Lead them into this with a brief text explanation of what’s going on, and then the fill-in forms for their perusal. Once that’s been completed, explain in no uncertain terms what they’ll need to do to activate their accounts. Always mention how long this will take, too. If there are any softwares they need to install, or processes they should go through, mention this and be clear about what kind of a commitment it will require. There’s nothing worse than putting down a large chunk of change, only to find that one now must put in a whole lot of unmentioned work. Avoid that as much as possible.
5. Be Personable:
And lastly, our final tip is more of a general rule than anything else. What we mean by that subheading is this: Make the site as friendly as possible. You’re a small company, not a huge corporation. Use this to your advantage by appearing friendly, comfortable, and accessible. How ever you can do this—essentially lightening the mood—do it. Your customers will be happier, and so will you without the added stress.
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