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  Post #1 (permalink)   02-25-2008, 08:41 AM
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Not sure about all the ins and outs of operating a reselling business. I'd like to offer a budget service to members of one of my websites. At least a small profit would be nice but my main goal is to help my customers get their own sites set up. Any tips from more experienced resellers?
 
 
 


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  Post #2 (permalink)   02-25-2008, 03:58 PM
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Research a good deal. Check to see what place you can get reseller plans from and compare all prices, then see if you are going to be able to market it and resell to make some money at the same time. The last thing you want is a huge customer base and always dealing with issues but not being able to make anything from it.
 
 
 


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  Post #3 (permalink)   02-25-2008, 04:23 PM
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One of the most important things is to find a reseller hosting provider that has experience, and a time tested business model. It happened often enough that a provider started out great, but ended up within a year or so with a bad reputation. You don't want to be a customer of theirs when that happens.
 
 
 


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  Post #4 (permalink)   02-29-2008, 03:33 PM
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operating a reseller business is not easy and you need to be mentally prepared for it - so do the research, find a good partner who can help you (ie hosting company that can work with you and trouble shoot issues for you from time to time etc..)
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  Post #5 (permalink)   03-01-2008, 09:33 AM
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As others have so much as said, research is the key. Also, consider test driving a host with a money back guarantee once you have narrowed the field.
 
 
 


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  Post #6 (permalink)   03-03-2008, 06:35 AM
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I will do research first but I am not sure what I should be looking at. What features should I be looking for? Obviously, I want a company with a good reputation and good customer support history but what else should I be researching?
 
 
 


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  Post #7 (permalink)   03-03-2008, 05:52 PM
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What features should I be looking for?
Explore your target market. See what's offered, what can be added to the typical offer. Mke sure you can give that to your customers. Easier said than done perhaps.
 
 
 


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  Post #8 (permalink)   03-06-2008, 09:25 AM
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To compliment Idcdc's post, look for hosts that are flexible when it comes to adding modules and programs. Most hosts offer an extensive number of available modules, etc. It's nice to have a host that will consider adding software that doesn't conflict with the existing software and that doesn't increase the servers load significantly.
 
 
 


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  Post #9 (permalink)   03-06-2008, 10:19 AM
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When you shop for your own hosting company what do you look for? All those key elements are going to be what other people look for when they find your company, and you want to make sure you can provide them with top notch everything they will need. Good customer service (study up on how to handle some reseller accounts, I have seen a couple go into this before and end up biting off more than they could chew), awesome support service (never wait days for anything), fair prices, sweet machines (many of your clients will want to know what they are being hosted on if they are geeks, and will ask so be prepared for that as well).

Let us know what you decide too! Many geeks like me have no issues helping people get into the biz, even though you will be a competitor, we all know what its like to be new!!
 
 
 


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  Post #10 (permalink)   03-08-2008, 06:38 PM
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If you're looking to help some of your own site members get their sites set up, you'll also want to look for a host that answers your questions well. The precise definition of "well" varies for each person: some just want the answer, some just want the task taken care of, some want to be taught how to troubleshoot a problem themselves, some want a mixture of all three. Figure out what kind of answers you look for from your service provider, and check out their support forums (if available). Then ask them some questions of your own. See if they'll be the kind of resource you'll be able to use easily and well.

When I first decided to become a reseller (gah...nearly six years ago), I looked for a good, solid support staff that talked with and to its clients rather than at or down to them. I found good, geeky folks...and about a year later, the company began offering dedicated servers. I eventually moved to their dedicated servers, and while I could conceivably get servers for less money each month with any number of other companies or datacenters, I feel very comfortable knowing that these particular people are taking care of the network infrastructure, that they'll teach me when I have questions, and that they're going to be here for a while. I feel comfortable not just on my behalf, but on my clients'. Since you're asking about what features you should look for, I'm going to make a leap and say that you'll have plenty of other questions as time goes by. You'll want to do your own research, of course (best way to learn); but it's always good when the folks taking care of your servers can tell you their experiences with their particular setup, and guide you through that ground.

In terms of features? H'm...that depends on what you think your customers will need or want, and how you plan to allocate resources. Since I've seen more and more solid, stable applications available that use the LAMP stack (Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP) I'd offer that. More sites, even small ones, are running some kind of blogging or CMS software, so I'd offer at least one *SQL database with any size hosting plan. I would look for a host that offers an easy-to-use control panel, so that your customers can easily handle some of their own tasks without feeling completely lost.

Again, if I were in the market today, I'd go with a web host that offered a wide range of options for myself and my customers. I'd look for a host that offered, or was thinking of offering, both reseller plans and dedicated servers - so that when I made that move, the transition would be relatively painless. I would look for a host that seems to have plans about where it's going to be in three years, and how it will react if disaster hits its primary datacenter. (It's one thing to handle the day-to-day issues well - it's another to have plans for growth and emergencies, and not all hosts know what they'll do in situations outside the day-to-day.)

Remember, as a reseller, you're not just shopping for your own needs - but those of your customers. It puts an extra spin in things.

Good luck! The comparison shopping can drive you right out of your tree. Still, once you find a home, you may be lucky enough to find a long-term home.
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  Post #11 (permalink)   04-07-2008, 10:57 AM
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That was a terrific post. You should write that up as an article for the directories to promote your business. I printed it out to have a guide while I'm researching.
 
 
 


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  Post #12 (permalink)   04-07-2008, 04:22 PM
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I second that.
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  Post #13 (permalink)   04-08-2008, 06:02 PM
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Thanks!! I'm glad it was helpful.

I've written some articles for a hosting industry magazine, and next month when my reseller business opens I'm planning on putting these articles behind password protection, as guides to my reseller clients. Hopefully I'll be able to build up a good archive. I'm trying to find a good point between "give away the content for free" versus "hide everything and have the best-kept secret...and few clients." It's a heck of a balancing act.
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