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  Post #1 (permalink)   02-04-2006, 04:45 PM
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Hello,

Does anybody have any advice on writing a good business plan for a web hosting business? I want to start up a web hosting business that will offer both domain registration and web hosting itself.

Any advice on writing a good business plan for this and some sort of key areas to really think about, business aims and objectives; what sort of objectives and aims would i be looking at (apart from the obvious - make money, give good support, be successful etc..)


Thank you in advance and i would highly appreciate any feedback and input by anybody on these forums in to this.



Warm regards
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  Post #2 (permalink)   02-04-2006, 09:18 PM
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Jambo, if you are looking into reselling first, I recommend you to focus on two types of documents:

A) Executive Summary

Instead of a Business Plan (I don't see why you really need it), write a document that is more brief - an Executive Summary. Outline four major areas: concept of your venture, technology, marketing play and financial opportunity. The key is to describe your business on paper, and show how it is going to generate money. I highly suggest to do market research - see how big the market is, what the trends are and how your firm can capitalize on those. Also, show and explain how you intend to spend your budgeted capital, describe your pricing strategy and who your customer is.
Do NOT reinvent the wheel - focus on where the demand is headed.

B) Revenue Forecast

A good idea would be to use Microsoft Excel. Create a chart in which specify your objectives in terms of customer/revenue growth. Make a plan on where you'd like to be in 1, 3, 5, 9, 12, 24, 36 months. Then try to execute.

After you have that on paper, a good idea would be to talk with a few industry veterans, successful entrepreneurs in the area. Find 1-2 mentors, business advisors, who can be generous enough to spend 20 minutes/week with you, read your progress reports, give tips, tell you what you do right or wrong, or what to expect from this venture. Perhaps a good idea would be to offer them some kind of incentive (equity %).

Then just launch your business, and go along your objectives. Spend everyday working toward reaching your goals, and increasing your earnings, no matter what it is. Remember, that subscriber-based business takes patience, passion and around-the-clock dedication. If you are looking for a quick way to make money, web hosting is the wrong choice for you.

Just my $0.02. Hope it helps.

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  Post #3 (permalink)   02-05-2006, 03:56 AM
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Thanks Artashes! That's really helpful I'll do just that and post what i come up with when i'm done


Again thank you.
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  Post #4 (permalink)   02-05-2006, 08:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jambo
Thanks Artashes! That's really helpful I'll do just that and post what i come up with when i'm done
I wouldn't post your way of trade on a public forum, but if you really want, you can send it to me, and I will look over it.
Just out of curiosity, what is your budget for this startup?
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  Post #5 (permalink)   02-05-2006, 09:18 AM
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I suggest you to start with small reseller plan and then upgrade as you need.
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  Post #6 (permalink)   02-05-2006, 09:41 AM
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Hey Artashes, that would be fantastic if you could

I recently ran a web hosting business (Still do, but i've stopped signups now) and i want to go about this new venture properly. I might also try and get grants for this venture too, so thats why i need some sort of business plan written so the enterprising folk can look it over. I need to make some sort of presentation too.

I have a dedicated server from ANM (ANMMark here) and i probably will get another one of these for this venture too or something smaller to start with.

I don't have a real stable budget to invest in atm, but my min would be about $300 to startup + any grants i can receive for keeping it going and any money i make from then onwards.

I already have the logo and domain. I plan to have a website finished by the end of this month also for this hosting business im going to be starting.

Anymore help or guidance would be really helpful and appreciated

Thanks for your comment MMarko, i think that's what i'm going to do

Cheers
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  Post #7 (permalink)   02-06-2006, 10:13 AM
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With most providers there is no problem with upgrading.


If you plan to grow fast (50-250 mid range sites in 2-4 months) then dedicated server is better solution because you won't need to migrate on it if you ar allready on one.
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  Post #8 (permalink)   02-06-2006, 11:52 AM
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Thanks for your advice MMarko, anybody else have any advice or done/wanting to do the same as me? - Business Plan / Executive Summary type..


Cheers
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  Post #9 (permalink)   02-06-2006, 03:06 PM
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Jambo,

Make sure on your business plan to do a through financial and competition section. Along with make reasonable goals and outcome. It is difficult seeing hosting clients and the industry be hit by hosting companies without any plans for the future. If you could tell me where you are located I have a book with a list of Business Consultants who are free of charge that will look over all aspects of your business plan and business for you.

City and State is all that would be needed.
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  Post #10 (permalink)   02-06-2006, 03:17 PM
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Hey,

I have lots of advisors a phone call away ( I hope anyways - some people got some numbers for me) but i have gave them a ring just yet, better get this out of the way. I want to try and do this myself once, and if i feel i need extra help ill call a friend to get me some help writing it a bit better or touching it up/going over it.

I live near Newcastle, United Kingdom for your information for your books.


Thanks
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  Post #11 (permalink)   02-11-2006, 04:11 AM
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You should check out a program called "Business Plan Pro" by Palo Alto.
 
 
 


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  Post #12 (permalink)   02-16-2006, 03:14 PM
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Agree with artashes
Start with small reseller plan, as you could get into it and its not for you , and you keep overhead way down
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