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So I wanna become a web hosting reseller...

Discussion in 'My Journey Discussions' started by Hexiuss, Aug 20, 2016.

  1. Hexiuss

    Hexiuss Junior Member

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    So heres the deal..

    I am using this thread to document my journey as a web hosting reseller starting from 0.

    I have a lot of premium wordpress themes and enough coding skills to get me by.

    I've talked to a business advisor at my local small business center and she gave me a business outline with a bunch of questions.

    I will post the answers to the questions in my journey thread.

    However, I will be excluding the questions such as "what have you learned from outside sources about your business?" and the like. This is a public forum after all.

    Please do not PM me or post asking for web design services.


    The plan:

    Build mobile friendly Wordpress websites for prospects if they buy hosting from me.


    What business will be?

    Selling 2 different Wordpress packages.

    1. Free Premium Wordpress Websites (no custom css styling just Theme > content > done) w/ hosting package

    2. Custom Built or Customized Premium Wordpress Theme (unlimited revisions, woocommerce, payment gateways(hopefully via plugin), landing page, contact forms, etc.) + free hosting package

    {I will charge up the @$$ for custom just so it can be avoided. If client goes ahead anyway, then anything past front-end gets outsourced.}

    Target Market?

    Non-coder: solo-preneurs, small businesses, bloggers, or freelancers

    Why can you offer better service than your competition?

    Price + Communication skills(Native English Speaker email/phone/skype) + TaT (going to try for < 3 days with a cap of 3-5 new clients per week)

    Status of startup?

    currently building out sample themes have around 80 or so left to go

    When will business open?
    after 40% of sample websites are complete with 60% for social media/ yt fodder

    What will hours be?
    whenever I'm awake

    Why will you be successful in this business?
    plan is a win for all involved parties. Not much to hard sell here.

    What makes your business special?
    My price point is highly competitive at 0 and free web hosts can be a pain to deal with.


    Goals for tomorrow:
    1. complete business plan questionnaire
    2. complete 2nd and 3rd sample sites
    3. json + sass
     
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  2. Jayarbo

    Jayarbo Regular Member

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    Nice this is definitely something I will be following, thank you so much for posting.
     
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  3. 61indc

    61indc Newbie

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    Following. Good luck.
     
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  4. INS2014

    INS2014 Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    This is something different. Good luck buddy :)
     
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  5. iamfanymagnet

    iamfanymagnet Newbie

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    My friend and I was trying to do something like that, but we were providing free website design to anyone who is buying hosting from us. Got only a few clients and that is it. Maybe we are just 'too lucky', who knows

    Anyway, Good luck to you :)
     
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  6. Hexiuss

    Hexiuss Junior Member

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    Day 2


    **Thanks for the support everyone :)**

    questions cont'd:

    what is your experience in this business?
    2-years freelancing(articles, custom social media design, eBay/ecommerce cms, classified ads), 2-years coding(quit 3 different times xD now i'm addicted and have no friends[non-coders]),1-year Wordpress, 2 months building custom themes from scratch.

    have you spoken to other people in this type of business about their experience, challenges and rewards?
    mid to high learning curve depending on target niche, but very rewarding if you stick with it.

    have you spoken with prospective trade suppliers to find out what managerial and/or technical help they will provide?
    all of my themes come with full developer support

    have you asked about 'trade credit'?
    No

    if you will be doing and contract work, what are the terms?
    I will tweak: 'gist [dot] github [dot] com/malarkey/4031110' s contract to my liking and use that.

    do you have letters of intent from prospective suppliers or purchasers?
    None

    what is the present size of the market?
    26.6% of all websites use wordpress, 'wordpress' 823k searches/mo, around 2-3k exact in my niche (probably more but I only spent < 1-hour on this to finish the questions)

    what percent of the market do you have?
    0%

    what is market's growth potential?
    w3tech [dot] com's Aug 2015 - Aug 2016 chart showed approx. 1.5% - 2% increase in last 12 months.
    conservative guess would be 1% growth over next 12 months.


    who are your 5 nearest competitors? list them by name.
    [c1, c2, c3, c4, ... c20] roughly 20 other web developers/studios show up on maps

    how will your operation be better than theirs?

    lower overhead, my niche is more specific theirs more broad, price

    how is their business: steady? increasing? decreasing? Why?
    Early 2015 there were 3 web dev studios on google maps. As of aug 2015 around 20 web devs/studios 12 of which have > 3 employees

    Due to the increase in web dev shops popping up in my area within last year I would say increasing.


    How are their operations similar and dissimilar to yours?
    19/20 use custom web design(some custom wp, some hard code, some offer either or) services as their flagship product. They all have a very broad target market.

    The cheapest wordpress website service I found w/o custom is $500. Most expensive is $1800.



    what are their strengths and/or weaknesses?
    strengths: $$$, experience, established lead engines and repeat clients.

    weaknesses: overhead, slower decision-->implementation process, longer development time, limited customer service(standard 12 to 24-hr q-->a for most, 48-hr for some) and can't compete w/ free.

    what have you learned from watching their operations?
    The owner of one of the local web studios interviewed me as a noob 2-years ago when I learned html on codecademy and started applying to web designer jobs.

    He was a recent CS grad and a one man shop at the time with a crappy customized wp theme as his website. Now he has a team of CS grads and designers working for him.

    He asked me if I had experience using wordpress and I replied "Wordpress isn't for 'real coders' it's just for blogging right?".

    Interview Done.

    Now I love premium wordpress themes for simple websites and I'm learning to build themes from scratch.


    how do you plan on keeping an eye on the competition in the future?
    going to their websites, se operators + cached site data, up to date services/reviews by customers.

    what is your business background?
    freelancing, customer service, sales(eBay/shopify, face to face, phone), ppv lead filtering for attorneys.

    how does your background/business experience help you in this business?
    It will help me come up with a lead generation method on the cheap, qualify those leads, pitch those who pass, provide them with excellent customer service along the way, and deliver a professional website in 3-days or less.



    **
    JSON/SaSS and Sample themes 2 & 3 didn't happen today since I spent most my time researching answers. Questions are all done except marketing, personnel, and financial sections which I will post tomorrow.
     
  7. superduper7

    superduper7 Regular Member

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    Good luck if you need any help let me know I can set up servers for you
     
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  8. Hexiuss

    Hexiuss Junior Member

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    Day 3

    Marketing

    considering your target market, what is the best way to reach them?

    "search engine operators" + city => email/call,
    search tempest => email/call,
    local yellow pages => call,
    meetup(entrepreneurs,small biz,mlm's) => networking, set up meetings,
    forums => undefined ,
    social media => linkedin groups, yt tuts
    blog posts => articles + kw research + yoast seo



    what is your marketing/sales budget?

    $0

    what will give you the greatest return on your marketing investment?
    short term: cold calls, meetups
    long term: forums, meetups, content/seo


    how will you maintain a comprehensive marketing strategy?

    1. test diff strategies out
    2. record results based on time spent/leads generated
    3. create a daily marketing plan(short-term) w/ a content curation/creation strategy(long-term) based on what works



    Personnel

    what are your personnel needs now? In the near future(1-year)?

    now: none
    1-year: 2 outsourcers from overseas


    what skills must they have?
    intermediate html/css skills and at least a wordpress "poweruser"

    are the people you need available?

    yes, on the job sites.

    will your employees be full-time or part-time?

    part-time

    will you pay salaries or hourly wages?

    fixed price per project to ensure profitability.

    Financial


    what is your financial contribution to your business start-up?

    several premium Wordpress developer packages + reseller hosting account => not sure but well over $500

    what other funds are needed?

    none at the moment

    what assets will you be purchasing and why?

    none during first 6-months, probably more developer packages 1-year from now depending on the demand for wordpress websites

    how much does each asset cost?

    developer packages approx. prices range between($100 - $500+) so it depends.


    ** business plan outline completed! will be made into slideshow via google slides and presented to advisor later this week. I will share advice/answers afterwards. For now back to grinding out sample websites.**

     
  9. Hexiuss

    Hexiuss Junior Member

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    Day 4

    Yesterday, I made a slideshow out of all of the questions above.

    I then did a quick run down of what I have going to the business advisor.

    After the slideshow, I was told that I had to put the business plan into 'story' form.


    This is what I'll be doing part of today^^

    Unfortunately, I have spent the last 2-years learning coding or working a 9-5 job.

    I'm finding the creation of my business plan pretty grindy, which is weird since making plans like this used to be fun when I first got into this forum.

    Anyways, the narrative plan will involve the same questions as above with 3 new sections: Executive Summary, Itemized Purchased List, and Projected cash flow report for the next year.

    I was given an example narrative plan from a local photography company as reference.

    The surprising thing is almost every paragraph involves the business owner talking about how she will use the "IDA funds" and how the "IDA funds" will help her business compete.

    What are "IDA funds"?
    lmgtfy:
    IDA = 'Individual Development Account'
    "...IDAs are offered through programs that involve partnerships between local nonprofit organizations, also called IDA program sponsors, and financial institutions... "
    "In principle IDAs work as matched savings accounts that supplement the savings of low-income households with matching funds drawn from a variety of private and public sources."

    When I made the plan I was expecting no $$ help at all.

    I will continue to expect no $$ help, but I will complete the narrative outline nonetheless.

    I'm not comfortable at this time accepting opm in any form until my proof of concept is proven with data.

    That being said, I'm going to dial back the amount of time I spend planning stuff out(1-2hrs) and get back to completing my sample wordpress themes so I can start hitting people up for websites.
     
  10. DutchStuff

    DutchStuff Junior Member

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    Good luck. I have a running business something like this, but I don't provide mainly myself as hosting reseller. I found out it works better to create a brand which sells high quality and cheap wordpress sites. Will follow this for sure!
     
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  11. Hexiuss

    Hexiuss Junior Member

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    Update:

    Decided to do a quick update on what I've been up to so I don't have to write another novel post.

    Wednesday, 08-24
    **I work from coffee shops and I decided to change around coffee shops this day stumbling into one of the ones that limit internet time and throttle your bandwidth @800mb. Decided to try the spoof mac address *didn't work* tried a bunch of other stuff *didn't work*. Then I went home mad that I didn't have a diff os, because I know theres a way, theres always a way.

    unproductive^^ 08-24 was fucked.

    Thursday, 08-25
    Finally figured out fucking JSON and how to get/display api data and completed a random quote generator w/ specific dynamic tweeting based on api data retrieved. Kind of unrelated to hoster reselling but oh well small victory.

    Friday, 08-26
    Completed executive summary of my **business** experience which has to be redone since it involved 3-pages about my last failed business attempt of blackhatting cl xD

    sample sites status:
    2/32 completed, site #3 70% completed
    **redid my portfolio 3 different times..

    Tomorrow, Saturday 08-26
    for #4:
    1. Look for a local business with a bad website and re-design it w/ premium wordpress.
    **Email local business after website is finished to ask if I can use their content/images for my 'web development training', then send them link to the completed and hosted site.
    2. Look for a free hosting solution so I can start hosting the completed sample sites.
    3. Start coming up with a standardized workflow approach to speed development time.
     
  12. lukapresic

    lukapresic Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    good luck man good to sea some new skilled man here.
     
  13. BillTomy

    BillTomy Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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  14. Hexiuss

    Hexiuss Junior Member

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    For those just joining in:
    -I'm doing a reseller hosting business by selling it as a wp setup + maintenance + hosting package
    Status: 3/32 sample sites completed

    Purpose: I figure after 32 websites I'll know wordpress pretty well and be able to grow this into a long-term passive income stream with the proper marketing plan.

    Sunday 08-28

    Nothing much happened sunday finished up site # 3 and found a business to use as a redesign project for site #4

    Monday 08-29

    Disaster: Edited core wp files and wasn't able to access admin area and broke #3 entirely. Site wasn't backed up because I forgot like a noob. I spent most of monday trying different ways to *unfuck* the php i broke. Ended up scrapping it reinstalling wp core + theme,*backed it up on github* and then calling it a day.

    Today 08-30

    #3 fully competed from scratch + github'd. Images resized for #4. Started creating a list of shit websites(who are likely already paying hosting) to pitch free re-designs, in exchange for a positive review, backlink to my website in the footer and screenshot of my choice(from their website) to use for my portfolio.
     
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  15. Finn

    Finn Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    Bookmarked. Good luck and best of success OP. :)
     
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  16. CenTex Hosting

    CenTex Hosting Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    following.

    Best of luck.

    If you have any questions please feel free to reach out. Would be glad to help
     
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  17. Hexiuss

    Hexiuss Junior Member

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    Today 08-31

    Working on site #4 and adding a javascript modal pop up to #3. I want a div to appear on page after a button is clicked. Need to do it in pure js though since jquery and boostrap are finniky with wordpress.

    Heres the tut on modals for anyone interested in doing this w/o plug-ins or bootstrap: "www [dot ]w3schools [dot] com/howto/howto_css_modals.asp"
     
  18. Hexiuss

    Hexiuss Junior Member

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    Today 08-31

    Got a prospect call me for a meeting w/ graphic designer in tow.

    Set appointment for Friday forgot to even tell the client my prices.

    She also needs an domain side email set up which I havn't done before, but it can't be too hard compared to php.

    Kind of in a bind atm since I have no hosting for myself and $0 lol. Oh well,

    "Champions keep going when they don't have anything left in the tank!"

    Anyone know of any good "free" web hosts so I can work my "name [@] yourdomain.com" skills? lol
     
  19. Hexiuss

    Hexiuss Junior Member

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    Anyone know of any good "free" web hosts so I can work my "name [@] yourdomain.com" skills?
    answer = site:blackhatworld[dot]com 'amazing-7-best-free-hosting-providers.563441'

    forgive the noob question^^ took like a 5s google search...

    Today

    Figured out how to set up client server side email and how to update mysql db using only sql.

    I had to 're-learn' sql because my 'free' web host didn't have an edit option for the field.

    I needed to change the 'localhost url' in the db to 'actual url' on server.

    Took me 3-hours but I finally figured out what I needed on the db side.

    " " "

    UPDATE table_name
    SET column1=value1,column2=value2,...
    WHERE some_column=some_value;
    " " "
    simple^^(ty w3schools) once you know it but one hell of a mindfuck if you forgot and 'think' you remember.


    Working on 3 diff sample themes tonight to present to client tomorrow.

    Shout outs to CenTex Hosting, Finn, BillTomy, lukapressuperduper7ic, DutchStuff, INS2014 and Jayarbo for the support it means a lot!

    Back to the grind I go..
     
  20. Hexiuss

    Hexiuss Junior Member

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    Today

    Potential client ended up needing a whole lot more than 2 simple websites.

    She needs 2 websites custom wordpress with following functionality:
    -collect customer data
    -payment gateways x4
    -server side emails
    -customized admin panel for her staff

    Decided to quote her 4k for the two sites since, it takes forever to fully make a custom wordpress theme.

    She narrowed down potential dev's to 2/60 applicants, so my odds are 50/50.

    Now that client meeting is out of the way its back to finishing site #4.