The choice to work as a freelancer is tough. It was one of the hardest decisions I made, back when I was trying to figure out what I should do. You trade in the security of a steady monthly income, the comfort of an office and the perks along with it (a desk, a chair, a good computer, air conditioning etc) for the power to be your own boss and take your own decisions.
Think back to the first few sites you designed. You probably sourced your requirements from a variety of providers based on the benefits you received from each of them. While looking at sourcing a cheap Domain Name? Bluehost may have come to mind; when you wanted a Hosting Package? A ton of Hostgator promos would be splashed across the net; and it probably continued like that for a long time. It did for me too till I came across the concept of Reselling, and realized that all of these benefits could be made available in one place. After doing some research, I learnt that some of the best Reseller Web Service providers include ResellerClub, Enom and Open SRS.
Let me explain some of the most glaring benefits reselling presents to a Web Designer.
Why Freelance web-designer should have their own reseller hosting business?
Being a freelance web-designer is not an easy job, and to retain the customer, you need to offer excellent customer service, and experience. At the same time, you should be slowly working on building a brand.
With your own reseller hosting, you can easily achieve the target of branding to a great level. For example, you can buy domain, hosting and other web-services under your brand. This will be great step towards customer retention.
Let me quickly explain, why having your own reseller hosting/domain account will help you in long run:
Lower Prices – when you buy domains through a Reseller Program, you typically get them at 10-20 % lower than what retailers sell them for. With some Reseller Programs, your price is based on the business you do with them. While the base price is better than market rates, the best prices offered by a Domain & Hosting Reseller Program are a lot lower, allowing you the ability to capitalize on better margins and increase your profits on Domain & Hosting Sales significantly
- Diverse Product Offering – good service providers offer a lot more than just Domain Names on sale. You can buy Web & Email Hosting products, SSL certificates and Do-it-yourself Website Builders all in one place. By offering these products, either as a bundled service or stand alone, you boost your income without much additional work involved. Your customer can get all his needs taken care off at one place, YOU!
Easy Billing System – another advantage with some reseller providers is an integrated & flexible billing system. It will automatically create an invoice for your customers when they buy a Domain Name, a Hosting Package, or any other Web Product. What’s even better is that you can charge for your own customized services such as web design, SEO, SEM from within the Billing Panel and never have to worry about managing different book of accounts, invoicing etc. again. If not, you can always buy services for your client, and bill them at one go. In anyways, this will be time-saver for you, and for your client.
Customizable Sales Front – Don’t have a website of your own, and don’t want to waste valuable time making one? Doesn’t matter, a Reseller Service Provider understands that it deals with businesses rather than individuals, which is precisely why they provide you access to a fully customizable ready made website and ready to integrate Payment Gateways. All you have to do is add your branding on the web page and you’re ready to start selling.
Guaranteed Income – When you register a Domain Name for a customer or buy them a Hosting Package from a retail provider, nothing stops your customer from continuing to purchase or renew their product from that provider and essentially by passing you. With a reseller package, your customer will renew his Hosting and Domain Names with you (as long as you keep him happy), and he would never know of the upstream provider. Even if customer is not with you for web-designing jobs in future, you will still be making money with hosting and domain renewals.
Keep your Customers happy – Providing support is the biggest headache we all face. You can avoid all of that; as Reseller Programs offer you 24x7x365 Support for all their products.
Marketing Funds – Service Providers are regularly approached by Registries who are then provided with marketing funds to increase their output. Most reseller based companies pass these funds on to their Resellers for it to be used in aggressive marketing efforts. By having your own hosting business, you gain an opportunity to pitch for these funds, and you can be as creative as you like. You can use these funds to help market your Web Design business using some of the most popular methods like Online or Offline Marketing and attract more customers.
Marketing Collateral – Apart from funds, Reseller Programs provide you with customizable Marketing Collateral, brandable user guides and many other resources you can label with your branding and pass on to your customers. Essentially it helps you enlarge your brand reputation without having to invest too much.
- Less Emails and more productivity: I’m a customer and a service provider both, and I know the pain of sending and asking for different logins. When you are selling your own hosting and domain to your clients, you can easily manage their domains and hosting. This way, you don’t need to ask for logins for at least few of their services, helping you to save time and managing multiple password.
One of the major confusion for a freelance web-designer is- Sticking to a hosting affiliate program or starting your own hosting business. If you are thinking of long-term goals, a good idea is to have a hosting business under your brand name. Being a hosting affiliate is certainly one-time advantage in terms of huge pay-out, but if you thinking of long-term goals, and looking to retain your business, running your own reseller business is more profitable.
If you do decide to sign up with a Reseller Program, the most important thing to keep in mind is finding a good, reputable provider. If you join a well recognized program then management, Support and Operating becomes effortless. A bad program would lead to poor support, sudden fluctuations in price and more problems. I have already covered one article in the past, which will help you to start hosting business of your own:
Are you a freelance web-designer? How do you deal with your client hosting and domain requirement? Do you offer something of your own, or you direct client to some of your recommended choice of hosting?