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  Post #1 (permalink)   01-02-2006, 05:16 PM
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Hello,

As most of us understad, all hosting companies who try to be different usually eithr take longer then most to form, go broke, or is even forced into the norm of the web hosting industries flasy lights, huge plans, and low cost solutions that make no sense.

It seems as if everywhere I turn I am being forced into a corner and to be something that I do not want my company to be. Owners you understand what it is like to attempt to build a hosting company from scrath and go through the advertising pitfalls and headaches. Family member, friends, and employees from the start attempt to understand but normally do not.

What I am ranting and complaining about is everywhere you see how all the small hosts or any hosts for that matter by clients, employees, and other investment sources are being forced to be the norm. My design team keeps attempting to make me change the site design and advertising spots. Do we know if thse will work who knows. However, my design team and others are trying to change us from a Business Class hosting provider to a Budget Hosting provider. And, that is against everything I stand for. Low prices, huge plans, and horrible support is not were I see myself. Customer service that beats all and make the client life simpler is what I am looking to provide.

Do not get me wrong. I am the boss and I make the rules; however, I was curious to does anyone feel the same way. That you would like to try to stay away from the hosting norm and keep on the unique track that you are on?

What do you think? Give me some insight. I needed someone to talk to out of the trap.
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  Post #2 (permalink)   01-03-2006, 04:29 PM
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Personally, I'm staying in the unique track - otherwise, why in the heck did I start my own company in the first place? Any of the hosting professionals in this forum could probably get a job with a "biggie" host, work in the hosting industry being just like everyone else, and probably be earning more money than we would running companies for ourselves. I'm wagering that most of us know this. Even so, we made the decision to start our own business (and keep going after the first year). We didn't make that choice by flipping a coin.

That said, there's a fine line between staying your course and being stubborn. These folks who want you to change this thing or that - do they give good solid reasons as to why they are suggesting the changes that they are, or do they just look aggrieved that you won't 'see the error of your ways'? If they give reasons, are you able to listen to the reasons, be objective, and see if there are ways that your site or offerings can change for the better without just becoming like everyone else? They may have a good point - and if they're at all computer-savvy, they could actually be your test audience for new service offerings, new support options, or advert campaigns. Even if they don't have hosting, they can listen and offer advice. The trick there is finding someone who will offer constructive criticism, list what they don't like and why, and list what they do like and why...and will then sit back and let you run your company.

I don't understand relatives / friends / etc. who say, "Oh, but you work on the internet, if you just did things differently, you'd be a millionaire by now!!" Well, I say to them, if you know how to do this and do it right, by all means go ahead and prove to me that you know of what you speak. I'll watch and learn from your example.

...and up they shut.
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  Post #3 (permalink)   01-03-2006, 06:52 PM
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I myself like being stubborn.

Nothing new ever came from following the crowd.

You need to be a creative thinker to move forward.

The trick is being creative in a positive way. Many companies want to be creative in their approach. However, there is much more to it, than a "look". You have to be creative in everything you do.

This can range from the tools your offer your clients, to the way you provide support.

There is a restaurant in Florida, and in Pittsburgh (can't recall the name right now), that has made their niche by insulting their customers. I know, that sounds extremely backward, but it works for them. Customers line up out their door, just to get in and be insulted by the staff.

Being creative means doing something that no one has thought of, but more so, developing something that others are afraid to do.
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  Post #4 (permalink)   01-03-2006, 07:40 PM
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Hello,

You both make very valid points. The reasoning behind them attempting to suggest change is to be like everyone else. hmmmm Do you understand why I am resisting anything. If there was solid proof that this is going to make the company and its clients happier I would be al for it.

As for the comment concerning friends and family. I have the same issue with mine and until you get started no one understands. I have told my dad several times that if he thinks it is so easy why don't he join in with me. That always seems to make him step back off of his high horse.

The Internet is almost look down on if you own a website or a hosting company now. Yet, people love shopping and having websites. Its amazing how they bash us for being dot bombs but yet csupport yes when they receive cheaper pricing.

In the past weeks the number of services we offer will be increaing. In addition, the hsared plans will be changing. Is this something they changed. No! Has it been in the works for awhile. Yeah!

Does anyone else have any opinions?
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  Post #5 (permalink)   01-03-2006, 07:58 PM
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Believe me, I have been in the shoes of being looked down on.

What it comes down to is, do you believe in what you're doing?

If the answer is yes, then you need to stay on track. If you believe in what you do, others will eventually believe in what you do too.

It's tough going at first, obviously. However, when others see that you're not straying from your path, they will begin to see the potential that you see, simply because they become more interested...wondering how, or why you're sticking it out.

When people care about you, they care about the things you do, and will eventually support you in your efforts, when they see how serious you are.

For the longest time, after I had gotten out of the Army, and decided to run my own business, my mother looked at me saying "You have to do something." and "When are you going to get a real job?" While those things hurt like hell, I stayed the course.

Now, my mother is calling me up, and having her friends call me, when they need to hire someone to come in and fix their computers. She always tells her friends about the business I run, etc now. I don't know if it's just bragging rights now that we're bigger, or if it's because she truly believes in what I do, but I like to think it's because she believes in what I do lol

None the less...the path is hard, and it's covered with failed dreams. This is why family and friends say the things they do, because they care about you, and know that the path is a hard one.

Just stay focused on your business. Treat it the way you would any job, and constantly work on ways to be creative in your business.

Before you know it, you'll find that the people you care about, will fall in line, and begin to take you seriously.

The key is never giving up, no matter how hard it gets. Never give anyone the ability to say "I told you so."
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  Post #6 (permalink)   01-03-2006, 08:11 PM
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Mark,

You made awesome points. I do believe in what I am doing or I would not still be here. There are many other things I could be doing that most people would consider to be "fun." On the other hand, I am here working and I love every minute of it.

Thanks for your reply Mark. I will keep them in mind over the course of building process. If anyone else has any experiences or feelings please share. It is interesting to see what everyone things and obstacles you over came with starting a business or while doing it now.
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  Post #7 (permalink)   01-03-2006, 08:19 PM
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How about forced into the norm by the hosting customers?

I've just read an individual saying
Quote:
"XYX company is giving <insert huge specs for $11> so I know it's possible"
The customer's perception about hosting is getting ever more skewed. When huge hosts with huge advertising budgets are selling something like 500Gb of data transfer for $10, that can really affect the way individuals think hosting should be priced.

As a result, today the customer wants probably 10 times more that he was getting 2 years ago for the same price, when in reality nothing except huge overselling can explain such a drop in prices..
 
 
 


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  Post #8 (permalink)   01-03-2006, 08:38 PM
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As soon as I encounter a customer who says xyz company can do it for <insert huge specs for $11> I know I have no interest in that customer.

It's not just customers who can pick and choose their hosts, a host can pick and choose customers.

We have been doing this for almost 3 years and in that time no security breaches, we've only had to suspend one spammer and we have a very high retention rate.
Why? Because we do not cater to the lowest common denominator and we research each and every sign up before activating an account.
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  Post #9 (permalink)   01-03-2006, 09:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blue
As soon as I encounter a customer who says xyz company can do it for <insert huge specs for $11> I know I have no interest in that customer.
Generally, when we run into a customer like that, we tell our sales staff to tell that potential client to go to that other company. They'll usually be back anyway, once they've been burned by the other company.
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  Post #10 (permalink)   01-03-2006, 09:43 PM
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Hello,

Nice! The feedback has been great. It is amazing what individuals expect for what they pay for. I know when i go to the Lexus dearl ther I will not spend only $10,000.00 on a new car.

However, clients who go to hosting companies are looking at a BWM for a pinto price. That is crazy. At the moment, I am attempting to think of another industry that is like the hosting industry in this way. Can any of you think of one?
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  Post #11 (permalink)   01-03-2006, 09:47 PM
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Quote:
However, clients who go to hosting companies are looking at a BWM for a pinto price. That is crazy. At the moment, I am attempting to think of another industry that is like the hosting industry in this way. Can any of you think of one?
The Cellular phone industry
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  Post #12 (permalink)   01-03-2006, 09:52 PM
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Mark,

I was thinking that; however, with selling them during my second job all day I do not think it is as big as an issue as the hosting indsutry. Nextel, Spring, Cingular, and Verizon. That is the major carries anymore. Now with Spring Nextel you are down to three. I think that prices are where they need to be there with $0.45/minute overages.

With number porting it made it a little easier. Until we do away with contracts though I do not think it will get to that point.
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  Post #13 (permalink)   01-03-2006, 10:04 PM
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It's getting to the point now, where cellular carriers will be getting rid of contracts, to compete with carriers like Verizon Wireless (inPulse), Cricket, and Cingular.

The wireless industry is the most like the hosting industrywhen it comes to the consumers, services, and the way the product/service is marketed.

In most areas, there are more networks to choose from. The ones you've mentioned being the largest of the slew.

Still, you have each company trying to outdo the others by offering more and more features, text messaging allowances, etc for very little to no money.

The pager market was exactly the same, before cellular packages began carrying text messaging and paging abilities directly in the phones.

Consumers in all 3 markets would demand a lower price because Company B was offering it at a lower price.

I used to own and operate a paging/cellular store. The customer's questions and wants/needs were very very similar to those that we face in today's hosting industry.

The difference between the industries is that with pagers and cellphones, a business can afford to sell the services for a lower price, and still provide quality, because the networks they're carried on, provide the lower prices.

In the hosting industry, it's very different, because it's exactly the opposite with network backbones.
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  Post #14 (permalink)   01-03-2006, 10:50 PM
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Mark,

Very true.
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Last edited by Zachary McClung : 01-03-2006 at 10:58 PM.
 
 
 


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  Post #15 (permalink)   01-11-2006, 06:37 PM
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To be successfull even site5 and hostgator have been trying something new , but they each found there own place in hosting , i dont think it matters if you sell a package bigger then the next it comes down to marketing budgets these days , and support to back it up, i mean if johnshost spends 70k a month on ads for the exact same plan as billyshost and billy spends 3k they are selling indutry norm plans but johsn going to the bank after a few months smiling, this is maybe bad example but being indutry norm is not really the point unless you find a ninche that works, but then johny finds it and overruns it with money , then its not a ninche anymore,
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